About

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Background

I was born and raised on the country roads of West Virginia.  After I graduated from high school, I attended New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL where I studied Dance and received an Associate’s degree in Dance.  After 3 years, I transferred to the University of Florida where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a Master’s degree in Health Education & Behavior with a specialization in Adapted Physical Activity.

Graduate School

While earning my Master’s degree; I published 10 scientific articles in peer-reviewed research journals, published 3 abstracts, and participated in 11 research presentations.  Most of my publications focused on a Low-Intensity Exercise Therapy for Peripheral Arterial Disease.

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Family

While I lived in Gainesville, Florida, I married Oscar and we had our first son, Josh.  Once Oscar received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering we moved to Utah and then spent 3 years in Houston, TX where our second son, Willie, was born.

Life in Knoxville

We have lived in Knoxville for 6 years now.  Oscar is a mechanical engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  I have worked as a stay-at-home mother since Josh was born.  I have remained active in my community as a volunteer since my days as an undergraduate student.

Community Volunteer

My commitment to community service began in earnest as an undergraduate student in Gainesville, Florida.  My very first volunteer position was on a nursing floor at Shands Hospital.  After I took a class on Adapted Physical Education my volunteer interests became more focused on working with children and adults with disabilities in an exercise/therapeutic setting.  I have volunteered with adapted aquatics programs and adapted track and field events and programs.

When my children started school, I started to venture into volunteer opportunities in Knoxville.  My dog, Jenny, and I were HABIT volunteers in the Ruff Reading program.  I have always volunteered in my children’s elementary schools by assisting their classroom teachers by reading with students, helping with special projects, and helping the PTSA with fundraising.

In recent years, I have volunteered with Special Olympics of Greater Knoxville.  I volunteered with a Cub Scout Day Camp.  I have volunteered with fundraisers for several local organizations including the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble.  I helped organize a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the Cedar Bluff Elementary Safety Patrol’s trip to Washington, D.C.  I have been a youth basketball for 3 years with the West Bearden Basketball League (WBBL).  I am the director of the Cedar Bluff Elementary Chess Club.  I am a TN Achieves Mentor.

For almost an entire school year that started last year, I worked as a substitute teacher at my children’s elementary school.  The experiences that I have had as a volunteer, substitute teacher, and parent have helped shape my views on a number of issues including (but not limited to) public education, healthcare, and sensible gun control.

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Hobbies

I enjoy running, swimming, weight lifting, cycling at Cade’s Cove, hiking, taking my dog for walks, and keeping my young boys active.  I would be happy to serve as your House Representative in District 89 as a fresh and new voice in Tennessee’s legislature.

“Ordinary people can do extraordinary things.”  Coach Jim Valvano