Monica Murnan grew up in Erie, KS and moved to Pittsburg in 1984 to study at Pittsburg State University (PSU). After completing her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Monica and her husband, Rob, briefly moved to Wichita but returned to Pittsburg in 1992 to create a home for their growing family and for Monica to complete a Master of Science in School Administration at PSU. She has found ways to serve Southeast Kansas ever since. Whether serving on the board of the Wesley House, serving as City Commissioner, or representing District 3 in the state Legislature, she has been a constant advocate for equal access to education, health care, and opportunity for all.
For fifteen years, Monica served as the Executive Director of the Family Resource Center, where she established herself as a leader in early childhood education. As the Executive Director of the second largest accredited child care center in Kansas, Monica built a model of community collaboration that provided children and families access to a diverse set of services under one roof. Monica currently serves as the Director of Student Support Services at the Southeast Kansas Education Service - Greenbush. She also recently was awarded the PSU Ralf J. Thomas Distinguished Service Award for her service on the PSU Alumni Association, leadership at the College of Education, and mentorship to hundreds of PSU students over many years.
Monica was also a founding board member of the region’s only federally qualified health center. The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas now provides medical, dental, and mental health services to more than 23,000 patients annually. She also spearheaded the first oral health outreach initiative in Southeast Kansas child care facilities and schools, which now screen more than 22,000 children annually.
In 2013, Monica was elected to the Pittsburg City Commission. During her time on the Commission, she voted in favor of two comprehensive sales tax initiatives that supported the Pittsburg Police and Fire Departments and funded improvements to enhance the safety of Pittsburg’s streets. She also worked with her fellow commissioners to set forth a comprehensive set of strategies to increase development of quality, affordable housing in Pittsburg.
In 2016, Monica was elected to serve in the Kansas Legislature as a member of the House of Representatives serving District 3. Since that time, she has served on the Health and Human Services, Social Services Budget and Children and Seniors Committees. She became the Ranking Minority Leader on the Health and Human Services Committee in 2018.
During the 2017 session, Monica was an active member of the Women’s Caucus, an impromptu bipartisan group of legislators that helped bridge the communication gap and find compromise on fair tax policy.
Monica lives in Pittsburg with her husband of thirty years, Rob. They have three daughters: Alexandria, Francesca, and Gabrielle. Her daughter Alexandria and her husband, Andy Chiamopoulos, have one adorable son, Theo Chiamopoulos.