Parked School Buses




14 Things You Don’t Know About Me

  1. My father got me hooked on math and logic problems at a young age by posing problems during car rides.

  2. I grew up in Great Neck, New York, (so I’m a Yankees fan) and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in history, focusing on intellectual and social history.

  3. I graduated from college in three years and spent the next year and a half traveling throughout Europe and the Middle East.  During that time I studied and worked in Paris for 9 months.  

  4. When I started dreaming in French, I realized I was bi-lingual.  

  5. I was at the Athens airport massacre when terrorists fired into the El Al flight headed to New York, and I was living on a Kibbutz in Israel when the Yom Kippur War broke out.

  6. I received my M.A. in Elementary Education from New York University and immediately moved to Wilmington.  I’ve lived in Wilmington more than twice as long as I lived in Great Neck.  (Are you sensing a math problem here?)

  7. I love to travel and have been to every continent but Australia and Antarctica.

  8. I taught fifth grade in Vernon for many years before starting the enrichment program about 15 years ago. 

  9. My interest in gifted and talented education led me to receive specialized training in the field by attending Confratute at the University of Connecticut as well as numerous  conferences and workshops.

  10. I chose to become a teacher because I enjoy spending time with children.  I love to make them think, whether it’s through analyzing a rich piece of literature, tackling a difficult math problem or exercising their creative thinking skills.    

  11. The most challenging part of my job is walking the fine line between challenge and frustration for each child.

  12. I am married to Topper Van Backer and we have 2 amazing children.  Tyler is a third year medical student at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.  Arielle graduated from the University of Pennsylvania last May (Go Quakers!) and works as a consultant for a marketing company in Manhattan. 

  13. I am a fitness buff and walk at lunchtime every day.  (Ok, I miss a few days, but not many.)  We have a gym in our basement, so it’s hard to make up excuses for not working out.  

  14. I LOVE my job and the Vernon School Community.