I was born and raised in Coos Bay, the daughter of a nurse and a small business owner. My two older sisters and I were educated in the Coos Bay public school system. I moved away to go to college and married my high school sweetheart, Jeff. After we had our two children, my husband and I moved home to raise our family.
Improving Oregon schools quickly became my passion. When the transportation budget was cut in my school district, I began volunteering as a crossing guard. Soon I was baking cupcakes and organizing school carnivals. These volunteer activities led to an appointment to the Coos Bay School Board in 1989. I served in this position for 11 years working to balance budgets fairly and preserve a high quality education system in our local schools.
While on the school board, I began volunteering for the ASPIRE program which helps students plan for higher education or training after high school. In 2002, I was hired by the Oregon Student Assistance Commission to help expand the program throughout the state. When I retired from this position in 2010, the program was providing more than 1,000 volunteer mentors to 60,000 students in 115 high schools across Oregon.
In 2003, Governor Kulongoski appointed me to the Board of Commissioners of the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay. I served in this position for nine years working to develop infrastructure and expand economic opportunity on the South Coast. I was on the front lines when the Port of Coos Bay stepped up to take ownership of and rehabilitate the Coos Bay Rail Line, and I continue to champion infrastructure investment on the South Coast.
For the past two years, I’ve had the honor of representing Coos, Douglas, Lane and Lincoln counties as State Representative. I’m proud of my work to help schools hire back teachers and get our economy going again, but more work lies ahead. I would be honored to continue representing you in Salem.
In my free time, I enjoy running, paddle boarding, and spending time with my husband Jeff, our children Bradford and Molly, my father Dick, and our two dogs Huckleberry and Cowboy.