Shirley A. Carey

Name: Shirley A. Carey

Birthplace: Syracuse, N.Y.

Residence: 21142 Brookhurst St., Huntington Beach

Occupation: nursing consultant/educator

Education: bachelor's degree in nursing

Experience as an educator:

nursing educator (more than 30 yrs): instructor at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center School of Nursin; Huntington Beach Hospital staff development; concept media:  researched, wrote and produced educational films for special education, growth and development programs and nursing education; taught for more than 18 years in the following topics: babysitting, community CPR, home alone, coaches clinic for local walk-on coaches, Red Cross HIV AIDS educator

Previously elected or appointed positions: Huntington Beach City School District trustee

Community organizations you belong to: HBCSD School Health Council, P.R.I.D.E. Foundation Executive Committee (Pennies for Prevention), PTA and PTSA at local schools , Boys & Girls Club Board of Governors and Health Committee; formerly Children’s Needs Task Force (Children’s Wall of Fame)

Why should constituents vote for you?
I support maintaining strong academic programs even in these difficult financial times. I will work to restore the length of the school year as soon as financially possible, advocate for the community, especially in areas of land use and bring years of experience and knowledge to the board, thanks many governance trainings and workshops. Avoid the typical learning curve. As a long time resident, am easily accessible to discuss community issues.

What do you think is the biggest problem facing your district and how do you plan to address it?

The biggest challenge is the implementation of the changes that have resulted from budget cuts. For example, larger class sizes requires adaptation in teaching methods, and decrease in support staff and supplies impacts planning for classroom presentations. Furlough days have also presented challenges because the need to present the standards-based curriculum has hot been reduced. These challenges are being discussed at grade-level meetings.  
In the last year, what is one issue that you think the sitting board members handled well and why?

One of the best decisions we made was to retain Kathy Kessler as the superintendent. Because of her positive relationships with all the staff, she has been able to help staff with the difficult decisions that had to be made and now faces the leadership challenge of anticipating the impact of the changes. 

In the last year, what is one issue the board got wrong and what would you have done differently?

In general, I would say, that in all situations, we made the best decisions that we could based on the information that was available at the time.

If I could change anything, it would be how the state is allowed to pull back money that it has already distributed/allocated to schools. Too often districts have to scramble to cover these unanticipated deficits. Districts have no recourse to these changes.    

Timelines also present challenges that make trustees worry about their decisions. For example the Race to the Top application arrived over the holidays and we had seven days to respond. The staff worked to gather available data, but most of the answers to questions were vague or unavailable. However the application had to be submitted on time.  Insisting that timelines for federal or state programs be reasonable would facilitate better decision-making by all boards.

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