How long have you been in the school district and how did you end up in St. Maries?
I’m at the beginning of my fifth year. I’ve been in Idaho all of my life, but prior to this job I was in Missouri and was wanting to move back to Idaho.
In your own words, what is the primary function of a superintendent?
District mother, or father if I was a man. It’s to oversee all of the processes so that our focus, whether financially or educationally, is in order so we can focus on student growth.
What are some things about this community that makes it a good place to be?
When I interviewed for this job I told the interviewer just how many times people I knew had been touched by the generosity and the caring of this community. People here have such a heart and that draws you in and makes you want to be a part of the community.
What made you realize you wanted to be an educator?
My mother was a teacher, so probably all my life but I fought it. In my second year in college, there was one night I was visiting with my then fiance, now husband, and I was telling him that I didn’t know what to do. He asked what I wanted to do and I said I wanted to be a teacher, but that would take three more years of schooling. He said ‘what are you going to be in three years but three years older?’ So I became a teacher.
What are some of your highest priorities in the district?
Always, my number one priority is raising student achievement. Recognizing that all kids come to the table with something different and and that we need to work hard no matter what for them to succeed. Our goal is to produce good adults.
What are some struggles you face in your career?
I’m going to be very honest and say that social media is very much a struggle. People will get upset about something, but somehow in this world we have learned to solve our problems by blasting people on social media. It makes it hard to think that people are afraid or unwilling to come talk face to face when I think that is the best way to solve a problem. Even if we agree to disagree.
Any goals for the upcoming school year?
Getting school to be normal again. It’s so important for kids and their families. Consistency is so important to be able to grow. I just want kids to feel safe and to feel comfortable. Once they feel that way and have consistency then we can start learning.
The face of education is constantly changing, what are some strategies you have to adapt with that change?
I’ve seen that continuing to get back to the root is the key, and the root is always the child. So every decision is what’s best for the child. I think the key is to be willing to listen and be adaptable as well.
What are some accomplishments you are proud of?
Most recently, I’m proud of the way the district handled the pandemic. Personally, I’m proud of the family I raised. Professionally, I’m proud that I get to be the leader of this district.
Outside of work hobbies or interests?
I do try to get to as many of the students’ ball games as possible. I’m also a voracious reader and of course I love to spend time with my family.