New board member Karen Rubino wants to become more involved

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Electrician. Construction manager. Business co-owner. Mother.

Karen Rubino has had several titles during her life and now she’s adding another: School board member.

Rubino, a 14-year Washougal resident, is the newest member of the Washougal School Board.

When asked why she ran for the board, Rubino said she wanted to make a difference in her community and the timing was right.

“I mostly work from home, so I have the time to do this. I don’t want to make a commitment and then not be able to do it.”

Her volunteer experience includes serving on a committee for Boy Scout Troop 450, where her son is about to become an Eagle Scout, and doing a facilities assessment for the Washougal School District.

“With school districts, there are a lot of little things you need to learn and understand,” Rubino said. “It’s a business, but it is also under several (state) regulations and guidelines.”

Rubino ran unopposed for the position.

“I really want to give something back,” she said. “As far as goals go, I don’t know enough yet to say what I want to accomplish. There are so many pieces of the job, I need to get a handle on it, first.”

Rubino attended a Washington Association of School District Administrators conference in November, which included her participation in a new school board member “boot camp.”

“It showed me I had a lot to learn,” Rubino said. “I’m definitely going to be listening a lot. I have lots of ideas and opinions, but I need to get a good understanding before I can advocate for things.”

She added that upcoming challenges include understanding the state budgeting process and local School District finance issues.

“I want to work at keeping quality schools,” she said. “That’s the whole goal. I like the idea of lots of choices for the students, too.

“In Oregon, education funding has been cut back so much that it’s just core classes. I’m really glad that we still have these.”

In her spare time, Rubino enjoys skiing, bowling and reading.

She is married and has one son, two dogs and a cat.