Home: Greater Houston, TX. Birthplace: San Diego, CA. Organization: Huckabee. Title: VP of Educational Practice. Significant other(s): My husband, Dillon Brady; my kids, Cash and Tatum. Alma mater: Texas A&M; South Texas College of Law.
Current project: Taking a family picture in front of all 50 state capitols (plus DC). Latest accomplishment: Ran 21 distance-specific Spartan races in 2021. I completed six 5k Sprints, six 10k Supers, five 21k Beasts, one 50k Ultra, one 10k Trail, one 21k Trail, and one 50k Trail. Hobbies: I’m a chef-driven restaurant foodie, hot chocolate drinker, and coffee shop snob. Recently viewed and recommended: Circus of Books. Bring tissues because the ending is beautiful. Recent unique acquisition: A custom-made guitar autographed by Lyle Lovett [swoon].
What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Loyal. Moral compass: Human first, Christian second, American third. Showing every person dignity supersedes my faith tradition, and my call to walk like Jesus supersedes my citizenship. What is your greatest fear? Scorpions. I grew up watching the OG Clash of the Titans with life-size scorpions. What natural talent have you neglected? My ability to choreograph colorguard routines in my head to a song on the radio driving between client meetings. What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? An education changes every learner for the better, and educators have committed their life’s work to that belief. What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? Memories and professional photography. What is at the top of your bucket list? Climbing the stairs of the temples in Tikal, Guatemala – thanks Step Reebok. What is your go-to workout? Trail running of all distances (5k to 50mi).
What was your first paying job? Part time at The Yogurt Shoppe. What movie have you repeatedly watched? The Greatest Showman. What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? A large painting made by my husband and daughter that we call “The Heart”. Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? My children are the greatest influencers of my life. Always have been.
What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? My daughter’s most recent struggle with self-harm and suicide caused me to realize the emotional abuse I experienced as a child significantly informed my parenting. I’ve chosen the difficult path of recovery because she’s worth removing our links from that chain.
Children don’t serve society; society serves children.
What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Everyone is influenced by the buildings we occupy; the schools that worked for past generations aren’t good enough for current and future generations. What change would you like to see in the world? Make our top national priority public education to bring more amazing problem solvers to the table to address the rest of our national priorities. What message do you want to send out into the world? Instead of celebrating people who discover themselves in midlife, champion children’s discovery of themselves as young as possible. What’s your parenting philosophy? We must love our children unconditionally and play the long game. We’re not raising 15-year-olds; we’re raising 25-, 45-, and 65-year-olds.
What title would you choose for the movie about your life? Becoming: A Commitment to Continuous Improvement. As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be Paula Abdul; not the singer, but the Laker Girls’ choreographer. How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? With my husband, kids, sisters, and best friends. And a photographer, to capture it all. What advice would you give your younger self? Question everyone and everything and be empowered to go against the grain. What day in your life would you choose to re-live? I would relive marrying my husband, Dillon. I would have hired a photographer to capture the last time that small group would be together ever again. Alternative path imagined: If I hadn’t married and had kids, I would split my time between two places: Istanbul, wearing power suits and stiletto heels, chasing deadlines; and Tulum, wearing a bathing suit sleeping in a hammock hung between two trees on the beach.
Personal mission: To approach every interaction with the confidence of the value of my lived experience and the humility of being but one of billions of lived experiences. Personal motto: I alone am enough. Favorite quote: “The best gift you are ever going to give someone [is] the permission to feel safe in their own skin. To feel worthy. To feel like they are enough” (Hannah Brencher).