Jody Mull has no illusions about what her responsibility is.
“I don’t have the silver bullet about how to fix education,” she says. “That’s not my job.”
What she does have is a seat at the table. Jody is a member of the Stand for Children Washington PAC statewide endorsement committee. Her responsibility as a member is to review candidates seeking the PAC’s endorsement and decide which ones will hopefully take on that job of improving the public education system.
Jody is a Washington native. She grew up in Centralia, south of Olympia, in a family of educators. As she puts it, “My mother was a teacher, my aunts and uncles were teachers, and now my daughter just graduated college to become a teacher!” Jody, however, chose a different path. She graduated from Western Washington University with her degree in Business Administration and Management and became an auditor after college.
In contrast to her initial avoidance of the educator career path however, Jody is now a fierce and passionate advocate for public education. Her three children (now 20, 22 and 25) grew up and graduated from the Issaquah School District and Jody has been active supporter of the education system since they were young.
“I started in education because I was recruited to join the Issaquah Schools Foundation,” she says, “And then I volunteered with Stand for Children as a parent team leader as soon as they got started in Washington in 2007.” Jody has also served on the Issaquah Schools Foundation board since 2003, twice serving as President.
“I’m focused on education because of inequity,” says Jody. “We have to recognize that many of us in live in a bubble. Before education, children need to be fed, have a place to sleep, and feel connected.”
As a member of Stand for Children’s endorsement committee, this perspective informs what Jody is looking for in a candidate. “I want someone who is committed to kids and to policies that serve the whole kid,” she says.
Part of that endorsement process often includes meeting candidates in person to hear more about their stance on the issues. “The in-person interview says a lot,” says Jody, “I can watch the passion some people bring. I can see the real people.”
Jody has been on the statewide committee for 7 years. Although she identifies as a Republican, she participates in the endorsement process with Stand, a non-partisan organization, because of the intense focus on kids. “I want legislators elected who are for kids and for fiscal responsibility. They should be open to new ideas and connected to the community. To me, Stand for Children is the organization that represents and does what’s best for kids.”
Although she also feels strongly that there is no one answer about how to improve education, she does know what she’s looking for from her elected officials: “Our focus is on education. Kids need to have connections to school, whether it’s a teacher, a sport, a passion; it can take lots of different shapes. Candidates need to be willing to stand up for that and make progress for kids.”
To support the work Jody and the Stand for Children Washington PAC are doing to elect education champions during the 2018 election cycle, donate $10 today.