Amy Pauline can still remember the commercials.
ones in which the presenter makes an impassioned plea to save the children, hoping to elicit an emotional response—and ultimately, action—from the viewer.
“I would go to my mom crying and say, ‘We have to help them,'” Pauline recalled.
These ads, in a way, sparked Pauline’s lifelong passion for helping children—whether in orphanages abroad in countries like Romania and Trinidad, in classrooms back home or as a foster parent.
“It’s basically been a passion since I was a little girl.”
Now, Bolin hopes to help the kids in another way: as a member of the Lincoln Board of Education. Pollen, a Lincoln Public Schools surrogate and self-described housewife, is running as the Republican nominee for the seat vacated by Connie Duncan in District 2, which covers parts of south central and east Lincoln. School board races are officially nonpartisan.
People also read…
Pollen, 34, who announced her candidacy in February, said she decided to try her hand at politics when she learned only one candidate had filed to run for the open seat.
She said, “My husband said you should run (for) politics sometime, you’d be good at it.” “We found ourselves between incubation positions, and I thought I had the time now.”
But more than just bringing in the competition, Pauline said she has experience, having worked as an educator in various roles for more than a decade.
“I’ve been in buildings, I’ve seen different things, and I definitely have opinions,” she said. “I care a lot about kids. (Running for the school board) seemed like the perfect fit.”
Helping children—especially orphans and abandoned children—has been a lifelong job for Pauline, a native of Bloomington, Minnesota.
When she was growing up, she recalled a missionary visiting her church and asking for donations for Children in Romania. Then, while in college at Northwestern University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, she traveled to Romania via Heart to Heart International to work with orphans and abandoned children.
Pollen later made similar trips to Taiwan, Trinidad, Haiti, and Native Reserves in the United States
After graduating from college in 2011 with a degree in Intercultural Relations, she discovered she needed a job to supplement her volunteer work abroad. She did a couple of gigs and thought being a guest would be a good fit.
So I worked for a while as a one-on-one matchmaker for an autistic student in Urbandale, Iowa, and as a special education segment at a specialized behavioral building in Des Moines.
Then in 2018, Pauline and her husband, Rick, moved to Lincoln and bought a fixer-upper in a neighborhood near the south after Rick found work as a hospital chaplain with Brian Health. The two have welcomed foster children into their home over the years.
Pollen spent time as an infant educator at Lincoln Nursery before COVID-19 hit and her position was no longer needed. So, in November of 2020, I decided to become an LPS sub to fill various roles, including aide, teacher, bussiness assistant, and nutrition services worker.
She also recently taught figure skating lessons and served as pastor to the children at her church.
Now she hopes to add another job title: member of the school board.
“I just wanted to try, and it’s up to the people.”
Two Lincoln Board of Education incumbents will face new political contenders in city elections this spring, while one seat is poised to win.
Contact the author at [email protected] or 402-473-7225. on Twitter @HammackLJS