Up until now only one school board hopeful had stopped by. Karen Carson gladly answered our questions as she runs for Knox County School Board.
1. Introduce yourself to Knoxville, who are you, and why are you running?
I am a mom, nurse, and volunteer. My husband Joe and I have lived in Knoxville since 1990. We have three children, TJ, 19, a sophomore at University of Tennessee, Doug 17, a junior at West High School, and Rebeka, 13, a seventh-grader at Farragut Middle School. I am a registered nurse who has specialized in pediatric health care. I I have worked at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital since 1990, my pediatric care experience keeps me aware of the health and education needs of children and their families. I began volunteering with PTA when TJ entered school. I have held numerous leadership positions at the school, County, and state level of the PTA. I currently serve on the board of directors of the Teacher Supply Depot, The Great Schools Partnership, and his East region director of the Tennessee School Boards Association’s Federal Relations Network.
I am completing my first term On the Knox County School Board. I was elected its chair in September 2006 and reelected in September 2007. From my service on the Board, I know how important the policy it develops and implements, via the 8000 employees of Knox County Schools, is to the welfare and future of this community and its children. I am passionate about the welfare of children and seek this opportunity to serve because of that.
2. We think it’s better knowing what not to do rather than having an extensive plan. What areas or interests would benefit Knox County not to venture into?
In my role in setting policy for Knox County schools, I need to think about the future and to get others to think about the future and how Knox County schools are preparing students to be effective in it. Please send 10 minutes watching “shift happens” < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U> and let me know what you think about how Knox County Schools should be preparing students for it. Knox County is now in an area, along with the rest of Tennessee, it should not have ventured into – its “bar” for academic achievement, as measured by TCAP standardized testing, is about the lowest in the Country. People can get a false confidence that because their child is doing well on TCAP’s, they are on par with children around the Country. This is not necessarily so, and our chlidren are going to have to compete in a global economy.
Public schools are where many areas of public policy gets played out – in divorce laws, in immigration, in ADA, in drug policy, etc – how Knox County would benefit from not having to venture into areas that a failure of the schools would place it in – inadequate work force and citizens less prepared and able to continue and to advance our American values of freedom, equality, opportunity, responsibility, etc.
3. What 5 things could you not live without?
faith, hope, love, family, friends, and opportunities to contribute.