Summer of Yes

This was the Summer of Yes. You might have noticed by my instagram hashtags ūüôā The Summer of Yes was all about taking a break from the norm. Alaina, Cecilia, and I wanted to shake things up a bit and switch up our routine. Yes, we worked most of the summer but we wanted to make the best of it. Summer’s kinda over tomorrow, so I’m here to report on the Summer of Yes activities.

Here we are, on the last day of school. What an amazing group of educators.


We kicked things off with a wedding in Minnesota. Congrats Erica and Ryan!img_8257

Minneapolis requires a trip to the Mall of America. img_8230-1

And immediately off on our Euro adventure. Monday, July 3rd involved flying from Minneapolis-LA-London. 24 hours in London meant we had to go back to where Brent proposed to me. I got a good one!img_8296

Then it was off to Munich. We got to see Ana, my best friend from growing up in Germany. Here we are after our 15K hike in the foothills of the alps. img_8358-1

I am obsessed with Paris. The food. The wine. Here we are after one of our 3+ hour meals. img_8419-1

And after our food tour of Montmartre with John-Paul, who at this point is a family friend. Jackie and Alex met us in Paris for a few days.


I came back from Paris determined to learn how to bake bread. Still working on it.


Being back in LA also meant time for more trail running. Something about being up in the mountains. Ahh, it’s great for the soul.


And time for exploring new neighborhoods. Gotta love the Arts District.  IMG_8440

And the meatballs at Jon+Vinny’s in Mid-City.


I went to the top of the Wilshire Grand.

Screen Shot 2017-08-06 at 9.15.49 PM.pngEven drove to Long Beach for my favorite latte.


But the Westside is my fav…


Did I mention we moved up the street? Yeah, Brent wins 1000 brownie points for secretly moving us in while I was in the bay for work.


Work took us to Bestia. Bone marrow and spinach gnocchi. Drooool.


Ellen and I took advantage of Classpass and went boxing!


I went kayaking in the Marina with the captain.Screen Shot 2017-08-06 at 9.17.03 PM.png

More mountain time with Meredith who came to visit from NY last week.


Playa Provisions now rents bikes!IMG_8577

I’m working on building a garden in this patio. Purple jalapenos, meyer lemons, and succulents. Working on building my desert oasis.

And the perfect end to summer. Beach walk with Ellen, Cecilia, and Alaina. IMG_8272.JPG

Cheers to the 2017-2018 school year. Let’s let the good times roll.


Year Two.

Friday marked the end of my tenth year in education and the end of my second year as Principal at Equitas Academy #3. It was an exhausting year, and in many ways was much more challenging than our founding year. Our school doubled in size, we moved to a less than ideal space, and we worked with a far more difficult group of Kindergarteners. Despite all that our team finished the year more united than ever. Our academic results were even stronger than the 2015-2016 academic year. We rose to the challenge. Here are some of my principal life and runner life highlights from the 2016-2017 academic year.


Our growing team at Summer Professional Development.

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Alaina and I with our returning scholars and new Kindergarteners on day one.


I ran the Ventura Half Marathon the Sunday after the first week of school. I won the race in 1:24, a PR at the time.


Later that month we were challenged to recruit families to come with us to City Hall for the public hearing for our permanent facility. Cecilia, our School Operations Manager, recruited 70+ families in less than two days.FullSizeRender_2.jpg

Our future home.Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.26.48 AM.png


Our kindergarten class this year was, to put it nicely, needy. October was rough. This is how we deal with challenge. Impromptu love notes in the work room.

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Because of how well the Ventura Half went, I decided to go for a sub-3 at Long Beach. I was in disbelief when I crossed the line in 2:58.


Chapter books with our 1st graders.Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.17.52 AM.png

First batch of rain. Leaking from the light.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 3.36.41 PM.pngCommunity Meeting had to be moved indoor. It was virtual for the next few months.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 3.39.37 PM.pngLater that month we hosted a Fall Festival at school, planned by the amazing Gabby Vega.



This happened. Still not quite over it. A lot of fear and tears in our school community.


Mama and Papa came to LA for Thanksgiving. Here we are driving around LA in convertible.

Staff Thanksgiving PotluckFullSizeRender_4.jpg


Yup, still not over the political mess.


The rain continued. Ruined our Winter Festival. Commonwealth (our building) was a hot mess, both inside and out. LA is not equipped for rain. Leaky classrooms, outdoor lunch tables, puddles. I love rain, but it was really hard having multiple classrooms out of commission and having kids eat lunch in their classrooms for weeks. IMG_5974.JPG

No rain on this day! Won the Santa Monica Christmas Run 10K in 39-something. IMG_6034.JPGSpent the holidays in Michigan with all the nieces and nephews!



We find out our building won’t be ready in the fall and apply for space at a district school. Telling the families was no fun.

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This trip was much needed. Went to Dallas with Alaina and spent the weekend at Deloitte learning all things leadership. Especially loved their treadmill desk ūüôā


Running Mom Kathy got married. Of course we went for a run morning of the reception.FullSizeRender_8.jpg

Spirit week at school. This kiddo somehow found a way to wear a wig everyday. IMG_6180.JPGIMG_6182.JPGFullSizeRender_5.jpg

Alaina, Cecilia, and I drove to Long Beach in torrential rain for a Chinese Take-out Cooking Class.FullSizeRender_12.jpg

Yup, still raining. FullSizeRender_11.jpg


100th Day of School = 100 Years Old Spirit Day

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.20.24 AM.pngRan the Surf City half on Super Bowl Sunday. Ran a 1:23, and finished 3rd.FullSizeRender_10.jpg

Women’s March in Downtown LA.
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Visiting Carmen in Palm Springs.

Kara Goucher at the LA Marathon Expo.FullSizeRender_14.jpg


We accepted placement at an LAUSD District School, and faced weeks of protests both at our site and the Equitas flagship site.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.27.51 AM.pngSpring Break in Michigan and Ohio. Here we are in Magnolia, Alaina’s hometown.


And in Ann Arbor, MichiganScreen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.21.29 AM.png

Boston! 2:58. Was hoping for a PR, but the conditions weren’t great. Ran a smooth and controlled run. Loved every minute of the race. Maybe a little too excited at mile 25?FullSizeRender_17.jpg

Spending $180,000 on furniture for our permanent facility.FullSizeRender_18.jpg


NYC for Rexetta’s 1st Birthday

IMG_7713.JPGFullSizeRender_23.jpgEQ3 Team Retreat in Palm Springs.


Dinner with my Columbia besties!


Joined Excelencia’s Board.¬†Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 4.13.21 PM.png


Brent runs a 3:40 at the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon!


Mustache Day.


Placed 3rd and ran sub-6 pace at the LA Galaxy 5K. LAGalaxy.JPG

Last day of school sign language performances.

IMG_8104.JPGErica with a Kindergartener who scored a 200 on the MAP test. Those of you in education KNOW this is a big deal. We ended the year with 91% of our 1st graders and 98% of Kindergarteners reading above grade-level. We surpassed our MAP goals with 93% of scholars meeting or exceeding their math goal, and 84% meeting or exceeding in reading.

I wish I could say I have the summer off. The principal life goes year round. (Although ¬†I’m pretty excited about getting to work at 8 instead of 6:30) Summer is a time to reflect and plan. It’s a time to set new goals, to prove we can strengthen as we grow. Happy Summer ūüôā

Mix It Up May

It’s hard to believe it’s been just over a month since the Boston Marathon. It feels like so much longer! Yesterday I ran a 6:45 pace for a few minutes. There’s no way I could have held that pace for 26.2. Traditionally May is a month to mix it up. School has been my biggest focus. February, March, and April were big training months, meaning I was rushing home after work to run, strength train, stretch, eat, and sleep. This month I’ve spent more time on finishing the school year strong. I took my team to Palm Springs for a work retreat, went to New York for a school workshop at Achievement First, and have been hiring next year’s additions to our team.


The EQ3 Dream Team!

In my running world, I’ve averaged 30ish miles a week and have tried a bunch of new cross training classes. Easier said than done. I love working towards a goal¬†and spending Saturday morning exploring the city. It’s no fun feeling like I’m getting slower, but I know this is good for me. I have the rest of my life to train. Slow and steady wins the race, right?!

Here’s how I’ve been mixing it up…

We had our first ever Talent Show at EQ3. Our scholars took the event so seriously. It was adorable! IMG_7679.JPG

We finalized our furniture order for our permanent facility. Feels weird spending $180,000. Thank you Walton Family Foundation!


Brent took me rock climbing…


Workin on my upper body and core strength at Coreology. It’s humbling. Very humbling.

logo.pngls.jpgWe celebrated Rexetta turning 1 year old!IMG_7713.JPG

I joined¬†Excelencia Charter Academy’s Board and survived the LAUSD Capacity interview.Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.08.46 AM.pngAlaina and I went back to Yoga and Mimosas at Malibu Wines.18319334_1872959282962173_8968698514493380850_o.jpg

I went to Palm Springs with these lovely ladies.FullSizeRender-3.jpg

Alaina was very excited to work with me…IMG_7565.PNG

I won a 10K here in Playa del Rey, but learned that you can’t run easy three milers for a month, sign up the night¬†before, and expect to run a PR. 40:20. Was annoyed that I didn’t run sub-40, but I’ll take a win. I’m the one in the front fixing my hair.

LATS17XX00083 (1).jpgMy Transitional Kindergarten group and I have been working on our sight words.

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.35.23 AM.pngVisited Achievement First Crown Heights in Brooklyn, NY. Lovin the school signage.

And yesterday I picked up the pace. It was fun to run fast! Strange to “only” run 7 miles on Sunday, but¬†they were quality miles. Loved Stride Fitness Studio in Pasadena. Think Soul Cycle for runners. They give you a heart rate monitor, have fun music, motivate you through intervals. In my opinion, speed on treadmills is WAY better than on the track. I loved the vibe at Stride. Preferred it to Precision Running and Mile High Run Club in NY. It was less intimidating, more inviting, more technical with the heart rate monitor, and they send you an email with your stats after class. I will be back! Wish it was a little closer, but Pasadena isn’t too far on a Sunday morning.IMG_7804.JPGScreen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.27.02 AM.png

It’s almost JUNE! Ahh. Next weekend we’re heading to San Diego for Brent to run the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. We’re turning into that annoying running family. I’m so excited to be a cheerleader, and can’t wait to see what he accomplishes! That race has a special place in my heart. My first BQ 4 years ago, and Ellen’s BQ last year.¬†RnRSD.jpg

Have a Happy Memorial Day!