Role/position at RAK: Art Director
Work/academic background: I spent 13 years working with children, with the Missouri School for the Blind, Salvation Hope Center for Children, as an 8th grade algebra teacher for Saint Louis Public Schools and a full-day kindergarten teacher for Knowledge Learning Center.
How I came to RAK: I received the magazine at the daycare where I worked. I used it for field trip ideas. During that time I was enrolled at the Art Institute of Phoenix. They had sent out an email stating that Raising Arizona Kids was looking for an intern. I applied for the position and they have been stuck with me ever since.
Family: Two fur babies: Mandy, a short-hair orange tabby cat (who likes to lick the walls) and Dottie, a short-hair white with gray spots (who looks like she’s praying when she naps).
What are some of your hobbies? I enjoy crafting. I’ve decorated a table for my patio, painted a special mug for my tea time, made a personal quilt for family members and other types of crafts.
Most people don’t know this about me: My editors have rubbed off on me — my friends hate reading my way-too-long text messages.
If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?: I would love to go to Germany and visit my uncle and young cousins.
What I love most about Arizona: No matter what type of environment I’m in the mood for, it’s just a few hours away.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever given (or received)?: The best gift I received was from my grandmother Jessie. When I was about 11, I remember complaining about not wanting to go to school. She simply said, “You know Michelle, I always wanted to be a nurse — but they wouldn’t let me go to school.” Those few words of wisdom opened my eyes right then and forever changed my outlook on life.
What I love most about my job: I like that I get to meet interesting people and I work with an amazing pool of people. Each is different and have their own strength that I admire. As I’m faced with different situations, I like to channel those various strengths.
What’s your favorite movie of all time? Why?: My favorite movie, book and play of all time is “The Color Purple.” It’s a story of strength, hope and friendship. I think every woman should see it or read the book, along with my other favorites: “The Good Earth,” “Steel Magnolias” and “The Joy Luck Club.”
Last book you read, movie you liked, TV show you binge-watched: I will watch anything with zombies! My favorites are “The Walking Dead” and “Zombie Nation.” “Fear the Walking Dead” has yet to impress me, but I can’t not watch it.