Q&A: Karen Clardy seeks election to Richardson ISD board of trustees

Karen Clardy is running for a seat on the Richardson ISD board of trustees.

Karen Clardy is running for a seat on the Richardson ISD board of trustees.

Incumbent Karen Clardy is running for re-election to the Richardson ISD board of trustees. She does not face an opponent in the race for District 5.

Community Impact Newspaper sent Clardy a set of questions about her candidacy. This article is part of ongoing Nov. 5 election coverage and does not constitute an endorsement of the candidate. Her answers have been edited for publication style.

Why did you decide to run for this position?

I have decided to seek another school board term because as a former RISD employee, I continue to see valuable opportunities where the board will continue to benefit from my insight and experience. I have the ability to connect and relate to our teachers and staff, as well as our parents and community. A high-performing school board consists of trustees who offer different experiences and expertise. This combination generates a well-rounded and functional board. I believe our board is on the right path; a foundation has been laid, and we all serve with one agenda—to serve all children. I would like to continue to help the board move toward the goal of ensuring all our students are lifelong learners prepared for their future.

What experience—professional or otherwise—do you have that would prepare you for this position?

My personal and professional background make me uniquely qualified for this position. During my 25 years as an employee of RISD, I have served on numerous district committees [and] service boards and held officer positions in district organizations. Both of my children graduated from Lake Highlands High School, and I have lived in the community for 30 years. I am a life member of the [Parent-Teacher Association], and I am currently serving on the City of Dallas District 10 Community Impact team. In two years as an RISD trustee, I have completed over 90 hours of school board professional development.

If elected, what are some specific policies for which you would advocate in RISD?

Two years ago, RISD created a Strategic Planning Team consisting of over 300 teachers, administrators, students and community members. A five-year plan was created, and we have begun implementing recommendations from the action teams. I serve on the Human Resources Action Team. My focus has been and will continue to be on teacher compensation, compression and teacher benefits. Our teachers are our most valuable asset, and I strongly feel that RISD needs to be the best place to work for all associates. I want teachers and staff to choose RISD first. 

Are there any specific areas in the district’s budget you would consider funding more or funding less?

The 2018 [tax ratification election] identified school security, teacher compensation and [college and career and military readiness] as priority budget needs. H[ouse] B[ill] 3 has made it possible to address these needs at a faster pace than we anticipated. I strongly feel that if additional funding is provided, my top priority is most definitely school security. Having worked in a school setting for so many years, I know the importance of having a secure school. Our schools must not only be safe; they must feel safe. 

What else do you want constituents to know about you and your background?

One of my strengths [is] the connections I have across the district. I have built strong relationships across all of the high school attendance areas. I have connections with the city of Dallas, the city of Richardson [and] our local legislators, as well as a multitude of civic organizations. I believe excellent communication and visibility is imperative to be an effective trustee. I will continue my personal policy to be available and informative to parents, teachers, staff and community. My pride and my passion for RISD inspire me every day in all that I do. I would be honored to serve as the first District 5 trustee and to give back to the community that I love and where I have lived, worked and raised my children.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.