Hello, and welcome to my website! I am a wife, mom, artist, maker and STEAM educator. Of course, there is so much more to me than that, but that’s a quick, six word introduction to me. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Bill Van Loo, and have been for a long time. Together, we have three beautiful children who have helped form each of us into the people we are today. We live with one energetic dog and one affectionate cat in a bustling home with a dining room-turned-makerspace and a garage-turned-woodshop where we all find lots to make and do.
I am passionate about visual arts education, arts education advocacy, and about thoughtful technology integration. A second career teacher, I am excited to be a STEAM educator. I teach Project Lead The Way in two elementary schools in Ann Arbor Public Schools, Michigan. In this role, I co-teach computer science and engineering. Before joining the AAPS team, though, I taught Visual Arts Education for three years. As you might imagine, I am a passionate advocate for the arts, and endeavor to put the “A” in STEAM in my current role.
Some people are surprised when they find out that I went from teaching art to teaching technology, but I think it makes perfect sense. In both of those classroom settings, my students work together collaboratively to solve problems, they use their creativity as they make projects to show what they have learned, they think critically when they find there is not one right answer to a question, and they communicate as they share ideas and tell each other what they have learned. Those 21st century skills are developed in both my art students and my technology students, as they learn about the world around them through making, struggling, thinking and questioning.
As you peruse my site or read my blog, I hope that you’ll find something that sparks your interest. And when your interest is sparked, I hope you’ll seek to find more. That’s the joy of learning!