Hailing from Texas, I studied journalism at the University of Texas in Austin before setting off to New Orleans to do the 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. reporting shift for UPI. And that was just the beginning of an ongoing effort to satisfy my wanderlust.
Before becoming Montclair Patch editor, I was a London-based foreign correspondent for six years, covering everything from Prince William's love life to European politics. Previously I covered New York City before and after 9/11 (from Maplewood), the Caribbean and Latin America (from Miami), and Atlanta (from Atlanta) -- all for the Cox Newspaper chain.
I left London and moved to Montclair in 2009 with my husband and three energetic children, who attend Charles H. Bullock Elementary School, Mt. Hebron Middle School, and Seton Hall Prep.
After years of rejection letters, my book, The Fossil Hunter, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in October 2009. My new book, Madame Curie and her Daughters: The Private Lives of Science's First Family will be published by Palgrave Macmillan on August 21, 2012.
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible and human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal certain key beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable.
This disclosure is not a license for our editors to inject these beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that our beliefs are on the record will force us to be ever mindful to write, report, and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you, the user, ever think you see evidence that we failed in this mission, we wholeheartedly invite you to let us know.
How would you describe your political beliefs?
I never describe my political beliefs completely one way or the other because I'm an independent thinker, and I've never been tied to one particular party.
How religious would you consider yourself? (casual, observant, devout, non religious)
I'm a bit of a mutt when it comes to religion. I grew up in the Lutheran church, but then tried the Catholic church for a while in college. Then I tried a Congregational church. After I got married, I found an Episcopal church I liked. Now I take my children to the Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair. The pastor there is great.
Local Hot-Button Issues
What do you think are the most important issues facing the community?
Finding a way to support the school system in the face of deep budget cuts is one of the town's main challenges -- and is a huge issue for me, as the parent of three children. The loss of so many fabulous teachers, as well as foreign language instruction and other programs, has been heartbreaking. Parents need to step in more and more to fill in the gaps. Now more than ever, they are needed to volunteer at the schools and to help with fundraising.