Carrie’s Story

Learning the value of hard work

Carrie wearing her Brownie uniformCarrie was born and raised in a working-class family, which taught her the importance of hard work, community, and service to others. Carrie’s father Phil was a career Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant, and her mother, Lee, worked in retail. When Carrie’s father retired from the Marine Corps — Carrie was in 3rd grade — the family moved to Windsor, where they still live today. Her parents worked hard and made many sacrifices so that Carrie and her sister had a stable home, food to eat, and attend great schools. As a child, Carrie’s family struggled to make ends meet — if she wanted to attend activities like summer camp, she had to fund her own way. In elementary school, Carrie sold hundreds of boxes of Girl Scout cookies to earn enough cookie incentives to go to camp. Through that experience, Carrie learned the importance of hard work, and how work can help people accomplish their goals.

After graduating from Windsor High School in 1989, Carrie attended Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington. She worked and took student loans to pay for college herself, often working two and three jobs at a time to maintain housing, and to pay for tuition, books and supplies. After graduating from Whitworth, Carrie moved to the North-Pacific island of Saipan to teach middle school science and social studies for three years. She then returned to Colorado to attend Iliff School of Theology where she earned a Masters of Divinity degree in 1999. While attending seminary, Carrie continued to be a teacher, and later worked as a youth pastor, and special education advocate. Through these experiences, Carrie developed organization, and leadership skills to successfully balance multiple demands on her time. These skills will enable Carrie to be an effective town board member, representing Ward 5 with integrity.

Service to Others

While a graduate student at Iliff, Carrie’s niece went to foster care. She sought to become her niece’s foster parent, but the state would not consider Carrie for placement due to both of their disabilities. Carrie has a type of muscular dystrophy, and Heather has a chromosome deletion syndrome. After a year and a half of advocacy, the state finally agreed to complete a home study of Carrie’s home, which she passed with flying colors, and Heather soon moved to live with Carrie, who later adopted her, building a family. With the love of family, Heather began to thrive in ways her doctors never predicted.

Carrie’s experience fighting to parent her niece that called her to attend law school. Carrie knew if she, a woman with an advanced degree, who had spent her entire adult life working with other people’s children, was denied the opportunity to parent, many others certainly needed an advocate in their corner. Carrie attended the University of Denver Sturm College of Law on a full scholarship, graduated in 2005, and began a career dedicated to fighting for parents’ rights.

After law school, Carrie provided pro-bono and court- appointed legal services to parents, and founded a Colorado non-profit, Disabled Parents Rights to provide legal services to parents with disabilities. She defended families, because she believes every parent who faces the loss of custody of their children to the state deserves a fair opportunity to resolve problems and have their children return home. Carrie has defended hundreds of Colorado families, helping parents successfully raise their own children whenever possible. She now works for the Colorado Office of Respondent Parent’s’ Counsel, training and supporting family defender attorneys across Colorado.

Carrie has more than two decades of advocacy experience helping children receive quality educations, defending families, and advocating on behalf of disabled adults and children. She has served on the boards of local, statewide, and national organizations that provide legal services, or advocacy services to disabled children and adults. She has also served on multiple committees for the State of Colorado to improve judicial services for Colorado families.

After adopting Heather, Carrie later adopted three other children from the foster care system, Asiza, Adrianne, and Anthony, all of whom have multiple disabilities. Carrie also served her community by being a foster parent to other children. She serves as a volunteer guardian for one of her now-adult foster children. Parenting her children has been one of the hardest challenges she has ever faced. It was the supportive community that Carrie found in Windsor that enabled her to successfully raise her children as a working single adoptive mom. Carrie will work to ensure all Windsor families and children have the same supportive community to allow them to grow and thrive.

Service for Windsor

In 2008, Carrie returned to Windsor to raise her own family in the town she loved. She knew her children would receive a great education from the Windsor school district, and would have a safe community to grow up. She wanted her children to be raised close to family, to Carrie’s parents, and other relatives that live in, and around Windsor. Like Carrie, her daughters have also graduated from Windsor High School, and continue to reside in Windsor. The great schools, safe community, and abundant events and activities has enabled Carrie’s daughters to reach their full potential, and Carrie wants to ensure that all Windsor families and children have that same opportunity. She has immense pride when watching her daughters volunteer for the food pantry, Salvation Army, and Meals on Wheels, and give back to the community that has given them so much.

Carrie is a member of Faith United Church of Christ, and was active in the development and operation of the Windsor Food Pantry as a young adult.  She has served on school district committees, volunteered for the marching band, sports teams, and in her children’s classrooms. Carrie has fought for healthcare access, and for the right of seniors and disabled people to live in their own homes.

Carrie has served on the Town of Windsor Historic Preservation Commission for six years, at times chairing the commission. The Historic Preservation Commission works with property owners to protect historic structures, and engages in public outreach and education for the community. During her tenure on the Historic Preservation Commission, the Commission has designated three town buildings as historic structures, the Windsor Railroad Depot, the Park School Building (Town Hall), and Eaton House (part of the museum at Boardwalk Park). Additionally, the Commission developed a downtown walking tour of historic properties in the downtown area.

Carrie is proud to live in the Old Town Windsor neighborhood, and loves being able to walk down the street and chat with her neighbors, shop at local businesses, and enjoy events in the parks.

Carrie has the qualifications and passion to lead, and is ready to fight for the future of our community. Join her today by making a donation, signing up to volunteer or registering to attend an event.