I hold a master’s degree in Education Curriculum & Instruction, and a minor degree in Early Childhood Education. As part of my training, I studied infant brain development and human personality at WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies; and I earned two teaching credentials in Special Education, and an Administrative Credential in Educational Leadership for Social Justice. As part of overcoming the disproportionate diagnosis of minorities in low-income diverse urban settings, I have worked with families who are coping with multiple disabilities, including trauma related mental health issues. And since developmental challenges do not discriminate, I’ve also worked with higher income white families on many of the same issues. I recently (and joyfully) retired as a Special Education manager from a large school district in the San Francisco Bay Area—after thirty years as professional educator.
That said, in my personal life, I have always provided for children and people who struggle. I created a summer camp for students whose conditions and behavior precluded them from more traditional camps. I also served in many capacities in both twelve-step recovery groups, as well as for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse; and maintained twenty-seven years of sobriety and abstinence from drugs. I have presented at conferences, appeared as a guest on the local news, and spoken at in-patient recovery centers and hospitals.
I also write poetry, have completed a memoir, written and performed a one-woman show about my life in several venues. I love to cook fresh from my garden and local farms as a way to entertain and nurture family and friends (the Martha Stuart thing), as well playing on my bike, kayak, hiking trails and golf courses. I’m a movie buff, and am thrilled my grown children still like to hang out with me. I’ve worked hard to obtain this peace, to incorporate the regret that my siblings didn’t survive to share in it with me. That’s why I am a compelled to extend the methods that broke the cycle of dysfunction in my own family line, to others.