Fresno became my new home in 1979; I was 28 years old, a new wife and mother. I grew up in Hartford, CT where I attended public schools. In 1968, my father took a position in Pittsburgh, PA.
Upon graduation in 1969, I went on to Ohio University, in Athens, OH, 200 miles south of Kent, OH where in the Spring of 1970, the Kent State University Shootings took place. We were active in similar anti-war protests that led to the closing of the university and an early end to the trimester. It was an intense period. By the Fall of 1970, I was attending the University of Pittsburgh where I continued until the Winter of 1971.
Having lived abroad as a child due to my father's work, I spent a couple of years working abroad on the economy that give me insight into how a more socialized world works and what it's like to be an immigrant abroad. It helped me form different perspectives on unions, healthcare and education than I might otherwise have. I also understand what it's like to need a green card and to fully master another language.
Teaching high school students for 27 years has given me a deeper insight into the lives of people in Fresno. My high school in Hartford, CT was a very large urban, within a very strong African American, Cuban and Puerto Rican community, of 4,000 students. School can be a very unforgiving setting for young minds and hearts and the present conditions are even far less forgiving and supportive than usual increasing the level of hardship beyond what most of us could have imagined. We cannot ignore these impacts.
I retired on June 9th, 2018 from 27 years of teaching English; since then, I've been advocating for removing RoundUp and other dangerous pesticides from school use by FUSD; engaged with other air quality experts to get air sensors on every school campus and to educate families on the importance to their health and that of their children; and finally, researching the Restorative Practices Program to determine how the program can become more effective. Since my retirement, I've been actively engaged in the Democratic Primaries supporting true progressive candidates and in advocating for progressive propositions and have taken part in various City Planning meetings and being involved with other important community issues.
Some of you may remember me from the previous ADEM Elections.