Please contact me if you have a question about schools or would like to talk to me about my campaign.
I am the current White Hall representative for the School Board. I was appointed to the seat in December 2022 and began serving in January 2023. I have lived in the County for over 20 years and I have lived in the White Hall District for over 15 years.
I am a mother. I have two amazing children who went to Broadus Wood, Journey, and Albemarle High School. My son, Thomas, graduated in 2020 and my daughter, Samantha, will graduate in 2024.
I am an educator. I have dedicated my life to improving education for all children, but especially for our youngest, most vulnerable children. I have worked in public and private schools and regional centers as an early interventionist, an early childhood teacher, an early childhood special education teacher, an autism specialist, and a school administrator. I have taught in the teacher preparation program at the UVA School of Education in early childhood special education and elementary education.
I am a national leader on education issues. I have worked for three national education organizations focused on improving education for all children and adolescents, birth through 22 years old. During that time, I supported communities, cities, states, and countries to redesign, improve, and innovate their education systems to better serve children and families, as well as the staff and teachers that support them. I have given hundreds of educational talks, lectures, and webinars on issues including the autism spectrum, assessment, behavior management, community relations, curriculum, equity, inclusion, leadership, parent engagement, reading, school finance, teacher-child interactions, and universal preschool.
I am a lifelong learner. I have a BA from Georgetown University in English and American Government, an MA from George Washington University in Special Education, and a PHD from UVA in Education Research, Policy, and Administration. Because I believe you're never too old to keep learning, I just completed a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training.
I am an advocate for parents. Throughout my career, I have worked to ensure that parents have a voice in their children’s education. I have helped communities, states, and even the federal government to establish parent advisory councils in special education and early childhood education. I also led the National Center for Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, a $30M federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services.
I am an advocate for teachers, staff, and administrators. I have worked to improve professional learning and working conditions for teachers and staff at all levels. I have listened to what is needed and created innovative learning opportunities for teachers from the first online preservice teacher education courses in the 2000s, to a mobile first coursework for those entering the education workforce in the 2010s, to supporting the development and use of an assessment on organizational conditions in schools in the 2020s.
What I Have Learned as Current School Board Member
Though my tenure on the Albemarle County School Board has been short, I have already learned important lessons on how to be an effective representative for the White Hall district on the Board.
I have learned that we must continually ask the difficult questions, that we must continually dig deep into the data, and that we must not just accept that what has been done before as the right way to do something today. We must be willing to take these risks in order to get to the path of equitable outcomes for ALL students.
I have learned how difficult the budget process is if we are going to support the needs of ALL children. We have many areas within the division which need continued and additional investment. This year the Board supported investments in reading, special education, and English Language Learning. I believe that this is only a down payment in additional investments we will need to make in the coming years to address the continued achievement divide.
I have learned that collective bargaining is an important step in our continued support of teachers and staff. As a former teacher, I also know that the difficulties of working in the school system became even more challenging because of the pandemic. I know the delicacy required to balance the needs of the students and the teachers, but I am dedicated to making that duality a priority. By working together, we will be better able to support the division’s needs and the teachers' needs, with the students’ needs at the center.