Engage. Grow. Excite.
Your expert in educational leadership.
I have an Ed.D in Educational leadership and serve as a Director in Teacher Development and Professional Learning and a Leadership Specialist. I have held many roles within the school system, such as a special needs teacher, assistant principal, principal, and the Director of Assessment and Student Support Services, and Director of Teacher Development and Professional Learning. I have worked in various roles in leadership because of my career, and I have had the honor of mentoring many other teachers, teacher leaders, and building and district-level leaders.
My goal in serving the community with Heart Matters is to engage, grow, and excite leaders in any industry. With the right tools and mindset, you can strengthen your individual skills and talents to become an extraordinary leader.
Contact me to motivate your leadership team with a tailored keynote speech or to join an individual training or group class.
My Heart Story
10 days after giving birth, I had a pulmonary embolism.
3 days after that I had a spontaneous artery dissection and a heart attack.
"I had a less than a 5% chance to live."
I died for 28 minutes on an operating room table in 2008. Once I was revived, I was put into an induced coma for a month and a half with my chest cavity open. I was given a less than 5% chance I would live. The events that unfolded during this time, and the life I’ve lived since then, has taught me that with a strong purpose miracles can happen.
I don’t remember much of the day my world changed. I had just given birth to my son 10 days prior. I remember my friend taking me to a restaurant for a diet coke. From what I am told by my doctors, I had a pulmonary embolism on that day and 3 days later I had an emergency open heart surgery for a spontaneous artery dissection and a heart attack. The doctors worked tirelessly and saved me, but I died 28 minutes prior to the surgery. After I was resuscitated, it was determined that I needed a heart transplant to have a chance to live. However, the odds were pretty uncertain whether I would have full cognitive function even with a new heart because my brain went without oxygen for 28 minutes. My family was being told to prepare for the worst.
Looking back now, I know God was directing my path to the hospital that day. My first miracle was the doctor that was put on my case. My surgeon is a practicing Hindu, but later told me he decided to pray to my God to save me. He decided after the surgery to leave my chest cavity open and fought to find me a heart so I could be a mother to my newborn. He faced trials during my medical treatment because a heart did become available during the time I was in a coma. However, the heart was in Colorado and it would require me to be airlifted to receive the heart. He knew I would die in transit and he made the incredibly hard choice to turn it down.
When all was looking lost, my second miracle happened. My levels improved and I was stable enough to have surgery again and close my chest. My heart which we thought would never make it, is still the heart that is beating in my chest today. I am considered a medical miracle. Often, I travel with my surgeon to tell our story.
My third miracle and the miracle that I believe proves that God is directing my path and purpose is a vision I had on the last day of my coma. An angel appeared to me in my hospital room. It glittered with gold I had never seen in this world and was a young child. I remember I kept saying, “I am not done yet. I am not finished.” Every time I said that to the angel, a deeper understanding of that statement transformed me. The angel did not really speak, but an understanding of what I needed to finish flowed through me. In that talk with the angel, it became clear that I am empowered to help those that need support, or feel as if they are not strong enough to lead from where they are. I am gifted with the sight to distinguish the tools someone needs to lead and how to help them develop their talents. Images of the mentees I mentored filled my vision and I knew that I was not finished developing leaders.
After I woke up, my fourth miracle happened. My cognitive functions were normal and my purpose and understanding of life were renewed. I understand leadership in a changed way because of my experiences and the talk with the angel. God taught me to lean on him when the situation has no hope and gave me the foresight to understand that survival is not always in my hands. Through the most difficult times, I learned to become a better leader and my purpose is to share that gift with others.