I’m a mom and a teacher from Ortonville in Big Stone County. My roots here stretch back five generations. My parents live here and so do my brother and sister and their families. My husband, Chris, grew up here and this is where we’re raising our three teenage sons; Owen, Eliot, and Archer.
I left Ortonville for college and started my teaching career near Minneapolis. But when Chris and I found out we were having twins, we returned to Ortonville to be closer to family and to raise our boys in the place we loved as kids and still love today.
Families come in many shapes and sizes. The people we are closest to make up our family, as do the memories of those we’ve lost and our hopes and dreams for those that follow. Family, in all its forms, is the foundation of community and caring for our families and communities is at the heart of why I’m running for senate.
I started my career as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher 20 years ago after getting my degree from MSU Moorhead. My Masters in Special Education came from MSU, also. I work as the School Readiness Coordinator for the Ortonville Area School District where I also serve as my union’s president.
I am passionate about kids and schools. Fully funding public education to guarantee that every child, regardless of circumstance, has the opportunity to thrive is a top priority for me. Along with health services, it’s important to remember that education is the top employer across our rural counties. Schools have long been at the heart of many rural communities. When schools close, communities suffer in many ways.
We rely on schools to care for our kids and keep them safe. Schools should be the place where we worry the least about our kids. Schools also give parents the flexibility needed to stay employed and provide for their families. Covid showed us just how important it is to have well-managed, full-functioning public schools.
Running for Senate
I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to run for office. I was encouraged by my community. After thinking about how crucial this election will be this year with every legislative seat on the ballot, I decided the time was now. I didn’t need to wait; I was ready. On September 4th, 2021, I announced my candidacy for the Minnesota Senate.
I made the right decision. Each day I wake up even more committed. I care deeply about the people of rural Minnesota and I know that they need better leadership and representation. Our people deserve to have a senator willing to fight for those things that actually matter. Our communities cannot thrive, we cannot prosper, if we don’t focus on the important things that will preserve and protect the well-being of our citizens.
At the heart of this campaign is the fundamental truth that we have to re-invest in rural Minnesota; in our communities, our schools, our hospitals, our families, in ourselves and our future. And in order to do that,we need to elect leaders who will focus on those things that really matter and work with everyone to find common ground while offering up common sense solutions and initiatives. And in the end, compromise will be required to get the job done.