The League of Women Voters of NC Survey 

Age (optional)

43

Mailing Address

216 DRAYMORE WAY
CARY, NC 27519

 

email address

karen4wake@gmail.com

 

Website

http://www.karen4wake.com

 

Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/karen4wake/

 

Twitter

@karen4wake

YouTube video

Position/philosophy statement

All students, regardless of zip code, must receive a high quality education and rise academically; It's time to Listen, Learn, and Lead.


 

What experience and qualities do you feel you bring to this office? (YouTube link or text, or both)
As an experienced social worker and educator, I have steadfastly advocated for families and children in a variety of roles. As a college student, I held an internship at The Child Advocacy Institute, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve child well-being by bringing together citizens, community leaders, policy makers, business representatives and others to ensure that all children are healthy, safe, well-educated and provided every opportunity for success. This role sparked my desire to dedicate my work to make a difference for children.

 

My approach and priorities in all of my roles, from social worker and community member to WCPSS Special Education Instructional Assistant, have been consistent: Each child deserves fair treatment, have his/her voice heard, & be presented the opportunities to reach full potential.

 

I have been a strong community advocate for the families & children of WCPSS. From helping to find the best solution for my neighborhood regarding reassignment to negotiating changing the bell schedules to helping identify that the placement of a proposed ICE Facility was not in the best interest of ICE or our community, my thoughtful and objective approach has been a big picture outlook and putting the best interest of children first. Most recently, I worked to expose the implementation of the controversial math curriculum, MVP. After filing many records requests, I have learned the truth about staff and board member communication.



What do you think is the most important responsibility of a school board member?
The most important responsibility of a school board member is to consistently advocate for what is the best interest of the children in WCPSS. This requires a strong desire to remain educated on issues impacting our schools, families, students, and community. It is imperative to have a big picture approach and honestly evaluate how a decision could possibly impact our students and our ability to ensure students, regardless of zip code, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, receive a sound education and provide the support needed to help maximize their academic performance.

What are the critical state funding needs for this county’s schools and how would you address those needs?
With the every-changing situation with COVID and the NCDHHS and CDC requirements and recommendations for safety measures, it is important to ensure we use funding to secure PPE, cleaning supplies, and other items needed to help maximize our school staff and students' safety. Further, we must continue to monitor our technology needs for staff and students during remote learning so all students have equal access to their educational program whether it is in person or online.

 

I would also advocate for fiscal transparency and accountability as we examine how the state funding is being spent to ensure we are focusing our spending on the aforementioned items and other essential budget items required to provide a sound education and supports needed to help all students reach their full potential.

How would you assess teacher satisfaction in the county and how would you promote professional development?
Although surveys are sent to teachers, many teachers fear retribution for being honest when answering questions. I would work to change the environment of the WCPSS to one truly open to honest feedback without any consequences. This is true, not only for teachers--but all school staff and WCPSS families. I would seek to strengthen my relationship with school staff and have open dialogue with all staff.

 

I would promote professional development for all school staff by inviting them to the table to hear what their needs are and advocate for flexible professional development options. We must work to ensure that all school staff have equitable access to training so we are providing the best environment possible for our students and staff to succeed. 

Pre-Kindergarten is: [Importance scale] :
Very important


Please explain your choice.
Pre-Kindergarten is an important piece to help provide students the opportunity to strengthen their educational foundation so they are better prepared for kindergarten. We also need to use Pre-K to identify any strengths or concerns, which may require more specialized services. This is imperative because early intervention has huge implications for a student's success. Being proactive can help us provide students with a top notch educational experience and maximize their academic performance.

What are the issues in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers?
There are a multitude of factors when considering recruiting and retaining qualified teachers and all school staff. It is imperative that we treat school staff with respect, give them the support they need (such as appropriate professional development based on personalized needs), listen to feedback they have for what is working and what needs improvement, create an environment where staff feels safe to be honest without any ramifications, use funding effectively so all school staff can have a livable wage, and consider how our decisions will impact their roles in our schools.