I am so excited to have Ashley Spaulding as our first Meet-a-Mom! I met Ashley years ago when our daughters (now 14/15) were in first grade! I’ve watched her play an active role in the community for years and she currently serves as a member of the school board. It’s been quite the year for the school board, but she has handled it beautifully, in my opinion. Read more about Ashley!
How long have you lived in Shawnee? What made you decide to live here?
My husband and I moved to Shawnee in August 2008. We moved from Prairie Village and wanted more space for our growing family. We liked the smaller town feel of western Shawnee and the fact that it felt a little less populated/busy than other Kansas City suburbs.
How many children do you have and what are their age(s)?
We have a daughter in ninth grade, a son in sixth grade… and a five-year-old black lab mix.
What’s your favorite family activity (in your town)?
We love Shawnee Mission Park. As a family, we enjoy taking our dog to the off-leash dog park, walking and biking on the trails, water activities on the lake, and picnicking.
Where’s your favorite place to eat and/or shop in your town?
Twisted and Blind Box are a couple restaurant favorites. Twisted’s veggie wrap is so good!! And I love that we have two great boutiques – Pink Charming and Embellish – right in western Shawnee. They’re both great places to get gifts… or something for yourself! I love that Pink Charming stocks my favorite brand of candles, Pickwick & Co. They smell amazing, burn so nicely, and are made right here in Kansas City.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I’m a homebody. People who know me would probably find that surprising because I’m definitely an extrovert who loves to talk. But home is my absolute favorite place to be, and I’ll often find myself choosing to stay in over a night out.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
Oh gosh… there are so many!!
My husband and I have been true parenthood partners, going through every single stage and every up and down together. No one’s parenthood journey is ever completely easy, but it’s – hands down – been the most special, most amazing experience my husband and I have shared together. I’m thankful that he’s been such an involved, fun, loving dad to our kids all these years.
My mom has helped us in so many ways through the years with our kids. Her love and support and so much of what I’ve learned from her about being a mom have been an instrumental part of my parenting
My parenthood journey has also been filled with love and support from my amazing girlfriends. Through ups and downs of raising kids, through various ages and stages, I’ve leaned on my girlfriends for advice, support, laughter, and so much more. It’s been a privilege to have some incredible girlfriends – near and far – to learn parenting lessons with and from and also to teach me so much (whether they know it or not) about being a great mom.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I work full-time in communications and marketing for the outreach division of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, which is called the Masonic Cancer Alliance. I absolutely love my work, my coworkers, and the mission of KU Cancer Center. I was a cancer patient there 10 years ago, so it holds extra special meaning to me. In addition to working at KU Cancer Center, I joined the DeSoto (USD 232) School Board in January 2020 and – even with as tough as it’s been to be in the midst of a global pandemic during my first year on the Board – I’m honored to serve our community and our amazing school district in this capacity.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Western Shawnee has such a true community feel to it. I’ve gotten to know so many people in this area through our neighborhood and through our kids’ schools.
I’m not going to lie… being a School Board member during this pandemic has been particularly difficult. Every single decision we have made has come with both gratitude and criticism because there’s not a “one size fits all” answer or solution to the situation we’re all currently experiencing. That said, the support I’ve received from community members, including many people I don’t personally know, has been amazing. And the civil, productive conversations I’ve shared with so many district patrons have been incredibly insightful and helpful. Those interactions sustain me and reaffirm how fortunate I am to serve our district.
We live in a fantastic area. I look forward to the day when we can get back to life that more closely resembles “normal” so that we can all fully enjoy our interpersonal connections, our local businesses, and all of the things that make western Shawnee such a great place to live