Stephanie Holloway has run for USD 475 school board before. She ran four years ago for a two-year term occupied at the time by LaDonna Junghans.
Now Holloway is running a second time on much the same platform.
“The social-emotional learning and the mental health (issues) are the priorities of the Kansas Department of Education,” she said. “As a mental health therapist clinical social worker and someone who is employed in another district as a social emotional learning specialist, I felt that having that lens to help guide the policy would be beneficial for USD 475.”
Holloway said she believes the district is moving toward “making gains” in her areas of expertise, but feels having someone with her background would help the district.
“Inclusion, equity and suicide — not only the prevention, but being proactive with suicide awareness and being proactive with the LGBTQ community — making sure that everyone feels that they have fair representation,” she said.
She said relationship are the most important thing to her.
“I would like to continue to maintain the relationships that I have with people, collaboration” Holloway said.
Being involved in Milford, Grandview Plaza and Fort Riley as much as Junction City is a priority for her.
She is campaigning by hosting coffees in communities. Holloway will hold one in Milford Aug. 28, she said, and plans to hold one at Stacy’s in Grandview Plaza at a yet-undetermined date.
If elected, she expects challenges to arise in the form of educating the community on the role of the school board and being “a servant leader — not to have some kind of agenda but just because you want to make things better for all the stakeholders involved,” which goes back to community relationships.
“It’s not necessarily about what I believe but what the constituents believe and what they’re asking you to do for them,” Holloway said.
If elected, Holloway said she would see herself as just one part of the school board team.
“You’re one voice — part of a team — and being able to work together with everyone on the board of education is important,” she said. “We may not all agree and I hope that we don’t all have the same ideas and beliefs because that brings more to the table when we’re able to have deep, rich discussions about education and what will be better for all the stakeholders involved.”
Holloway is a transplant in Junction City, being a former military spouse. The family chose to settle in Junction City because of its diversity.
“We’ve been lucky to have both of our kids go through USD 475 … I know that mental health is a need in this community and I want to be able to give back to the school district,” she said.