I grew up in Englewood Cliffs, NJ with 3 siblings, Robert, Nina and Dean and my parents, Bob and Florence, who still live there. Volunteering has always been a family norm, my mom served on our school board and my dad on the volunteer ambulance corp. Today, my mom continues as an active Rotary International member having been Club President and various District roles as well. My Dad
works to maintain the 85-year-old family restaurant and real estate business in
New York City.
I attended Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, spent my junior year attending Salzburg College in Austria and graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After graduating I moved to New York City to go to NYU where I soon earned a Master’s degree in Student Personnel Administration. In Fall 1984 I participated in Semester At Sea as a Residence Life staff member and traveled by ship for 3 months around the world. I returned to NYC to launch my career and eventually started a family there.
My first full-time job was as Assistant Director of Student Services at the School of Visual Arts. After that, I had several exciting and interesting career experiences including roles in establishing the US operations of a Venetian glass company, and in alumni events at my alma mater high school.
My daughter Katja was born in 1994 and attended public elementary and middle school including full-day Kindergarten, starting in our wonderful NYC neighborhood school, PS116. With a desire to engage with her school community, I became involved in the PTO and served as the President for 3 of our 6 years.
My husband, Chris Kelley and I met in 2004, and in 2006, we all moved to Newton along with Chris’ son, Dylan. We were ready to blend our family, settle into a suburban community and find an outstanding school district for our children. Newton was a clear and easy choice. Katja started 7th grade at F.A. Day Middle School and graduated from North in 2012.
Dylan started at Lincoln-Eliot Elementary School, went on to Bigelow Middle School and graduated from North in 2015. Chris and I are very grateful for the education both kids received. They are very different learners and both were offered with what they needed as individuals.
Having found community and friendships through our schools in NYC, I quickly joined the PTO at Day and volunteered to co-chair the Day at Night Auction since I had done several similar events previously. It was a great way to get to know people and to learn a lot about Newton neighborhoods and businesses.
Meanwhile, Chris began coaching Dylan’s basketball and baseball teams in Newton, picking up right where they left off in NJ. For the past 11 years, Chris continued to coach teams at the Boys & Girls Club and in Little League while Dylan played and for years after his own son aged-out.
Chris is a project manager for a parking garage systems company located in Lowell and recently completed his training with IIN (Institute of Integrated Nutrition) as a Health Coach. When I talked to Chris about running for a School Committee seat, he encouraged me by saying “you’ve spent your life committed to helping and supporting children. And you’ve been successful in what you have done because you love what you do.”
In both my professional and personal life, I have been consistently dedicated to supporting children, youth, and families. To learn more about my professional experiences, please click here and to hear more about the ways I have contributed as a volunteer, please click here.