KELLY AUGUST DUNCAN: “I believe a thriving democracy depends on…a strong public education…”

Our next “I am BCE” profiles Kelly August Duncan, BIS’s BCE Site Director. As an English school teacher at a Peninsula public school district for the past 8 years, Kelly brings a unique perspective of BCE. She has a 7th grader at BIS.

Kelly August Duncan, BIS BCE’s Site Director

So how did you find yourself in Burlingame?
My husband and I moved to Burlingame in December 2000. We left to buy a home on the East Bay in 2002, but came back after three years because we discovered we never really “left” Burlingame. My husband works in Burlingame, and abhors commuting. So here we are. Did I mention the East Bay move was not our best idea?

Why did you become involved with BCE?
There are many reasons. I am the product of public education myself. I remember the Prop 13 cuts to education from the 80’s as they were happening. I believe a thriving democracy depends on, and requires, strong public education to support our greatest asset: our children. I teach in a district that does not have a foundation and have seen first hand the difference our foundation and community makes for ALL children, not just a lucky few. Above all, I believe BSD has given so much to my child in the high quality teachers and programs he has had throughout his educational career, and that gift deserves my support.

BISphoto2What makes Burlingame schools special for you and your family?
It’s hard to talk about a special school community without talking about both schools Milo has attended in Burlingame: McKinley and Burlingame Intermediate. McKinley is a beautiful neighborhood school with a huge heart that taught my son to value diversity, hard work, and compassion. BIS teaches Milo to take risks, be involved, and care about everyone. When a child has two working parents, it is absolutely gratifying to know that core values, really our family’s core values, are shared at the places in which he spends so much of his time.

What are some memorable Burlingame school moments?
The best story ever is how Milo told me he had gotten the part he wanted in McKinley’s 5th Grade production of MacBeth. We were at Five Guys, munching away, and he said, “Oh, hey, Mom, I get to cut Tim’s head off.” After pausing for a second, my English-major’s brain kicked in and I said, “You get to play MacDuff? That’s really cool!”

“Mom, I need to go home and practice for my trumpet solo.” To which I replied, “What trumpet solo is that?” “Oh, I’m going to play a trumpet solo at the concert on Monday. It’s the only solo a sixth grader gets to play. It’s not a big deal.” This conversation took place on Sunday afternoon, the day before the concert. Milo loves playing trumpet and has had the best teachers who have always been positive, encouraging, and supportive.

What three words does your child use to describe you?
Best . Mom . Ever (He really said that! Well, first he said Chicken Fried Rice, but I chose to ignore that description.).