Former middle school teacher

How did your interest in education begin?

My interest in education began when I got my BS in exercise and movement science and then realized that I didn’t actually want to work in that field and that I wanted to work with kids in a school setting.

How have you been involved in education, professionally or as an advocate, over the years?

I taught 7th and 8th grade language arts and social studies in the Highline school district from 2001-2006 and have been on the Ambassador board since 2014. I have been inspired by the work being done at the Haring Center and within the Dream Project at UW. I am proud to say that one of my former students got her education degree from UW, was a part of the Dream Project, went on to Teach For America and is now returning to Seattle to teach in the Seattle public school system.

What one or two education issues are you most passionate about (and why)?

I am passionate about excellent teaching strategies in the classroom and instructional leadership. I remember my first year as a teacher—it was challenging! At the school level, quality instructional leadership is key to getting and keeping excellent teachers and to continuing professional development in a positive and cohesive manner.

Tell us about an educator who made a particularly large impact on your life.

I was fortunate to have many caring and inspiring teachers over the years. It is not easy to choose one, but if I have to, I would choose my high school counselor, Mrs. Potter. She was the person who had her hands in many aspects of the school; she also taught the before-school leadership class, yearbook and ran many of the after-school activities. She always believed in me—in all of us.

She would give us that little nudge and say, “You can do it. Go for it, I believe in you.” And that’s what we did. Even eight years after high school when I was applying to get my masters in teaching, I sat down with Mrs. Potter and discussed the topic of my application essay with her. She has been a constant source positivity for me. My husband would say the same thing. Yes, we went to high school together!

Lucky for me, my brother married Mrs. Potter’s daughter, so I still get to see her on occasion!

Share an unusual/fun fact about yourself.

Here are a few: I jump off the high dive at the beach club at least once a summer to remind myself to be a kid when I can and to prove to my kids that I can do it. I met my husband in the first grade. I can’t whistle. I love musicals and go to most of the shows at the Paramount and the 5th Avenue with my 11-year old daughter. I love to dress up in costume when I get a chance. Some of my best ones have been Cindi Mancini from "Can’t Buy Me Love," Dooneese from SNL and disco roller girl.