I am a proud fourth-generation Minnesotan who has lived in Chanhassen since 1997. I am an educator, community volunteer, mother of three and a member of the Chanhassen Environmental Commission. I am running for city council because I want to be a voice for those in our community who don't normally have a seat at the table - especially our children and those challenged by disabilities. I intend to be a voice for the future generations and will advocate for the preservation and protection of the natural beauty of the area - our lakes, creeks, and wetlands. I am excited by the opportunity to build and enhance our beautiful parks. I am intrigued by the idea of complete streets and will advocate for safer, and easier ways to move around the city and connect neighborhoods via a robust trail system and efficient transportation. Lastly, I am campaigning to prove to my kids that you don't need to be wealthy or famous to run for political office and make a difference. We need more ordinary citizens, less outside money, more courage, and less political division in our government.
I was born in Minneapolis and grew up in Richfield as the fourth of five children. Summers were spent biking to the municipal outdoor pool and the local public library. In the winter, I spent time outside sledding down hills and ice skating. Our family often vacationed along the north shore in the summer and spent time visiting my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on the farms in southwestern Minnesota where my father grew up and on the farmland near Hastings where my mom grew up. My dad, a Korean war veteran who served in the US Air Force, worked in the computer industry until he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. After his death in 1978 at the age of 47, my mother became a single mom to five kids under the age of 18 and worked as a nursing home assistant to help pay the bills. My grandparents were hardworking farmers and my maternal grandmother and aunt were both school teachers. The importance of getting a good education was always emphasized. I paid and worked my way through college by working for the cities of Richfield and Bloomington in the summer months as an adaptive recreational leader on the park playgrounds and spent many weekends driving back to the cities to work at an assisted living home for adults with developmental disabilities.
After graduating from the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University with a B.A. in English, minoring in French; I took courses at the University of Minnesota in Japanese and English as a Foreign Language in preparation for a position teaching EFL in Japan. I lived in Japan from 1989 - 1994, teaching at Kaisei Gakuen High School (formerly St. Benedict's Girls' High School) in Muroran, Hokkaido and Yoshida Gakuen Sports College in Sapporo, Hokkaido.
My husband Phil and I were married at Pax Christi in 1996. Our three children were homeschooled in the early years until we later enrolled them in local public schools. Two of our children are proud graduates of local public schools and our youngest son is a sophomore in high school.
I am a strong supporter of parents being involved in their children's education and will be a tireless advocate for the needs of the children in our community, especially in regards to mental health advocacy. I believe in the power of education to transform lives and I know that no one gets anywhere all by themselves. I am grateful to all the teachers, healthcare professionals, volunteers and business leaders as well as our city leaders, both past and present, who work hard to make this community a great place to raise kids and build upon dreams.
College of Saint Benedict; St. Joseph, MN: B.A. English, French minor.
College International De Cannes (Campus International De Cannes); Cannes, France: French Language
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities: Japanese Language and courses to teach English as a Foreign Language.
Sapporo Institute of Language; Sapporo, Japan: Japanese Language studies in reading, writing and speaking Japanese.
Certified Yoga Instructor since 2015 specializing in yoga for every body, all ages, and abilities.
I have more than two decades of experience volunteering in this community and working for causes close to my heart. These include:
Chanhassen Environmental Commission: I am currently working with the Environmental Commission to educate citizens on how to help preserve and protect our natural resources.
Disability Community Leader: Co-founded a support group for disabled individuals and allies in Minnesota.
Adopt-a-Drain Project: Advocated for keeping storm drains clear as an adopt-a-drain volunteer, a program that helps keep our lakes, rivers and wetlands clean and healthy.
Chanhassen Library: Volunteer position that evolved into a Library Assistant
Yoga Instructor: Certified Yoga Instructor at various health clubs and studios in the metro area and also taught donation-based yoga to raise funds to support the work of Mind Body Solutions in Minnetonka - a yoga studio specializing in adaptive yoga, and People Reaching Out to People (PROP) food shelf and volunteer-taught at the Pride Institute in Eden Prairie.
La Leche League: Volunteered in the Eden Prairie support group to help support local mothers to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, and information.
Home Schooling Outings: Organized educational outings to various locations for local homeschooling families and co-led a support group for families in the area.
Eagle Ridge Academy: Volunteered as a playground parent at Eagle Ridge Academy and advocated for more outdoor recess time for the students. Member of the Eagle Ridge Academy Playground Committee to raise funds to build a school playground.
Additional work experience includes:
City of Richfield and Bloomington: Adaptive Park and Recreation Leader
Kaisei Gakuen High School (Muroran, Japan) formerly St. Benedict Girls' High School: English Teacher
Yoshida Gakuen Sports College (Sapporo, Japan): English Teacher, Interpreter
Norwest Funding (Edina): Facilities Manager
Carver County/Chanhassen Library: Library volunteer turned assistant
Anytime Fitness: (Wayzata/Excelsior): Certified yoga instructor
As a resident and a future city councilor, I believe that there is nothing more important than building an environment that nurtures, challenges and prepares our next generation while protecting and caring for all those people, places and things that make our city thrive. After more than two decades living and working in the city that was given the Dakota (Sioux) name for ''the tree with sweet sap", I have a unique, ground-level perspective of what makes our community so sweet: active living; our beautiful lakes, creeks and wetlands; a thriving local, small business economy; and of course, great city parks, trails and programming. I also have a few ideas on how this place that we all call Chanhassen could be even better.
I'd be honored to serve on the Chanhassen City Council representing this community and I plan to bring a fresh, new perspective to the challenges that we face growing our community for life.