Carolyn Warner has gained national stature as one of America's most articulate educational and public policy leaders. A product of pioneering Oklahoma stock, her father was an Oklahoma State Senator, teacher, and newspaper publisher in whose honor the first public school in Oklahoma's Indian Territory was named. Her mother, also a teacher, served as a school principal in both Oklahoma and California.
With six children in the public schools, Carolyn Warner became an active parent volunteer and PTA member, and she began her public service career with election to the Phoenix Union High School District Board of Trustees. In 1974, following a business career as VP and general manager of a family-owned interior/business design firm, public service became a full-time commitment when she was elected Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the first non-educator ever elected to this post. She was reelected to two additional four-year terms. During her tenure, Warner became nationally known for her advocacy of educational accountability (both academic and fiscal); citizen participation in educational decision making; the integration of career and technical education and basic academic skills; and an unparalleled partnership with school administrators, teachers, and business leaders. Under her leadership, Arizona’s Basic Skills and Employability Skills initiatives became national models and were among the first educational materials to be printed in the Navajo language.
In 1986, she was her party's nominee for governor. Warner has received a number of Presidential appointments serving under both Republican and Democratic administrations, the White House Conference on Small Business, the National Skill Standards Board, the National Commission on the Public Service and the advisory panel in the financing of elementary and secondary education.
As a respected public policy leader, Warner maintains an active role in political and educational initiatives and organizations on both the state and national scene. Drawing on her vast experience in government, business, education, and communications, she heads her own firm, Corporate Education Consulting, Inc., which offers consulting, speaking, seminar, and training services focusing on education, workforce/workplace issues, leadership, and public/private partnerships.
Carolyn Warner is nationally known as a speaker of uncommon skills, giving over 30 keynote and seminar presentations per year. Her public speaking expertise is reflected in her bestseller, The Last Word: A Treasury of Women's Quotes. She is also the author of Everybody's House-The Schoolhouse, published by Corwin Press in 1997.