I'm running for re-election to the Orange County Board of Education. I am completing my first term, and have served since 2018. My focus as a board member has been on expanding excellence and equity for all students, so that Orange County Schools can truly live up to its promise as a great school system.
I understand the power of a great education, because it was a game-changer for me. While I was growing up, my dad operated a printing press. He sometimes worked multiple jobs at a time to make ends meet. Eventually, my mom put herself through night school, and that additional education helped her become a nurse, and helped our family move further away from the financial edge. My parents wanted me to get a great education so that I wouldn’t face the same stresses that they did. With their support, and incredible teachers, I got on a path to college and a successful career. I also found my purpose: Working towards a future in which all students get a great education - no matter their parent's income or education level, no matter their race or ability or primary language.
This commitment to expanding educational equity has been the common thread through my personal and professional life. It's why I studied education policy in college, and it’s why I became a teacher in New York City's public schools once I graduated. I taught in a school where 99% of students were Black or Latinx, many were first-generation immigrants, and almost all qualified for free or reduced-price lunch. And despite the messages they got from society every day, our students were every bit as brilliant and capable as their peers anywhere. To this day, I carry with me an appreciation of the incredibly complex work educators do every day, and a personal conviction about what is possible when talented educators work together to create opportunities for their students.
While I haven't been a teacher for many years now, my time in the classroom influenced my whole life. I've spent the past 20 years working for educational equity. Everywhere there is great success in education, you find a talented team working together, so I’ve focused my career on helping education organizations to more effectively find incredible, diverse talent and create workplaces where they can thrive.
Educators are constant learners, and that's important for board members, too, so we can be more effective in our role. In the past couple of years I have received a Certificate in Education Finance from Georgetown University and participated in the School Board Partners fellowship program. I've attended conferences like The Color of Education and SafeSchoolsNC. I also continue to read up on what effective boards and districts around the country are doing to achieve success, and share these lessons with my colleagues. We have a lot we can learn from success stories, whether here in our district or around the country.
In my time on the board, I have served as Vice Chair of the board, and have chaired the Budget and Student Achievement Committees. I’ve also served as the board’s liaison to the Family Success Alliance Advisory Council and the Orange County Climate Council.
My husband Robb and I live in Hillsborough. And we love our two Orange County Schools students.