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By Gabby Delpleash

Excited to be a part of the school this year, New principal Dr. Gail Holder has high expectations for students and looks forward to inspiring them to pursue their dreams.

Gail Holder, New Principal

JagWire: Tell me a little bit about yourself

Gail Holder: “‘This my 32nd year in education. I taught in a laser for 25 years and I was in Shawnee Mission, before that I was an English teacher, and directed our dance team. Then I served at the district level for a couple years. I’m married and I have two children. My daughter just graduated from Pitt State. She is a nurse at Overland Park regional in the NICU (Neonatal intensive care unit), and my son is a freshman at Olathe East High School. I love education. I love what it can do for young people. I love the paths and foundations that are created based on education.”

JW: Why did you decide to go into teaching? 

GH: “I wanted to be a nurse growing up, and I went into teaching, because I wanted to teach dance during the summer. The only way to be able to teach dance during the summer was to be a teacher, so I went into education, not really knowing how much I would love it, and how much it would become part of me, my narrative and my life. Both of my parents were educators, they were both physical education teachers.”

JW: What is your experience with teaching high school students? 

GH: “My experience with teaching high school students has been an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. There’s nothing better than taking students at their last chapter of their formal education time and getting them ready for their post secondary path. Whether that be college, career, the military, trade school, etc.”

JW: What do you want students to know about you? 

GH: “I want students to know that I have high expectations for them and that I believe in the power of dreams.I believe in the power of students who say they’re going to do things, and our role as educators is to make sure that any possibility that’s out there is provided to our students.”

JW: What hobbies do you have?

GH: “I love working out when I can, I love to swim,  I love to walk, and I spend a lot of time with my family. In terms of hobbies, I don’t know that I have a ton, because the majority of my time is spent at school.”

JW: What is an interesting fact about yourself? 

GH: “An Interesting fact about myself is that I was a synchronized swimmer for about eight years and I competed in the Olympic trials for synchronized swimming.”

JW: Why did you choose Mill Valley? 

GH: “Here’s what I’ll tell you. Mill Valley chose me and I couldn’t be happier that I was the choice for this job. It is my dream job. I feel like my whole career has been building to this moment.”

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