It was my honor to be invited by my friend and Democratic activist, Sallye McKenzie, to speak about Education and Democracy at the Coastside United for Action meeting in Pacifica last night. What a terrific group! They are partnering with Sister District, working in their community and beyond to further candidates and initiatives. I talked about my son and our experience with the public school system, special education, and mental health supports. I shared insights about the role of the County Board of Education, what I hope to accomplish if elected, and how I plan to approach it. The questions were insightful and I really enjoyed the evening. Many thanks to Sallye for inviting me to speak!
I had the honor of attending the 6th Annual Transitional Age Youth (TAY) Summit on July 18, 2019! This was my third year attending, but this year the Youth Ambassadors were responsible for planning the amazing day of connecting with community & important and very impactful workshops. They did a fantastic job!
It's always a pleasure to attend this event with Carrie Du Bois and Keiko Smith, two of the most dedicated and caring people I know, who focus their heart work on improving the lives of foster youth and other at-risk youth and the support structures and organizations in place for these kids in our County!
As a new Commissioner appointed to the San Mateo County Commission on Disabilities in 2019, I am working with our Youth & Family Committee to ensure that families in San Mateo County know of the many resources available to them.
We've set our goals for the year and our dedicated Committee is getting to work!
I am very excited to be serving as Chair of this committee this year.
In 1994, I earned my dual major in Elementary Education & Psychology from Russell Sage College in Troy, New York. I returned home to San Francisco and began looking for a teaching position.
I began as a long-term substitute in Kindergarten for Mrs. Louise Anderson at Skyline Elementary School in the South San Francisco Unified School District while she was on maternity leave in the Fall of 1994, and I was then hired to teach kindergarten for the remainder of the 1994-1995 school year, for the following year and then I transitioned into teaching First Grade.
I was "Miss Doerrie" and I was honored to teach some amazing students and to work with some dedicated colleagues for 4 years.
Even after I began law school in 1998, I stayed in touch with my colleagues and the families of my students, and now I am in contact with many of my students who are now my cherished millennials... they are teachers, they are counselors, and more! I could not be more proud of them. They taught me so much when I was in my mid-20's, they enabled me to be a better mom, an active PTA member, a volunteer teacher (even now) & a school board member who truly understood the love & joy, as well as the stress and anguish, that can accompany teaching.
Thank you to my students, my teacher colleagues and the many teachers I have encountered through my life for the impressions you left on my heart. You are amazing, brilliant, patient, and my guiding light each day, including in the journey I am on now to be elected to the San Mateo County Board of Education with the goal of making a difference in the education of students throughout San Mateo County!
At the California Democratic Party's Annual Convention in San Francisco (May 31-June 2, 2019), I will be running to become an Officer of the Disabilities Caucus. This is the letter I have drafted to the members of the Caucus who will cast their votes before or at the meeting on Saturday, June 1st:
"Dear CADEM Disabilities Caucus Member,
I am running to be an Officer of the Disabilities Caucus at Convention this year and hope to have your VOTE.
I have been an elected AD22 Delegate since 2015 and the elected AD22 Executive Board Representative since 2017.
I am running for this position because I have a vision for inclusive communities and schools, and for our Party... for accessible systems of support, higher expectations for kids & adults, respect, inclusive leadership opportunities, and ultimately, better outcomes.
My focus on disability issues is very personal. My 11 year old son’s mental health diagnosis at age 6 has been challenging and often traumatic, but it has made me realize that the exclusion, stigmas and trauma we have experienced are far too common, and that we can and must do better as a society for all kids to enable them to grow into thriving community members and leaders.
My first profession was as a kindergarten and first grade teacher (1994-1998) in South San Francisco. I graduated from U.C. Hastings and passed the California Bar in 2001, eventually opening my own law firm (Kiski Law, P.C.) in 2010, and I also began working as in-house corporate counsel for Lundberg Family Farms in 2015.
I had the honor of serving as a school board Trustee in the San Mateo-Foster City School District from 2013 to 2017.
If elected as an Officer of the Disabilities Caucus, I promise to work to bring more awareness of disability issues and the need for increased inclusivity within the Party’s structure, and throughout the Party’s Platform.
I hope to have your VOTE for this Officer role.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
All my best,
I attended EdRev at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Saturday, May 4th with my family. It was a celebration of learning differences and other special needs, attended by teachers, administrators, resource providers, parents & students! What a day! My son was able to hit in the Giants' batting cage & we gathered many resources for summer activities and school-year resources. We saw some of our own teachers and administrators, as well as some friends!
After an afternoon of talking to our local legislators on May 1, 2019, Steve and I (Co-Founders of snkids.org) went to meet other parents from around the State of California who had also been lobbying with their legislators on Special Education funding, early identification, accountability, transparency, and family & teacher support bills. CACs (Community Advisory Committees) are advisory to their SELPA Governing Boards throughout the State of California. We shared some pizza and best practices for parent engagement and thoughts on how to improve the systems and our role in them.
Visited Sacramento on May 1, 2019 for Legislative Advocacy Day with the San Mateo County SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area) & SELPA Director, Anjanette Pelletier. I, along with Steve Davis, snkids.org Co-Founder and Carlos Balagot, parent from San Bruno, (all of us as parents with kids with disabilities) spoke with Senator Jerry Hill, Assemblymember Marc Berman, and staff for Assemblymember Kevin Mullin and Assemblymember Phil Ting about our personal stories of having students in special education as well as the need for improved special education funding, early identification, accountability, transparency, and family & teacher supports.