I'm a happily married writer and teacher, with a wonderful daughter named Rachel, an extraordinary husband named John and an extremely naughty cat named Lockey! I live in Brampton, Ontario, but grew up in Woodstock, Ontario. My parents, Martin and Jean, still live there.
As a child, I had twin passions of writing and music. When I grew up, I was able to bring them together in my teaching career and in my books. Both of my novels have music as an important theme. Also, for the last 18 years, I have taught nearly all primary and junior grades, and have taught music from Grade 1 to Grade 8.
An important part of my history has to do with the fact that I am adopted. I have had a wonderful upbringing with my parents, Jean and Martin, and with my two brothers, David and Mike. As an adult I felt I wanted to know more about my own unique history. Following some detective work, I made contact with my amazing birth aunt, Bev (my birth mother, Louise, had passed away). She then provided me with the great gift of my own personal history. I was astonished and thrilled to learn about my own Haudenosaunee background. I am of Cayuga descent. My grandmother, Marjorie Hill, grew up at Six Nations and attended residential school in Brantford.
After learning this information, I then discovered that I had a birth brother who had also been adopted through CAS. I was granted the opportunity to make contact with him, after making a formal application, jumping through many interesting hoops, and completing lots and lots of paper work! We have become very close and are so delighted to be able to share the rest of our lives together! My daughter Rachel is thrilled to have a new cousin, Katie. And I am so happy to be blessed with a wonderful new sister-in-law, Mary.
I have also become very interested in issues to do with education for First Nations, Metis and Inuit children. I've been to lots of conferences and workshops, and am trying to learn all I can! Also, I was co-writer of a project through the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario that will be coming out this fall, entitled, Engaging Aboriginal Learners. It combines aspects of the Ontario Curriculum with the organization, Right to Play Canada. It will be featured at a workshop in October. I have no doubt that my future will involve trying to be of use in any way that I can with helping to improve educational opportunities and experiences for Indigenous youth in Canada.
As for the future--who knows what is next?