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 (including one 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 her 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.
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.