Wendy Horman was serving as president of the Idaho School Boards Association a few years ago when, after testifying before an Idaho House committee, she was pulled aside by a lawmaker: “We need you to run for the legislature,” he told her. Horman declined, because at the time she had five children at home. But she ran a few years later. Horman is now in her second term in the state House, and the lawmaker who initially approached her, Scott Bedke, leads the chamber as House speaker.
Horman came to Boise in 2013 after a decade of serving on the Bonneville School Board. It was an opportune time, as schools were at the top of the legislative agenda. Voters had just repealed three education laws that stripped teachers of collective bargaining rights and promised to give students mobile computing devices. The legislature had to sort through many legal and technical issues dealing with the repeals. Horman’s education background helped her dive right into the discussions.
“You get in a position like this and you plan to sit back and learn from the folks who have been there longer than you,” she says. “But you get there and find out that you know a whole lot more than you thought you did.”