Michelle Smithen has worked in and around public finance since she began her career in the City of Dallas budget office in 1999. After working for the City of Dallas for several years, she transitioned to the private sector where she rated bonds issued by public entities. She currently works for an investment bank to underwrite publicly issued local government debt in Texas. Michelle has a Masters in Public Administration from the University of North Texas and is a product of Texas public schools. Michelle’s parents and grandfather are retired public school teachers and she has aunts and cousins who teach in public schools. Her interest in public education began at an early age when family conversations around the Sunday lunch table inevitably centered around education. She now has her own children who attend DISD. Although her career has been focused on public finance, her background with government and involvement in public schools has convinced her of the critical role public education plays in our communities.