Who/what inspired you to enter into the education field?

Some of my favorite teachers growing up had an huge impact on my decision to teach! My First Grade teacher, Mrs. Smith was one of my favorites! She was soft spoken, always encouraging and I truly felt loved in her classroom.  I wanted to emulate that atmosphere in my classroom and I pray often for the patience and guidance to do just that!!

Tell us about your family? (children, pets, etc)

I’m married to my High School sweetheart Josh Callihan and we’ll be married 30 years this August. I am a mother of three. My oldest Zach, is 25 and graduated from EKU with a chemistry degree.  He is currently working for a coal company in our neighboring town of Pineville.  My middle child, Anna Beth graduated from WKU and just started The University of the Cumberlands Doctor of Physical Therapy program. She married her high school sweetheart this past summer.  My youngest, Emma Kate is in her third semester at EKU majoring in biology with the intent on going to dental school.  The Lord has truly blessed me!!

What is your Teacher Leader Mission? YOUR WHY in the classroom? How do you #LeadTheCHARGE daily?

My Mission…. To prepare my students with the fundamental knowledge and skills to be successful in school, life and in society. WHY… because I love it! It’s my duty, passion and the field I’ve chosen for my life’s work!  How do I #LeadTheCHARGE? By choosing everyday to give my students my best! To love them, to educate them, and to lead them to the best they can be!!!

What is one attribute of leadership that you think is critical to possess as a Teacher Leader. Why?

To be a good listener!  When you are a good listener you make the people around you feel valued.  It doesn’t matter what age you are, everyone needs to be valued.

What are ways that you engage families as part of the learning in your classroom/school?

Keep families in the know about what is going on in our classroom.  Open communication is the key! That way my families can help reinforce our daily learning and can talk to me about any questions or concerns they may have. 

What “fingerprint” or lasting impression do you want to leave at your school or on your students?

That I loved my job and my students! That I was a light and that I had a positive impact!

How do you maximize the strengths of those around you?

Encouraging them!! Giving students and adults confirmation of successes only helps them build on those successes!

What do you like most about teaching?

What I like most about teaching is seeing my students grow and learn! When you see a student that has struggled begin to succeed, it is PRICELESS!!

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