Sharing My Story

Growing up on my family's dairy farm in Wayside, Wisconsin, I learned what it meant to work hard and make a living off the land. My parents always welcomed people into our home including foreign exchange students and foster children, so I learned to cook and manage a household at a fairly young age. I also grew to appreciate diversity and culture! These skills have all served me well as an adult. I got my education at a parochial grade school, a public high school and a Big 10 University. I love the challenge of being an educator and staying current as things trend in and out of our field. I especially enjoy working with people as they discover who they are, what they stand for, what motivates them, and what they want and need.

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in English and Spanish. I began a Spanish Department in a small high school in central Wisconsin before heading to Texas in 1985. I taught Spanish and ESL classes at North Shore Middle School for a year before moving to FISD to teach Spanish and coach volleyball and softball at Friendswood High School. My education includes earning a Master of Science degree from the University of Houston Clear Lake in Education in 1989, followed by a Master of Science degree in Counseling in 1994. After 16 years of teaching and counseling at the secondary level, I decided to try elementary school where found my niche as the counselor and character coach at the preK-third grade site for Westwood and then grades 3-5 at Bales.

Sharing my joy and delight for educating tomorrow's leaders through speaking and writing is one of my sparks and this blog has been an amazing outlet for that passion. Prior to blogging, my work has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine, Teaching preK-8 magazine, Change magazine, Daughters magazine, and the MO Counseling Interviewer. Since the year 2008, I've written monthly blog posts for the Josephson Institute of Ethic's Character Educator and mostly recently for Really Good Stuff and The Teachers' Lounge. I've also guest posted at Books That Heal Kids, Cachey Mama's Classroom, Teach Forever, and I Can Teach My Child and I've written a guest post for Kleinspiration (thanks Erin!) and was recognized at Maria Dismondy's blog. I spent three years writing the Counselors Corner post for Free Spirit Press and currently write periodically for the Prosign Design blog.

At the end of May, 2014, just before my 53rd birthday, my first book was released.

What a delight to add Author to my list of credentials.
After you read What's Under Your Cape? SUPERHEROES of the Character Kind,
please do send me an email and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear your reflections.

On Halloween 2014, I had the pleasure of giving the keynote address to kick off the 21st Annual Character Education Forum in Washington, D.C.  I made some incredible connections there, including this group of caring mentors from the Show Me State, who wanted our picture taken making a C over our hearts, the ASL sign for character!

In May of 2018, I decided to retire from my full-time work in the public schools and pursue my encore career in consulting, mentoring, coaching, speaking, and writing. I'm currently freelancing, so let me know if you want to book a growth session or author visit. We are super excited for Mr. Quigley's Keys to release mid-year 2021.

Welcome to the Corner!


  1. I absolutely love your blog!! Awesome creativity! Plus I love it that you're from WI, as I am too! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Barbara,

    Just found my way to your blog via a comment that you made on someone else's post--and I wanted to comment because I'm from Friendswood, too! :) It was quite the treat to find a real life neighbor in the blogging world. I just started blogging about my adventures in elementary education, and am SO excited to use your blog as a resource!

    Little Miss Primary

  3. What a beautiful concept for a blog! So glad I found you! I'm your newest follower :)

    Science for Kids Blog

  4. I am not even sure how I stumbled onto your blog, but here I am! I smiled when I read that you were in Friendswood. I started my teaching career at Bales years ago. My daughter was a Bales kiddo. I've been here in northern California for about 15 years now, but I have such fond memories of Friendswood. What a small, small world.

    Life in Room 24

  5. I agree with Lori. Don't know how I found you, but I'm glad I did. Your story really resonates with me, as I also grew up on a farm, experienced the fun of exchange siblings, and have both an adopted sister and an adopted son. Blessings to you and thanks for this blog.

  6. Just found your blog and I am enjoying the wealth of knowledge you share on mindfulness. I am from way way down South Florida and have recently discovered the power of adding yoga to my counseling (and my life)! Thank you for sharing and caring!! Julie at


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!