Experience & Accomplishments
I am a problem-solver by nature, and I like to work collaboratively to make our community a better place to live.
A few years ago, Mendota Elementary School was going to be closed due to budget cuts. I was part of a group that worked tirelessly to pass a levy which kept Mendota Elementary open and a 7-period day at Henry Sibley High School.
That experience, along with additional involvement, led to my run for ISD 197 School Board. During my 7 years some of my responsibilities have been:
- Treasurer and Vice-Chair of the School Board
- Chair, Association of Metropolitan School Districts
- Testifying at the Minnesota State legislature
- Minnesota School Boards Association Legislative Delegate
- ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Assessment Committee (MN Dept. of Education)
- Special Education Advisory Committee, Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee
- Project Oversight Committee for $117 million bond
My 7 years on the school board have been extremely busy, and so much has been accomplished – from increased enrollment, academic and career opportunities and outcomes to increased staff and family satisfaction, we’ve invested in our schools and people move here for that reason. We are financially healthy. Due to our investments in technology, we already had the devices, infrastructure and training in place that made distance learning possible and successful! There is so much more that needs to be done, and our strategic plan, just finalized, provides us with a direction to improve learning and teaching.
When Marie Park was redone without any community input, I applied for a position on the Parks and Recreation Commission, where I spent 8 years, including two as chair. As part of the commission, I worked to change the way we replace aging infrastructure, by asking kids what they wanted – and it worked! The first park I worked on, Kensington, looks very different from our older parks, and kids love it. This work led my effort to have student commissioners, who bring an important perspective. One of my proudest accomplishments was introducing and workshopping the resolution to make Mendota Heights a Pollinator Friendly City.
I have done years of volunteer work both in and around our city. I served on the board of the Greater Twin Cities United Way for 7 years, including the executive committee. I was also part of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Hwy 149 and Dodd Road Overlay through the MN Dept. of Transportation, where I advocated for increased opportunities and safety for walkers and bikers along the corridor.
I am a long-time volunteer with the city and helped plant pollinator friendly gardens, including along Victoria and the new curb cut rain gardens that prevent water runoff into our sewer system. I walk our trails and streets daily with my dog, Leo and love seeing the amazing array of pollinators!