- Etowah High School
- Georgia Southern University - Bachelor of Music in Music Education, Choral
I am very proud to say that I began my teaching career as a Woodland Wildcat! This is my third year at Woodland, and I feel honored to spend time with the wonderful students here. Prior to graduating from college, I directed choirs at the Statesboro Youth Chorale, taught music for an after-school elementary arts program, competed in two international choir competitions, performed at state and national conferences, and performed in several Opera productions at Georgia Southern University. During my time at Woodland Middle School, our choirs have received excellent and superior ratings at Large Group Performance Evaluations, brought home three trophies from Festival Disney, and have been invited to sing in community events.
I do not currently coach for a sport here at Woodland, but I am a club volleyball coach! My entire family has always been involved in volleyball, so you could say I grew up in the sport! I played for my high school, coached the E.T. Booth Middle School team for two seasons, served as a referee for both USAV and GHSA for three years, and played on club teams for seven years. Here at WMSE, I also lead two choral ensembles that meet outside of the school day - The Woodland Singers and The Middle Men's Chorus. I particularly enjoy working with these two groups, as we can explore aspects of music together that are not covered in class. Plus, we have a lot of fun!
I've always known I wanted to be a teacher. When my fellow 3rd grade students were dreaming of being an astronaut or veterinarian, I wanted to be in a classroom. When I was in the 8th grade, my experience at the All-State Chorus event made me realize that, more than anything, I wanted to pursue a career in music education. I want to help my students find the passion and joy in music that I experienced in school and in life.
I enjoy reading, playing golf with my dad, trying new recipes with my mom, and shopping at Loft! I also sing with the Cherokee Chorale, an adult community choir in Cherokee County. I have three younger sisters - Cara, Kathleen, and Olivia. Cara is a senior at UGA and studies History. Kathleen is entering her freshman year at Reinhardt University as a Music Education major (hooray!!), and Olivia is a sophomore at Etowah High School. Olivia and I share a love of shopping, Chick-Fil-A, and Starbucks. We are definitely a cat family! We have a grand total of five cats in the Tafoya family, though they do not all live in the same house. My particular favorite is named QueenE (after Queen Elizabeth), and she has been in our family for 12 years.
I really love traveling! I have been to 35 states, including Alaska, and to six different countries. My first time out of the country was as a member of the Georgia Southern Chorale. We traveled to Budapest to compete in an international choral competition, where we won every category we competed in! I have visited France, Slovenia, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, and Italy (twice!). Anyone who knows me moderately well knows that I am passionate about ice cream. I made a point to try gelato in every foreign nation I've visited - in case you were curious, the BEST gelato is found in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Everywhere I go, I collect a keychain and a Starbucks "You Are Here" mug!