Ms. Strand is a Midwest girl who grew up in Metro Detroit and completed her undergraduate studies outside of Chicago. A member of the Pinewood faculty since 2008, it's safe to say the school's joyful, easygoing vibe has had quite the hold on her. In addition to teaching, Ms. Strand co-chairs the Upper Campus English Department, advises the Creative Writing Club, and co-advises Pinewood's award-winning literary arts magazine, Tabula Rasa. She also writes poetry herself, and last year, one of her poems, "Your Daughter Is a Full Moon," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Other memorable poetry experiences include running workshops for adults in Bali, Indonesia, and serving as a judge for Poetry Out Loud, an annual competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Besides poetry, Ms. Strand loves the stage and has been involved in many choirs and community theatre productions over the years. She also enjoys traveling, nature, being outdoors, and spending time with her loved ones. Ms. Strand holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, a master's degree in teaching via the program Teach for America, and a single-subject teaching credential.