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Central Bucks School District School Director Region 1 (4 YR Term)

A school board is a legislative body of citizens called school directors, who are elected locally by their fellow citizens and who serve as the governing body of each public school district. Each board consists of nine members who serve four-year terms of office. Unlike most other elected officials, school directors receive no compensation for their work. Principal duties include appointing and/or dismissing superintendents, principals and teachers; levying school taxes; purchasing land; locating new buildings; adopting textbooks and courses of study; fixing salaries of teachers and other appointees of the Board.

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  • Candidate picture

    Karen Smith
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Robert A. Woodruff
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What concerns or issues prompted you to run for School Board, and how do you propose to address them?

What qualifications and experience do you have that will assist you in the performance of the duties of this office?

Experience Karen is a communications consultant who works part-time for the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. She has worked extensively in school public relations & is a Pennsylvania Education Policy Fellow.
Education B.S Degree from Syracuse University; Accredited in public relations by PRSA.
Campaign Phone (215) 622-1779
As the current School Board Director for region 1, I am very proud of all we have accomplished during my first term. If I am fortunate enough to be re-elected, I will continue to focus on providing additional supports for special needs students and families and to address the mental health issues our students are facing. Communication has improved significantly during my first term, and will remain a key issue for me. Central Bucks provides more traditional academic options now than ever before, as well as classes in art, music, technology and other areas. We are looking into additional work and internship experiences. MBIT, our vocational school, is another pathway for our students and we hope to grow that enrollment even further. I am a supporter of later start times for secondary schools and hope we can make progress on this issue in my next term as well. Finally, there have been no tax increases in my first term and I would work to maintain that again in my second term.
Most of my career has been in school public relations. I was the Executive Director for the Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association for 8 years and the Public Relations Director in Central Bucks for 6 years. In my current position at the MCIU, I provide support for the Education Foundation and the Director of Community and Government Relations. As the current School Board Director for region 1, I serve as the School Board Vice-President. I am also the Board Representative on the Bucks County Intermediate Unit Board and one of three Central Bucks’ Representatives on the MBIT Board. Before my term as a board member, I attended school board meetings regularly for over 10 years.I am also an Education Policy Fellow. My nearly 20 years of experience working and volunteering in public schools is very valuable as I make decisions that impact our students and community. I hope to continue to serve our community for 4 more years.
Experience I worked 35 years in R&D in the chemical industry as a researcher, a manager and ultimately director of R&D. I worked as an expat in France, and spent 12 years managing a German-American R&D group
Education B.S. Chemistry(honors) Univ. of Missouri Ph.D. Chemistry M.I.T.; Wharton Management Program
Campaign Phone (267) 293-9580
1.Concern about the chaotic/costly changes in leadership which characterized the recent Board-Superintendent relationship. This top-level instability was magnified by issues around firing of teachers for a number of indiscretions. I concluded that there was a need for stronger direction from the Board. 2 Reports of textbook selection issues which were counter to the best available information. These originated from the Board, but were not addressed by informed voices of other Board members. I stand for Science. 3. I concluded that, after federal income tax, the earned income and property taxes going to education were my largest expenses. I absolutely support top quality education and our obligation to provide it for all students. I want us to hire the best teachers and
I am the product of public education and I educated my children through the Central Bucks school district. I pursued advanced post secondary education and earned a PhD in Organic Chemistry from M.I.T. While working in the chemical industry (Rohm and Haas Company, RohMax GmbH) I completed further night school education through Penn’s Wharton Management Program. During my 35 year career in the chemical industry, I managed multi-million dollar budgets, and sat on my company’s pension committee and benefits committee. I participated in union labor negotiations, and during an international assignment I gained valuable firsthand experience with secondary education in France, Germany, and Singapore.

It is my vision that Central Bucks will be THE premier school district In Pennsylvania, and will maintain that status by effectively meeting the educational requirements of students at all levels of ability.