For 15 years, I’ve worked on behalf of children and families—providing violence prevention education and trauma counseling in every public middle and high school in Whatcom County—deeply connecting me with student and District concerns. As a community educator, I’ve worked in the classroom alongside teachers while serving 10,000 students across various communities. If elected to the school board, I would be the only school board director with work experience in our K-12 public schools.

Currently, I work with nonprofit organizations and local government to generate resources and create community change. This includes working closely with the City of Bellingham, and organizations including Whatcom Land Trust, Opportunity Council, and Brigid Collins to effectively communicate vision and build support, moving us toward a Bellingham that better supports and loves our children.

Today, my work also includes parenting a daughter with cerebral palsy, who attends Bellingham School District’s Developmental Preschool at Happy Valley Elementary School. I’ve witnessed firsthand the importance of acceptance, accessibility, and opportunity.

Our public schools must serve all students-and they must serve them well-including kids with disabilities, children in the foster care system, English language-learners, and students experiencing hardships at home. We have to ensure that students not only have equitable access to education, but that we are also addressing issues that keep them from succeeding, including bullying, poverty, learning differences, and mental health.

One of my biggest priorities for Bellingham students is continuing work to close the poverty gap. The poverty gap exists between students whose families have low income compared to their peers; the gap impacts many things, including graduation rates, college enrollment, student achievement, and participation in arts and athletics. Our district should continue working to narrow this gap through programs like Project Free Education and implementing universal preschool.

I support policies that recognize the diversity of our students and their families. It is of utmost importance for our District to promote inclusion and integration, including reviewing curricula to ensure it is culturally relevant.

I believe that teachers should be provided with all the tools and resources they need to do the best job they can. This includes ensuring reduced class sizes, providing additional classroom supports, increasing access to school counselors, and minimizing reliance on cumbersome standardized testing.

Like many in our community, I’m concerned about detrimental legislation at the state and federal levels, where politicians are hanging our children’s education in jeopardy.

Instead, we need to be strengthening our public schools. That means continuing to fight for a state budget that fully funds education. It means not letting assessments stand in the way of giving children a well-rounded, educational experience that not only teaches reading and math, but is rich in music, science, and PE, and still has room for vocational programs. It means ensuring every single public school in our district is excellent, with great teachers and a full breadth of services.

I’m proud to be endorsed by the Whatcom Democrats, Young Democrats of Whatcom County, 42nd District Democrats, 40th District Democrats, Riveters Collective, and many community leaders. If elected as a school board member, I am committed to listening to your concerns, helping to find solutions, and being a voice for all students and families. Thank you for your vote!