Local business owner Thom Baker seeks to leave Columbia a gift when he retires. Tucked away in his equipment-lain home office, Thom Baker of...
I’m responsible for our 21 elementary buildings; the Center for Early Learning North; EEE gifted education; Parents as Teachers; elementary counseling; summer school; assessment, intervention, and data services; and our school improvement office.
I’ve lived in Columbia since 2005.
Bachelor’s in elementary education from Westminster College; master’s in education in curriculum and instruction from MU; educational specialist degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from MU; and PhD in educational leadership and policy analysis from MU.
This year will be my 20th in education. Hard to believe! I’ve been fortunate to serve in many different roles. I have been a classroom teacher, an instructional coach, an educational consultant, a principal, and a district leader.
Professionally, I’m so excited about the systems of support we’re putting in place in our district. We are being thoughtful about our planning for the future, and I’m very excited about this path we’re on together.
Not that I’m trying to earn points by saying this, but Dr. Peter Stiepleman is a wonderful role model and someone I admire and respect very much. He sets a high bar, and students are always at the center of all that he does and every decision he makes. He strives to be excellent every day. I have learned so much from him and know that will only continue.
We’re impacting the future. How can you not be passionate about that? Every child deserves the best, and in my heart, I truly believe that we offer this to every child in CPS. I want to see all children successful, and I have huge passion for ensuring this happens in our district. My own children go to school here. I am completely invested in the future of Columbia Public Schools.
The people who work for Columbia Public Schools are the most caring, dedicated people. Every day, each of us wakes with the intention of being just a little bit better than the day before. We believe in being the best for our kids. Working with people who embody this belief is truly inspiring.
Be a professional traveler. I enjoy exploring new places and learning new things. I would love for someone to hire me to travel to other countries so I can study their education systems!
We face many challenges in education right now, but one I’m passionate about involves my belief in public schools. I believe in every child’s right to a wonderful, top-notch education. I believe our district offers fantastic schools with amazing teachers. I feel fortunate knowing my own children are attending our schools.
My goal has always been and will always be to learn and do more. I want to consistently be better every day. I want to continue to work with people who challenge me, and I want to say that we are providing the best education we can for all our students.
Never say never! I’ve learned that life will take you on an unbelievable journey if you just say yes to opportunities.
I want to make our schools the very best they can be. We will always look for ways to be better and do more for the kids in our community. We are educating the Columbia of tomorrow. I do not take that lightly.
Perseverance. There are days the work is hard. On those days, I think of all we’ve done for our students. There are so many good things that happen in our schools every day. I hold on to the positive and do all I can to help it grow!
My inability to say no. My husband would call me a workaholic. This work is too important to rest, and sometimes I have a hard time turning it off.
I spend every free minute with my family. We’re always looking for new adventures and new things to try.
I have an amazing husband who’s a teacher for Columbia Public Schools. Together, we have three boys. One will be entering middle school this year, one will be in fourth grade, and our youngest is five. My family is my heart. I am fortunate beyond belief, and I never take one day with them for granted.
Murry’s! We go every chance we get.
Two-fold: first and foremost, my family. The title of mom will always be my greatest privilege and accomplishment. Professionally, the work we are doing right now with our team at CPS is exhilarating. I feel very fulfilled and very optimistic for the future.
I’ve held a series seven license, a series 63 license, and my insurance license! I worked for Edward Jones as a senior training specialist, where I taught classes to profitable brokers. To do this job, I had to earn all the credentials they held. What a great life lesson this job was! Those tests were very challenging, but I wouldn’t trade the experience I gained. It was a great job and a great company to work for.