I grew up as one of eight children on a dairy farm in rural Wisconsin. I am a first-generation college graduate, and supported myself through school at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee by working several jobs, to include packing fish in Alaska, and earned a bachelor’s degree in geology. After college, I was a water analyst for the state of Wisconsin. Eventually, I taught elementary school and worked with a local agricultural co-op in a rural town in Jamaica as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer. I established the community’s first lending library and organic learning garden — both of which still exist today.
After the Peace Corps, I was inspired to pursue a career as an educator. I attended Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City and graduated with a master’s degree in secondary science education. At the end of the academic year, I moved to Charlottesville, following my soon-to-be husband, Aaron, whom I met in the Peace Corps. Aaron attended Charlottesville High School and the University of Virginia for undergraduate and graduate school. I taught math and science at Louisa County Middle School and Tandem Friends School and was appointed to the Commission of Children and Families.
Eventually, I was elected to the Charlottesville City School Board in 2011 and was reelected. I served as the school board’s vice chair and chair from 2012–2016. In 2015, as Chair of the Charlottesville City School Board, I enacted the Equality Virginia non-discrimination policy. At the time, we were one of only two counties in Virginia to approve this policy.
After my experience in UVA’s Sorensen Institute of Political Leaders Program and Emerge VA Bootcamp, I launched Virginia’s List in 2014. Virginia’s List is dedicated to supporting Democratic women running for state office and has helped dozens of candidates get elected. Currently, I train women who run for school board across the Commonwealth.
I am currently a board member for the Social Services Board of Albemarle County, Arc of the Piedmont, VA State Senate Disability Commission, as well as Charlottesville National Organization for Women.
I proudly served as Chair of the Albemarle County Democrats until June 2022. I am a fighter. When it comes to Republicans in Richmond, I won’t back down.
I live with my family in Albemarle County; my husband Aaron, kids Hannah, 18, Adam, 16, and Henry, 14, and our dog, Skye.