See Carrie Run! An Interview with the SUHSD Candidate

Carrie Du Bois, SUHSD Candidate

This November, you won’t see any women running for the K-8 San Carlos School Board, but San Carlos’ Carrie Du Bois is one of three women (and two men) vying for a seat on the Sequoia Union High School District.

The SUHSD hasn’t had a member from San Carlos for a long time and Du Bois is a serious contender.

The 53-year old Coldwell Banker realtor has racked up key endorsements from Representatives Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier, State Senator Joe Simitian and San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Anne Campbell. In fact, her full endorsement list is so long it’ll make your eyes blur just scrolling down the page on her website.

So what does Carrie – a SC School Board trustee since 2005 – care about most?  Bridging the achievement gap, broadening community support and, of course, the budget.

“The district has some of the highest performing schools, but it also has some with the highest poverty rates,” she said. The disparity in socioeconomic levels – that also exists at the feeder schools – has led to a big achievement gap within the district’s six high schools.

Du Bois cites Redwood City has an example. “It has not been able to raise a parcel tax like other cities so they’ve had to raise kindergarten classroom size to 30,” she said.

Adding to the challenge, she noted, many children from Redwood City don’t attend pre-school because their parents can’t afford to send them.

Last year, Du Bois said she decided to try and do something about the achievement gap. “I got involved in trying to help students at Ravenswood (with a high poverty rate) to transition to Carlmont,” she said, explaining she helped arrange a bus to bring parents from East Palo Alto to the high school in Belmont, near the border of San Carlos.

“One of the mothers was sending her fourth child to Carlmont and she’d never been to the school. She wanted her fourth child to graduate,” Du Bois recollected, saying it’s important for all children to feel welcome and supported.

If elected, Du Bois says she’d work on broadening community support for the Sequoia Union High School District. “More people need to know about the challenges that public education faces,” Du Bois said, adding there are many parents who aren’t aware there are kids in the district who are hungry and don’t have anybody to help support them.

“We need to be honest about problems,” Du Bois said. As an example, she cites an experience at Carlmont, where she learned a counselor kept extra food at her desk for students who didn’t get enough to eat at home.

Du Bois says she talked to PTSA leaders, who didn’t know hunger was an issue at the school. Du Bois helped organize a pantry. The point, she says, is that people stepped up to help after they learned about the problem.

Then there’s the budget (who could run for anything these days without including the B-Word) which has impacted schools across the state thanks to the mess that is the California state budget.

Du Bois says she’s had experience saving school programs in San Carlos when she led the SC Ed Foundation, “working with a great board,” making structural changes that increased its funds by more than $400,000.

Du Bois is married and has three children, one at Carlmont High School, one at Tierra Linda and her youngest at Arundel Elementary.

A complete list of candidates for SUHSD:

Incumbent Lorraine Lumley

Incumbent Olivia Martinez

Larry Moody

Allen Weiner

Carrie Du Bois

To learn more about the five-way race for three open seats on the Sequoia Union High School District:

San Mateo County Smart Voter Guide

The Mercury News/Peninsula

 

 

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Filed Under: Column 2San Carlos Politics

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  1. What a nice article. Thank you!! I just wanted to clarify that I didn’t actually start the Carlmont Pantry. Some wonderful Carlmont parents did this, after hearing a panel discussion that I organized. I want to be sure I don’t get the credit on this wonderful project.

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