I was raised on a farm in eastern Nebraska, a middle child of five. It was on this farm that I learned to share one small bathroom with six others, to 'pick to the end of the bean row', and to follow the Lord. I attended a public school for grades K-8, followed by a parochial school for 9-12. I then headed to Kearney State College where I graduated with a degree in Special Education K-12 and Special Vocational Needs 6-12.
In January 1984 I began my thirty-five-year employment with Grand Island Public Schools. For the first 20 1/2 years, I taught at Walnut Junior High which later became Walnut Middle School. I taught special education and sixth-grade language arts. While teaching at Walnut I earned a Master's degree in Elementary and Secondary School Counseling. In 2004 I became a school counselor, serving at Engleman, Starr, Gates, and Stolley Park Elementary Schools. I retired in 2018. For the last twenty-four years of teaching, I was a member of the Association of American Educators, a non-union association. If elected to the State Board of Education I will not be pressured to bow to a union's agenda, but will instead make decisions based on what I believe is in the best interest of children.
I am married to Steve and have four adult children with 6 grandchildren. All of our children attended public schools in Grand Island. As I previously mentioned, I had educational experiences in both public and parochial schools. Having a number of acquaintances who homeschool, as well as a sister-in-law who chose that for some of her children, I acknowledge homeschooling as a viable option. Because of these varied experiences, I have come to believe educational options for children are a good thing. I want all children to receive a high quality education no matter which option they find themselves in.
Why did I choose to run for State Board of Education rather than live the leisurely lifestyle of the retired? Well, I guess this journey actually began three years ago during the 2018 general elections. Seeing that the incumbent for District 6 was unopposed, two dear friends of mine entered my name on the ballot as a write-in, later informing me of this. Since that time I've done much thinking and praying, and talking to respected individuals. After receiving many confirmations, I decided to throw the proverbial 'hat into the ring'. Hope you will join me in my quest to wear that hat in 2022!