CASBO Career Chronicles: Nina Boyd Edition
Governance, Leadership & Community Partnerships
Orange County Department of Education
CASBO Past President
Like many, Nina Boyd thought about several career options growing up. With a dad deep in his Navy military career, Nina’s mom stayed home and raised her until high school. She watched her mom study late nights, juggling it all, to get her degree and provide for the family. So when they would talk about careers at home, Nina’s mom left a lasting impression in Nina’s mind. If Nina mentioned becoming a nurse, her mom would say doctor. If Nina mentioned teacher, her mom would say principal. “Never sell yourself short,” she would say. She would have supported Nina in any dream career, but she always encouraged her to think much bigger.
In an interview with Nina Boyd, she reveals just how much her mother’s words stuck with her as she ventured into a career as a school business official.
Question: Where did you get your education and in what?
Answer: I got my bachelor’s degree at CSU Fullerton and MBA from University of Phoenix. I always liked psychology, and I changed my major to human services with the plan to become a child psychologist. I watched my mom as a social worker and was hoping to open a business with her and together we could fix broken people and help them on their journey.
Q: How did you end up in school business?
A: After my undergraduate work and due to the fact I had worked all through college, I wanted a break, so I answered an advertisement in the paper for an account clerk at Santa Ana Unified School District and was hired. That is when I discovered education had a business side to it.
Q: Why did you want to get involved with CASBO?
A: I was an account clerk for several years, then moved to purchasing and became a buyer and was introduced to CASBO.
Q: In what ways has CASBO help you cultivate your career?
A: CASBO provided professional development and mentors. Eventually, I was promoted to purchasing projects coordinator and held that position for several years before leaving Santa Ana Unified to become manager of purchasing and operations at the Orange County Department of Education. Hard work, mentors and continued education provided opportunities for me to advance all the way to the role I have now as associate superintendent of Governance, Leadership & Community Partnerships.
CASBO became family. It provided a ton of support while transitioning during difficult times in my personal life. CASBO became the additional support I needed. I learned that having the support of others in your industry is key. Develop relationships where people support you, and you can dialogue about things you’re unsure of. It’s very motivating and inspiring.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job today?
A: Working with phenomenal people who care about children, families and our communities and making a positive difference in their lives.
Q: Who mentored you in your career?
A: I have had several career mentors: Bill Moncure, John Nelson, Gene Hartline and Lynn Hartline.
When I was in high school, I worked part-time at McDonald’s and became a manager before I graduated. One of the regulars was an automotive district manager. When he heard I was going to college, he offered me a job as a manager and let me do it part-time while I was in school. I learned how to sell, manage the books, do the accounting and more. That’s when I learned relationships are KEY.
I went back to college at age 44 to work on my MBA, and statistics was challenging for me. The accounting manager in my organization, Dana Swart, was also a CPA and gave me a lot of assistance and time, which helped me understand the work I needed to complete. I will always be grateful to him and credit him with helping me obtain my MBA!
Q: How has CASBO helped you create connections?
A: Working on various committees and on the board, I have had the opportunity to access political, association and school district leaders who have been instrumental in connecting me with individuals that have provided support to me and my county office of education. CASBO provided an opportunity for me to testify at the California State Board of Education on behalf of our membership and the students of California. As a CASBO officer, I have had a seat at the table on advocacy issues with other educational leaders across the state. The most recent connection provided an opportunity for me to participate in strategic initiatives and dialogue on inclusion, diversity and equity as it relates to school leaders and staff.
Q: What’s the most valuable skill you learned through your CASBO membership?
A: Confidence and public speaking.
Q: What advice would you give to a new CASBO member?
A: CASBO has something for everyone. Sometimes people think they can only participate in one group or association. CASBO provides so much, but it’s okay to join more. We don’t compete! We won’t say don’t participate. We want you to bring things back from other organizations. This is great for our association and members. We welcome all these diverse thoughts and ideas. Share the love.