Councilwoman Valerie Sebacher hopes to lead by example

When she was an adult learner student at William Woods University, Ward 1 Councilwoman Valerie Sebacher would sometimes find cards or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys in her backpack.

Valerie was already a mom and nearing the end of nearly a decade with the Fulton Police Department. However, after she took another job, she found herself missing the city family.

“It was suggested to me, and I couldn’t even tell you who it was, that I should should run for City Council. I’m not a politician and I don’t really care too much about politics. But, the more I tossed the idea around, the more I thought, ‘how could I know if I haven’t even given it a shot’. There was no guarantee I was going to win anything. I ran in a contested race and won. It has made a huge impact on my life, my critical thinking skills, and my ability to formulate opinions and get educated about those opinions.”

Valerie moved to a Portland farm with her family in ’91, when her father retiredfrom truck driving.. She graduated from South Callaway Public Schools in ’99 and moved to Fulton. Currently, she sits on the SERVE and the Callaway County Senior Center boards. She’s also been part of the Callaway Singers.

In her professional life, Valerie is the executive director of the Fulton Housing Authority, and at home she’s a mother of three – a daughter and two sons.

“We had our daughter first. It really changed who I was as a person because we go through life with this certain set of ideals, right? Men are CEOs, and women are stay-at-home moms. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a job too,” she said. “When I had my daughter and then I had two boys, I shifted a little bit. I started to realize that my boys are going to have it easier; that’s just part of the male dynamic. My daughter is going to have to work a little bit harder. I’ve had to work a little bit harder.

“It’s been important for me to set those examples, lead by those examples, not take no for an answer, but remembering that no is a complete sentence. I wanted to make sure that she had that exposure. Am I a leader? Yes, maybe. I lead my daughter. I want her to see that.”

Valerie said family members serve as inspiration and role models for her. She has drawn inspiration through watching her sister overcome adversity, and her kids are reminders for why she’s doing things.

“I have a 17-year-old daughter, and the entire time I’ve been part of our community, that child has constantly and consistently reminded me why,” she said. “When I was in WWU, I had all three of the kids at that point. Every once in a while, I’d go to class and find a little card in my backpack; one night I found some Ninja Turtles in my backpack. There are moments in our lives that are pivotal, and there are moments that just knock you upside the head. When we’re lucky enough to recognize and learn to use those moments, they become the things that drive you.”