Writer Portfolio

Democracy Day 2023 - Sept. 13, 2023

Every year thousands of Americans move abroad. Some are students studying in universities, others are retirees stretching their retirement money, military members and their families stationed around the world and digital nomads or workers for globalized companies.

The precise number of American citizens residing outside the country is unknown. The U.S. State Department estimates the figure at 9 million people, with only 7.8% participating in the 2020 election.

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annoyed and stressed teacher in a classroom
Medium - September 22, 2023

The Principal Effect

It’s the start of a new school year, which means ’tis the season for media coverage about teacher shortages and all sorts of speculation about why it’s happening. However, there is a key factor that is oddly absent from the analysis and introspections about why teachers are leaving the profession — The Principal Effect. A building Principal and by extension, the school district leaders, have a huge impact on the effectiveness of the teachers in the classroom. It makes sense, right? In other industries people understand that a bad manager directly affects their employees and their ability to be happy and productive workers. However, this same principle is not often applied to Principals because teachers are too afraid of retribution if they speak publicly about what is really going on in those school buildings.

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Democrats Abroad - Jan. 15, 2024

Honoring MLK Through Exercising Your Right to Vote

Sixty years ago, in the summer of 1964, thousands of students and a coalition of civil rights groups gathered in Mississippi intent on registering African American voters.  They were met with unyielding violence as people were beaten, attacked, and murdered. Homes, businesses, and churches were bombed and burned to the ground.  Not to be deterred, people kept moving and fought for the right to vote without fear of intimidation.


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Jeana Whitaker
Medium - Sept. 13, 2022

Equity in Theatre Education

Color Blind Casting vs. Color Conscious Casting

Color blind casting came into practice in the 1960s in professional theatre, but rarely is it practiced in educational theatre. We can define color blind casting as the practice of casting without considering the actor’s ethnicity, skin color, body shape, sex, and/or gender.

I have always practiced color-blind casting as an educator and it has gotten me in trouble at times, like when a parent was upset that his white daughter would be seen in a romantic relationship with a black boy on stage. The parent wanted me to re-cast the boy. I did not and offered to recast the girl if she was uncomfortable. It was a lead role in a musical and she fought like crazy to stay in the role and eventually won over her parents in the matter.

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Democrats Abroad - Feb. 1, 2024

Empowering Democracy through Black History: Celebrating Trailblazing Black Women in the Suffrage Movement

2024 will be a pivotal election that many say will either secure our democratic system of government or dismantle it.  However, with so many demands in our daily lives, it is easy to put voter registration at the bottom of our “to-do” list.  By taking a look back at our history and the sacrifices others have made to give us the right to exercise our vote, we can examine what life might be like if it no longer existed. 


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American flag and ballot
Photo by Joshua Woroniecki
Democratsabroad.org – March 20, 2024

Living Up to the Promise

When I witnessed, live on television and in real-time, an armed mob storming the capitol building, attacking police officers and intent on overthrowing the government at the urging of a failed reality-tv personality that currently occupied the office of the President; I knew America would never be the same.  It was time to leave this country behind and seek the life I had long dreamed of as an expatriate writer living in Europe.  Like so many other Americans who have moved to Portugal, I wanted to escape the political turmoil that exists in the U.S. right now.  So, I did what so many others have done; I sold everything I owned and moved to Portugal with two suitcases and the dog. It was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

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Teaching Expertise.com – August 1, 2022

20 Best Cause and Effect Books for Kids

“What happens if I knock over all of the dominoes," your curious child asks, and you realize that they have already begun to explore the concepts of cause and effect. In basic terms, a cause explains why something happens and an effect is a description of what happened. Young children engage in learning that is meaningful to them, so introducing ideas of cause and effect will help them explore answers to all of their "why's."

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Teaching Expertise.com – October 10, 2022

22 Fun Activities for Read Across America for Middle School

Let's face it, by the time students have reached middle school, they have probably been through a few Read Across America weeks before and they have
reached the age where they are mastering the art of eye-rolling. So, to spare you the overly dramatic groans, I've compiled a list of fun and new activities to engage your preschool students for this week that celebrates reading

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Profty.com – September 11, 2021

So, a neuroscientist, a singer and a Buddhist monk walk into a bar…

AND start an in-depth conversation about how the brain works, how it affects the voice, how people have been using neurological tools for meditation without even knowing it and how an artist can tap into this information to unearth new and exciting vocal techniques.

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Photo by Cottonbro
Medium – October 29, 2022

How To Choose the Right Summer Camp for Your Child

Although the leaves have barely begun to fall, it is time to think about the perfect summer camp for your child. After a few years of being cooped up by Covid, the thought of exploring new places and making new friends this summer might be appealing. Begin the process of choosing your perfect summer camp now, so you can plan, budget, and give your child something to look forward to when they are stuck inside on a cold winter day.

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Photo by J. Whitaker
Medium – September 28, 2022

Top Ten Reasons to Move to Portugal

On July 4th of 2021, I declared my independence from the U.S.A. and moved to Portugal. It was the best decision of my life! I recently travelled back to the states for a business trip and I was reminded of the many reasons I chose to leave. In my best David Letterman impersonation (which isn’t very goo actually), here are my top 10 reasons for living in Portugal:

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Photo by Victoria Model
Teaching Expertise.com – September 14, 2022

34 Rain Activities Preschoolers will Thirst For!

Rainy days don't have to be gloomy days. They can be full of fun activities that teach little ones all about rain, weather patterns, and water cycles while also covering in some basic fundamentals like language development, life skills, and early math too!

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Teaching Expertise.com – September 14, 2022

22 Preschool Activities for Learning About Nocturnal Animals

While you were sleeping, other creatures were stirring and busily preparing for their night of work and play. Your preschooler will enjoy learning about nocturnal animals with these fun activities. We've put together a unique list of activities for every type of learner in your family. Whether your little one likes to read quietly or never stops moving, there is something for everyone!

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Profty.com – September 17, 2021

Healthy Eating for a Healthy Voice

Dua Lipa allows herself the occasionally tasty treat, but mostly sticks to a high protein diet. Adam Levine starts every morning with egg whites and spinach and Arianna Grande follows a strictly vegan diet. Every singer has their own idea of what healthy eating looks like for them, but it is general knowledge that taking care of your voice begins with what you put in your mouth.

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Profty.com – August 29, 2021

Discover the Voice: Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson would have celebrated his 63rd birthday on August 29th but it’s difficult to imagine the King of Pop as someone’s Pop Pop. After all, he began his music career at the age of 5 and became an instant superstar with his brothers Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Jackie as the Jackson 5. Managed by their father, Joe Jackson, the Jackson 5 opened for Gladys Knight and James Brown before being signed by Barry Gordy of Motown Records.

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Profty.com – August 25, 2021

Discover the Voice: Aretha Franklin

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Who do you think of when you hear that word spelled out? Ottis Redding perhaps? He was, after all, the music artist that originally wrote and sang “Respect.” Or perhaps the only artist that comes to mind is theQueen of Soul herself, Areth a Franklin. Aretha is unparalleled in her capacity to be identified with a song that once belonged to someone else. She simply has to sing and the listener is hypnotized by her voice, her performance and her soul

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Teaching Expertise.com – August 23, 2022

35 Adorable Butterfly Crafts for Preschool

Who doesn't love butterflies? Making butterfly crafts with your child can teach early lessons in science with
the life cycle of the butterfly, create fun dress-up moments for imaginary play or simply practice fine motor skills by creating colorful crafts with your hands. We don't like to do the same thing everyone is doing, so we created a list of crafts that are a little different. We hope it helps you enjoy trying new things with your little one.

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Teaching Expertise.com – July 20, 2022

30 Camping Games the Whole Family Will Enjoy!

Time to unplug the technology and spend some summertime fun outdoors. The kids may claim, "I'll be bored," but you know that family time spent together is way more fun than watching television, playing video games, and scrolling through social media posts. So, get off those phones and spend a little time with nature.

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Teaching Expertise.com – September 9, 2022

30 Activities to Explore Day and Night with Preschoolers

It's never too early to explore science and technology through age-based STEM content that spurs the imagination. Engaging in these types of activities make learning fun and encourage young minds to explore new discoveries, test hypothesis, and try new things.

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Teaching Expertise.com – October 6, 2022

24 Quiet Activities for Middle School

So you have a classroom full of squirrely middle school students and some have finished the test early but you need to have a quiet classroom. If you are facilitating a standardized test, you can't let them get out any electronic devices and you would still like the time to be used engaged in learning. So what do you do to keep the chaos at bay? Here is a list of some tried and true activities and a few new ones that will keep those students quiet so the rest of the class can finish the test

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Teaching Expertise.com – September 27, 2022

30 Jack and the Beanstalk Activities for Preschool

Fairytales are a fabulous way to teach preschoolers life lessons and morals while entertaining them and engaging their imagination and sense of wonder. Children will learn from the mistakes of the characters, which develops critical thinking skills and they aid in emotional resilience by helping children connect stories to real life. With preschool education, we can extend the learning beyond the story by creating a theme for additional activities for math, science, and language development.

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Teaching Expertise.com – August 4, 2022

27 Books for Baby’s First Birthday

What to bring for the first birthday party celebration? This is a fantastic time to start building the child's reading library and develop a love for books. Reading to babies creates fabulous bonding time for parents, grandparents, and caregivers. The babies are soothed by the sound of your voice, and they begin to understand vocal intonations and language.

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Teaching Expertise.com – August 12, 2022

Sing a Song Over a Rainbow! 30 Songs and Poems to Teach Colors

Learning colors is imperative to cognitive development in a child. It helps them make a connection between visual clues and words for the beginning of language development. Recognizing colors and identifying names are milestones and an important part of the growth process. It assists them in discovering and understanding the world around them.

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Teaching Expertise.com – July 20, 2022

18 Books About Bees That Will Having Your Kids Buzzing!

Life is sweet on the honey side of the street! Did you know that a hive of bees needs to fly about 55,000 miles to gather enough pollen to make just one pound of honey? One honeybee will visit 50 – 100 flowers in one collection run and carries about 35% of its weight in pollen on its hind legs.

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