|Preferred Mailing Address||20870 Iran Avenue
Lakeville, MN 55044
|Contact Phone||Work: 952-200-7661|
|Education||BA in Criminal Justice Studies, St. Cloud State University, 1996
MN Skills Training, Alexandria Technical College, 1996
US Army Military Police Advanced Individual Training, 1997
Paralegal Certificate, Rasmussen College, 2013
|Interest in developmental disabilities||
I have a daughter, born in 2003, who was diagnosed with developmental delay at around 18 months old and then an Autism Spectrum Disorder at 5 years old. She is in the autism program in the Lakeville Area Public School District and she receives special education services to assist her with reading, writing, mathematics, social skills, and both fine and gross motor skills.
I have another daughter, born in 2006, and although she is cognitively typical, she was diagnosed with anxiety and ADHD and she receives special education services to help her create adaptive methods to overcome her struggles with focus and understanding social norms and behaviors.
|Experience in developmental disabilities||
I first joined the Lakeville Area Public School District's Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) in 2010 and about that same time, I also joined my church's newly formed special needs mission and quickly realized that I needed to learn a lot more about the disability community if I was going to help my daughter to become as independent as possible.
In 2013, I became a proud graduate of the Partners in Policy Making Course, Class 30, where I really learned that I could make a difference, not only for my daughter, but for other people, including individuals and their families.
In 2013 I graduated with a paralegal certificate and I was hired by a local law firm that specializes in estate planning for individuals and their families with special needs.
My most recent accomplishment has been signing a contract with the Lakeville School District to provide parent and educator liaison services. This is a newly created position that I proposed to the Director of Student Services to help facilitate communication between parents, teachers, and administrators in the district's Special Education system.
|Anything else about yourself||
I have been married to my husband, Tom, for over 17 years and I love to tell the story of how we met: We were both stationed as MPs in South Korea and he was my desk sergeant and I was a lower enlisted, so we had to work very hard to keep our relationship a secret.
I quickly discovered that he was from Long Island, New York and after a bit of back and forth and a couple of overseas phone calls, we realized that my sister, who was attending a university on Long Island, was best friends with his family's next door neighbors; Tom used to babysit her boys. My sister actually got to meet his brother before I did, but she complied with my request that she not meet his parents before I had a chance -- which was two days after we got married.
We have two daughters, Laurel and Isabelle, and we live in Lakeville, Minnesota. My husband is now retired from the Army (I only did 3 years) and he is a disabled veteran. I have also been recently assessed by the VA to be 20% disabled due to a back injury I experienced in basic training that I tried to ignore for 14 years.