A few of my favorite things.....(and people, and places, and people, and pets, and projects, and....)

We just closed The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and we are also finishing our first Writing Workshop. November brings literature circles and narrative Writing Workshop. Portfolios are filling with writing pieces - the poems, timed writes, and process pieces are so wonderful to read - Mrs. Halpin

Students, remember Three Before (asking) Me (if you are absent or have a questions) 1. Check the website; 2.Check with your study buddy; 3. Check the Absent Work folders in the classroom.  

Once you've done ALL OF THOSE, if you still have questions, come see me IN PERSON during PAW or HIRE. 


  • Class help/make up time : every Monday at PAW
  • Class help/ make up time: every Tuesday and Wednesday during PAW - come get a pass from me first!!!
  • Class help/ make up time: every Thursday and Friday during your class HIRE

Wish list
: donations are always greatly appreciated!

Scholastic Book Orders
  • Order online :online code GWZFL  or order by check/paper orders are in class.

About Me
I truly enjoy the art and exploration of the written word. I hold a Bachelor's Degree of Art in English and Comparative Literature from the University of San Diego, and received my teaching credential through USD. I also hold a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration. I'm a San Diego native and graduated from La Jolla High School where I was the editor of the yearbook and really active in the service organization KeyClub. My parents were both teachers, so I always knew I'd wind up in a classroom - I loved everything about school from the start. I started teaching immediately after college and I've taught eleventh and twelfth grade in Chula Vista, seventh and eighth grades in El Cajon, and now have been middle school in Carmel Valley for the past ten years.  In my stay-at-home-mom years when the boys were young, I volunteered and taught art for their elementary school, too.  My hobbies include reading, writing, running, gardening, baking, spending time with my huge Greek family, trying new restaurants with friends, and going to Torrey Pines any free moment I have.
    Other things about me:
    I love to read. I've been in the same book club for over 20 years! It started with four other former San Dieguito employees: Hilary Crain, Martha King, Linda Huston, and MaryBess Holloway. Here's a look at some of the titles we've read.
    I love to write. I won an award for this piece about my youngest son, Dillon, when he was just a few years old. I also co-authored a children's book, Water, Weed, and Wait and it was published in 2010.
    I love photography, traveling, and exploring new places. This year we will visit Las Vegas, Nevada for soccer; Ogden, Utah for skiing; Kihei, Maui for a beach-trip; Yosemite; Idyllwild; northern California, New Hampshire, and I try to visit a handful of "new-to-me" San Diego places each month (this month I went to RedO for an amazing meal, and to the San Diego History Museum in Balboa Park, and I found a new trail at Torrey).
    Professionally, I am currently co-department chair for English at CVMS. I have sat on the board of the Greater San Diego Council of Teachers of English for the past ten years, and I'm very involved with this amazing network of English teachers. Just this summer I was offered, and accepted, a position on the CATE (California Association of Teachers of English) board and I'm very excited about this year of professional growth and networking opportunities
    I've been married to Jim for almost 25 years. We love to explore nature and work in our garden. Right now we're growing lemons, limes, oranges, bananas, strawberries, peaches, avocados, lettuces, tomatoes and many herbs. Jim was also a literature major but he's a non-fiction reader. If you want a good Civil War or American history reading, he's got a title for you.
    We  have three sons (19, 17, 15) and they are all very busy, and love music, and everyone surfs. We're an outdoorsy family. We travel to Yosemite just about every year, and in November we hiked the Narrows at Zion - the water was under 40 but we had dry suits from our toes to our necks. We oftentimes spend summers with Jim's family in Maine and New Hampshire - canoeing, fishing, rock climbing, biking, running.  We travel to Hawaii each summer, and just came back from a week in Maui where we rode the Skyline trail down from Haleakala; snorkeled with turtles, eels, and an octopus; and hiked up and jumped down five waterfalls all in one afternoon trek.

    I have a new love, too, and her name is Makena. She's my first dog; she's a Boxer/Shepherd/Pointer/ super fast runner friend. I absolutely adore her - she runs to greet me when I come through the door!! :)

    Here's my latest project. Thanks period 5 (2015-2016) for getting me inspired.

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