Columbus Board of Education
Kimberley Mason, a career services coordinator with a local nursing college, is a dedicated community advocate and mentor. As the mother of a child in the Columbus City Schools system, she is focused on making public education a greater priority and strengthening community support of neighborhood schools. As an elected official, Kimberley seeks to provide school resources that address the whole child as well as increase academic support and volunteerism.
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
I have always been an advocate in volunteerism and serving our youth. As a member of PTO/PTAs, I believe one hour makes a difference. As the PTO president, I noticed the need for more community engagement and a stronger presence of parents in the classroom. Within my first year as PTO President, I noticed a new pool of volunteers, more parental engagement for school centered events and a great sense of pride to be apart of a community that involved, connected and communicated with them. Taking a step back and speaking with kinship families’ and parents, we agreed that there is an added benefit to a community centered environment.
However, what made me decide to submit a petition for candidacy? My husband and children. My husband was a man of few words, but fluent in action. My husband and I instilled in our children that they are their biggest advocates and if they see something, say something. As a parent, it’s not fair for me to empower them with this resource and not take the same position to help more families like mine. So after long consideration with friends and family, I submitted a petition for candidacy, with the hopes of being a reflection of the community in which I serve.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
I count it a blessing to have such a strong community which stands with me. My husband and children are my biggest inspiration to me. My children remind me daily that it’s okay to pursue more and my husband reminds me that I am stronger than what I give myself credit for. My husband has always said that a good leader is a servant and not afraid of hard work.
Some of you are military veterans, some small business owners, some professionals, some mothers and grandmothers, some homemakers. How did one of these experiences shape who you are as a person and leader?
As a community outreach/career services representative, I encounter many students who lives have finally lined up to start a new experience-continued education. In my role, many students envision their lives much better once they meet programmatic requirements. Knowing that I can help them achieve this dream deferred means a few things: one that is never too late to dream, achieve or start over and that the opportunity for growth is endless when people are maximizing their talents, time and resources.
The Matriots PAC has a goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
My vision is the same and I believe that the Matriots will exceed this goal.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
The first issues is community presence in the classroom. When our schools thrive, our neighborhoods thrive- and vice versa. When we build strong pathways of communication and collaboration between our schools and our neighborhoods, we create what the Columbus students deserve. That means a wider spectrum of internships, opportunities, and integrated community-school partnerships that build community-wide support to improve our schools. By building classrooms into communities, we create a public investment for our children.
Finally, our educators and communities must make public education a quality priority. Before we can secure funding for our children and teachers need, we need to take a hard look at our priorities. We need to end corporate handouts, commit to stronger wraparound services, support our educators first and start delivering on our promises as a district.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I love greeting cards. Currently, I have a collection of 100 greeting cards from holidays, anniversary, inspiration and more. I collect greeting cards, not for the words, colors or thoughts, but for the journey endured. My overall goal is to frame all the cards and give them to my children as memoir.