In my undergraduate years, an English professor, Dr. Margaret Stetz, took me under her wing and developed my writing. I would write a paper for her and it would be returned covered in red ink with feedback and areas to improve. I would write draft after draft for her, and was constantly challenged to grow my thoughts and expand upon my ideas. My focus shifted from getting good grades to immersing myself in the content, and I discovered my true love for learning and education during this time.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I view myself as a results-driven collaborator. I’m not afraid of change but understand the importance of gathering input and feedback of those around me in order to make sound decisions. Teamwork is key to the success of any organization, and so building a culture of trust and respect is paramount. At the end of the day, I want to lead by example and inspire those around me to grow collectively as a team.
Can you tell us a little bit about your family?
I’ve been blessed with a wonderful husband, Patrick, and three beautiful children, Caelen, Will and Lochlen, who are my ballast. Remy, our Aussiedoodle, is our sixth family member and is always happy to greet her family when we walk in the door. We’re a family that loves to spend time outdoors, hiking, swimming, fishing, and boating. I have family spread across the U.S., in Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, and North Dakota. Traveling to see family keeps us busy throughout the year, but we relish new experiences together.
What is your favorite book?
I’m an avid reader, so it’s hard to choose one book. I just completed a trilogy, the Red Rising series, by Pierce Brown, and while science fiction normally isn’t my thing, I devoured all three books over the course of two weeks.
A former student of mine introduced me to an app, Good Reads, that allows me to connect with my students, friends, and family, create book lists, and share book recommendations. My goal for this year is to read at least 35 books, and I’m only five shy of meeting my goal!
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I’m a former college athlete! I grew up as a competitive swimmer and soccer player, and my mornings and evenings were largely devoted to training and competing. My parents involved me in athletics early on so I could learn the basics of sportsmanship and the importance of being a team player. These teams in my early years, and later on in college, were always a second family to me. I worked hard so I could be a great athlete but knew that my team was relying on me to perform. This commitment to myself and others kept me on the straight and narrow during my formative years, and has played a crucial role in my leadership style.