A seventh candidate has entered the race for one of four seats on the Manhattan-Ogden School Board this fall.

In an emailed statement to media Thursday, Courtney Jane Hochman noted she believes in full inclusion of all students, calling it a path to student success and success of the district. If elected, Hochman says she wants to work to expand the school meals program and help better define the aims of public education in USD 383.

“I hope USD 383 can follow Topeka in securing free meals for more students, if not all our students. School meals are an invaluable component of public schools and nutrition is essential for education. You can’t pay attention and learn in the classroom if you’re hungry,” she said.

A 20-year resident of Manhattan, Hochman received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education from K-State. She previously worked at K-State with the Developing Scholars Program and the Honor and Integrity System.

“Having worked with many first-generation college students, students of color, students from many religious traditions, and also students from the LGBTQ+ population, I can tell you that one overarching theme was a need for a sense of belonging and inclusion in school,” Hochman stated.

The filing deadline is June 1. The general election is Nov. 7.