Christen Reiner is the 2012 Mom Congress Delegate for Colorado. She is a former elementary school teacher and the former PTO president. She reinvigorated the group, increasing membership with new, enthusiastic volunteers who have raised over $20,000 for the school.
What book is currently on your nightstand? Right now I have a Reminisce Magazine and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? I have Unbroken on my Kindle waiting for me, but I haven’t had much reading time, lately!
One thing that is going great in education in your state: Choice! It’s the most direct route to opportunity. Parents are empowered—they have the option of finding the program that works best for their child instead of being locked into a neighborhood school.
One thing you wish could be improved in education in your state: Obviously, the budget cuts are high on my improvement wish list! Not only are we experiencing higher class sizes, but we are losing the extracurricular aspect of education: after school programs, instrumental instruction, even “specials” like Library, PE, Art and Music. This loss to our children–and our future–pains me.
Your favorite teacher (and why): This is a hard question! Fortunately, I have had many fantastic teachers in my life. My student teaching mentor, Sharon Leslie, is an amazing teacher and leader. Everything I took into my first classroom, I learned from her! She prepared me for teaching like no book or college course could. I kept in touch with Sharon over the years, and our paths crossed again when she became the interim principal at my children’s school. Not only did she whip our school into shape, but put our school on the right track for the continued success we enjoy to this day. She again took on the role of mentor, sharing her wisdom as a parent, teacher and administrator while I was preparing to take on the role of PTO President.
Secret indulgence: Well, it’s no secret, but I love dessert!
Favorite subject in school (and why): I loved any subject that allowed me to create a project. I think History was my favorite. I am still fascinated by events from our past. Growing up on the East Coast, with its rich history, had a lot to do with that!
Most rewarding/challenging stage of parenthood thus far (and why): My youngest, Donovan, was on oxygen from 5-weeks to 8-months-old. That was the most challenging. We went through months of time-consuming testing. It was not only super-scary as a mom, but I was not as available for my older children as I wanted to be. That broke my heart. Hugs, kisses and cuddles from my babies are the most rewarding—there is nothing better in the world than that.
Minivan or SUV: Minivan. I was never one of those moms who swore they wouldn’t drive one—I love mine!
Favorite family tradition: I think it would be something to do with dinner; many of our traditions are centered around food! Carney burgers, Lasagna for Christmas, eating together every night!
Favorite weeknight family dinner: Is it bad that I love anything that is prepared for me—especially pizza, Chinese food, Subway, etc? Haha! I do enjoy homemade mac & cheese and my Mom’s meatloaf!