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Cabell Board of Education candidate: Karen Nance

Mar. 25, 2014 @ 10:19 AM


E-MAIL ADDRESS: knnance@comcast.net

PERSONAL STATEMENT: Nationally we are paying more per student, but our students’ performance scores are lower than most states. Nationally, our teachers are paid far less, but our administrators are paid above average. Our State and local school boards are top heavy; not enough funds are going directly to educating our children. We have poor attendance numbers and high dropout rates. This tells me that we need to transfer funds from the board offices to the schools, hire additional teachers and counselors, increase teachers’ salaries, and utilize technology to improve attendance and achievement. I will bring innovation to Cabell County Schools.


AGE: 59

EDUCATION: Graduated Barboursville High School, 1972. In 1987, I completed a B.A. Degree at Marshall University with majors in History & Basic Humanities and minor in Anthropology. In 1994, I completed a M.A. Degree at Marshall University with a major in Geography and minor in Anthropology.

CURRENT OCCUPATION: Self Employed, Owner, The Old House Doctor, general building contracting company, since 1984.

OTHER WORK HISTORY: Grant writer for the Huntington WV Housing Authority; various positions at Marshall University including WV Statistical Analysis Center, Administrative Assistant; temporary Director of Applied Research; Secretary for the Autism Training Center; and early jobs in grocery, bookkeeping, and food service.

CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Secretary, Madie Carroll House Preservation Society, Inc.; Secretary, Greenbottom Society, Inc.; Secretary, Carter G Woodson Memorial Foundation, Inc.; member and past board member of Guyandotte Civil War Days and Cabell County Democratic Women; member of League of Women Voters; and past member of the Coalition for the Homeless.

FAMILY: Married to Johnny Nance for over 40 years; two children and four grandchildren.


1. Do you think expeditionary learning is a good idea? Explain?

Yes. Expeditionary learning is learning thorough experience which is the most effective way to learn. It is about self discovery, hands on, learning. It often takes students out of the classroom into the world for experimentation and observation. Students get to interact with the world and apply knowledge to real life situations. It immerses students in the learning process.

2. What do you think needs done to the school calendar to ensure students meet the state’s 180-day requirement?

The school calendar needs to be extended into June when snow days require additional days, not started in early August because June is a cooler month than August. School buses are not air conditioned and due to consolidation, students spend extended time on buses. Student’s health and safety should come first. Students do not need a week long Thanksgiving break.

3. Should the number of Advanced Placement courses available to students be increased?

Advanced Placement courses challenge students to achieve beyond what is expected of them and are looked on favorably by higher education institutions. Thus, if a sufficient number of students and/or parents request additional Advanced Placement courses, they should be increased to meet the need.

4. How can schools be made safer?

Bulling is a major safety problem in schools and has been for generations. A “no tolerance” policy does not work if everyone is not on board. There continues to be a prevalent belief that the bullied child needs to toughen up and learn to take it. This puts the majority of responsibility on the bullied child. This needs to change.

5. Do you think enough is done for academically talented students?

No. The school system needs to elevate academic achievement to the same level as sports achievement. That does not mean that sports achievement needs lowered. Elevating academic achievement will encourage students to compete academically to achieve the same acclaim as athletes. Students should be taught that intelligence does not mean socially inept and smart students should not be labeled nerds.

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