KASB School Board Member Profile: Mallory Koci, Emporia USD 253

Mallory Koci
Emporia USD 253

How long have you been a school board member? Since September 2018

Why did you decide to become a board member? I believe in the value of public education, and I hope my service on the board will strengthen our communities through focusing on quality public education.

Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why?  I always looked up to my grandma; she was the embodiment of kindness and love. She taught me how to care for myself, how to care for others, and how to care for the earth.

Who was your favorite teacher and why? My favorite was my Advanced Chemistry teacher in high school, Mr. Erikson. He was an engaging and fun teacher, but most of all I admired how he treated his students: even though we were 14 year olds, he treated us as capable and whole people. He never talked down to us and made us feel as important as any adult. And that motivated us to learn, to experiment, and to grow independent.

What do you do outside of being a board member? I’m a mom to a delightful 7-year old and a spouse to a quietly kind person. As a family, we love working on house/yard projects and playing board games. I teach at Emporia State University and truly love what I do. I spend my free time walking, riding gravel, gardening, and baking. I also enjoy volunteering in the Emporia community.

What experience do you bring to the table that will improve your local school district? The subject I teach deals with social problems and having difficult conversations about controversial issues. I also have done multiple trainings in adaptive leadership through the Kansas Leadership Center, and I am a KLC Faculty in Residence at ESU. I think these experiences will help me be the most effective board member I can be for the district, solving problems and facilitating productive conversations.

As a board member, what is the top goal you have this year?  My top goal is to learn more about the school district and the challenges that face USD 253 so that I can be an advocate for quality education in the district.

What is a saying or quote that you live by? “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

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