1) “21st Century Educator in Residence” is a not a term commonly heard in the architecture world. Can you give us some insight into what your role is at BCA?
At BCA, I work on a variety of projects. I work with the school districts from the start of their master planning to facilitating their Tech Task forces. I work with the teachers, community members, and school leaders to help them voice their vision, initiatives, needs, and concerns for the modernization, renovation, and master planning of their districts.
I also just finished a four-part series about classroom adaption in preparation for the transition to the Common Core. I worked with BCA to create the 21st Century Classroom Demonstration space in BCA’s headquarters. In addition to this program, I also assist Edwin Diaz, BCA’s Superintendent in Residence, with his partnership with Pivot Learning Partners Executive Leadership Center (ELC) program.
Most importantly, I am the middle man between the community, teachers, administrators, parents and architectural designers who are all hoping to achieve greatness for their community. I help bring all their voices into the picture and meld them with the architectural vision.
2) Since you began as teacher, of course we have to ask what your favorite subject was in school. And your least favorite subject?
My favorite subject in school when I was a kid was language arts. I had a veracious passion for books when I was child. I saved my favorite book collections for my son and now read them to him at night. Although I didn’t love writing, I enjoy looking back at my pieces because they are hysterical – especially my journal!
My least favorite subject was math. It’s a sad story really – in middle school, I had a math teacher who terrified me and I lost all interest in math. Later in life, when I went for my teaching credentials, I met an amazing teacher who helped me learn math in a method that was perfect for me.
I still sometimes have trouble with math, but I fully admit to it. When I was teaching, I would let students give me a ticket when they “caught Ms. D” making a mistake as a way of recognizing their attention to detail.
3) Favorite Quote by a Teacher or an Architect/Designer?
I’m not sure who to attribute my favorite quote to, but it goes something like this:
A good teacher never teaches the same lesson twice because you should always assess how you taught a lesson and determine what tweaks need to be made to make it better.
I have applied this method throughout my career and use it in my work for BCA even though I am not working in a classroom. We begin as learners, and we should strive to continue to learn throughout our lives.
4) Favorite project you have worked on at BCA?
I would have to say all of them – and I genuinely mean that. I love being able to be a voice for school districts and helping them plan for the future. I love working in the design planning phase of a project and then watching it come alive. For example, seeing my suggestions on the Mendota project come to life after speaking with the students and the teachers was beyond rewarding for me.
As an educator and technology training specialist, it is my job at BCA to work with the teachers, the students, and the parents throughout the design process. I am the bridge between the architects’ view and the communities’ view, making sure all voices are heard and all goals are achieved.
5) When you are not working hard in the office, what is your favorite thing to do?
My favorite thing to do is spend time with my son. We love to go on adventures in the area, especially hiking and visiting science centers.
My ideal vacation? I would love to take my family up the coast of New England and show them all the exciting sites there.
6) Fun fact no one knows about you?
I worked for two summers in Greece on an archeological site as the site conservationist. I used the original computer-aided design software (CAD) to map out a site from a balloon aerial view.