I grew up in a blue collar family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the oldest of five children. My father was a meat cutter and my mother stayed home to raise us. As a first-generation college student, I attended nearby Marquette University where I worked my way through school, graduating with a degree in electrical engineering.
After graduation, I took a job with Raytheon even though I knew no one in the Boston area. I worked there for nearly 10 years, first as an engineer and later as project manager for multi-million dollar projects supervising up to 100 engineers. But the best part of the job was meeting and then marrying a software engineer, John Fitzpatrick.
In 1999, John and I moved to West Newton to raise our family. Our children, Sean and Lauren, went to Franklin, Day and Newton North. Sean is now a robotics engineer (thank you Newton North robotics program!), and Lauren is in college studying ocean engineering and Spanish. In addition, we raised my niece for several years, and have a foster daughter, Simi, who is a college student studying neuroscience behavior. We also have hosted numerous exchange students from China, Mexico, Australia and Canada, engineering co-op students for 4-6 months, plus assorted family and friends for extended periods of time, and are starting the process to be emergency care providers for foster children. Our home is a busy, welcoming place!
In addition to my City Council work, I have been actively involved in our community, especially in programs that help our children, including:
- Tournament director for First Lego League (FLL) Eastern MA Championship, an event that attracts over 100 volunteers, 48 teams and 1000+ people in a day-long competition.
- Coach for the LigerBots, our high school robotics team.
- Educator for the Child Assault Prevention (CAP) program.
- Mentor for Transitioning Together, a program to help guide first generation students and parents through the college process.