Ten candidates are vying for five seats on the Republican-controlled Hatboro-Horsham School Board.
Patch will post profiles on each candidate running for school board in alphabetical order by last name.
CAROLYN KUSHNER, 42, has lived five years in Hatboro and 13 years in Horsham. Kushner is a volunteer coordinator for Compassionate Care Hospice.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Chestnut Hill College.
Kushner is in her third year as co-president of the Simmons Elementary School Home and School Association. She's chaired the spring fair at Simmons Elementary School for the last eight years and worked on various committees in both Simmons and Keith Valley Middle School. Kushner is the secretary of the Hatboro-Horsham Girl Scout Service Unit and acting service unit manager.
What best qualifies you for a term on the Hatboro-Horsham School Board?
I have volunteered or been employed by nonprofit organizations since graduating from college in 1994. My work as a volunteer coordinating for both large non-profits and on a local level with Simmons Elementary School has given me the opportunity to understand communication, strategic planning and long-term preparation for the future.
What do you see as the big issues facing the district?
- A general complacency in academic standards
- A lack of communication with parents, students and residents
If elected, how would you work to handle those issues?
Looking at the Pennsylvania Department of Education's School Performance Profile for our goals will give the district the opportunity to promote growth academically for the whole learning community. We must include teachers, administrators and parents.
Communication with district stakeholders about important decisions and why changes are being made is necessary.
The appearance of nepotism seems to have been at play in at least one recent district hiring. How would you work to find and consider the best candidates?
All paid school district positions need to be posted with job descriptions. No person should be hired without going though a two to three-tiered interview process that may include parent/resident involvement. All decisions about the interview process should be determined by the board and administration prior to the interview process.
Should the district enact anti-nepotism legislation? Why or why not?
Anti-nepotism legislation that would eliminate the ability to hire supervisory/administrative positions should be a consideration. For teachers, aides or other support roles, a more defined interview process with several levels is something that would help keep qualified candidates. A nameless process would clean up some of the accusations of nepotism.
What’s your vision for the new Hallowell Elementary School?
We should work hard to make sure that it will meet district needs now and into the future. It should provide an easy-to-navigate layout that builds confidence without sacrificing safety. Considerations should include: gymnasium, cafeteria, media centers; and science, library and music facilities that all district students could utilize.
Should the district relocate students from under-utilized schools to the new school, or maintain the same number of elementary schools?
Neighborhood schools add a real value to every district community. There should be more to this process than just crunching financial numbers. Getting the community involved in looking at the buildings every two to three years would eliminate the tension caused when we have a population decrease in one area.
Anything else you’d like to add?
When my husband and I were looking for a place to start our family, we wanted our children to attend Hatboro-Horsham schools. We believed in the district's education, activities and sports. My family is here to be part of the school community. I want a good experience for all children.