There are many examples of talented educators who have also served in political office. One such educator is Carol Liu, a secondary school history teacher who served as a California state senator representing District 25 from 2008-2016.
Carol was born September 12, 1941, in Berkeley, California, and raised in Oakland. She earned her bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University in 1963. She then attended UC Berkeley to earn her teaching credential and administrative credential.
After completing college, Carol taught history for 14 years at both the junior high and senior high levels in Richmond, California. Her teaching career there spanned from 1964-1978. During this time, she also served as the Executive Director of the Richmond Federation of Teachers (1975-1978). Carol then became a school administrator, a position she held from 1978-1984. Additionally, she was an instructor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.
In 1992, Carol decided to get her feet wet in politics. She was elected to the La Canada Flintridge City Council, where she served until 1999. During that time, she was also selected as mayor of the City of La Canada Flintridge, a post she held from 1996-1999. In 2000, Carol was elected to the California State Assembly on the Democratic ticket. She served there until 2006. In 2008 Carol was elected to the California State Senate, where she served until 2016. While in office, the former teacher served as chairperson of the Senate Education Committee. Her efforts included bills to reinvigorate career and technical education at the high school level, lower the costs of college textbooks, protect foster children, and prevent domestic violence. She also worked towards meeting the needs of low-income families, legislated on behalf of seniors and those with disabilities, and promoted environmental issues.