Keri Lopez is currently running for a second term on the Redmond School Board of Directors, position 4, in the May 16th, 2023 special election. Her website is: kerilopez4redmondschoolboard.com
Keri is speaking on behalf of herself, personally and entirely.
Speaker 1 0:07
I've seen positive things happening in our district in regards to increase transparency and communication from curriculum to school safety, parental and community involvement. It's certainly not perfect by by any means, and there's still work to be done. But it's encouraging to see the effort that goes into making the improvements when we missed the mark. We've come a long way since since I started first asking questions of the district and about curriculum and seeing those communications improve, and I'm really proud of that.
Welcome to cascade views a discussion with Central Oregon leaders. Your host is Michael SIPE, founder of 10x catalyst groups and Crosspoint capital, community leader and best selling author. The purpose of these discussions is to share the views and insights of local leaders from a variety of community sectors on a range of timely and important regional and state issues. With that now, here's your host, Michael SIPE.
Michael Sipe 1:07
Thanks for joining us on cascade views. My name is Michael SIPE, and I'll be your host. My guest today is my friend Carrie Lopez. Carrie is currently running for a second term on the Redmond School Board of Directors position number four in the May 16 2023. Special Election for website is Carrie Lopez for Redmond school board.com. And that's Carrie with a Ke Ke R I. Barry Lopez for Redmond school board.com. I invited Carrie here today to talk about why she's running for another term on the Redmond school board, what she'd like to bring to the position. Gary, welcome to the show.
Speaker 1 1:44
Thank you and thank you for your introduction. I am grateful to be here and I am Carrie Lopez and I am the current incumbent for Position number four on the Redmond school board. I am an OSU grad with a Bachelor of Science Degree and a certificate of Applied Ethics. I was actually one of the first classes to graduate out of OSU Cascades. After graduating OSU I joined the investment banking world and obtained my series seven and 66 licenses. I worked my way up to the role of operations manager I lead a team of stockbrokers and sales assistants through multiple acquisitions, creating policies and procedures, and adapting to change in a highly regulated environment. Currently, I run help run operations for road builders, our family business and we build custom homes throughout Central Oregon. Above and beyond my service on the Redmond School Board of Directors, my family's very active and you sports in our community and I currently serve as president of the Redmond Sports Federation.
Michael Sipe 2:51
Well, that's terrific. I gotta reel this back just a second and ask you about applied ethics. So, so tell us so that was cool. I, I did listen to the rest of what you had to say. But I keyed in on the Applied Ethics thing. So what is applied ethics? And and what is it degree in Applied Ethics? Do?
Speaker 1 3:11
Right? So I it's just a certificate. So I realized I was taking a whole bunch of philosophy classes. And when I was going through my credits and what my degree was going to work out for. I noticed I was taking all of these philosophy classes and there was a certificate lined up with those and I just needed two or three more philosophy, philosophy classes to get that certificate and I thought, well, I've done all this work, why not have it? And so basically, in college, I just spent a lot of time reading and thinking.
Michael Sipe 3:50
I didn't do that in college. Actually. I know, I didn't read didn't think you know, I was not or like
Speaker 1 3:56
a lot of people did, right? My husband and I joke about that a lot like he, he and I went to LSU at the same time didn't know each other. And our joke is my joke is Well, it's because I was in class. Well, he's got a lot of different really great qualities that I don't have because of that. So you know, that's good.
Michael Sipe 4:18
Well, that's terrific. Your background is actually pretty diverse. So what led you to run for the school board to begin with? Sounds like you've got an awfully full life with the business and kids and sports and all that. Why did you Yes. Why did you run originally.
Speaker 1 4:33
So as a parent of two school aged children, I was an active participant in their schools since they started kindergarten I was a regular volunteer in their classrooms, chaperoning field trips, raising funds for the PTC so our kids could have different programs and different opportunities. And I felt comfortable and confident that my children were getting an education that would help them to be competitive and successful in the world. And then our home became a classroom. And I started paying attention to what my kids were being taught, started reviewing their assignments, I started researching and realizing that I might have been a bit naive in thinking that the political climate of the world hadn't yet made its way into my students classrooms. One thing in particular that stood out was that I did start to ask to review curriculum. And I specifically asked to review the health curriculum at my son's school. And I was thankful for the communication that I received from the district keeping me updated on their progress. But I was surprised when I got the response that after a discussion of the topic by the district, the decision was made to remove the sex ed portion from the health curriculum that year. I didn't ever get to review that portion of the curriculum, but it sure made me curious. And it prompted me to ask more questions and ultimately led to my to my run for school board.
Michael Sipe 6:02
Well, you kind of alluded to this in the first part of your comment, but the first four years, I'm sorry, well, the first four years of your service, and the last four years for all of us have certainly been challenging. What were some of the most difficult things that you experienced serving on the school board through the COVID years.
Speaker 1 6:23
So I've served for the past two years. And it I will tell you, it's been a it's been a pretty wild few years, during my tenure on the board, beginning with COVID, school shutdowns, masks and vaccine mandates. And the other thing that that's come up that has happened over the course of this is the Board of Director turnover as well, for various reasons. The first, and I specifically remember the very first board meeting that we had, it was at the auditorium in Redmond high it was summer, the room was literally temperature heat hot. It was overflowing with people, they were upset about what was happening in this state and then our school district. And they let us know through public comments and sending emails. And one of the hardest parts of that was not being able to respond. Our board operating agreement specifically says that our board chair is the voice of the board, and not feeling like not that I couldn't have a personal opinion, but that I couldn't, I wanted to respond and let people know what we were doing, I really was bound by by our board operating agreement to let our board chair be the voice of the board. But looking back, I'm thankful for the time that for these experiences, because I was able to learn to listen really well and actually listen to hear what people had to say. And it also gave me an opportunity to develop thicker skin and anybody that's been in public office knows that, that you have to have you have to have tough skin. And there, there really was nothing that was easy about serving on the board during this time. So looking forward, I am hopeful to provide the opportunity for stability. As we go forward and through the next year, with four of the five directors seats up for election. I think experience really matters.
Michael Sipe 8:29
So you're running again after two hard years. That's a testimony in and of itself right there that you are that you're coming back for more. Thank you for that, by the way. So the Phyllis in a bit more on some of your reasons for running and the main outcomes that you hope for in continuing your service on the Redmond school board. What do you what do you want to see happen? And why are you going for this again?
Speaker 1 8:58
I am going for this again. Because I care deeply about our community and the students and the constituents that I serve. I've garnered the respect and support from our current and prior board members. Michael summers, who's our current board chair, Robert Perry, former board member and Sean Hartfield, who is our prior board chair. In my role as director, I'm I've proven that I'm detailed and diligent in my work, and I actually really enjoy it. I enjoy the learning. I enjoy the research. I've seen positive things happening in our districts in regards to increase transparency and communication from curriculum to school safety, parental and community involvement. It's certainly not perfect by by any means and there's still work to be done. But it's encouraging to see the effort that goes into making the improvements when we missed the mark. And quite frankly, we've come a long way since since I start At first asking questions of the district and about curriculum and seeing those communications improve, and I'm really proud of that.
Michael Sipe 10:08
So what are some of the strengths that that you've observed, maybe a couple of things that you see in the district that you'd really like to reinforce where you say, man, we're doing pretty well with this. And we need to do more of it.
Speaker 1 10:19
Right. So we have really talented and caring staff in this district, and they care about helping our students learn and be successful from the district office, to every building in our school. And so I think it's just really important to continue to give the staff the tools and the support that they need to help students achieve and to continue creating community partnerships so that we can continue to have successful students leave our schools.
Michael Sipe 10:49
And so the follow on question, and I don't mean this in any way, as, you know, harsh critique or anything like that every organization. Every every government body, every every school, has some opportunities for improvement. Every business has opportunities for improvement, except for maybe road builders, I think you guys probably got it all. Got it? Got it all together. But But where do you see some room for possible improvement in the school board, and not in the school board necessarily, but in the school district.
Speaker 1 11:22
So in the in the school district, one thing that that I've been hearing is that student behavior is increasingly it's becoming increasingly more challenging. And again, I just want to be sure that we're supporting teachers and staff with the tools and the resources that they need to provide safe and respectful learning environments. And to me, that comes back to creating partnerships with parents and community members. So that teachers have the support that they need, if it's a volunteer in their classroom, or, you know, a phone call to a parent that says, hey, like your kids at a line, you know, just having that open line of conversation. And so how I think that the board can help in that, of course, my my heart and my area of focus on the board has been policy. And so I think that if we have policies that are that are serving our staff well or not serving our staff, well, we need to hear about it. And if we're not, if we don't have policies in place that give them the tools and the resources that they need, then we need to be hearing about that.
Michael Sipe 12:31
So for for people who aren't experienced in school board matters, and all the word policy might be a little difficult to really know what what does that actually mean. So give us an example of a policy that might influence something for good in the in the district.
Speaker 1 12:51
I remember one of the first policies that I reviewed. It had to do with immunizations. And this is off topic with what you just what you just asked me, but I noticed that there was an area for improvement in this policy, as it was written, it didn't allow for a medical or religious exemption, which is is actually what the law says. And our policy wasn't, wasn't following what the law says. And so I brought that up. And that was something that that actually made it back into policy rather than being taken out of policy. The other thing about policy that's somewhat disheartening to me is everybody jokes about it, like they hate it. And I'm like, I love it. Like, this tells me what we're supposed to be doing. This, this gives me guidance and guardrails to know to know what what you what the expectations are and what we're supposed to be doing. policy can be really good if it's written well, and it can be really bad if it's not. And if we're not getting feedback. It very well, a cannon I've heard it said that it can be the last place people go and I think it should be one of the first it can also be a protection, right. So I came across a policy the other day I was reading and at the bottom of it, there was another policy that it referenced. And I was like, Oh, what's that, and it actually affords the district and, and this other policy also affords teachers the protection to not do certain things that they don't agree with. So I don't think that answered your question.
Michael Sipe 14:47
No, that's great. I just, you know, when sometimes when people say words like policy, you know, they know what they mean, but not everyone might know. And so I was just I was just curious. About what, what that might be like. And so that's a perfect example I think of, of examining a policy and saying, hey, you know, regardless of whether you agree or disagree about it, the law says this. Right, right, I'll see you should be this or whatever. So that was all I was really looking for was a little clarification on, on the, on the idea of policy and how it's developed at the school board level. So I think that's great. You know, one of the things I've been impressed with, as I've gotten to know you is your determination. And your persistence. You alluded to that a little bit about how you dig in on the issues and research and study. But but your determination to do that, and your persistence at it, I think is really admirable. How did you develop those attributes? And how do you see those as important to serving on the school board?
Speaker 1 15:53
So first of all, thank you. I think I there was part of me that was just born this way. If someone told me no, growing up, I said, I will absolutely yes, do that. I feel like I feel like people, people that told me no or put up barriers for me to be successful. I just looked at, I just looked at those as opportunities to prove them wrong. And I think that that that has served me well. As far as you know, becoming the first woman in my family to earn a college degree. I'm certainly no stranger to overcoming, you know, adversity are associated socio economic obstacles. I just it again, I'm gonna come back to this, if somebody told me no, I don't think you can do that. I, I wanted to prove them wrong. And so maybe that's a little bit, a little bit of it. I don't know that I was necessarily just that grit and determination. I don't think I was. My mom might have something else to say about this. But I probably wasn't a difficult child, but I certainly wasn't passive. I pushed the boundaries. And I figured out how to make things work and and make a positive impact for the people around me. So
Michael Sipe 17:29
while the reason I asked the question is because I think it's a really important characteristic of someone who has the has a say in the future of our kids and their education and in in tough circumstances where it's not always clear what the path forward can be, should be and where there are, as you've probably noticed, a variety of opinions and viewpoints about what
Speaker 1 17:55
and viewpoints Exactly. One thing about me is that I don't necessarily take things at face value, I really dig into things that i i read, and I researched. And I asked questions. And I think that that's just something that in my role as a director I bring to the table. And I think that that's part of the reason why I have garnered the respect and support from from other board members, because there's things that I that I bring up or I talk about, or I ask questions about that. People hadn't thought of so.
Michael Sipe 18:29
Well, I would agree with that. And thank you for that. Thank you for being willing to dig in like that, as we wrap up here. What else would you like our listeners to know about you and your campaign and your desire to serve?
Speaker 1 18:41
Yeah, so again, I just I really care deeply about the community of Redmond, the students and the constituents that I serve, and I would be honored to continue to make a positive impact as a director for the Redmond school board. And I would just encourage people to vote on May 16 2023, and encourage others to vote as well and vote informed. Check out the candidates websites, check out what their statement is in the voters pamphlet. Just figure out what other candidates are about and do your research and vote informed and vote.
Michael Sipe 19:19
Carry It's been great having you on the show. I've got a couple of takeaways. I love your phrase at the beginning applied ethics. I think that you're in a great position and a great role as a board of directors member to apply ethics to the work that needs to be done there. So I think that's terrific. And, and as I mentioned before, I admire your determination and persistence and your willingness to just dig in and and get the job done. And that's admirable and also I think very applicable to the role that you fill. So thank you very much for your time and your message today, Karen.
Unknown Speaker 19:58
Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity. Today
Michael Sipe 20:01
my guest today has been Carrie Lopez candidate for school board position for in Redmond. You can find out more about Carrie and her campaign at Carey Lopez for Redmond school. board.com. That's Carrie Lopez and it's a number four not the word for Carrie Lopez for Redmond school board.com. Thanks for tuning in.
Thanks for listening to cascade views with Michael SIPE. To find out more about Mike 10x catalyst groups and to hear additional cascade views episodes visit 10x groups.com. That's 10x groups.com you can secure your own copy of Michael SIPE his best selling book, the Avada firstname.lastname@example.org. And finally, please continue to get informed and actively engaged in serving our Central Oregon Community. Your Voice Matters