I’m a mom to two middle school students, a wife, and a strong advocate and believer in education as a foundational key to success in life.
I was born and raised in Nebraska, growing up in Crete and then Columbus. I graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2008 with a BA in Language Arts Education. Having taught English at Perkins County High School in Grant, Ogallala High School, Gretna High School, and Omaha Burke High School, I know the unique nuances of rural, suburban, and urban schools.
I earned my Master’s Degree in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2012, then served as co-director of the Nebraska Writing Project from 2012-2016, and facilitated graduate-level courses for teachers at UNL and UNO.
By 2015, our family had grown from two to four. My husband Nate and I wanted to raise our kids in a place that felt like the small towns we both grew up in but also with the diversity of a larger city, so we moved to Grand Island.
I worked part-time as a writing coach at Central Community College in Grand Island and Hastings until 2019, and began working in the nonprofit sector in 2018.
Working for CCC and for nonprofits has allowed me to meet Grand Islanders from all walks of life and to hear their stories. I’ve heard about families having to make impossible choices to provide safety for their children. I’ve met adult students starting over in a new country. I’ve heard stories of parents working very long hours to provide for their children. And I’ve heard stories of children working to break cycles of generational trauma. These stories motivated me to go back to school to learn more about how I could be a part of creating communities where all people can flourish. In 2020, I completed a Master’s Degree in Social Justice and Theology from Kilns College.
In 2019, I was honored as one of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce’s “35 under 35” recipients. I received the 2017 Susan McDaniels Teacher of the Year Award from the Nebraska Writing Project, and was named an Outstanding Young Educator of the Year by Nebraska Language Arts Council/National Council of Teachers of English in 2011.
My husband Nate is a music teacher at Barr Middle School, and our two kids attend Grand Island Public Schools. My favorite activities include cooking, checking out local restaurants with my family, reading, kickboxing, learning to skateboard, and chilling with my dogs, Bella and Frankie.