Founder and creator of An Invitation, Author, Curriculum Designer & Master Facilitator

Thirteen lessons learned and experiences that grew Me:


I was born to an ass-kicking revolutionary and a poet-loving pacifist so I learned from the very beginning how to lead with a sword in one hand and a prayer in the other. 

My mother broke her back in a toboggan accident when she was eighteen. The doctors told her she would never be able to walk or have children. She taught herself how to walk on crutches and I was born eight years before my younger brother. Before I could walk, she would dress me in overalls and use the straps as handles to carry me from one place to the next. I came to understand three principals at the end of my mother’s crutches: 

  • People matter
  • We need each other
  • You have to fight for the important things


My first non-profit was founded at nineteen. In partnership with the University of Denver and Denver Public Schools, I trained more than one hundred College students in mentoring and tutoring at-risk youth. Looking back, nearly three decades later, I see how my way of transcending has always been to serve others. When taking a spiritual  journey, I always like to be inclusive.


As a fourth-grade teacher I was required to administer the first high-stakes standardized test piloted in our state. Since then I have been at the forefront of the Opt Out Movement.  With Don Perl and dozens of education leaders we’ve worked collaboratively to empower and educate other parents to boycott state tests. Today, millions of parents and students have exercised this right of refusal. 


Recognizing the need for grassroots leaders, I Founded The Eleanors, a women’s advocacy organization dedicated to upholding the principles of Democracy. After several legislative bills in education, my “50 State Resolution,” ultimately shaped Federal policy and acknowledged the failure of the No Child Left Behind Act. 

In this video I authored the first ever Parental Rights Bill and testified in the House Education Committee. It took several years to pass but eventually legalized and codified a parent’s right to opt out of high-stakes standardized tests.


As my two daughters navigated preschool and kindergarten, I returned to add a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction to my Bachelor’s Degree in Communication.  


In 2006, I ran for the House of Representatives. Outnumbered two to one in voter registration, I sat down with key political operatives and asked, “How can we win an impossible district.” I received the standard answer of knocking doors and raising money. I knew this type of barrier in numbers required a more innovative approach. Our short six month campaign, along with 300 dedicated volunteers, posted the highest gains of any House race and won forty-nine percent of the vote in a district deemed “unwinnable”. The out-of-the-box strategy was so successful, it was picked up by the National Committee and serves as a campaign model today for Progressive candidates.

Watch our 2006 Campaign Video here and thank you again to those who make democracy a personal responsibility.


My run for office led to the Children’s Action Agenda, a policy-guide representing a state-wide effort to prioritize the needs of children and leverage organizational and economic resources targeted at a common Legislative platform. The Children’s Action Agenda coordinated the hopes and dreams of fourteen partners dedicated to the prevention and intervention of at-risk children. In conjunction with the Children’s Action Agenda, I created a Citizens Day at the Capitol. Good policy requires more than strong legislative models, it requires boots on the ground or high-heels, as is often the case. In 2010, the Department of Public Health and Environment incorporated my model into the Family Leadership Training Institute. Today, more than fifteen hundred men and women have completed the training and more than eighty percent of the legislative recommendations from the children’s action agenda have been adopted.


My first book, Seeds of Tomorrow; Solutions for Improving our Children’s Education, was published by Routledge. The book exposes the inequities perpetuated by test-based accountability and challenges the inherent failure of standardizing children. You can learn more about the book and our efforts to address the opportunity gap and promote education innovation here.


2011 was the year I launched Uniting4kids in collaboration with Dr. Anthony Dallmann-Jones. Our mission was to nationally coordinate the efforts of students, teachers and parents working to advance education and preserve the foundations of democracy. We reached out to the growing number of organizations working to eradicate test-based accountability, corporate-control of education and to protect children.  With limited resources, we found creative  means to engage community, elevate leaders and advance the cause 4 Kids. Visit to watch our webinar series and access parent guides for opting out and protecting your child’s privacy.


A Contributing author of “Fixing Public Education,” the book includes nine other experienced educators, administrators & higher education professionals who suggest an innovative remodeling of public education to both solve the most pervasive problems that impede school success and return the joy and enthusiasm of learning to children and teachers.


After over a decade of facilitating a twenty week civic engagement initiative, I became a master facilitator for the Family Leadership Training Institute, training facilitators statewide, writing curriculum and ultimately formalizing the training model through Colorado State University. The following year I designed the alumni model which now boasts more than 1,500 graduates. “I believe in people as the ultimate purveyors of good and collaboration as humanity’s only hope for getting anything right.”


An Invitation was birthed. This monthly transformation series is designed for those looking for a more authentic, purpose filled life, in connection with others. Building from my experience of engaging parents and educators, I facilitate experiences and conversations to help you catalyze change in your own life and beyond. You’re INVITED to expand our spiritual capacity in these times of uncertainty.

Live well, Be Happy, Create good!


Look for my next book Graffiti in Eden, this September. This is a deeply intimate romantic memoir about finding peace through sex, love and infidelity. A sharp contrast to the Cinderella story of generations past, this book explores the contrast between freedom and security, central to every relationship. In an effort to expand authentic and empowering narratives for women, this story is written for readers who may also be negotiating the messiness of fairy tale ideals, broken families and forgiveness.

With my nest now empty and my two lovely daughters off to college, I’m doing some new wing spreading of my own. I have a new love interest and have begun work on a book sequel. I am happy in my garden, riding my bicycle, sitting squarely on my meditation mat or when wrestling with the dark and the light, still with a sword in one hand and a prayer in the other.

Sign up for my newsletter!