I spent close to a decade in the field of Advertising as a Media Negotiator. I loved the negotiations but knew this was not the correct field for me. In my late twenties I followed my love for education, and without any prior education or experience, became a first grade teacher in the New York City Public School System. I did complete my Masters in Education and Special Education. Through the experience of working at an inner city school, I realized that I have both the passion and skill for advocating for children.
At 30, I married my husband and I left Hoboken almost twenty years ago to start and raise a family in Cranford. Since then we have created a family of five. Our oldest daughter is now a Senior at CHS, our oldest son is a Junior, and our youngest son is entering middle school at OAS.
My husband and I feel very fortunate to have raised our three children in such a wonderful community. Over the years we have had the opportunity to be involved in our children's lives while volunteering for a variety of organizations - including the schools, our church, Girls Scouts and the Cranford Soccer Club. We have spent much of our time cheering our children on while playing soccer, baseball, basketball and track as well as supporting our children at school run events. As a family we love to travel and enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities including tennis, golf and kayaking. We feel very fortunate to call Cranford our home!
One of my children has an IEP. Over the last thirteen years I have had to be diligent at making certain that every available educational tool was afforded to my child in order to meet this child’s academic needs. This at times has felt overwhelming and a bit lonely. It is through my own experiences that I have come to understand that a parent must feel empowered to make a difference in their child’s academic career. This is not a feeling that only a parent with special needs has … it is one that every parent experiences. The dynamics of my family situation has contributed to my decision to be a stay-at-home mom.
As a Stay at Home Mom, I have found two roles that have afforded me the opportunity to put my passion for education and advocating on behalf of children to good use. I have become involved in the PTA, including the roles of PTA President and the Parent Teacher Council President (6+ years), as well as becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Foster Children.
As a CASA, I am the constant person in a child’s life when they are living through a situation out of their control that can be very traumatizing and overwhelming. During this time I have sought to learn everything there is to know about the children and their current situation and then advocate for the child’s best interest both in and out of the courtroom. This role often requires that I act as an educational advocate for children within the system to ensure that all of their needs are met.