Grade(s): 9 / 10 / 11 / 12
School: CENTRAL SENIOR HIGH, SAINT PAUL MN
I’m the President of Sophia and I love using Sophia with my kids. I am a wife, a mother of two, a sister to a man with a learning disability, and a lifelong student of academics and life experiences. My journey to Sophia is about as unusual as it gets. I immigrated to the US with my family when I was 6. My first exposure to the US education system was in first grade, where my teacher, Mrs. Wong, told my parents that I had the choice of continuing in my Orange reading book (the lowest) or staying after school to read with her one-on-one and have the opportunity to move up to the Blue reading book (the highest level). I chose to stay after school…. I was off to start my life. I ended up graduating magna cum laude from UCLA and getting my MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where I met my husband and future father of my children. Thank you, Mrs. Wong! I am lucky to have found Sophia for two reasons. As a child, my hobbies were school and reading. I started working at my parent’s restaurant at 11, first in the kitchen then as the cashier and waitress. We were open 7 days a week, 11am – 10pm, everyday of the year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Besides work, I went to school. I did not have time for hobbies or activities or birthday parties. It was at school and through reading that I realized that I could be whoever and whatever I wanted to be…the sky is the limit as long as I work hard and dream. Education was and continues to be my ticket to my dreams. Next stop, veterinary school! I plan to own my own clinic and work with neglected and abused animals, helping them to get healthy enough for adoption by loving families. My first hope and dream for Sophia is that Sophia can contribute to that ticket to life for others. The second reason is that my younger brother, Paul, an intelligent person, has an undiagnosed learning disability. His life has taken a very different path from mine and there is not a night that goes by where I don’t think of him before I fall asleep. Back then, kids who did not keep up were automatically placed in “Special Ed”, a death nail to a future of opportunity and options. Every night I think about what I could have done, how his life could be different today if only… My parents were busy just trying to make ends meet. They did not speak the language well. I did and I could have done more. Yet when I am really honest with myself, I wonder what I could have done. Be
I graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S in Chemistry and Mathematics along with an education certification. My career began in Utah teaching junior high math and high school chemistry. I spent 22 years in the classroom as a science teacher in the Rosemount, Apple Valley, Eagan School District. I have taught physics, AP, honors, general and concept level Chemistry. Currently, I am a Professional Development Specialist working in the School of Education at Capella University. During the summer, I facilitate week long workshops for new and experienced chemistry teachers at Hamline University with Prof. Matt Morgan. As a team, we cover content as well as current best practices in the science classroom including inquiry and digital resources. I am also employed by the College Board as an AP Chemistry Consultant where I facilitate day-long to week-long workshops for classroom teachers. I believe one of the best ways to improve my professional practice is to network with teachers from all over the country and I enjoy the opportunities this provides.