I’m a mother, a product of Vancouver Public Schools, and a classroom teacher of 17 years, and a currently serving Board Director. I know from firsthand experience that our students and community do better when strong local school boards use their leadership and initiative to make decisions that best serve the needs of all children.
My family always made school a priority, but it was my experience as a student at Felida Elementary School, Jason Lee Middle School, and Columbia River High School that shaped and inspired my life, giving me the opportunity to be the first in my family to graduate from college, earning two degrees at the University of Washington, and a Master’s Degree in education from Washington State University, Vancouver. It was also in those Vancouver Public Schools that I discovered my love for history and civics, the subjects I teach today. I believe strongly in the power of representative government and the importance of an educated, engaged citizenry. At the start of each school year, I tell my students, “We citizens have a choice. We can have a government that is done with us, or one that is done to us.” That idea is at the heart of every lesson I teach as a social studies teacher at Heritage High School in the Evergreen district. After spending over a decade encouraging my students to be participatory citizens, I put my lessons into practice by running for Vancouver School Board in 2017. It has been an honor to represent my community and I continue to feel immensely grateful for the opportunity. As I finish my first term on the Vancouver School Board, I find my convictions unchanged and my commitment unwavering. We have accomplished a lot together in the past few years, but there is still much work to be done.
While I am a proud history and civics teacher, my most important job is that of mother. As the parent of both secondary and elementary school aged children, as well as a teacher, I bring an important perspective to the Vancouver School Board. As a parent, I know my children's experiences in our school system will guide their future, as it did for me. And as a teacher, I know the day-to-day realities of the classroom, and what is needed to provide the highest quality education for our community's children.
As a parent and a teacher, I know the importance of educating the whole child and meeting the needs of our diverse population. Any teacher can tell you (and any parent too!) that children are different: different strengths, different needs, different interests, different backgrounds. I am proud of our Vancouver Public Schools and the many ways the district attempts to meet all those differences. Our district, through our equity initiatives, family resource centers, magnet programs, dual language programs, and more, has shown that educating the whole child AND every child is a priority. Let me as a teacher, someone who works daily with students of all kinds, fight for your child and mine, to continue the quality work the Vancouver School Board is currently doing and to push it even further in laying the foundation upon which our children’s lives and the well-being of our community will rest.