Amy Carney is an author, accomplished public speaker, wife and more. So why is she adding one more significant role – school board candidate – to her plate?
Simple: Because of her role as a mother.
“I chose to run because I am a mother of six children educated in our district schools,” the Scottsdale, Arizona, Unified School District candidate told The Lion. “I was not paying attention to our local school board before COVID happened. Like me, most people I talk to in the community had no idea how important and influential school board members are until the pandemic opened our eyes.”
She says the disruption to learning during the pandemic opened her eyes to the need for parental involvement and strong leadership in public schools, and that spurred her to run for a seat on the Scottsdale school board.
Carney also believes serving on the board would be an extension of her life mission: to strengthen children, families, education and community.
“I don’t believe this is a moment for mothers, but instead a movement,” said Carney. “There has been an awakening of parents – both moms and dads – understanding the crucial need to get involved at a higher level in our local school system.
“COVID opened parents’ eyes to the curricula taught to their students learning from home. [Parents] also witnessed firsthand the lack of respect for their fundamental right to guide their children’s upbringing and education, health and mental health decisions.”
With children in the public school system since 2008, Carney says she has seen concerning trends: more incorporation of cultural issues and political biases in curricula, and lowered academic expectations for students.
“Instead of providing [students] with rigorous educational opportunities and helping them rise to achieve the goals set for them, our schools focus on strengthening student identities over their interests,” said Carney.
Carney says she is a supporter of Arizona’s recent school choice expansion, and she is focused on strengthening the district her children are in.
For Carney, that means working hard now in hopes of being elected on Nov. 8.
“I realized that despite my busy life, I needed to step up and be willing to be the change I, and many others, wish to see in our district.”