I facilitate and inspire insight through connections and relationships. I focus on strengths and encourage others to do the same. I use reflection to support learning, including my own. I am a life-long learner. I am an advocate for children and families. My leadership journey is a tapestry of threads that have been woven together over time. My parents were both educators; my aunt was a Head Start teacher. Our family believed that education was both a right and a responsibility. I grew up helping care for my brothers, sister, and cousins, and as the oldest child and grandchild, I naturally learned responsibility.
My career as an early care and education professional began when I was four. I was my mother's assistant, and arrived early and went home late with her to the preschool where she taught and I learned. On weekends, I pretended to be the teacher, using felt boards and markers to carry out my lesson plans. On some level, I knew this work was my destiny. My studies in Family and Human Development and Social Work helped shape many of my core beliefs: systems theory, strengths-based approach to learning and change, the power of collaboration, the necessity of advocacy, and the need for creativity when approaching complex problems or issues.
My life experience provided me with exposure to innovative programs and systems: a lab preschool at the University of Utah, which used Gardener's multiple intelligence theory in my undergraduate work; introduction to the Reggio Emilia approach to early learning as a young teacher; and collective impact initiatives during my work with early childhood quality improvement and professional development systems. As my journey progressed, I noticed there were similar themes and ideas that left me feeling energized and inspired: the value of strengths-based practice, the need for reflection in the spirit of learning, and the magic that happens when people are trusted to live up to their full potential. In my leadership tapestry are threads from several professional mentors who have generously shared insights and wisdom that supported my learning. Even as I write, I picture them in my mind, each whisper a specific message: courage, collaboration, reflection, gratitude. I believe that as I continue to emerge as a leader, I will have the opportunity to carry those messages forward to others who share in this important work of caring for and educating young children.
- in the power of interconnectedness — making connections among people, theories, teams, and ideas are a key aspect of effective leadership.
- as a leader I must model and inspire continuous learning and growth with those I serve.
- to be most effective as a leader, I must lead with, and not "for" or "over."
- as a leader I must be committed to a lifetime of learning and growth — and I must actively pursue learning opportunities.
- in the power of insight — that I must help others notice the possibilities, and reflect on the present in order to plan for the future.
Organization and Employee Development Director
Child Parent Centers, Inc. (Head Start)
Promising Emerging Leader 2015
Letter of Recommendation 1
Letter of Recommendation 2
Letter of Recommendation 3