Toledo Board of Education
Northwest Ohio, Local
Stephanie Eichenberg has served on the Toledo Board of Education since 2015. She understands from first hand experience that empowering women economically and socially helps our students succeed. During her time as a board member Stephanie has taken initiative and required all senior staff and cabinet to be trained on what sexual assault is and how to properly handle it. Stephanie believes in partnerships to grow the strength and influence of the schools on the students. She has partnered with organizations such as Girl Scouts and Girls on the Run to empower young girls. Prior to her time on the board, Stephanie was a parent advocate and a PTO leader.
In 2020 Stephanie will continue her work as a Toledo Board of Education Member.Website
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
I began my interest in our schools a PTO parent. When Toledo Public Schools had a Performance Audit completed in 2013 I realized that it would be good for parents in our district to be represented on the implementation advisory committee, looking out for the best interest of Toledo’s children. After serving on that committee, I became interested in School Board activities and threw my hat into the ring for the first time in 2015. I’ve learned in four years that creating positive change is slow, steady work, leading me to run for re-election to continue what I’ve started.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
My parents divorced when I was toddler, so the majority of my childhood was spent with my mom. I watched my mom take care of general household repairs herself. Occasionally I went with her to night school classes and study groups so she could work her way into a professional position in IT in the late 1970s and early 1980’s. I recall my mom being frustrated when her boss told her that some of the men in her department were paid more because they had families to support, yet she continued to work hard and stand up for herself to benefit her children. As the primary parent, my mom demonstrated to me that it was good to be independent and that if I set my mind to something I can do it, just like she does!
Some of you are military veterans, some small business owners, some professionals, some mothers and grandmothers, some homemakers. How did one of these experiences shape who you are as a person and leader?
The education field is very data driven. Given my career in market research, I can look at data and processes from a different point of view. I can and do make suggestions to ensure that we work towards removing some of the biases inherent in Ohio’s reliance on testing data for education. I’m also grateful that the leadership and communication skills I developed in the corporate world can be leveraged to benefit the public good.
The Matriots PAC has a goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
What a great vision for 2028! With more women in office, I believe that Ohio in 2028 will be committed to equitable school funding to provide our children with a successful start in life.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
Increasing poverty and general economic insecurity has a huge impact on Ohio’s children. Child poverty is associated with negative education and poorer health outcomes, with long term productivity consequences for the future of our state. The other issue staring us in the face in northern Ohio communities is the health of Lake Erie. Our water source must be a priority for the state, just as our children need to be.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I love to read fiction. Re-reading my favorite epic storylines is the way I wind down to sleep. I read the Harry Potter books, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Outlander series at least once a year this way.