Q&A with School Board Member Monika Johnson Hostler

Monika Johnson Hostler

School Board | Wake County, NC

Monika Johnson HostlerTell us about your background. What are the experiences, including education, that make up the person you currently are?

Raised by my mother and grandparents in a small town; attended an HBCU where I met my husband; a non profit executive for the last 20 years and the mother of a daughter.

What was your trigger moment and why this specific office?

De facto segregation.

What made you feel qualified to run for office?

My experience as an advocate, parent, and wife of an educator.

Do you work full-time or part-time?


Most people don’t know what their elected official does on a daily basis. What’s a typical day looking like for you?

I work a full-time job while raising a daughter and my evenings are spent on the school board and two weekends a month is prepping for board meetings. However the emails don’t stop- it’s emails, emails… I also prefer to speak to constituents so I try to follow up with calls. I also have regular check-ins with my school board advisory group and lastly reading the news and educational news, updates and publications. I try to end the day with my family except on board meeting days/nights.

Additionally, they might not know what their elected official is responsible for. What is your role in comparison to other elected offices on your level?

Our state is responsible for public education. However, our county government/taxpayers fund a significant part of our schools. Our board is responsible for the governance of our school system and building and maintaining relationships with parents and other elected officials.

What do you think people would be surprised to know someone in your position does?

I think they are more likely surprised at what we don’t do — we do not hire teachers or decide on snow days.

What are 3-5 skills needed to be successful in the elected office you served in/are currently serving in?

Patience, commitment to public education, perseverance, and dedication to listening, not just hearing.

What’s the best part about serving in elected office?

The faces of the students.

What has been the accomplishment you’re most proud of while in office?

The increase in opportunity for more students to attend pre-K- early education.

In terms of finances, how much money did you have to raise for your campaign?

It has ranged from $8000-$20,000.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone who’s thinking about running for the position you serve/have served in their community?

Do it for the students, families, and educators.