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Bend Nest » Things I've Learned

Things I've Learned

A Peek into the Life of Carrie Douglass

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Carrie has been a teacher, school & district leader, education philanthropist and national non-profit executive. She is currently opening The Haven, a coworking space and social hub "by women, for everyone." Carrie was elected to the Bend-La Pine School Board in 2017 and is also the President of the Cascade Relays Foundation and the co-Event Manager for TEDxBend. She and her husband, Scott have two daughters Cora, 3-1/2 and Cassie, 1-1/2.

Carrie Douglass with daughters, Cassie and Cora. - SUBMITTED
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  • Carrie Douglass with daughters, Cassie and Cora.

You juggle a lot of responsibilities. How do you manage?

Ha! I often get asked how I "do it all." The reality is I don't, and none of us can. At this point in my life I'm choosing to focus on starting two new businesses, being on the Bend-La Pine School Board and raising my kids relatively well. In order to do that, I have basically given up cleaning, cooking, exercising, travel and watching TV.

What led you to run for school board?

A few things. 1) I got tired of myself for complaining about politics and not doing anything to try to fix it. 2) I believe schools are the foundation of a community and at the rate we are growing, we need to be very thoughtful about how our district grows and competes with cities across America. 3) I believe our school board lacked representation from people who have been teachers and really understand what it is like to do the difficult work of educating and raising our next generation.

How are kids today different than when you were a kid?

First, I believe we have significantly increased expectations of both parents and kids. My maternal grandmother had six kids, and when I ask her how she managed, she says her only responsibility was to feed and clothe them. Now, parents are expected to carefully curate and design every waking hour of their children's lives to maximize their potential.

What did you learn from your parents about parenting?

I learned "tough love" – that my parents loved me unconditionally but they were also consistent with rules, limits and consequences for my own well being. I learned that they were my parents first and my friends second. I learned to model empathy and kindness.

What do you hope your children learn from you?

That you have to "be the change you want to see in the world" and that "with great privilege comes great responsibility."

Do you have a role model?

I follow and try to emulate politicians who govern based on their values, and who are willing to learn and change their mind. And I will be happy if I'm half the mother my mom was!

What do you think the next generation has in store for us?

I believe our kids will change the world if we get out of the way and let them. Every single time I visit a school or talk with a young person, I am amazed by how smart and innovative and hopeful they are.


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