I am a Redmond parent and foster parent of a student in the StepUP program and Senior at RPA. I work for a local non-profit as a Behavior Professional in Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson Counties supporting families and foster providers of youth that experience disability and mental health needs. I work closely with families and their teams to understand, prevent, and respond to challenging behavior and crisis situations. I interact with educators, specialists, and staff frequently to collaborate on shared goals between the home and school. I am an advocate for educators having the tools and support they need as well as understanding the family experience. My expertise serving as a bridge between home and school will bring a new perspective to the school board.
As a child, I needed the foundation of public schools as a protective factor for a difficult home life. I was in foster care, had ongoing child protective services involvement, and left home in high school to escape the unsafe situation there. I credit my elementary school teachers, librarian, and social workers for noticing I needed nurturing and a purpose. They created opportunities for me to stay after school to help and also mentor students learning English. I developed a positive identity and heart for service that helped me break the cycle of abuse.
As a parent, I started my school journey when my daughter started early intervention services. In those early days learning to navigate special education services I had a parent-to-parent support network guiding me that was more valuable than any professional. As I gained skills as an advocate for my child I grew to be able to give back in return to parents starting their journey. I have promoted the values of self-advocacy in both of my kids and they are now taking the lead. Presuming competence and promoting self-determination are my core guiding beliefs.
I will be a strong asset for Redmond Schools in service on the board. I bring non-profit board and committee experience. I have strong community networking skills and I am pragmatic; these skills give me an insight into fiscally creative ways to balance budgets and leverage community partnerships. I am skilled in conflict resolution and negotiation skills. I have a reputation in my field for being able to communicate effectively in unique and complex situations. I am a staunch supporter of robust options for students that want to be career ready after graduation . My background in special education is another benefit I will bring to the board. Innovation in education has always been inspired by children that are not neurotypical and experience disability. The accommodations that students with disabilities need, only enhance the learning experiences of all kids in the classroom. Accessibility benefits everyone. I am wholeheartedly committed to the ongoing efforts to ensure Redmond Schools are equitable, inclusive, safe, and welcoming for diverse students, families, and educators.
The last year of Distance Learning put a spotlight on the vulnerabilities families and students experience in our community. We learned just how much our teachers and staff do each and every day to provide for the educational, social, and emotional needs of our students. Before we put the last year behind us, I will encourage the superintendent and board to ask students, families, and educators what worked and didn’t work. We can grow forward from adversity and use this knowledge to meet the educational needs of all students.