I loved school and learning. My philosophy now is; “if you are not learning, growing and doing, you might just as well be dead.” I was a good student because I worked hard at it not because I was so smart. My parents taught us through modeling the importance of a good work ethic. If you said you were going to do something then you better by God do it. If you can run around until all hours of the night on Saturday, then you better be able to get up Sunday morning and go to church. We grew up with a lot of “If yous” but my parents lived by them just the same as they expected us to.
I knew I wanted to be a teacher at a very young age. I admired my two grade school teachers as I had each of them for three years. We had the “little room” which was grades 1 – 3 and the “big room” grades 4 – 6. Students and teachers alike, we all knew each other very well. I was in grade 6 when the “little room” teacher was ill for several weeks with no sub to be found. I and another classmate were asked to cover the lessons for grades 1 – 3 on alternate days so that we would not get behind on our own work. What a thrill to be actually teaching real students not just my dolls and stuffed animals at home. I knew the material well as I had already sat through 3 years of the lessons myself. That was the beginning of my teaching career. The values of and the lessons learned in that tiny two-room schoolhouse were instrumental in shaping the person I am today.
I attended Oltman Junior High and St. Paul Park High in St. Paul Park, Minnesota where I was involved in many of the curricular and extra curricular activities as I possibly could handle. I graduated in 1966 from the brand new Park High building in Cottage Grove, Minnesota as a part of the first graduating class to make it’s mark at the new school. After a few starts and stops in college, I earned my BA in Elementary Education in 1971 from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and my Master’s Degree in 1977 from the same institution. School District #200 in Hastings, Minnesota is where I spent my teaching career from 1971 – 1996.
Denmark Township in rural Hastings became my home when I married Butch Davies in 1970. Our daughter Kristine was born in 1978. Butch and I have lived in the same location, different house, for nearly 50 years now. Krisi and her family live right next door with the St. Croix River making up both of our back yards. Two grandchildren, Elsie & Eli, make the picture complete.
My writing career began in 2005 when I published my first book, From There to Here: A Breast Cancer Journey, which chronicled my medical challenge for it’s duration some 300 some odd days. Breast Cancer Saved My Life was published in 2015 and now my first children’s book, Life in the Neck New Friends, in 2018.
I came by leadership naturally. My father played a dedicated role of leader in our church and in our community as long as I can remember. Both of my parents gave their all to any organization or group that they were a part of. My dad was a founding father of the East Cottage Grove Volunteer Fire Department after a neighbor’s barn burned to the ground. He played a significant role in the building of the church building we still use today. Mom was a leader in the women’s group through church and the mother’s club through the school – they were both made up of the same women give or take a few.
Family, faith and friends have been an important part of my life from the beginning – those three things make a solid foundation on which to build a life.