Kathy Mulkerin announced her candidacy for Position 1 on the Walla Walla School Board this November. The seat is held by Sam Wells.
Mulkerin grew up in Walla Walla and was a student of the school district from kindergarten through her high school graduation.
She wants to help shape the education received by children of her hometown, she said.
“My mom was a three-term school board member,” Mulkerin said. “I’m also a parent, so that’s probably the biggest reason I’m running. As a parent, you always want to see your child have the best education possible.”
Mulkerin worked as a substitute teacher and a para-educator in the Walla Walla School District. She holds a Montessori teaching certificate from the Montessori Institute Northwest and a master’s of education from Loyola University Maryland.
She feels her education background prepares her well to be a school board director.
“I feel as someone who has worked in the school district as a teacher, and who has been a student in the school district, I bring a really important voice,” Mulkerin said. “I also have the experience of a woman of color, so I bring a necessary voice to the board.”
Mulkerin wants to make sure every child receives the same opportunities.
“Because of my lived experience as a student and a teacher, I understand the need for equitable and accessible education for all our children,” Mulkerin said.
She went on to say that while the district has been working to improve equity in education, she feels more work needs to be done, especially in some specific areas.
“I would like to see more equity in the honors, (Advanced Placement) and Explorers programs,” Mulkerin said. “It’s based off a test instead of teachers’ evaluations. My son was asked to join the honors science class by his teacher, but the administration simply looked at his test scores and they weren’t in the range to allow him to participate in that program.”
In addition to her education credentials, Mulkerin earned a bachelor’s in psychology at the University of Portland. She is also working on a master’s in paralegal studies from George Washington University.
Current board Position 1 member Wells was elected in November 2013 is serving his second term, which expires this year. The school board election will be in November.