A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

KSBA Beyond the Board: Campbell County school board member Kimber Fender answers call to action

Kimber Fender retired last year as director of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. She has been a member of the Campbell County school board for seven years. She is a native of Bellevue and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and has a masters of library science from the University of Kentucky. This Q&A is offered by the Kentucky School Board Association.

Why did you want to serve on your school board?

I was going through Leadership Cincinnati, and we had different themed days, and on our education day a call to action came from John Pepper, the retired CEO of Procter and Gamble. He said if you ever have a chance to be involved in your local school, you should do it. It’s the most important thing you can do to help our communities.

Now that you’ve been on school board for seven years, do you agree?

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I do, I think it really has been true. There is just so much need in our public schools and so much potential, that’s where our students really have their best opportunities to set the course for their future, and without good public schools that simply won’t happen.

Besides the school board, how else are you involved in your community?

I serve on the Girls Scouts of Western Ohio Council, the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati board and the Success By Six Leadership Council, a fundraising committee for the University of Kentucky, the University of Cincinnati’s Dean of Libraries Advisory Council, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Foundation Board, until November I was serving on the Child Poverty Collaborative Public Policy Work Group and I also have Girl Scout troop.

Why do you want to be so involved in your community?

I don’t like to sit around, I like to be busy doing a lot of things. There are a lot of things that need doing and I think it’s harder for some people to volunteer than it is for me, because their jobs may not afford them the flexibility of schedule that mine did, and now that I’m retired it’s not even a concern. I also think my experience at library gave me some skills that let me contribute the other organizations.

Note: Fender and KSBA Director of Governmental Relations Eric Kennedy explained to school board members at Winter Symposium how everyone can be an advocate for their schools.

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See this NKyTribune story about NKU Alum Kim Fender.

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