Larkin and her husband Peter are Sonoma County natives, and have both been teachers in the Rincon Valley Union School District since 2004. Larkin has taught various grades from preschool to middle school until she resigned to care for her son in 2020. She’s currently serving as a Voting Member for the Sonoma CAC, and the Vice President Social Media Director of Common Ground Society as well as a presenter. James, their son, was born on St. Patrick’s day in 2014, is Larkin’s inspiration to create change. He is a goofy, fun-loving, friendly, sassy little guy who happens to have Down syndrome. He has a little sister, JuneBelle who we all adore. Larkin believes in the importance of inclusion for all people and is on a mission to change the narrative. Her tagline is, “you don’t know what you don’t know, until you know," which she explains in her TEDx Talk, "Fostering Differences on Common Ground.
Heidi Wood lives in Santa Rosa with her husband Justin, daughter Abby, dog, cat and six chickens. Abby is Autistic and has Cystic Fibrosis, ADHD and Intellectual Disability. Her family loves camping, gardening and building Legos. She says: “I am honored and blessed to work for the Common Ground Society. When my husband and I started our journey as the parents of a child with disabilities we were so lost and isolated. It wasn’t until we started meeting other parents who had similar experiences that we started to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. My goal as the Meetup Coordinator is to make sure that all of the parents, caregivers and family members of those with disabilities or unique needs also find a welcoming community where they feel like they belong.”
Amy lives in Petaluma with her husband, two children, Cameron and Dillon, two dogs, and an assortment of various farm animals. She is a photographer, pilates instructor, and now the presentation coordinator for Common Ground Society™. Before having kids and being a stay at home parent for a few years, Amy was a Deaf and Hard of Hearing teacher and has a background in working with children with disabilities. She has an older sister who is Deaf and grew up using ASL with her family. Amy is so excited about being a part of the CGS team and helping to change the narrative and help this world be more inclusive for our loved ones with disabilities. When she has free time you can find Amy camping or backpacking with her family, exercising (any and all kinds, she’s always down to try a new workout class!), or curled up with a good book.
Sahmina McGregor lives in Petaluma with her husband, John, and their two younger children, Jackson and Emma. Their oldest daughter, Maya, is attending college in Southern California. Emma was diagnosed with an ultra rare genetic disorder called KMT5B Syndrome. Emma has an intellectual disability and hypotonia (low muscle tone). As a parent of a child with a disability, Sahmina understands the importance of raising awareness about the benefits of inclusion. When she's not presenting, she substitutes as a special support aide at her children's school.
Leigh Magnani works as a Realtor in Petaluma and lives with her husband Dominic, son Ryan and daughter Olivia. Olivia was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of 2. Leigh is an advocate for providing awareness around disabilities in an effort to shift the mindset for us to focus on our similarities instead of our differences. In her spare time she works as an Independent Wine Ambassador for the Boisset Collection and serves as a board member for The Fabulous Women of Petaluma and the Waugh School District PTO.
Harmony has been an educator since 2003 and is currently an administrator in Rincon Valley. Erik, Harmony’s husband, left his tech sales job after August, their son, was diagnosed with autism and expressive speech delay. Erik is a stay at home dad, so Harmony could continue her education and advocacy work.
Harmony has joined the team for our Inclusion in the Community series. She and Larkin have done numerous talks such as Inclusion in Motherhood, Inclusion in Parenthood, Inclusive Practices for SLPs, and Inclusion in Education.
Kate was the founding secretary of Common Ground Society™ and has now returned as a presenter. Her first presentation with us was the OGUSD professional development day in January. Here is why she chose to volunteer for Common Ground Society™:
"As an educator since 1998, I share in the mission and vision of Common Ground Society™ that all people belong and must be welcomed and valued in all aspects of society. As a teacher and administrator, I have had the great fortune to help foster full-inclusion in multiple school environments. I am continually inspired by school cultures that welcome students with diverse backgrounds and abilities to learn, play, and create community together in supportive settings built on kindness, curiosity, positivity, and genuine caring for one another. My mission as an educator and Common Ground Society™ volunteer is to work toward the day when inclusive, welcoming, equitable, full-inclusion schools are the standard educational experience for all students."
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