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After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado in 1972, Joan began her teaching career in School District 27J. Over the next 32 years, she worked as a secondary language arts teacher, a school counselor, a teacher on special assignment working on curriculum, and as an instructional coach for beginning teachers. In 2002 Joan was named Colorado Teacher of the Year and was able to represent Colorado at the state and national level. After retiring from teaching, Joan was elected to the Board of Education for School District 27J and served the community in that role for eight years. In November 2013 Joan was term limited from the Board of Education and was elected to the Brighton City Council from Ward I.
Joan currently serves on the Brighton Legacy Foundation, the Brighton Cultural Arts Commission, School District 27J’s Capital Facility Fee Foundation, 9 Teachers Who Care Selection Committee, and is a Court Appointed Special Advocate serving children who need a voice in the court system.
Joan is married to Adam who worked for Sakata Farms for over 50 years. They have six children and 17 grandchildren.