Not too long ago, my husband, Dan and I decided that we wanted a new place to raise our two girls, Charlie and Raina. Once we found Richmond, we knew this is where we belong, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of such a great community! When the 3rd district school board seat opened after Jeff Bourne was elected to Virginia’s House of Delegates, I immediately applied to serve my community because I wanted to share my experience and expertise to help move RPS forward. It has been an immense privilege to work on behalf of children and families in Richmond.
So what has prepared me to take on the unique challenges of Richmond Public Schools?
- A 20-year career fighting for equity and justice in public schools and in low-income communities.
- I served as the Executive Director of LIFT-NY, a national non-profit on a mission to empower families to break the cycle of poverty.
- Prior to that, I was the Executive Director of CFY-NY (now called PowerMyLearning) where our focus was to equip public school students with educational technology while providing training and support for parents and teachers.
- During my time at CFY, we won and implemented a $23 million-dollar stimulus grant funded program to deliver services to nearly 100 Title I middle and high schools through the Connected Learning and Connected Foundations Programs.
- Having closely partnered with the New York City Department of Education, I have in-depth perspective of the unique challenges facing urban public-school districts like RPS.
- I hold a Master of Arts in Community Development from North Park University where I studied asset based community development using the city of Chicago as a lab.
I frequently get asked the question: What compelled you to get involved so quickly? When our family was considering our move to Richmond, we often heard that the public schools weren’t very good. As a progressive Democrat, a lifelong advocate for public education, and especially as a parent of young children who would soon be attending public school, I found this disappointing and felt compelled to make a difference. I have always been someone to jump in to help solve problems rather that sit on the sidelines, so that’s what I did!
I am thrilled to be using the experience and skills I have gained over my 20-year career in non-profit work to improve Richmond Public Schools.