Kaying Thao was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, and immigrated to Minnesota with her parents at five months old. She grew up in the capitol city, St. Paul, and Roseville, a first ring suburb of St. Paul. After some time away, she returned to Roseville to raise her children. Realizing the growing pain of the district and the impact of the opportunity gap, Kaying eagerly campaigned for a seat on the school board and was elected as Roseville Area School district’s youngest and first Hmong school board member in 2012.
Prior to elected office, Kaying served as the vice-chair on the Roseville Human Rights Commission. In her current role as Community Engagement Specialist with the St. Paul Police Department, she serves as the liaison between the police department and the community, building trusting relationships one person at a time. Previously, Kaying was the Public Policy Advocate with Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis where she successfully advocated for the passing of the bonding bill to include $40 million in order to complete phase II of the Dorothy Day / St. Paul Opportunity Center.
Kaying is an alumna of St. Catherine University and Metropolitan State University, and is a doctoral candidate in education at Hamline University. She currently lives in Little Canada with her three high school children.