BRADENTON -- Sadie Montanus -- a Palmetto High School teacher, pageant queen and candidate for the Manatee County School Board -- on Friday appeared on "Dr. Phil," with the tagline: "I can't say 'No' to anything and it could literally kill me."
"The Dr. Phil Show," on the air since 2002, featured the local 22-year-old, after Montanus submitted an audition tape seeking help for her overstressed life. Montanus appears with her mother on the show, and sits with Phil McGraw for more than 20 minutes.
In the show, Montanus said she has been hospitalized numerous times because of heart issues related to stress, including being hospitalized in high school for getting an A- on an advanced placement exam, and may be heading toward an early grave if she continues at her feverish pace.
Montanus is running for the District 3 Manatee County School Board seat in the 2016 election. School board races are nonpartisan and although candidates must live in the district they reside in, the school board elections are open to all residents of the county. The District 3 seat covers West Bradenton and Anna Maria Island. The seat is currently held by Dave Miner, who is running for re-election. Misty Martin Servia, a manager at King Engineering Associates and a Bradenton resident, is also running for the seat.
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Montanus' campaign got off to a rocky start when the candidate said she inadvertently launched a campaign website, which included a page asking for donations, before officially filing her paperwork with the supervisor of elections office.
Saying there are three different sides of her and saying her fun activities are reading a book before bed, Montanus was on the show asking McGraw to help her.
"It isn't that you can't say no, it's that you need to say yes," McGraw told Montanus. "You need that flash of approval."
Montanus said she's unable to date because of her commitments and she puts the needs of others before herself. McGraw pulled out Montanus' planner as evidence.
"You want to have an impact on the world, get over yourself," McGraw said.
McGraw told Montanus to chill out and to diversify. Even though Montanus said there are three sides of her, McGraw said she's very one-dimensional. He also said she was arrogant.
"You've got to lighten up," he said.
Reached Friday, Montanus said the tagline of the show was misleading. She said her original intention when applying to the show was to showcase what someone in her demographic -- the age range known as millennials -- juggles and deals with and how those commitments can cause stress on the body. Montanus said she is not in danger of dying, as the show made it appear, but when she gets overly stressed out, she has heart palpitations and she will pass out.
She said she disagreed with McGraw's assessment that she was arrogant.
Montanus said she wanted to highlight the dangers stress can have on people's bodies, even if they don't realize it. Since appearing on the show, Montanus has visited with a top-rated doctor in Dallas to learn more about how to manage the toll stress takes on her body.
"It was through the show that I got to go," she said.
Montanus said she's not alone in wanting to do whatever it takes to help the community.
"I love this community and I want to do whatever I can to help it," she said.
Miner said he had not seen the episode but did not wish to comment.
Servia said she thought the episode was either a publicity stunt gone wrong or a sign that Montanus has a serious health issue she needs to address.
"The taxpayers of this county need a school board member who is up to the task," she said, saying she wishes Montanus the best but doesn't think she should be elected school board member.
Servia said she also has a vigorous and demanding schedule but knows when to take time for herself and how to prioritize her commitments.
"I know what's most important and what's least important," she said.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter@MeghinDelaney.