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 now 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 28 years in the classroom. As a high school English teacher, I viewed my classroom as a place to provide skills and knowledge to my students that would equip them to make the world a better place. I wanted to give them the tools needed to become contributing, engaged members of the workforce and of their communities. I tried always to challenge them to reach beyond their own comfort zones as they worked to improve their skills in reading, writing, and independent, critical thinking.
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 election to the State Senate from Legislative District 28.
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.
And finally, 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.