Meet the candidate.
Name: Karen Rose
Occupation: Retired Executive Director of Sarasota County Middle Schools
Family: Dan Miller, Spouse and 1 Child, Chuck (adult).
Education: Youngstown State University, 1978, Bachelor of Arts Degree, Psychology; University of South Florida, 1994, Master’s Degree in Education (Major in Behavior Disorders); Florida Department of Education certifications: Psychology, Exceptional Student Education, Leadership and Administration
Elected Government Experience: None.
Why are you running for School Board?
I know that we can do a better job. It has been an honor to serve children and families for 28 years as a teacher (Southside Elementary), principal (Brookside Middle and Sarasota Middle) and executive director (Sarasota County Middle Schools). With years of service and leadership success, I am committed to making a positive impact for students, teachers and community. I have a proven record of making schools safe and making schools better.
As a School Board Member, I will continue to focus every decision, every day on the safety and overall wellbeing of Sarasota County Students. Children First
What do you see as the top three challenges facing the district, and where do you stand on each?
- Safe Schools: My success in working with students in crisis and 14 years of leading critical incidents make me an ideal candidate. A transparent plan that includes the number of student mental health challenges must be a priority.
- Prepare all Students for a career or college: In 2017 – 2018, I developed a College and Career Program for every middle school. I led our middle schools to their highest performance since the new standards (two schools moved up to an “A” and two moved up to a “B”). Middle School Acceleration grew from 15th to third in Florida.
- Fiscal Accountability: Budget decisions must be based on the needs of students and retaining quality teachers. Hiring 19 new administrators (approx. $1.5 million) instead of support teachers was unacceptable. Only 28% of Special Education Students passed the reading test and schools are overwhelmed with mental health challenges.
What is your opinion of the school district’s plan to ultimately set up an in-house police force?
I vote no for an in-house police force. As a principal for 14 years, I experienced the advanced level of expertise, talent and training provided by the Sheriff’s Department and local law enforcement. Their skills, training, communication and coordination of effort was always flawless.
The cost alone of building an internal force is questionable. Ideally, we continue the partnership with local law enforcement and the school district focuses on education. At minimum, I would want a security plan that was vetted, each step of the way, by our local law enforcement organizations.
Discuss your position on Superintendent Todd Bowden.
Controversy has defined this superintendent. I agree with the (2.73 Needs Improvement) evaluation by the Board. I do not agree to rounding up to (Effective 3.0). The superintendent restricted teacher evaluations from being rounded up. In many cases, like the superintendent, this would result in additional dollars.
Florida teacher/administrator/superintendent contracts include ‘terminate without cause’. Although the contract was not up for renewal until 2019, a proposal was made (3-2 vote) to extend the superintendent’s contract to 2022 and remove ‘terminate without cause’. This contract vote on August 7th could leave the newly elected Board without the ability to provide guidance and oversight.
What is your stance on charter schools?
The district has a Charter Review Committee that reviews the initial application for local and state compliance prior to the School Board Approval process. I would consider supporting a locally developed (not for profit) charter that provides a unique need that is not currently offered in our schools. I will not support a for-profit charter or management organization.
What is your position on closing School Avenue on the campus of Sarasota High School?
As a School Board Member, I would vote to completely close School Avenue to all pedestrians and vehicles. The safety of our students is my highest priority.