Skip to main content

From Classroom to School Board: Deborah King Seeks Impact Across Multiple Arenas

Educate the next generation? Launch a dissertation study? Win a school board seat? Clinical Assistant Professor Deborah King, MSN, MEd, RN says "yes" to all three. She explains that running for-and winning- a seat on her local school board was “quite a journey, but I am ready for the challenge. I am so grateful and honored to be a part of the historical fabric of my community and to be a part of positive change for the children, teachers, staff and administration.” She was sworn into the Bensalem Township School Board (Bucks County, Pa.) as one of its directors on December 4.

Seeing the issues in her district, King decided to run for a seat on her local board where her two children are being educated. She was one of 10 candidates (including incumbents and challengers like her) running for five seats on the school board in the November 7 general election. Five area mothers banded together as “5 moms for Bensalem School Board” and four of them – King among them – won. She is serving a four-year term, while teaching traditional four-year BSN and second-degree accelerated BSN students in several courses related to the professional role in nursing, essentials of nursing, and pediatrics (classroom and simulation). She serves as course leader for the summer second degree BSN courses at the first- and second-year levels. In parallel, she is advancing her own education as a third-year student in the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing’s PhD program. This spring, she plans to defend her dissertation proposal, focused on “The relationships among social isolation, mental health (stress, anxiety, and depression) and suicidality (ideations and attempts) in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Not only a parent in the district, King, a Democrat, brings her experience as a nurse and an educator to this community role. She has seen the internal workings of the district after being a school nurse and an advocate for community organizations which gives her a unique perspective on issues and solutions. “There is a need for more nurses within each school as well as more instructional aides and assistants,” she notes, recognizing that her nursing background will serve her well in effectively communicating across a variety of audiences.

King sees the value in developing solutions that prioritize students' well-being and success. She adds, “My experience in health care and community organizations has given me knowledge of budgeting, governance, and collaboration skills that can be valuable for managing school resources and partnerships.”

King looks forward to developing positive school cultures and advocating for and supporting meaningful interventions to ensure the safety of students and staff. She shared in an interview that, “Improving ELA and math proficiency scores is crucial for ensuring that students have the foundational skills needed to succeed in higher education and the workforce.” She explains that strategies for early intervention and targeted support to help struggling students, improving teacher professional development, and providing resources such as tutoring, after-school programs and busing services for elementary-level after-school programs are all critical. “An effective and engaging curriculum that meets the needs of all students is essential for fostering a love of learning and ensuring academic success,” King says.