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District names next principal for Mill Valley High School

Photo of Dr. Gail Holder. Wednesday, February 12, 2020 -- Unified School District No. 232 announced Dr. Gail Holder as the next principal of Mill Valley High School, effective July 1, 2020. Holder’s appointment will not be official until formally approved by the Board of Education at its regularly scheduled meeting on March 2.

Dr. Holder is currently an assistant principal at Olathe East High School in Olathe, KS; a position she has held since 2018. She follows Mr. Tobie Waldeck at Mill Valley who announced his retirement from education last November, which will occur at the conclusion of the school year.

“We are pleased to have Gail Holder joining the Mill Valley High School community,” said Dr. Frank Harwood, Superintendent of Schools. “It became clear to us through the interview process that included parents, students, and teachers that she is the individual who will help MVHS continue to improve and support our vision of maximizing the potential of every student.” Holder will be only the third principal in Mill Valley’s history, which opened in the year 2000.

Holder’s appointment follows an extensive search process conducted by the school district which included multiple applicants interested in the leadership position. An essential part of the process involved finalist interviews with MVHS students, staff, and parents.

“I am incredibly honored to be selected as the next principal of Mill Valley High School,” Dr. Holder said.  “I look forward to serving the students, staff, and community by building on the already established tradition of excellence.” Holder plans to start meeting the MVHS community in the coming weeks in anticipation of her new role.

Holder has nearly 30 years of professional experience in education, which includes two years as assistant director of teaching and learning in the Olathe Public Schools. She is also the district’s secondary English Language Arts (ELA) coordinator, a current position she has held since 2012. Prior to her district role, Holder was an ELA instructor at Olathe South High School since 1992, as well as the director of dance.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Kansas. She completed a doctoral program through Baker University.

Mill Valley High School is located in Shawnee, KS, and is one of 12 schools in Unified School District No. 232. Each school day, the district welcomes more than 7,400 students through the doors of its 12 campuses with seven elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. USD 232 encompasses an area of nearly 100 square miles in northwest Johnson County and draws from the communities of De Soto, Shawnee, Lenexa, a portion of Olathe, and unincorporated areas of the county.