I was raised by a single mother who was an adored high school teacher. While we had little money to spare, there was always a dollar (or two) set aside so I could select a book from the Weekly Reader. Through her, I learned the power of learning and community in public schools. My education was literally and figuratively a way out and forward, earning me scholarships to Gustavus Adolphus and eventually a master’s degree.
My relationship with Hopkins Schools began when we moved to Minnetonka from south Minneapolis 12 years ago. My eldest attended programs at Harley Hopkins and St. David’s Center where we accessed day treatment, Kaleidoscope, ECFE, ECSE and support services. Through hard work and dedication, he was ready for full inclusion kindergarten at Alice Smith Elementary.
My youngest son still attends Alice Smith, and my eldest is a successful Hopkins high schooler. Guiding them through Hopkins Schools has given me an intimate understanding of the district – it’s incredible strengths and the areas in which we can do better.
My children access services across the educational spectrum (from special services to accelerated learning). And their journey has been our family’s journey, into the warm and rich Hopkins community and out into the greater world. This district has supported us as we’ve grown. And I am always looking for ways to return that support: volunteering in the classroom, Art Adventure (11 years) and serving on two Vision 2031 task force teams.
For five years I have served on the Hopkins Legislative Action Coalition, working closely with the school board to establish legislative priorities for the year. I do this, not only because I believe in public education, but I believe that all students deserve a brilliant future.
I have spent my career as an advocate for special needs families, using my skills in program development and communications to elevate local nonprofits, build community relationships, and leverage connections into action for Minnesota families. This work has brought me into partnerships with educators whose innovation and dedication to families like mine inspires and humbles me.
Schools are the heart of our community. They are where we gather, grow and learn together. To grow the leaders of tomorrow, it takes all of us.
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