What are your goals as you being this new role?
I want to build relationships with other board members from across the U.S. to collaboratively improve our members’ futures. I plan to share member stories and bring their concerns for resolutions.
NEA board members connect with federal legislators through lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. What issues do you hope to address with lawmakers?
I will be advocating for the students and teachers of our state while serving in this role. I will promote equality of services for all districts and their students, request appropriate funding for all mandates and help NEA monitor the accountability for every entity taking public tax money.
How would you encourage ISTA members to get involved in federal policy making and advocacy?
Members should continue to attend local meetings held with their congressional representatives, as well as write and call them. They should share their first-hand stories, telling about their experiences in the classroom. Realizing that our united voices are so much stronger than just a handful working for us is vitally important.
How long have you taught? And what have you taught?
I am a second career teacher preparing to start my 25th year with Fort Wayne Community Schools. I have taught third, fourth and fifth grade over my tenure. I will be returning to a fifth-grade classroom at St. Joe Central Elementary this fall.
Who was your favorite educator in school? Why?
My favorite teacher was Ginny Harrod at Huntertown Jr. High. She was a language arts teacher that shared her love of reading and challenged us to enjoy it as well.
What are your hobbies outside of school and ISTA?
Grandkids, traveling and quilting are what I love to do! I look forward to regular visits with my six grandkids. It is such an enjoyable booster. I love to travel when possible. I took up quilting about twelve years ago after inheriting an awesome sewing machine and supplies. I have made about two dozen quilts for friends and family and the NEA Fund auction.
What’s your favorite book?
I love reading novels to my students. My favorites would be Ruby Holler, The BFG and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I also enjoy novels by Fanny Flagg and short novels by Richard Peck.