I grew up and went to high school in West Point, Nebraska. I attended the University of Nebraska-Kearney. During college, I was a nanny for five years for a beautiful family. After college, I received a job as an extension agent in Kansas and was there for seven years. I then accepted my position as a Nebraska Extension educator. I have been in this position for 25 years.
What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
I am a Nebraska Extension educator in Holt County in the education program area of The Learning Child.
What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
Nebraska Extension has consistently been recognized nationally for research and the solid statewide county-based extension education programming. The opportunity to work as a team member with the researchers on campus and bring the research study out to rural Nebraska in various ways attracted me. Extension work has always been a dream job for me. When I was little, my mom would take me to her Extension Club meetings, and then when I was old enough to join 4-H, I became a lifer. I have been involved in 4-H all my life and now my children are 4-Hers. When I graduated college, I had the opportunity to work for Kansas Extension, but I always wanted to move back to the University of Nebraska Extension.
What aspect of working in an education setting do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy teaching and connecting the research from the University of Nebraska out to the rural communities. Nebraska rural early childcare providers and teachers are so grateful for learning what research studies are being conducted at the university and being a part of the research study. Making that connection with rural childcare providers and teachers with the research and applying the research in their work is gratifying.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement is when I see new research practices being implemented with our early childcare parents, providers and teachers. I have been working with the Fit and Healthy Kids team for the past eight years developing online training for childcare providers. The Fit and Healthy Kid online programming has grown to meet the needs of our clients. We can bring the university researchers and their research to our rural early childhood providers’ living room. For the past four years, we have moved into a global community with our presenters and participants. Providing training from around the world that our clients would have never had the opportunity to participate is an achievement. The Fit and Healthy Kids team keeps pushing to create new class designs and content to meet our clients’ learning style and enhance quality childcare.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I like to design and work with stained glass. I also enjoy sitting in the backyard around the fire, listening to the waterfall and watching the Koe fish.
What is your life like outside of work?
Montie and I have been married for 21 years. We have two teenage children, Lawrence and LaShonna, along with our fur babies Reggie the boxer dog and Mildred the cat. We enjoy going to the cabin on the Missouri River as a family in the summer and following our teenager’s school activities.