I have lived in Dubuque since 2007 when I relocated here to pursue my career as a professor at Loras College. As a Loras alum, I knew that I was coming back to a wonderful community. What I was not sure of was whether I would settle down here. To my great joy, I met my husband Todd a few years later and in a short time we got married, bought our home, and started a family. Our daughter, Jane, just finished her first year of kindergarten at Prescott Elementary and loved it! Our son Henry will join her there in a few years. In addition to my work as a sociologist and my life as a wife and mom, I serve as a commissioner on the Dubuque Human Rights Commission and have been actively involved in the community.
I’m running for school board because I care deeply about education and I believe that it is not enough to be concerned about only my own children’s educational experiences. As a sociologist, I understand that our community is stronger and thrives when every student has access to a quality education. Every part of Dubuque thrives when every student and every school has what they need. I’m running for school board because I bring experience, expertise, and a genuine interest in supporting our public schools- as an educator, as a parent, and as a citizen of Dubuque. I’m running for school board because a strong educational system is vital for the future of our kids and our community.
My mom recently reminded me that when I was in elementary school, she’d be waiting outside the building to pick me up and I was often the last student to wander out, a testament to how much I loved school even at a young age. She joked that I would be helping the janitors lock up the building and would wonder sometimes if I had already walked home and she had just missed me. The truth was, I loved school and didn’t want to leave. In some ways, I never did. I spent hours “playing school” in my grandparent’s basement. They had a huge chalkboard that was perfect for teaching my younger cousins math or reading. I was always the teacher. Always. I even wrote report cards for them from time to time. I was an enthusiastic and hard-working student who was eager to learn and to take on new challenges. I absolutely loved my teachers and credit them, as well as my parents of course, for encouraging me to pursue my goal of going to college and to continue my education beyond that. My early experiences in public school in Marshalltown set me on a path that lead to a love of learning and a desire to become an educator myself. After graduating from high school, I pursued majors in history, sociology, and German at Loras College. As a first generation student, I understand the importance of having a strong academic background in order to be prepared for the expectations of higher education. When I graduated from Loras, I had the amazing opportunity to live and work in Austria as a Fulbright Teaching Scholar. My role involved working in two Austria high schools and teaching students English and about U.S. culture. When I returned to the U.S., I worked in residence life and then eventually pursued my PhD at Texas A&M University. Before moving back to Dubuque in 2007, I had the opportunity to live in Texas, Wisconsin, and New Mexico. I’ve been teaching at the college level for the past 14 years. And as a sociologist, I have researched, studied, and taught about issues in education. I believe this strong interest stems from my own experiences as a student and a teacher. The schools we attend, the teachers we learn from, the curriculum we have access to, the opportunities in our grasp, and the resources available shapes the options we see for ourselves, the paths we choose, and our belief in our own potential. As a member of the Dubuque school board, I want to learn as much as I can about the successes and challenges in our district and to think creatively about how to ensure a positive and impactful experience for every student. I want to engage with teachers and staff to understand how their and their students’ needs can be best met.
Your support and contributions will make the difference in this election. Kate hopes to reach as many voters in Dubuque as she can through mail, yard signs, and knocking doors. Every dollar helps us reach more people!