On Monday, September 26, at the Bethlehem Area School Board meeting, Dr. Karen Beck Pooley was inducted as the 13th member of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association’s (PSBA) Allwein Society.
The Allwein Society is a recognition program honoring school directors who are outstanding leaders and advocates on behalf of public schools and students. This prestigious honor was created in 2011 in memory of Timothy M. Allwein, a former PSBA staff member who exemplified the integrity, dedication and commitment to advance political action for the benefit of public education.
Dr. Beck Pooley, who had not been aware of her nomination, said, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It’s incredibly important and rewarding work, and I’m so proud of what all of us have been able to do for public education, for public school students, for funding that goes to public schools.” She attributed her natural inclination for advocacy work to her parents, who are both educators.
Dr. Beck Pooley was nominated by Board President Michael Faccinetto, Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy and fellow public education advocates. They cited her advocacy efforts at Bethlehem Area School District (BASD) and beyond as the rationale for her nomination.
She organized and has led efforts on behalf of BASD Proud Parents, a group of parents and advocates dedicated to fair funding for education in Pennsylvania. The group petitioned legislators to resist efforts to privatize public education or expand the charter system in Pennsylvania.
Throughout her service, Dr. Beck Pooley has taken on increasingly broader regional and statewide roles as a public education advocate. She has partnered with fellow school board directors in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding region. She is a trusted source of information for elected officials and local reporters, authoring numerous op-eds on public education issues. She has participated in press conferences with Governor Wolf and has been invited to provide testimony to House committees.
Dr. Beck Pooley began her board service in 2015. She is a professor in the Department of Political Science at Lehigh University, where she teaches courses on city planning, neighborhood planning and housing issues.
PSBA applauds Dr. Beck Pooley for her service and commitment to public education and public school students.