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Region 3: Aleppo, Edgeworth, Glenfield, Haysville, Glen Osborne, Sewickley Heights, Sewickley Hills
QV Hall-of-Famer Missy Walls Will Drive Teamwork and Community on QV Board
QV alum, mom, non-profit executive and attorney Missy Walls is running for Quaker Valley School Board for a seat in Region 3. Before she appears on the ballot Nov. 7, we sat down with Missy to get to know more about her and what she offers our district.
Q: Can you share with us a little bit about yourself?
First and foremost, I am a mom and a wife. I am also a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, an aunt, a great aunt, a cousin, and a friend to many people. I am open-minded, honest, trustworthy, dependable, and hardworking. I can be very competitive, but I am also a team player. I will always fight for what I believe in, but I am not afraid to ask questions and seek to understand different opinions.
Q: How long have you been a part of our Quaker Valley community?
I grew up in Leetsdale surrounded by a large, close-knit family, and I was a third-generation graduate of Quaker Valley High School in 1981. I have lived in and around this area for most of my life and moved back to the community in 2018 so my daughter could attend QV schools.
Q: What was it about QV that brought you back?
I have such fond memories of growing up in this small but mighty community. I have great memories of school. I played sports, I was active, had a lot of friends, and I felt safe. I felt looked out for no matter where I went. I wanted my daughter to have the same. I love the size of our QV schools – it’s small, you can get a lot of personal attention, and you can really grow both academically and personally. It’s a wonderful area to raise and educate children.
Q: As a parent, what’s been your experience with our district?
I have always been active with volunteer activities, and especially enjoy working with kids and watching them learn and explore. I feel strongly that it is very important to be actively engaged in my child’s life and activities, and to volunteer to help whenever possible.
I’m very active in the Home School Association. I have been a homeroom coordinator. I volunteer in the library and in the cafeteria. Being in the school, I see what happens there. I certainly feel that our teachers and the support staff are just outstanding. They make the kids feel so special and safe and loved. I know I can reach out to any of our teachers and administrators if I have a question or want to talk about something. They’ve always been open to that. That’s the same kind of experience I remember having in school.
Outside of school, I also volunteered at the food bank that was coordinated in Leetsdale during the pandemic. We would meet on Saturday mornings and package up boxes of food and deliver the food to residents in need throughout Leetsdale.
Volunteering in and around my community has been a great way for me to meet new people and stay apprised of community needs. I also believe I am being a good role model for my daughter. As a school board member, I believe it is important to not just attend meetings. It is also important to be involved in school and community activities to better understand the needs of students both in and out of school.
Q: Being a member of the Quaker Valley School Board is a big commitment of time and energy. Why run for the board?
I took a lot of time to think about whether or not I wanted to do this because it’s a huge commitment. But on the other hand, I know that it’s a very important position. So, I stepped up because I am in a position to give back and devote my time and effort to the board. I am saddened by the divisive rhetoric I am seeing in and around our community, and nationally as well. Unfortunately, I believe divisive rhetoric and misinformation are driving a wedge in our community by creating fear, anger and skepticism. I believe there are legitimate concerns about the new high school, continued academic excellence, taxes and other key issues, and these concerns could and should be addressed in a respectful and professional manner, rather than through a false, misleading and confrontational narrative.
I love this community, and I want to help shepherd QV into the future with calm, reasoned, and productive actions that benefit students, parents, teachers, and the community as a whole.
Q: What makes you uniquely qualified for this role?
I grew up in this community and have lived in the area most of my life. I played several varsity sports at QV, including basketball, soccer, and softball, and I was inducted into the Quaker Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. I attended Robert Morris University and graduated with a degree in communications. I received an athletic scholarship, was a 4-year starter on the women’s basketball team and was inducted into the RMU Sports Hall of Fame in 1997. Being an athlete teaches you teamwork. It teaches you that you might not always be the star, that you might not always be the one to sink the final basket at the end of the game. But there’s five of you on the floor and you’ve got to get along. You’ve got to work together and find a consensus. Sometimes you have to compromise for the good of the team. Those teamwork skills will serve me well on the board.
After college, my professional career focused on fund development, marketing, and public relations in the nonprofit sector. In my last role I was the Director of Development for almost 15 years for one of the largest social services organizations in Western Pennsylvania. I was also a member of the executive leadership team and involved with fiscal and programmatic planning and oversight for the organization.
In 1998, I embarked on a new career path and attended Duquesne evening law program while continuing to work in a professional capacity. I received a Juris Doctorate degree in 2002, and practiced law in the area of civil defense litigation, which included complex construction disputes, contractual disputes, employment liability, and personal injury litigation.
After having a successful professional career of more than 35 years, these days, instead of working in a courtroom I now spend my time focusing on my family. I live in Edgeworth with my wife and daughter, who is a 4th grader at Edgeworth. Over the years I have worn many hats, including nonprofit executive, lawyer, competitive athlete, volunteer, wife, and mom. All these different hats have made me the person I am today.
They’ve given me the professional and personal skills to be a valuable member of the school board.
Q: What are your biggest hopes and fears for the future of our district?
Building the new high school is certainly a priority, and I hope we can move forward with that expeditiously – without further delays or interference. But there are also many issues that need the School Board’s attention on a continual basis such as academics, safety, and fiscal management.
My fear is that the divisive political issues that are being talked about on the national level are creeping into our local community – issues like book bans, critical race theory and indoctrination. My hope is they will not. My hope is that those issues will not interfere with the education of our children and be distractions.
My hope is that Quaker Valley can continue to thrive and can strengthen its academic excellence; that we can come together as a school district and a community.
Q: What else should people know about you?
I think people should know that I am always up for a challenge. I love this community. It is so vibrant and robust. It’s a wonderful place to raise a family and live in general. I also believe that the school district is a very deep anchor for the community. The district’s strength and reputation build a sense of community pride and camaraderie that helps make this a desirable place to live. As a school board member, I will use my professional skills as an attorney and nonprofit executive, and my personal skills as a mom, community volunteer and team player to work to ensure that our children have a safe environment, and the tools they need to meet their academic and personal goals and successfully compete in today’s fast-paced world.
Missy, 60, is an attorney, former nonprofit executive, and a QV Sports Hall of Fame inductee. A QV Alum and parent, Walls serves as the Chair of Teacher Appreciation Week for Edgeworth Elementary’s Parent Teacher Association where she devotes countless volunteer hours to support Quaker Valley students.