My name is Karen Beck Pooley. I’m a school director with the Bethlehem Area School District – currently running for my third term – and a member of Pennsylvanians for Fair Funding, BASD Proud Parents, our district’s parent engagement and advocacy arm, and the Sectional Advisor in our area for PSBA. I’m in all of these roles because of how essential I feel public schools are to our communities and to our children: they are the biggest and most important investment we collectively make in both. Our public schools ground and build wealth for our communities, and they connect our children to countless opportunities – they are a vital pathway to upward mobility.

Advocating for BASD students and taxpayers has been a big part of my work on our board – and I’ve spent considerable time meeting with state reps about state-level education policy, pending legislation, and all the positive things going on in our district. I’ve built relationships, too, with school directors from across the state as part of this advocacy work, particularly work focused on increasing state support for our schools and ensuring that support is equitably distributed.

Beyond that, I’m proud to chair our board’s Facilities Committee and to represent our board on Northampton Community College’s own board. I’ve worked to integrate our school district into local community engagement and neighborhood planning efforts, and I also sit on the boards of both Bethlehem-based and regional nonprofit organizations.

I would be very excited to take on this new position as PSBA’s Treasurer, something I see building on my role as a PSBA Sectional Advisor as well as my other advocacy work. I should share that my professional background is not in finance or accounting – I have a PhD in City Planning and am a Professor of Practice of Political Science at Lehigh University and the Director of Research and Analytics at czb LLC (an urban planning and neighborhood development consulting firm). However, I am more than comfortable developing and reviewing budgets, something I’ve done as a school director, at work, and in my roles on various boards.

Thank you so much your consideration and your vote.