Editor’s Note: myBurbank will be highlighting the upcoming election in two areas, first candidate profiles to give you some background on each candidate, and second will be a series of questions on each issue. We will run a new profile each day and the question/answer part will run after the profiles are completed.
Where are you from originally?
I was born in Chicago and moved to Los Angeles when I was about 14 years old. My whole family is from Chicago, on both sides, but everyone has now made the permanent move to Southern California.
What was the most memorable or character-building part of your upbringing?
While there have been many moments that have defined who I am, I would say that the move from Chicago to Los Angeles was extremely impactful. Growing up in the midwest, I was not prepared for what a different world I would find in California. Not only did I have some serious culture shock, I was also ending my 8th grade year, and struggling to navigate the final months of middle school surrounded by people I didn’t know. The teachers who helped me through those months made a huge impact on me. They took the time to make sure I felt included, involved and heard in moments when I was struggling. Their kindness, and willingness to go the extra mile at the end of what was already a long academic year, shaped who I am as an educator. You never know how much that extra minute you spend with a student will affect them, or how much a “how are you doing” means to a young adult who doesn’t feel seen. This is certainly something I’ve taken with me into the classroom, and would bring with me should I be fortunate enough to serve on the school board.
How long have you been in Burbank?
I have lived in Burbank for about seven years.
What drew you to the City of Burbank?
My best friend has lived here for a long time, and I spent a great deal of time hanging out at her place, or in one of our countless amazing businesses over the years. Something about Burbank clicked for me almost immediately. I loved the quiet, small town feel along with all the amazing shops, parks and restaurants. I was lucky enough to find a place to live that I love. I continue to be inspired by our community’s spirit and motivated by the openness of our non-profits, local elected officials and organizations; all of whom have made it easy for me to get involved and make a difference in our city.
What are some of your interests/hobbies?
I’m a middle school teacher, so I don’t have a ton of down time! But when I do, I enjoy hiking, reading (historical fiction is my favorite!), watching movies, and making sure to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the world around me. I’m also a huge sports fan, so more often than not, I’m cheering on my Dodgers, Lakers, Sparks and Kings.
What motivated you to run for office?
I’ve been a teacher, and in the world of education, for close to twenty years. I never thought about running for office! But the longer I lived in Burbank, the more motivated I became to help make positive change. In the many conversations I’ve had with students, parents, teachers, classified staff and others, it became clear that my background and training could be real assets in making our schools truly feel like home, and making sure Burbank Unified continues to be one of the top districts in the state. At the encouragement of many of our community’s most passionate leaders, and district parents, I decided my perspective could help make positive change for our schools. I’m motivated by the stories I’ve heard, the concerns that have been shared with me, and the pride that students, teachers and staff express when talking about their time in BUSD.
Is there anything else you’d like Burbank residents to know about you?
If I am fortunate enough to be elected to serve on the school board, I will make transparency and communication top priorities. I truly believe that good leadership starts with listening. I’d love to hear from Burbank residents about the issues in Burbank Unified that are important to you! I want to encourage people to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your priorities, concerns and wish-list for our amazing schools and students!