To the families and community of Fort Madison,
Some of you may know me, or know of me, through my husband Andrew. Andy is in his 9th year with this district after earning his interview and job offer during the recession in 2009. It was his job, this district, that brought our family here to SE Iowa. I have seen him grow professionally and personally since joining the Fort Madison School District, and have many reasons to be proud of him. He has been supportive and encouraging toward my decision to run for school board. But, I am here to tell you that he is not the reason why I chose to run. I chose to run for our children. We have two children at home, a girl and a boy. Our oldest, our daughter, just started kindergarten last month. I want to be a representative of parents of the younger generation of students in our district. Education is a high priority in our home; Andy is the first in his immediate family line to go to college. I am the daughter of a teacher; my clinical doctorate in physical therapy is the highest educational degree achieved in my family. We can partially thank our families for giving us opportunities to thrive as young people. At the same time, we each owe a large debt of gratitude to the school systems in which we were educated. These districts prepared us for what came next after we graduated. As a working mother, I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to make sure my kids have that same kind of encouragement and support both at home, and at school.
Some of you may know me through my occupation. I have been a physical therapist for seven years, and a proud Fort Madison Community Hospital employee for six of those years and counting. I do not hesitate to describe myself as an analytical thinker, almost to a fault (just ask my husband or my boss!). At my job, I spend my day solving problems or limitations that are keeping my patients from their functional goals. This takes experience with critical thinking, including knowing what questions to ask in order to get to the root of the problem and then in turn, coming up with solutions. These personality characteristics would directly correlate to a contributing member of our school board.
As a parent with children just starting school, it is important to me that we as a community band together and protect the biggest asset our school district has: its people. We want our school district to attract and retain teachers and staff who partner with us in producing young adults who are ready to take on the world upon graduation. This starts from Bright Beginnings and can be a constant theme throughout a student’s career in the Fort Madison schools. I look forward to the opportunity to be a part of a team that is fervently working to embrace and adapt to changes in our education systems as our world and job forces change. Fort Madison schools should be a stepping stone for our students in preparation for life after high school. Fort Madison can be a destination district for our staff. Thank you for your time and I appreciate your support on September 12th.