When Karen Krupp decided to run for the Bryan County Schools Board of Education, other elected officials had a piece of advice for her.
“They said it could be as busy as you wanted to make it,” she said. “And to be honest, with everything going on, it’s almost like a full-time job.”
Krupp is in her first term as vice chair and said the first six months in office have been close to what she expected.
“It helped that I attended almost every board meeting for about a year when I decided to run,” she said. “But there is still so much to learn.”
Krupp said the learning curve is basically “on the job training” and that she tries to listen more than talk at meetings.
“The other board members have more experience and so I try to learn from them what has been tried in the past,” she said. “Figuring out what has worked and what hasn’t.”
Aside from school board meetings, Krupp said she also tries to attend city council and county commissioner meetings when her schedule permits.
“With the amount of growth going on, we need to work together more,” she said.
The board is currently in the planning stages for a new Richmond Hill High School after voters approved a $100 million bond in March. The district anticipates that enrollment will increase by 3,500 students in the next 10 years.
“We just selected a construction manager and there were five companies that applied,” she said. “I spent more than three hours on each one going over the information they provided as part of their bids.”
Krupp also tries to stay involved in day-to-day activities. She had been a substitute teacher for six years, but ended that when she announced her candidacy to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
“We have three kids at three different schools, so I still volunteer in their classrooms and at other events, like working at football games,” she said. “People have told me they don’t know who is on the school board, so we are trying to be more visible.”
Krupp also said she tries to help as much as possible when people contact her with issues.
“I can’t necessarily fix a particular problem, but I can put them in touch with the right person or get answers for them,” she said.