Karen Yoho – Candidate for Board of Education
(4/2018) This year I will retire from my teaching career. I have been with FCPS for the past 25 years, teaching elementary school.
I initially stayed home with my three children. Because I came from a family of people who got involved, I was the PTA president, the Girl Scout cookie mom, the Webelos leader, the youth softball coach… I think you get the picture.
Once our children were in school, I had to look to the all-too-near future and college tuition, so I did what I had always planned to do with my teaching degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, which was teach.
My husband worked for his father’s electrical company for over 30 years and then started his own electrical contracting company in 2006. After a few years, I was finally persuaded that my husband really did need someone to manage his office and that I could handle that type work. So, in the fall of 2009 I became a .5 teacher and a .5 office manager. The irony,
of course, is that neither is a .5 job, especially teaching. Looking back, I don’t know how I ever managed to teach full time.
When our son was born in 1981, Joe and I moved here from Damascus, where we had met in high school. We’ve stayed in the Monrovia-Mt. Airy area through three moves. My son was in the first class of both Windsor Knolls MS and Urbana HS, so as a family we’ve experienced the overcrowding that leads to new schools and the redistricting process.
So now that you know a little about me, why exactly did I decide to run for the school board? I am a firm believer in the positive power of a well-run public school system as the basis of a functioning society. When the school works well, it can mean the difference between a life of success and a life of failure. As a teacher, my goal is to help my students
achieve their maximum potential in order to have the ability to make choices in life, rather than having to just settle.
Don’t get me wrong – schools often do not get it right. My 87-year-old father is a case in point. He quit high school at the age of 17 because he felt it was futile. He was born and raised in Nevada, and that meant he was heading for reform school. Instead, his mother signed the paper allowing him to join the Air Force. When he was honorably discharged, he
attended the University of Nevada at Reno, where he met my mother and graduated first in his class.
He then moved his family east to attend Johns Hopkins and got his PhD in nuclear physics. I often think of how lucky he was that the pieces ended up falling into place so well. I do not see a similar scenario occurring for our students now, which means the public schools must get it right.
In my perfect world, society and government would work to root out poverty. That would take care of many of the issues schools have to deal with on top of educating students. Until then, I am in favor of community schools that bring the much-needed services to the students who need them the most.
Along with this, my top issues are to continue to make our schools safe and welcoming places where our students want to be; obtaining the funding to expand the Career and Technology Center; and finally, in order to retain and attract the best teaching force for our students, the continued implementation of the salary schedule. FCPS is doing many things the
right way for many of our students. I want to continue the successes and help fix what needs fixing.
To learn more about my campaign, go to my website at www.KarenYoho.com