Age: 34

Occupation: K-12 Education Coordinator, New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative

What would most people be surprised to learn about you?
My husband and I were competitive collegiate ballroom dancers. We competed throughout the Midwest with the ISU Ballroom Dance Company.

What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Your career path does not have to be linear and you don’t have to fit into the box of a job description. I never thought I’d be working in K-12 education at a nonprofit, but my prior experiences and passions meshed to open up the door to my current job.

How do you ensure a balance between work and your personal life?
Constantly work at it! It helps that Keith and I understand and care about each other’s jobs, and that our kids love STEM activities. A lot of times my work meshes in with my personal life, so there isn’t a distinct boundary. I enjoy testing out new STEM toys, tools or activities with our girls, and I look for opportunities in our daily routine to focus and connect with family so they know I care about what is happening in their lives.

If you had $1 million to give, what causes would you support?
Individualizing education in a sustainable way, workforce training and access and food insecurity.

What do you want to accomplish by the time you are 50?
Professionally, I want to have helped get high-quality computer science curricula into every school in Iowa. Personally, I’d like to finally figure out how to get rid of weeds in our yard without chemicals and how to enjoy cooking.

Who are your local mentors?
Keith Rippy, CEO of Area Ambulance Service.

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