My goal as a young mother was to raise kids who could make the world a better place. Today, I can honestly say that looking back, I am most proud of raising two socially responsible, noble, and honest sons. I had the same goal as a foster mother to six children, who had come from tough backgrounds and needed love and care.
Beyond parenting, I am also proud of my three decades and counting in the classroom. As an English teacher, I view my classroom as a place to provide skills and knowledge to my students that will equip them to make the world a better place. I want to give them the tools needed to become contributing, engaged members of the workforce and of their communities. I always try to challenge them to reach beyond their own comfort zones.
In 2016, after nearly three decades in the classroom, I was incredibly honored to be named Arizona’s Teacher of the Year. Through that experience, I had the opportunity to travel across the state to see first-hand the issues that public schools were – and are -- facing on a daily basis. I carry those lessons with me now as I run for re-election to the State Senate from Legislative District 4.
In my first term in the Senate, I got straight to work on solving the problems which impact everyday Arizonans. I shepherded lifesaving harm reduction legislation through the state legislature to legalize testing strips for fentanyl. I also led the fight against what would have been incredibly dangerous cuts to our public schools.
I’ve had experience, too, in the ways of running small businesses. When I was just six or seven, I started helping in my father’s catering business, doing little jobs, like wrapping silverware in napkins. By the time I was 16, I was working 20 to 30 hours a week, preparing and delivering food. We used to cater for a meals-on-wheels type of non-profit that delivered food to retirement homes, and I ran the routes.
My mom also owned her own small business, as did my grandparents and great-grandparents on both my mother’s side and father’s side of the family. I learned at an early age the value of hard-work, initiative, and honesty. My father ran one of the first kosher catering companies in Phoenix, and I remember how important it was to my father, and to all of us, to respect the rules required to keep the food kosher.
I’m also a writer, runner, active member of my church family, education activist, friend and daughter. Each of those roles is important to me. In all parts of my life, I always try to contribute as much as I am blessed to gain.