I am from a dairy farm in rural Wisconsin. I am one of eight children and a first generation college graduate. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with a BS in Geology and worked for Great Lakes Research Facility as a water analyst. Joining the Peace Corps was a dream of mine, and I was stationed at an elementary school in Jamaica.
Inspired by my experience in the Peace Corps, I decided to become an educator. I received my MA in Education from Columbia University-Teachers College. After I moved to Charlottesville, my first job in Virginia was as a math and science teacher at Louisa Middle School.
I made the difficult decision to leave teaching when my second child was born with major medical needs. I was eventually appointed to the Commission on Children and Families. I was elected to Charlottesville City School Board in 2011, and was reelected for a second term. As Vice Chair and Chair of the School Board, I instituted programs to make our children safer through anti-discrimination policies and gun programs supported by Moms Demand Action.
As a school board member, I often traveled to Richmond to advocate for our schools. I saw how few women were in office, so I founded Virginia’s List, a PAC dedicated to electing Democratic women. Virginia’s List has helped dozens of women running for State office. I am proud to be putting myself on the ballot this year.