I was raised in Southern California, but I moved to Oakland 41 years ago. I raised my three grown kids in Oakland public schools and had a grandchild attend Oakland public schools. My daughter is also an OUSD teacher at Edna Brewer Middle School.
I have a BA inanthropology from UC Riverside and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Cal State East Bay. Before I began teaching, I worked at UC Berkeley as an administrative assistant for 10 years, where I was a member of AFSCME Local 3299. I raised my kids as a single mother for several years, but I never worried about healthcare or paying my mortgage because of the job security I had in my union contract.
I began teaching 27 years ago as a resource specialist at Brookfield Elementary. I taught special education in Oakland for three years at Brookfield, Chabot Elementary and Crocker Highlands Elementary. From there I taught for three years at King Middle School in Berkeley as a math and science, and then humanities, SDC teacher.
I came back to OUSD as a 4th/5th grade teacher at Glenview in 2000 where I taught social studies and language arts for 17 years until I moved to 4th/5th grade social studies and language arts at Melrose Leadership Academy. I wanted to return to middle school, so when an opportunity opened at La Escuelita, I returned to 7th and 8th grade humanities. I retired from OUSD in August 2022 when La Escuelita’s middle school was closed by OUSD.
Alongside teaching, I have also always been active in my union. As a union rep and a union officer, I have organized with my colleagues to advocate for our students. I know the level of organizing it takes to win what Oakland students and families truly deserve, and I’m prepared for that work. My greatest passion as an educator has always been history and social studies. I contributed to the California History/Social Sciences framework that guides history instruction for all California students.
I have developed curriculum for OUSD on a variety of topics, including the Chinese Exclusion Act, the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, and LGBTQ+ history. I have received several honors for my work as a history teacher: a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching, Teacher of the Year by the UC Berkeley History Social Science Project, and California History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
I believe that my experience as a parent and grandparent in OUSD, as an award-winning teacher who has helped to develop key parts of the district’s history and social studies curriculum, and as a union activist who has partnered with parents and community to fight for the schools Oakland students deserve, have all prepared me well to serve as a school board director representing District 2.