Growing up in Sherburne, New York, set the foundation for my life. I attended Sherburne Central School from kindergarten to twelfth grade, graduating in 1966. Sherburne’s children and young people were supported in those days. My Mom was supported by friends and family after my Dad died and we always felt like we belonged.
We had good teachers, safe streets, community parades and festivals, a swimming pool, summer crafts activities and playgrounds, Girl Scouts, and neighbors who reported our wrongdoing to our mothers. I was able to march in band and sing in chorus and musical productions.
After graduating, I was fully prepared to attend and graduate from Syracuse University in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in English education. I went directly to SUNY Albany to earn a master’s degree in Reading education in 1971. That fall, I began my teaching career in Penfield, New York. I also married my sweetheart, Jim Chesbro. Jim had three children from his first marriage, so I also had a crash course in parenthood.
After three years in Penfield, Jim and I decided to move to Alaska, for one year. That year has now extended to 48. Our three daughters were born here.
I served as a teacher and principal at Palmer (AK) High School for 25 years. During my teaching years, I was an executive board member and president for one year in our local NEA/Alaska affiliate. After leaving the high school, I became Superintendent of the local school district (geographic size of West Virginia) for two years and then retired again. Soon, I was hired as an assistant professor of educational leadership at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), where I remained for 10 years. I was interim dean of the College of Education during my last year at UAA.
I have served many volunteer roles in the local community, including Palmer Museum, Palmer Arts Council, Palmer Community Foundation, and Mat Su Borough Planning Commission. I am active in local and statewide Democratic politics.
I am running for U.S. Senate because I believe in Democratic values. I believe many of those values come from my youth and my years in education. The U.S. Senate is key to creating and developing public policy that supports people. Fair and honest U.S. Senators are vital to all Americans.