Welcome to 8-2 ELA!

There's no doubt this is going to be a school year unlike any otherone in which we learn and grow so much, help one another through these strange times, and enjoy making special memories of your eighth grade year. It may not always be easy, but together, we're going to make it awesome!

Ever since I was a kid, I have loved reading and writing, so I feel very lucky to be able to share that passion in the classroom, helping my students find their stories and voices. There's no other career I'd rather do, and nowhere else I'd rather be than Memorial.

Something else I’m crazy about: travel. I love exploring new places and trying new things.


The most interesting food I've ever sampled? Rotten shark meat in Iceland. Yes, you read that right. And no, it did not taste like chicken!


Besides a thirst for adventure, I also enjoy photography and film, kickboxing, running, music, art, a good binge-watch, hammock naps, and terrible puns (apologies in advance).


Most of all, I enjoy quality time with family and friends.


I look forward to a successful, memorable, and fun school year!


Here is some professional information about me:


Educational Background
B.A. in Communication, Rowan University
M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Scranton


    • National Board Certification, English Language Arts—Early Adolescence, 2008

    • English, 7-12

    • Elementary, K-8

    • Google Certified Teacher, 2016

  • Teaching Experience
    • 3 years at Charles W. Lewis Middle School, Blackwood, NJ

    • Memorial faculty member since 2005



    • Received one of six Gloucester Township Apple Awards for Excellence in Education (“Teacher of the Year”), 2003-04

    • Former reviewer for Voice of Youth Advocates professional journal
You'll need:
Amazon.com : Black Marble Composition Notebook, 100-Count, Wide Ruled, 9  3/4" x 7 1/2" (12 PACK) : Writing Pencils : Office Products
-marble composition notebook (We will be using both a digital notebook and an old-school marble notebook. It's important that we do some writing away from the keyboard.)
-earbuds (both in and out of class)
-writing utensils
-independent reading book 
-index cards (you may wish to use these to make flash cards)
-Post-it notes (to annotate your independent reading book)
-colored pencils (for some of our notebook entries that will involve drawing)
Students can find assignments by accessing our Daily Agenda slide deck (also found in Google Classroom). 
No homework will be assigned on weekends or holidays.  Those times are reserved for students to relax, spend time with their families, and pursue other interests, so that they can come back to school refreshed and ready to learn.  However, at their own discretion, students may choose to work over weekends and holidays on long-term projects or assignments.
As per our district’s grading practices, grades will be reported under two categories:

Major Assessments = 50% (Includes tests, written pieces, projects, presentations)
Minor Assessments = 30% (May include quizzes, poetry recitations, oral assessments, other graded assignments)
Classwork = 20% (May include do-nows, exit tickets, notebook entries, individual grades for group work)

Independent Reading = 50% (May include evidence of reading, weekly check-ins, preparation for conferences, timely turn-in of responses, consistently prepared with a book, maintains lists and logs)
Daily Expectations = 50% (Expectations:  contribute to class activities; demonstrate effort and positive attitude; stay on task; follow directions; attend required Meets; challenge self; complete work including make-up work on time; submit electronic assignments correctly; bring all required materials to class; self-advocate)

  • If you are in a situation where you are unable to complete an assignment on time, please contact me as soon as possible before the due date. We can accept late major and minor assessments up to one week late, but points will be deducted from the assignment’s accountability grade.
    When an assignment is given, clear expectations are modeled and discussed in class. Almost always, mentor texts or models are analyzed and studied before we ask students to perform on their own. Coaching rubrics and models will be found in Google Classroom.


If a student earns a poor grade, 69% or lower, on a major or minor assessment, he or she may ask to reassess. The student should email me or Mr. Prendergast to request the reassessment. After requesting the reassessment, the student must complete the following steps:


  1. Fill out the Assessment Reflection Form found in GC *after* you request a reassessment from your teacher.  If this step is not completed within two days of requesting the assessment, you will forfeit your chance to reassess.
  2. Make corrections or edit the original test or writing piece in red font, if requested by one of the teachers to do so.  If you are not asked to do this, move to step #3.
  3. Attend a reassessment extra help session during the week to study or to receive one-on-one advice about how to improve.
Note: if a student does not complete an assigned study guide or the requested study tools (i.e. flashcards, graphic organizers) before the original assessment, I may decline a student’s request for reassessment. 
    • Absence Due to Vacation Work or Sickness:
    • Please see the school handbook for the policy on missed work due to a vacation. We will not provide work for students prior to a vacation. When a student misses class because of sickness or vacation, he/she must check our Daily Agenda (found on Google Classroom) to see what lessons and assignments he/she missed while away.  
    • High School Recommendations:
    • I would be happy to help any student apply to a private high school or special program. If you decide to ask me for a recommendation, please give me at least 30 days to complete the paperwork. The student seeking a recommendation should make the request for the recommendation in person.  Also, please submit the paperwork to me with a stamped envelope with the address of the institution to which you wish me to send the recommendation. Recommendation paperwork left in my mailbox or sent digitally without a request from the student will not be filled out.  I will not be able to write an honest recommendation of you until after November, so please do not make requests before then.