I was born in Fort Collins, Colorado. For most of my childhood, my family lived in Spokane, Washington, where I graduated from John Rogers High School. I later earned a B.A. and M.A.T. in mathematics from Washington State University, along with my teaching endorsement.
Life was great for me during my childhood years. I lived in a middle class neighborhood with parents Gene and Edith Brizendine and sister, Phyllis (Now Phyllis Solomon). I have great memories of my early childhood years in Fort Collins, Colorado. My grandfather used horses for his field work during those times. I would frequently sit atop one of the horses (Maude) as my grandfather worked the fields. On weekends, my sister and I would be treated to family trips into the Colorado Rockies. The smells of alfalfa, woods, and fresh streams bring those days to mind. Our family moved to Spokane in 1947. The schools were excellent and there was ample opportunity for my interests to develop in the study of mathematics, music, and the game of tennis.
I was fortunate to have excellent teachers throughout my school years. I will always remember them fondly and appreciate the opportunities I enjoyed.
My teaching career was challenging and interesting. This career included teaching mathematics for eight years at Madison Junior High School in Seattle, one year at Edmonds Community College, two years at Washington State University, and twenty-five years at Moscow High School. A six week stint teaching summer school in Seattle’s inner city provided a rewarding learning experience I will never forget.
While teaching in Idaho, I held a number of leadership positions in the Moscow Education Association and Idaho Education Association. These gave me the opportunity to gain important skills, and opened the door to the political arena. Following my work with the education associations, I chaired the Latah County Democrats for a number of years.
My family has always been supportive and I love each one deeply. My husband John is a professor of electrical engineering at Washington State University. Each of our three children graduated from Washington State University. Shawn majored in environmental science and currently works at STRATA in Moscow. Stacy is an education media specialist. She is currently working towards a doctorate at UCLA Shelley is a family medicine physician with an emphasis in sports medicine. She lives in Boise. Shawn’s wife, Tiffany teaches at Lena Whitmore Elementary School and granddaughter Sadie will be a seventh grade student at Moscow Junior High School.
Most of us have an individual who has inspired us and influenced our lives. I could name a number of people who have filled that role for me. My father, Eugene Brizendine, was one of them. He was essentially on his own at the age of fourteen. He attended high school in Attica, Kansas, and worked after school every night setting type at the local newspaper. My father was valedictorian of his high school class. All along, he put money aside with plans to attend college. Unfortunately, he completed high school at the beginning of the Depression and used the money he had saved to help family members. My father continued his career in the newspaper business, but always took advantage of opportunities to learn. He had a wonderfully curious mind, and was always well informed. My sister and I appreciate the enlightenment we received from conversations with him and the example he set.
John and I have lived in Moscow for thirty years. I have served six terms in the Idaho Legislature. My service has offered the opportunity for rich interactions with people, and great opportunities for learning. It has been a privilege to work for the people of my legislative district.
I hope I have earned your confidence & I ask for your vote on November 6.