Humanities Teacher - Department Head
B.A. Literature and Creative Writing - University of Kansas
M.A. Secondary Curriculum and Instruction - University of Phoenix
11th and 12th Humanities / Study & Life Skills
Tara grew up in Northern California immersed in nature, horse riding, and competitive soccer. Her senior year of high school, Tara's family moved to Chicago, so upon graduation, she decided to fully embrace the Midwest experience and attend the University of Kansas, where she earned a B.A. in English and creative writing. Tara’s junior year of college she studied literature and philosophy at the University of Wales at Aberystwyth, where the travel bug bit her hard. Luckily, back in Kansas, a hail storm destroyed the exterior of Tara’s Volkswagen Rabbit, leading to a very modest insurance payout - but just enough to fund the beginning of several years of international backpacking, language studies, and working at odd jobs.
One of Tara’s first international jobs was at a bilingual school in Costa Rica, which is where Tara first discovered her passion for teaching and her love for working in education. This led her to volunteer in refugee camps in Chiapas, Mexico as a liaison between camp organizers and international NGOs providing resources for refugee education programs. Over the next couple of years Tara continued to travel and study languages. This journey took her to Europe, where she completed a French language program and exams at the University of Provence, and tutored English. Today France is still one of Tara’s favorite places to visit.
Upon returning to the United States, Tara worked for several years in international business, but ultimately decided to return to education. She earned a Master’s degree in Secondary Education Curriculum and Instruction in 2006, and has since taught in both public education and at Metropolitan Arts Institute. Tara is certified to teach in multiple disciplines including English and History, and has a full endorsement for teaching English Language Learners. She has trained and taught in the A.V.I.D program (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and as an International Baccalaureate English teacher. Tara has also been awarded educational grants by the National Endowment for the Humanities, one of which took her to Vienna for a month to study Mozart and the Enlightenment. In 2009 Tara was recognized in the Tempe Union High School District as a Teacher of Excellence, and in 2016 was presented with an award for Outstanding Teacher of American History by the Daughters of the American Revolution. During Tara’s time at Metro, she built a thriving Humanities honors program, started Metro’s NHS chapter, served as instruction specialist and teacher mentor, and implemented many of the organization supports for students that still are used at Metro today. Tara is thrilled to be back at Metro, with the community she cares so much about.
Tara currently lives in Phoenix with her husband, John, and their rescue dog, Sonora. She has a daughter who graduated from Metro in 2018. In her free time Tara loves to travel, practice yoga, spend time in nature, ride her horse, read historical fiction, garden, and visit with her family and friends.