The race for a Subdistrict 7 seat on the Omaha Public Schools board is getting crowded.

Retired OPS teacher and former teachers union leader Carol Krejci is the latest to file for the school board seat.

Subdistrict 7 covers portions of south-central Omaha, including neighborhoods such as Aksarben and Field Club. Current representative Katie Underwood, who was elected in 2013, is not running for a second term.

Krejci, 66, taught social studies for 25 years at Central High and also worked at Ralston High. She believes she could be a strong advocate for teachers and students on a school board where few current members have backgrounds in education.

As a teacher and union representative she had experience in developing curriculum and different teacher evaluation models, and has been closely following issues with OPS’s pension system, she said.

“I think, at least from the teachers’ point of view, there’s been a lack of a teacher’s perspective on the board for a while now,” she said.

In September, Krejci, a registered Democrat, filed to run for the District 5 seat in the Legislature currently held by State Sen. Heath Mello. Now she said she’ll campaign only for the OPS school board.

The Nebraska State Education Association has offered assistance for her campaign, she said.

Two other candidates have filed for the Subdistrict 7 school board seat: Amanda Ryan, a registered Democrat and graduate student, and Mario Polite, a registered independent and federal immigration officer.

Incumbent Yolanda Williams, currently the board’s vice president, filed this week for re-election in Subdistrict 1. Williams is a registered Democrat and was elected to her first school board term in 2013. She’s a program coordinator at mentoring organization Partnership 4 Kids and has three children.

She wants to continue the work the board has started on bond and facility planning, implementation of a new busing plan and tweaking the district’s standards-based grading system.

“We’ve started a lot of work, and we need some consistency to make sure the work gets finished,” Williams said.

Newcomer Krystal Gabel has also filed for the Subdistrict 1 seat, which represents parts of north Omaha and Benson.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1210, erin.duffy@owh.com

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