Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree: Mother-Son Duo Serving on Local Education Boards

Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree: Mother-Son Duo Serving on Local Education Boards

Orange County Board of Education Trustee Tim Shaw and his mother Karen Shaw, the president of the Lowell Joint Unified School Board. (Courtesy of Tim Shaw)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

7/19/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

When Orange County Board of Education Trustee Tim Shaw was appointed board president on July 5, he became the second person in his family to hold such a position—joining his mother, Karen Shaw, who is currently the president of the Lowell Joint Unified School Board, which serves the Whittier and La Habra areas.
The Shaw family, who describe themselves as La Habra natives, have spent the past several decades in service to their community in various positions.
Both the Orange County Board of Education and the Lowell Joint Unified Board appoint a different member as president each year.
Orange County Board of Education Trustee Tim Shaw and his mother Karen Shaw, the president of the Lowell Joint Unified School Board. (Courtesy of Tim Shaw)

Orange County Board of Education Trustee Tim Shaw and his mother Karen Shaw, the president of the Lowell Joint Unified School Board. (Courtesy of Tim Shaw)

Mr. Shaw, 46, was elected to the Orange County Board of Education in 2020 after spending decades in service to his community in various positions—including on the La Habra City Council, where he was elected initially in 2008, and then re-elected to a fourth term in 2020.
In 2022, however, he stepped down from the city council amid a lawsuit that claimed he couldn’t serve on both the council and the education board simultaneously.
During his time on the board, he’s become notable for championing parent rights and school choice.
His mother said she’s proud of her son and praised his leadership.
“His heart is definitely that of a father,” said Ms. Shaw.
Likewise, Ms. Shaw, 67, carries the same mission to support parents in her position on her school board.
She became the board’s president in late 2022 after she won reelection to the body. She was first elected in 2018 after spending 32 years as an involved parent, grandparent, and community member.
After earning an education degree from Brigham Young University, Ms. Shaw taught English language learners for 23 years while she raised five children—all of whom attended Lowell Joint Unified Schools.
Now, she’s a grandmother to 12 grandchildren, six of whom live within the district.
Orange County Board of Education Trustee Tim Shaw and his mother Karen Shaw, the president of the Lowell Joint Unified School Board. (Courtesy of Tim Shaw)

Orange County Board of Education Trustee Tim Shaw and his mother Karen Shaw, the president of the Lowell Joint Unified School Board. (Courtesy of Tim Shaw)

Ms. Shaw told The Epoch Times that she approaches her position with the heart of a grandmother and a mission to support parents.
“I do my best to get to know every single voter in the district, knocking on each of their doors and speaking with them,” she said. “And try my best to go to all the events, programs, and graduations to show my support for the kids.”
She continued to encourage grandparents to get involved with their grandchildren’s education.
“I think a lot of older people who have elementary school kids or grandkids can contribute a lot of common sense and just a real caring attitude towards what’s going on in the schools. I think most grandparents have invested a lot of their lives in what’s going on in schools, but they need to know that they’re still wanted and needed,” she said.
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

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Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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