I grew up in a small, Appalachian town in Southeastern Ohio where a few remarkable public school teachers had an incredible impact on my life’s trajectory. Because of their influence, and the support of my loved ones, I went on to be the first in my family to graduate college. I received my undergraduate degree in journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University (Go Bobcats!) and worked as a television news reporter/anchor in Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia before stepping away when my daughters were very young to stay home and care for them. I took night classes during that time to earn a master’s degree in political science/public administration and when my daughters began school, I went back to work - dedicating my career to public service and holding jobs in government and higher education since that time. I moved to Central Ohio several years ago to work for the Ohio House of Representatives and strategically chose Worthington as the place I wanted to raise my three daughters.
WHAT EXPERIENCE DO I BRING TO THE JOB?
My professional experience in the last decade has centered around leadership communications. I have worked for, and learned from, some incredible leaders - Rep. Emilia Sykes, Columbus City Auditor Megan Kilgore, House Minority Leader Allison Russo, Ohio University Presidents Duane Nellis and Roderick McDavis, West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and many other state lawmakers and university professors, deans and senior college administrators. From all of these individuals working in high profile, high pressure positions, I have seen that one of the traits that make them successful is strong communication skills. I feel my experience in leadership communications and the lessons I have learned from the newsroom to the College Green to the Statehouse and to City Hall would make me an effective member of the board.
While this position is nonpartisan, I understand in the year 2023, politics permeates most parts of our society and school boards seem to be consistent targets of the culture wars. While I have a long history of working for Democratic elected officials, I also grew up in a conservative family and community. That exposure and understanding of both political worlds has always helped me in being able to connect with others. I believe people want their school board members to focus on the schools, not be overly political. However, I also think we need politically savvy Board members who are able to navigate the current political climate successfully and build consensus for the betterment of the community.
My style of leadership is collaborative and I intend to listen and learn every day as a Board of Education member. Alone, I know I will never have all the answers; but together, I know we can build upon the great success of the Worthington School district to create a community we can all be proud to call home.
WHY AM I RUNNING?
I am running right now because public education is under attack in Ohio and I feel I have the unique experiences and characteristics to best serve our community. I have been active in my daughters' schools for the last decade serving as PTA president, VP, treasurer, Room Mom and volunteering for their extracurriculars. Serving the schools as a member of the Board of Education just feels like the next logical step. I take the "service" part of "public service" seriously and feel elected officials should be there to serve their community, not themselves. Worthington is truly “home” to my family and with one year old son, we are here for the long-term. I would love the opportunity to shape the future of Worthington Schools.
We are fortunate here in Worthington to have an educational ecosystem that seeks to prioritize exploration, inclusion and acceptance. Could things be better? Always. And with your support, I seek to identify opportunities where we can make improvements while also protecting those aspects that make Worthington Schools so special. I will work alongside the other Board members and the administration to recognize and celebrate district successes while creating a positive atmosphere where teachers feel supported and empowered to cultivate a love of learning for the next generation. If elected, I pledge to rely on experts and accurate data to lead my decision-making. My overall goal as a Board member will be to make decisions that allow all students to reach their full potential and maintain a school district we can all be proud to call our own.
Help me win this election so we can get to work! Volunteering, hosting events and donations are all great ways to help, but I also want to hear from you. As a professional communicator, I want to connect with as many people in the district as I can during this campaign and beyond. I want to hear what issues are important to others here in Worthington. I know we all want to make this an even more desirable place to live, work and learn so please, reach out. I would love to hear from you!