I am excited for this opportunity to go deeper in my work with SMP as the new Board Chair. Music has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. In fourth grade, I started playing the trombone at EC Hughes Elementary in Seattle. My grandmother initially wanted me to play the flute but our family could not afford one at the time and the big instruments like trombone were what the school had left available for loan.
Being a part of the middle and high school band provided me with a place to belong and connected me with a great peer group that made the expectation of going to college feel that much more “normal” despite the fact that no one in my family had previously attended. With that backdrop, it should be no surprise that once at the University of Washington I chose a career as a music teacher as a logical path. I spent 15 years teaching band and orchestra at Denny International Middle School taking on part time assignments at Garfield High School and Chief Sealth International High School on the side. Two years ago I made the decision to take my leadership to the next level as a school administrator and am now serving as Assistant Principal at Denny International Middle School, but I have continued to serve as a music educator directing the Seattle Schools All-City Band and serving as an Assistant Director for the Husky Marching Band.
Needless to say, I strongly believe in the importance of students having access to high quality opportunities in the arts, and I am a firm supporter of the work SMP does to dismantle racial and economic barriers in student access to those opportunities. I hope my leadership, perspective, and experience will help SMP to go even deeper over the next term.