When Wendy Horman, mother of five, discovered her children’s art supplies were coming back home unopened and unused, she decided she had to do something about it. So, she started and taught the Fine Arts Mini-Experience (FAME) in Bonneville School District 93 in Idaho Falls.
That’s not surprising for someone who lists as a favorite this famous quote by Boy Scout leader and teacher Forest Witcraft: “One hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of car I drove what kind of house I lived in how much money I had in my bank account nor what my clothes looked like. But the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.”
What is surprising is what happened next. At least, it surprised Horman. First, she was tapped to run for the school board. “I got a phone call on Wednesday. My youngest daughter had just started kindergarten.” Her interest was piqued. When was the ling deadline? Friday. She thought “why not?” and went for it – and got it.
Horman was next encouraged to run for president of the school board. Her answer was: “Only if no one else does.”
Long story short, no one else did. Horman served one year as president and “I have been involved with state policy since 2004,” she says with a laugh. Horman says she is a conservative, pro-education Republican – “and was just elected to my third term.”
In addition to being mother of five and now grandmother to two, Horman’s list of achievements and awards includes: receiving the National School Boards Association Service Award, being a Food Producers “Ag All-Star” and a Farm Bureau “Friend of Agriculture,” getting an Idaho Charter School Families Golden Apple Award and a Bluum School Choice in Idaho Award, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Emerging Leader Award for Idaho, Class of 2013, the Council of State Governments Western Leadership Academy, Class of 2014 and the Governing Institute Women in Government, Class of 2016, of which only one of 25 women were selected from around the country.
Today, she serves on the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee and is the co-chair of the Public School Funding Formula Legislative Interim Committee. “We’re looking at modernizing the school funding formula, Horman says. “This is something we want to do with them, not to them.”
And she is comfortable right where she is.
“Candidly, I did not enter the legislature with aspirations for higher office,” Horman says. “I love collaboration and bringing people together to solve problems.”
Horman, who regularly plays the organ for her Morman congregation, says her guilty pleasure is indulging in Reed’s Dairy ice cream, specifically Peanut Butter Chocolate, Southern Black Cherry and Licorice.
And as for inspiration, Horman doesn’t have to look far. “I attribute a lot of my work ethic and dedication to service to my parents. They have influenced my life and my choices to serve. They are 83 and 80 years old today and continue to serve others.
“I’m honored to serve in the position I am right now and may consider other opportunities as they arise. There has never been a female governor or state senator (in Idaho). We have some work to do.”