Former superintendent Carolyn Warner releases autobiography, “Before I Forget”
May 7, 2018
Former Superintendent of Public Instruction Carolyn Warner has published an autobiography, “Before I Forget,” the story of her life and accomplishments.
Warner says she intended the book to be for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She wanted to document her life and provide her family with something they could remember her by. For most, this marks the first look into her personal life, as Warner has always been very private.
Going into politics at just 11 years old, Warner was always curious about how the government works and felt inspired to help others. She began young as a political speaker for local Oklahoma politicians.
In high school Warner worked with several other students on a children’s radio program that aired every Saturday morning. When they won the Peabody Award one year, her talent was quickly recognized. A local radio and television station owner, E.K. Gaylord, asked her to be an announcer on his radio station. After working there for some time, she moved on to helping out in the television studio.
When nearly all six of her children were grown, the Warner family made the decision to move to Arizona. They had come out to visit her sister-in-law and quickly fell in love with the desert. It wasn’t long after she moved to the southwest that she was approached by people who wanted her to run for the school board.
“A group of people came up to me and said they represented the Chamber of Commerce and a bank and school boards and several other things,” Warner says. “They asked if I would run for the school board in the Phoenix Union High School district. We had a family meeting and the kids said go for it.”
After being on the school board she graduated to becoming Superintendent, and held the position for over a decade. She also ran for senate and governor. In her book, she discusses the experience of running, why she was fortunate to lose the senate race and how gender inequality played into her loss in the gubernatorial race.
“I think they were unaware a woman could manage the office of governor,” Warner says. “I was never bitter. Life’s too short. I don’t believe in carrying grudges and being bitter. I believe in being positive.”
“Before I Forget” is currently available online and in bookstores.