After graduating from Kuemper Catholic High School, Onica Ulveling moved away for college and to pursue her career as a pharmacist.
But after years in the city, she returned home to be near family and friends and to begin a life back in the community she loves.
“We moved back here because our family is here, and we think it’s a wonderful community,” she said. “We wanted it to be the place to raise our children.”
Ulveling, 41, is running for a spot on the Carroll Community School Board. The election is Nov. 5.
A Carroll native and 1996 Kuemper graduate, Ulveling currently works part-time as a pediatric pharmacist at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha. Her husband Kyle Ulveling is a cardiologist at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll. Their two sons, Jack and James, go to school at Kuemper.
Although she is a Kuemper grad, Ulveling said she is a good candidate for the Carroll School Board as a Carroll resident who knows families at both schools. She understands how both worlds operate.
“I grew up here in Carroll, and I know how wonderful of a community it is, especially when everyone is collaborating, and I feel like each school system being as strong as it can be only help others,” she said.
Although she has never worked as a teacher, Ulveling spent many years as a pharmacy student and also worked with students during their internships or residency programs at the hospital in Omaha, she said. Those experiences taught her about the time and commitment teachers put into supporting their students, not only in the classroom but before and after school as well. It involves constant preparation, she said.
“I understand that people learn differently,” Ulveling said. “Teachers and parents give their all trying to help students or their children learn. Everybody learns in a different way, so it’s definitely an investment and an adjustment.”
If she is elected to the school board this fall, Ulveling said, she hopes she can bring a new perspective to the board and strengthen relationships between the Carroll and Kuemper school districts.
“The three main focuses of my campaign would be educational excellence, fiscal responsibility and transparency of process,” she said.
Transparency, Ulveling said, is very important. She said she was disappointed by how few community members attended or spoke at the last school board meeting Sept. 16.
“I feel like you need to take the time to learn, so you can speak intelligently and factually,” she said.
With her sons in eighth and sixth grades at Kuemper, Ulveling said she will be involved in both the Carroll and Kuemper schools for a long time. As a parent and community member, she said, what better way to stay connected than to ensure both school districts continue to collaborate and promote academic excellence?
“Hopefully I can present a fresh perspective and a fresh set of eyes to things that are going on,” she said. “Like teaching, you don’t just show up to the board meeting. You have to educate yourself on the issues and form a position.”
A total of five candidates — Jon Sampson, Brad Jorgensen, Karen Friedlein, Onica Ulveling and Cindy Johnson — are running for three spots on the board currently held by Sampson, Jorgensen and Friedlein. Friedlein recently was appointed to fill the spot previously held by Gina Badding. Badding resigned in April after being named a district court judge. Read more about the school board candidates in upcoming editions of the Carroll Times Herald.