I began my professional life with a degree in Nursing (RN) and a certification in the administration of anesthesia (CRNA) from the University of Michigan. I practiced in the medical field until my first child was born. My husband R. Harris Russo, M.D. and I are the parents of six children, three boys and three girls. I became interested in teaching profession as I experienced the role of teaching my own children. Mathematics and science are fields that I studied at the U of M and decided I would pursue this area of teaching at the middle school level.
I have enjoyed many graduate courses and professional development classes in mathematics and science through the years. Attending classes at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, Michigan Tech University, University of Chicago and Grand Valley State University, as well as professional development at the Smithsonian Institute and the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center. I am a member of Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM); the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM); the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the Michigan Science Teachers Association (MSTA).
My teaching approach is that of Inquiry and hands-on investigation. Giving students time both to carry out investigations and to raise questions of their own. I feel it is important to take students out into the community thus expanding their physical classroom and engaging them in the study of the world around them. Environmental service learning is essential in that it immerses students in experiences that encourage them to reflect as well as to serve (Dewey 1938). Also, each student in my classroom has access to the World Wide Web with his or her own classroom laptops providing limitless accessible knowledge.
I have taught at Kazoo School since 1999. In addition to teaching at Kazoo, I am also a teacher advocate at the Kalamazoo Air Museum. This position entails bringing the physics and historical background of aviation into the classroom. I enjoy the outdoors especially walks in the Kleinstuck Preserve adjacent to my home as well as the school.