Know Your School Board Candidates – Kim Shively
Kim Shively’s Response
BASD Proud Parents sent out a brief questionnaire to all of the candidates running for school board so you may get a chance to know a little about them before you vote!
Please tell us your name and a little about yourself.
Kim Shively. I’m a professor at Kutztown University, a current BASD school board member, and I have four children who graduated from BASD schools.
Why have you decided to be a candidate for the school board?
I have already served one term as school board director and would like to continue serving. I have four children who went through the Bethlehem schools, and two of our sons are on the autism spectrum, one of which is severely disabled. All of our children, including our autistic sons, received excellent educational opportunities and specialized support at the BASD. They all benefitted tremendously. Serving on the board is a way I can contribute to the school district and assure that other children receive the opportunities my children did.
What is your view of the purpose of public education?
Public education is both an individual right and a service to the community. For the individual student, an important purpose of public education is job preparation, and our schools should adjust their curricula to meet the changing employment environment. But more importantly, education should function to create well-informed, well-rounded citizens who can engage in and contribute to the community and the nation. In turn, society benefits from the public education system in that it produces not only future workers and leaders, but it also cultivates a well-informed citizenry necessary for the functioning of an open, democratic country.
What are your top five objectives if elected to the school board?
1. Trauma-informed student engagement: Invest more in school counselors, school psychologists, social workers, nurses, behavioral specialists, and other professionals to deal with the various issues confronting the district’s students and affecting their ability to learn. This is both a student success and safety issue.
2. Support for efforts to adopt evidence-based practices in ensuring literacy and providing courses in English and STEM, as well as in music, the arts, and foreign languages, for students at all grade levels. Middle- and high-school students should have access to a variety of courses that will prepare them for college or for vocational-technological careers.
3. School Safety: Work with local law enforcement and county officials to establish a system for assessing threats to schools and dealing with crises.
4. Enhanced ESL services for immigrant students and their families and enhanced community outreach and support for low-income and marginalized students and families.
5. Teacher support and continuing professional development to meet student educational needs.
Please list your volunteer activities within the school or your community.
Schools: Chaperoning trips, reading to students, volunteering backstage for theater productions, donating items. (I do these less often now that my children have graduated).
Central Moravian Church: chapel choir, lay lectionary reading, food pantry, clothes closet, homeless shelter
Community: Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (supervise performers, help with costumes); Lehigh Valley for All political activism
Have you ever attended a school board meeting?
If yes to above, under what circumstances were you there?
As a school board member. Previously, as a parent of children in the school district.
Would you be willing to meet with [BASD Proud Parents], on a regular basis, to discuss issues of importance to children and education in our school district?
Any closing thoughts?
I will continue to advocate for fair funding for our public schools and work toward charter funding reform. One way to keep down property taxes is for the state to contribute more to school district coffers. While school directors cannot directly affect the funding structure of the school district, we can be advocates for reform, and I plan to continue doing so.