Hi, I'm Holly
A Mom and Education Advocate
An advocate for the rights of students to access a quality public education, Holly Palacio worked for the last 15 years for her own childrens’ academic success and began representing other families 5 years ago. A certified advocate specializing in dyslexia and special education issues, and a highly engaged member of the Olathe special needs and education community, Holly has worked extensively with state and local decision makers to remove barriers to a high standard of excellence in education for all students.
Holly was born in Dodge City, KS, raised in Topeka, and graduated from Hayden High School in 1991 and Rockhurst University in 1995 with Honors and a BS in Global Studies with an emphasis in German. After graduation, Holly worked for the US Senate Sergeant at Arms as a Customer Relations Analyst supporting ten Senate offices.
Holly met and married her husband, Luis, in 1996 and the two married in 1998. They first lived in Springfield, VA until Luis' job took them to Cairo Egypt in 2001. Upon returning to the United States, they welcomed their first child, Anna in late 2002 and moved to Olathe the following year. Their family was complete after the birth of son Daniel in 2005 and son Michael in 2007. At four months old, Michael was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and subsequently, epilepsy, autism, ADHD and TAND (TS Associated Neuropsychiatric Disorder). Holly relentlessly pursued medical and therapeutic options for their son, the inspiration for her advocacy on behalf of every child.
Daniel struggled in school and was later diagnosed with dyslexia the summer after his 5th grade year. The diagnosis and outright refusal of the Olathe Public School District to provide appropriate interventions led Holly to join other advocates and testify in the Kansas Senate Education K-12 Committee hearing in support of the Dyslexia Taskforce legislation. The Taskforce legislation passed overwhelmingly, and their recommendations have propelled Statewide progress in structured literacy implementation. This advocacy continues today and is responsible for Holly's interest in serving Olathe on the Board of Education. Determined to continue the fight for every student to reach their full academic potential, Holly is committed to keeping Students First, Teachers Supported and being Fiscally Responsible to Taxpayers while building relationships between Students, Staff, Parents, and the Community.
Holly is in the current Leadership Olathe class, sits on the Olathe Superintendent’s Citizens’ Advisory Council and State Board of Education Commissioner Parent Advisory Council, serves as a Board Member to the literacy not for profit KanKen Connect providing books to rural Kenyan schools, as a PAL to Heartland International Ministries, is a current member of the Olathe Chamber of Commerce and founder of the Decoding Dyslexia - Olathe chapter. Palacio serves in a variety of ways throughout the District to include mentor, ScriptPal, site councils for over a decade (Tomahawk Elementary, Frontier Trail Middle School and Olathe South High school and District wide), PTO (Tomahawk and Walnut Grove), Olathe South Choir and Football booster clubs, and other opportunities as needed. Holly is an active member of Grace Church of Olathe, International Dyslexia Association KS/MO.