I am an Emmy Award Winning Writer and Producer. I worked in the TV news business for many years.
Currently, I work for a global oncology company serving metastatic cancer patients.
My husband and I are the proud parents of three children: one at SMNW, Trailridge Middle School and Christa McAuliffe Elementary.
I love helping students of all ages - honored to have won Kansas State University's College of Business Mentor of the Year award.
I'm a 5th generation Kansan. Ad astra per aspera.
K-12 USD 501, Topeka, KS
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Kansas State University
I am the Founder of SMSD Circle of Kindness Service Project - SMSD elementary and middle school students from numerous schools come together to serve families in need and to spread kindness in our community!
I serve on SMSD Site Councils - I represent the NW area on the district wide site council. I have also served or currently serve on site councils at Rising Star Elementary, Christa McAuliffe Elementary and Trailridge Middle School.
I also love helping children and our schools by being a PTA committee leader on numerous committees. One committee I lead is the service and kindness club at McAuliffe Elementary - we have over 90 kids who participate!
Also, I serve as a voice for children in court who have been removed from their home due to abuse or neglect through CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). Additionally, as a graduate of Kansas State University, I enjoy giving back by being a mentor in the College of Business Executive Mentorship Program. I am honored to have won KSU's Mentor of the Year award in 2019! Appointed by my City Councilperson, I serve on the City of Shawnee, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. I also serve on the City of Shawnee Strategic Planning Committee, Parks and Recreation. It's important we set a vision that represents our entire community.
For years, I was a girls youth basketball coach and Girl Scout Troop Leader. I am committed to making sure that young women have every opportunity to reach their full potential.
My husband and I love volunteering to support students in their drive to success in the classroom and on the field, we are both very involved in SMNW booster clubs. I am also a Board Member for Jamie's Wish Foundation. It's a non-profit, volunteer based cancer foundation dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients. The board has raised close to a million dollars through fundraisers which directly benefits cancer patients. And finally, I have served as a Children's Youth Ministry Volunteer at our church, Westside Family Church.
14818 W 74th Ct
Shawnee, KS 66216
Once elected to the SMSD School Board, my top three priorities include:
1. Digital Learning. I've been knocking on doors since June and connected with thousands of families. The number one issue I've heard is too much time on devices in classrooms. We need to make sure devices are only used as a support tool.
2. Mental Health. I look forward to SMSD leading the way in this area. We need to remove the stigma of mental illness. Also, if students are having mental health issues it becomes difficult for them to learn. We must help kids learn positive coping strategies, self-regulation techniques and provide them with proper support to create the best learning environment possible.
3. Creating and supporting an equitable and inclusive culture. In SMSD's five year strategic plan, it is clear how important diversity and inclusion is to embrace, celebrate and honor. My campaign is and has always been about one thing, ensuring the success and inclusion of ALL students.
I have three children representing every building level in SMSD: elementary, middle and high school.
I volunteer on school site councils, including representing the NW area on the SMSD district site council. I lead various PTA committees and enjoy connecting with families at school events. With my involvement, I understand how each building, each teacher and each student is unique.
As an Emmy Award winning journalist, senior level business executive, and Founder of SMSD Circle of Kindness, I believe in a growth mindset. I have dedicated my time to helping the Shawnee Mission community create the best version of itself and will continue to do so as part of the Board of Education.
From my role in helping abused and neglected children as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), to the young men and women I mentor through KSU's Business Executive Mentorship program, empowering young people of all ages is the driving force behind my servant leadership approach.
Diversity within SMSD is to be celebrated. When students are exposed to diversity, we are preparing them for the world. Diversity gives students a better understanding of different perspectives. This is critical when they attend college and/or enter the workforce. Students may ultimately be more successful because they are able to recognize and respect different ways of thinking.
It is important SMSD hires, retains, and promotes minority educators. Studies show minority students perform better on tests, have better attendance and are suspended less frequently when they have at least one same race educator.
I am PROUD our district has committed itself to embracing diversity. The SMSD community created a five year strategic plan. It specifically states as one of its core beliefs, 'A community's strength is derived from its diversity.'
As a Board of Education member, we will celebrate diversity, hire and promote minority educators and uphold the strategic plan.
Devin began his advocacy work with a 60 mile walk to Topeka with Game On for Kansas Schools, carrying a brick from the one-room school house his father and grandfather attended in Jewell County. Devin’s political awakening was driven by continuing cuts to public schools & effects being felt in the classrooms his own kids attended. Since then, he has served his local, regional & state PTA units in various capacities focused on advocacy work, along with Game On for Kansas Schools.
Kansas State University Graduate - Agriculture, Agronomy, Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences Secondary Major
Game On for Kansas Schools Leadership Team Member
PTA Legislative Chair, Kansas PTA, Mission Area Council of PTAs, SMNW PTSA, Trailridge MS PTA, Mill Creek Elementary PTA
Site Councils - Trailridge MS & Mill Creek Elementary
St. Paul's United Methodist Church Trustee
Pack 3298 Cub Scout Leader
First Lego League Robotics Coach
7805 Darnell Street
Lenexa, KS 66216
The three priorities that I will bring to the school board are:
1. Quality Public Education for All - Kansas has a rich history of supporting public education. It is up to us to ensure that this continues with adequately and equitably supporting our schools.
2. Individualized Learning - Gaps exist that are holding some learners back. Identifying these gaps and bringing stakeholders to the table will help provide solutions and develop individual learning plans to help ensure that all students reach their full potential.
3. Community Engagement - I'm ready to leverage my work in advocacy roles with PTA and Game On for Kansas Schools to create stronger ties between the school board and community members.
I've been a tireless advocate for our public schools, kids, educators for over 6yrs, after seeing firsthand the challenges brought about by great recession & subsequent chronic, unconstitutional underfunding of our public schools. I joined Game On for Kansas Schools after seeing their 1st walk to Topeka, joined Mill Creek PTA as Legislative Chair to help share what I was learning. I joined Game On’s 2nd walk & I was there in 2014 in the House gallery when House Bill 2506 passed stripping teachers of their due process rights among other bad policy decisions. I've volunteered with Trailridge MS, SMNW PTSA, SMAC-PTA, & KS PTA to help shed light on policies affecting our schoolkids, educators, and schools. I was recently awarded the Virginia Peak Outstanding Leader Award by Kansas PTA for my work. I've testified in Topeka for legislative committees on behalf of Game On. I've traveled across KS & around the country to NE, KY, OH & DC to discuss importance of parent advocacy with KS PTA.
Shawnee Mission School District must continue to seek out and recruit talented teachers from across the country, to ensure a diverse teaching staff.
I appreciate the work currently being done in SMSD to hire a diversity & inclusion specialist, as well as the advocacy work being done from the grassroots level by parents. I look forward to supporting measures that increase equity & inclusion for our students and will seek to maintain community input as a regular component of the decision-making process.