Recess Educational Assistant
Meet Ms. Stacy!
I grew up in Big Spring, a small town in West Texas where the Great Plains, Edwards Plateau, and Chihuahuan Desert come together. Growing up in West Texas instilled a love of prairies, plains and desert environments, but my family also visited the San Juans every summer, and I grew to love the mountains even more! I love living in Colorado, the beauty and serenity of the mountains, and the outdoor recreation opportunities that the mountains provide. I enjoy lots of outdoor activities, including hiking, trail running, backpacking, skiing, horseback riding, and paddle boarding.
I am an identical twin, and I had a very close family as a kid, including my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and lots of aunts, uncles and cousins. My dad worked as a drilling supervisor for Texaco, and my mom was a teacher, as was my maternal grandmother. Growing up, my extended family would gather for holidays at my maternal grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ houses, and my sister and I would go fishing at the “tank” at my grandparent’s farm, pet their cows, and sometimes get to bottle feed baby calves.
In high school, my favorite subjects were science and English, and I have wonderful memories of several teachers, including a phenomenal Chemistry and Advanced Science teacher named Mr. Lawrence. I started out as a biology major in college, but I later switched to Secondary Education with English and Biology as teaching fields, and I taught 7th grade biology at a small middle school outside of Plano, Texas.
I loved teaching my students about cell biology, anatomy and physiology, invertebrates and vertebrates, phylogeny, ecology, and more. However, a turning point in my life occurred after graduating with my Bachelor’s degree and before I began teaching, when I spent the summer doing ecological field work and living at the Ranger compound at Lassen Volcanic National Park in norther California. That summer, I spent almost every day hiking and taking tree cores and measurements and learning about the ecology of the forest. I already had a strong interest and concern for animals and the environment, but during that summer, I realized that I wanted a career that involved environmental protection. After teaching for two years, I returned to graduate school to earn a Master’s of Science in Environmental Science.
After graduating with my MS in Environmental Science, I began working in the environmental consulting field, mostly doing “NEPA” work (NEPA is the acronym for the National Environmental Policy Act, a landmark law passed in 1969 that requires all Federal projects, including those with Federal funding or permits, to undergo an environmental review prior to beginning). I wound up managing a large NEPA project at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and one thing led to another. I got married, and my husband and I formed an environmental consulting company and lived in Louisiana while doing NEPA and natural resources management work for Fort Polk for over 16 years.
When our son was born, however, my husband and I knew that Colorado was where we wanted to be. We moved to Castle Rock in 2012, and we soon discovered Renaissance Expeditionary Magnet School. We recognized immediately that REMS was the perfect fit for our family. When my son received a spot at REMS through the lottery as a kindergartener, I literally did a happy dance, and we have loved the school ever since!
My son graduated from REMS in June 2021, and now I am excited to begin working at REMS as an Educational Assistant. I deeply value the mission and vision statements expressed by REMS, the way the school focuses on social-emotional learning, and the opportunities for growth afforded to kids through the Outdoor Adventure Education program. One of my all-time favorite quotes is the well-known passage from Kurt Hahn: “There is more in us than we know. If we could be made to see it; perhaps, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less.” This quote embodies much of what I love about REMS, and I hope that in some small way, I can help kids to see that there is more in them than they know.