My Lifelong Home
Fort Collins has been home since I was three weeks old. My parents moved here from Boulder, where my father was in graduate school. They chose Fort Collins because it was, in 1964, a great place to raise a family. That has not changed in 56 years!
After attending Moore Elementary, Blevins Junior High School, and Poudre High School, I earned an undergraduate degree in Sociology at Colorado College. Soon afterwards I earned an MA in Geography from the University of Colorado followed by an MA in Special Education from Purdue University in Indiana. After teaching special education for a few years, I earned a Ph.D. in Literacy and Language from Purdue. Early education in literacy sets the stage for success in school and in life.
There And Back Again: Exploration, Growth, And Service
When I was away—in college, in the Peace Corps, in graduate school, living and working in Mozambique, Africa— Fort Collins was always my home. When the opportunity arose to live anywhere, my husband, Channing, and I enthusiastically returned to Fort Collins with our three children. I wanted them to attend Poudre High School. We live three blocks from where I grew up. My work experience includes Congressional intern, ESL teacher, Peace Corps volunteer, secondary special education teacher, middle school principal, International Baccalaureate Coordinator, university faculty member and department head. As a State Representative, I have focused on water, agriculture, small business and public education.
In addition to working, teaching and attending school, I have always emphasized volunteering as a way to give back to communities that gave me so much. Serving in the Peace Corps in Morocco was an honor. I served on school boards in Lafayette, IN and in Mozambique. After moving back to Fort Collins, I served on the Commission of Disabilities as well as Childsafe before running for State Representative in 2014.
Personally, my husband of 32 years and I have three adult children. My mom, Libby James is my rock and role model. In my free time, I run, bike, swim, read and talk to people.