EDAD's Holman fills vacancy on OPS board

Shavonna Holman
Shavonna Holman, assistant professor of practice in Educational Administration, will be sworn in Feb. 22 as the newest member of the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education.

EDAD's Holman fills vacancy on OPS board

17 Feb 2017     By Brad Stauffer

Serving on a school board was never an aspiration of Shavonna Holman, assistant professor of practice in Educational Administration at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. But on Feb. 22, Holman will be sworn in as a member of the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education. She was appointed to the position by other board members Feb. 7, following the resignation of Justin Wayne, who was elected to the Nebraska Legislature in November.

“We were at a Parent Advisory Committee meeting for the district and they were talking about the seat being available,” said Holman. “Someone suggested I apply and it just kind of went from there.” After others also suggested she pursue the position that serves parts of Northwest Omaha, Holman finally decided, “well, why not.”

Holman is well acquainted with OPS. She attended OPS schools from elementary through high school, taught fourth grade for six years and was an assistant principal for seven years. She initially taught and was an assistant principal at Central Park Elementary where she attended as a student.

“I think the edge that I had over everyone else is that I know the district very well,” said Holman. “I have great insights into the district—our challenges, our needs, successes—and I think that’s something that the district, especially the teachers and administrators, are very excited about.”

The OPS board is in search of a new superintendent and assistant superintendent, and the budget for next year is on hold until the legislature determines how to manage a projected state revenue shortfall of over $900 million over the next two years.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to be able to influence the policies and decisions that are being made for the students, faculty, administrators and OPS community,” she said. “Since I’ve been in higher education, I’ve been paying more attention to things in the district, and I think about how I could help the system and unite the board once again. I’d like to help our district grow in a positive manner.”

Equity and access in OPS will be a priority for Holman who teaches an equity and access course at Nebraska. “I just really love that course, because I lived it. I experienced it. Working in North Omaha schools, we didn’t have a lot of the advantages that many of our other schools had or the opportunities the other kids had. I really believe we need to do a better job with making sure that access and equitable funding is there.”

College of Education and Human Sciences
Educational Administration