Huntley Education Association


BACKGROUND / EXPERIENCE: I am a professional educator in a strong, nationally recognized school district. I hold two master's degrees in the field of educational leadership. I have presented at local, regional, and national conferences. I serve on the Governing Board of a statewide organization that organizes the largest conference for teachers. Google has recognized me for my work in instructional technology. I recently was recognized as a CETL (Certified Education Technology Leader), one of the premier national accreditation programs. I have lived in the Huntley area for 30+ years. I know and understand the community and its expectations for our schools. AND I have two children in the district and a vested interest in seeing Huntley 158 be the best educational environment for the children in our community.  

REASONS: I am vested in achieving the highest possible education standards for our community's children. As a teacher, I know the importance of having community support for our school system. I am a non-partisan candidate and want to keep divisive politics from interfering with our school system's ability to provide the highest quality education to every student who attends Huntley School District 158. The goal of a school district is to educate and put students on a path to lifelong learning. Students should choose their path and not be indoctrinated with a particular idea or belief. Schools should empower students with the resources to understand how to learn and acquire information about the world around them. And through developing critical thinking skills and the power to use their voice and choice to drive their learning. I want each student to graduate with a strong foundation of the fundamentals that mark a well-educated person in our society. The focus has been and should always be on the students who make up our community. 

Watching the contention between the Board of Education and the community over the last several years removes the focus of the purpose of the Board of Education and the school district and inserts personal ideologies into our schools. As a board member, I want to return the conversation and dialogue to what is best for our schools, classrooms, and students. I want to work collaboratively with the administrators, educators and community for the betterment of all. We need to work to reach a level of understanding and then move forward together with a keen focus on our stated mission “to collectively, as a learning community, inspire, challenge and empower all students always.”

STRENGTHS / JOB-RELATED SKILLS: With 19 years in education, I bring the educator's voice to the Huntley 158 school board. Through my work in education, I needed to demonstrate proficiency in leadership and vision, strategic planning, ethics and policies, communication, and business management, which are directly aligned with the roles and responsibilities of a successful board of education member.  In my role, I must regularly collaborate with groups of stakeholders from various positions, viewpoints, and perspectives across the district. I work to find common ground that focuses on our shared beliefs about what is best for the students in our schools, and as a member of the board, I will do no less. 

Huntley School District 158 is and has been a Destination School District! My vision for Huntley 158 is to continue providing this experience for our community's students and families. We accomplish this in a few critical ways. One, we work diligently to provide the best educational experiences and opportunities to prepare our students for their life ahead, no matter the path they choose. Students should graduate with the skills to think critically, collaborate, communicate, and navigate the world. Second, we hire and retain the best staff passionate about connecting with students. The power of a teacher in the classroom is the most valuable asset in our school district. We must prioritize creating the best working conditions to keep our teachers in our schools. Finally, we are responsible to the community to be fiscally responsible with our tax-payer dollars. An aspect of being fiscally responsible is transparency. The district's finances and decision-making should be accessible to all stakeholders and presented in a way that answers questions, not raises questions. Through transparency, we only seek to gain further trust and understanding from our community and ultimately reach more support for the educators throughout Huntley 158.   

The most pressing issue, and the primary focus of the school board, should always be to maintain the highest possible standards of education for our students. This has been made more difficult by the outside factors and influences that want to interfere with what our teachers are trying to accomplish. The looming question is how do we best use our resources to educate and put students on a path to lifelong learning while respecting the diversity of backgrounds and beliefs within our community and while confronting the outside influences of social media and the pressures of growing up in 2023. Students should be free to choose their own way. Our schools are not institutions to promote any particular ideas or beliefs. I want each student to graduate with a strong foundation of the fundamentals that mark a well-educated person in our society. These include math, science, and literacy fundamentals, as well as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, and authentic curiosity about the world around them. This allows the youngest members of our community to leave our schools with a solid foundation to be successful in life.  

As a teacher, I understand that being an educator in today's climate is challenging. My campaign focuses on putting students, teachers, and staff first, not partisan beliefs and ideologies. Huntley 158 must prioritize hiring and retaining high-quality staff. We are seeing a disproportionate level of teachers and other staff leaving Huntley 158 to take other positions. We must assure competitive salaries and the best working conditions that attract and retain the highest quality teachers for our students. Across every classroom throughout the community, we need to support educators with the resources they need to succeed. The teachers and staff are our greatest asset. Only through the support from the administration and Board of Education can the teachers and staff of Huntley 158 fulfill the district's mission and vision. 

As a Huntley 158 Board of Education member, I will listen to the needs of educators throughout this district and be mindful of their concerns. As a teacher, I am aware of the issues that impact the role of staff daily and the problems related to class size, teaching assistants, curriculum workloads, and more that affect the lives of teachers and staff and prevent them from doing everything they want to do for their students. Together, we can address these concerns and improve the working conditions for the teacher and staff of Huntley 158.   

Our teachers and staff are doing incredible work with students daily. Our educators have worked to create great learning environments and climates for our students. But our students face challenges in the world around them unlike ever before. Students have so much that they are navigating in and outside of school. We see students overwhelmed with social media pressures and navigating misinformation online. Students face issues with social anxiety, depression, and other areas that impact their ability to be successful. Our students need safe havens for their personal growth and development. They need opportunities to grow socially and emotionally without shaming or bullying. Our students have faced incredible challenges, especially over the past few years. We need to work in partnership with our students to reestablish positive learning climates so we, as a community, can move forward together. We must be considerate of these issues as we design student programming. 

As an educator, I understand that collective bargaining is a crucial core tenant of a successful school district. Collective bargaining allows us to negotiate contracts and discuss working conditions, including pay, benefits, hours, leave, job health and safety, the balance between work and family, and more. Through collective bargaining, we can aspire to ensure that wages are fair and competitive with other school districts. Collective bargaining is an opportunity for us to discuss working conditions and the concerns of teachers and staff to ensure that those concerns are addressed meaningfully. Through collective bargaining, we can recognize teachers who excel in their positions for their excellence. Ultimately, through the collective bargaining process, we can create the best working conditions for our teachers and staff, allowing us to hire and retain the best staff for our schools and students. As a member of the Board of Education, I will be mindful of the educators of Huntley 158. Involved in the collective bargaining process and transparent with our educators and community on the working conditions of our teachers and what we need to do as a district to ensure our teachers receive the best.

We must foster positive working environments and conditions to hire and retain the best, highest-quality teachers for our students and schools. There is nothing more important than the teacher in the classroom. I support changes to the teacher pay scales. I was glad that Governor Prtizer signed legislation in August 2021 that raised the base salary for teachers. This was welcome news for teachers across the state, including Huntley 158. We need to look at our local tax base to ensure that we are maximizing our resources and that those resources are returning to teachers and staff in our classrooms. When there are systemic issues, like a disparity between school districts in the pay rate, we need to do more to retain our best teachers.  

Previously I have spoken on the importance of improving the working conditions for the teachers in our classrooms and providing them with the resources they need to succeed.  

I know that the teachers of Huntley 158 are great educators! We need to do more to ensure that the community understands the fantastic things that happen in our schools and classrooms daily. Our teachers need to know that they are respected members of our community. The teaching profession is hard enough without facing unfair criticism for things outside of their control, such as large class sizes, staff shortages, and limited classroom resources. 

Divisive politics have no place in our schools!  Watching the contention between the Board of Education and the community over the last several years removes the focus of the purpose of the Board of Education and the school district and inserts personal ideologies into our schools.  This creates inequities in our community.  It narrows the focus of dialogue to specific groups of students and does not allow the district to focus on our shared goal of “All Students Always.”  This major motivating factor has led me to run for a seat on the Board of Education.   As a board member, I want to return the conversation and dialogue to our schools, classrooms, and students.  I want to work collaboratively with the community for the betterment of all stakeholders.  It is not productive for these contentions to continue between the board and the community.  We need to work to reach a level of understanding and then move forward together in the eyes of the mission and vision of the district to collectively, as a learning community, inspire, challenge and empower all students always.

Hiring and retaining quality staff is of utmost importance! We need to work towards compensation comparable with unit districts in the surrounding areas. However, there are many other ways in which we can attract and retain quality staff. We can continue to innovate in our classrooms through the best programs that attract teachers and educators to Huntley 158. Remaining innovative and forward-thinking will continue to make Huntley an exciting place to work. We can create opportunities for open dialogue for staff to share concerns with administrators and the Board of Education, who will listen and respond timely and appropriately to their needs. We must remain mindful of the workload on staff to ensure that we balance to prevent teacher burnout. Ultimately, we need to look at all options and opportunities to ensure that the teachers and staff of Huntley 158 are compensated comparable with other districts but also receive the best workplace to attract and retain the highest-quality staff for our students.  


I am proud of our schools. I am proud to be a member of the Huntley 158 community. I recognize that we live in an ever-changing world. Our school system must continue to adapt and evolve if we are going to succeed in meeting the challenges of the future. Huntley High School is renowned for its work to revolutionize the high school experience. But have we done everything possible to evolve our schools into learning centers supporting all students? Focus our energy on teaching students how to think and analyze the world around them rather than what to think. Prepare students for life with the ability to decipher misinformation through a media literacy curriculum. How do we teach our students to push past the misinformation and ignore the shaming, bullying, and hurtful messaging they encounter? There must be respect in the classrooms between the teachers and students and between the students themselves to cultivate a positive learning environment. As a board member, I look forward to engaging our Superintendent and administrators in a dialogue to explore how we improve our schools and evolve them into learning centers that will support students for years.