Originally from a small farm town in Idaho, Tara comes to Maui Prep with over ten years of teaching experience in the greater Los Angeles area. Tara began her teaching career teaching 9-12 grade English to inner city “at-risk” students in Watts. Outside of the classroom, she worked extensively with these students on goal setting and training for the completion of the L.A. Marathon. She went on to teach at a small school located at California State University, Northridge’s campus, with beginnings similar to Maui Prep’s inception—the first year began with grades 9 & 10, and additional grades were added each year. Tara had the opportunity to design curriculum, serving as English department chair and as a master teacher/mentor, supporting new teachers through B.T.S.A.
Tara’s professional growth and development exploded during her seven-year stint at Northridge Academy while working with a highly motivated staff. She pursued a Master’s degree in education with an emphasis on English at California State University, Northridge. The crux of her research focused on the effectiveness of utilizing a social justice curriculum with “at-risk” students. She has taught AP Literature for six years and more recently has taught AP Language and Composition. Her last teaching experience was at Los Angeles Senior High School, where she and a group of devoted students resurrected the school’s newspaper—The Blue & White.
She also coached the Boys and Girls Cross Country teams at Northridge Academy, winning City Finals and both qualifying for state championships consecutive years in a row. Additionally, she coached the Boys’ Varsity Golf team, qualifying for City Finals every year. Her teaching philosophy revolves around goal setting, and coaching her students to attain a new skill through a rigorous and challenging curriculum. Inspiring students to foster a love of reading, and life-long learning is the most rewarding outcome she feels.
Tara’s love of traveling brought her and her family to Maui in 2012. She comes to our Maui Prep ‘Ohana after a two-year teaching hiatus after having her first child—Irie. When she can tear herself away from a good novel, you’ll find her enjoying the outdoors: running, hiking, golfing, snowboarding, exploring, or relaxing at the beach with her family.