Home Parish: Saint Jude Catholic Church
Home School: Saint Jude Catholic School
Family Background: I grew up in Peoria, IL and attended St. Thomas Catholic School and Peoria Notre Dame High School. I met my husband, Andy, while attending college at the University of Illinois in Champaign. We have 2 children, Hayden (6) and Beckett (5), who currently are in 1st grade and 4-year preschool at St. Jude. We have 2 golden retrievers and keep busy with sports, travel, and visiting with our large, extended family that is rooted here in Peoria.
Career: I have been a Physical Therapist for 12 years, with the last 9 years spent specializing in pediatrics. I have spent time in the hospital and outpatient settings and am now working full-time for The Special Education Association of Peoria County as a school-based pediatric physical Therapist.
Reasons for serving on the FIRE board:
Growing up, I spent many years working with children with special needs through the Heart of Illinois Special Recreation Association and Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation Association. I am lucky to have found a profession that not only allows me to work with what I consider a special population, but also provides me the opportunity to promote improvement of function and quality of life in school, collaborate with various professionals and family members to provide a team-based approach to care, and instill a plan for students that provides goals for long-term success. I value inclusion for my students and often work with the students, their teachers, the school staff, and family members to promote inclusion within their school setting through education and training. Providing education to school staff and the community is a valuable tool for incorporating inclusive education into our schools. I am hopeful that my experience as a school-based physical therapist will bring added value to the Fire Foundation and look forward to sharing my expertise with the team while working towards the common goal of promoting inclusive education in our Catholic schools for
children with special needs.