Over the next several weeks, leading up to the April 7 elections for Marshfield Common Council and School Board, Hub City Times will interview the candidates running for those offices so that readers may learn more about who is running and what they stand for. This week we interviewed Marshfield School Board candidate Mary Carney.
Hub City Times: What in your view is the duty of a school board member?
Mary Carney: Board members represent the taxpayers and citizens. School Board members must set high, attainable goals for the students of all abilities and must engage parents and the community.
A school board member must be open and listen to teachers and staff, citizens, students, and the administration. But especially, board members must listen to parents because parents know their children best and are the most invested in their future. They must take the work of the school board seriously and everything—contracts, curriculum, standards, policies, etc.—must be read carefully and questions answered before voting.
A school board member must have vision to understand the ripple effects of each and every decision.
HCT: What is the biggest challenge that the school board will face in the near future?
MC: Every school board in the state must make decisions to maintain their autonomy and to make the decisions afforded to it and not pass the buck to the administration, the state, the federal government, or private education companies. We must maintain our own high standards and curriculum and resist when decisions affecting our children are made by outside entities.
HCT: What qualifies you to be a member of the Marshfield School Board?
MC: I am a teacher and a mom. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology/archaeology and a master’s in special education. My son will be embarking on his formal education this fall.
I am passionate about education and concerned about the direction our education system is heading. Marshfield has a wonderful school system, but times are changing, and we need to retain our local-level control to ensure that we continue to be successful and our children get the strong foundation they need.