Middle School Principal
Ed.D, Educational Leadership
Masters: Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education
BS: Family Community Services, Michigan State University
I have 20+ years being on the front lines of education working with parents, teachers, fellow principals, and community members in educating children of all ages, in many different settings. I have and currently work with parents and educators from different education formats such as home schooling, charter schools and private schools. I can see the big picture, but I can also zoom in to the details. I know how the policies are written, how they are enacted, and what common challenges are. I am a parent and a consumer of education services. I will be able to get in there and get right to work, which is needed even more now under the current circumstances due to the pandemic.
A few of my key beliefs and what will guide me as your representative on the Utah State School Board include:
Enhancing local control by allowing families to make their own decisions regarding the education of their children and removing federal involvement in educational decision-making in Utah.
Implementing fiscally responsible policies by identifying and eliminating any inefficiencies.
Ensuring efficient and effective decision-making by analyzing and understanding how policies affect families, schools, and communities, and asking tough questions.
Eliminating many of the barriers that Utah educators often face when implementing innovative teaching methods by removing unnecessary bureaucracy.
I am still learning about this proposed constitutional amendment. One of my main concerns is the volatility of future education funding. The ambiguous wording of the amendment leads me to be concerned about the transparency that would be involved in funding decisions in the future. I do believe, however, that there are structural issues with the Utah budget code that must be addressed. The important piece is that they are addressed in a transparent, factual, and fair manner.
Utah spends much less time testing than other states. That being said, there are sophisticated ways that teachers assess in the classroom and school, and there are more universal testing habits that have outlived their usefulness. I prefer the former over the latter. Every teacher deserves to know how the effectiveness of their teaching practices. Every parent deserves to know how well their child is progressing in their educational endeavors. There is no need to attach that to high-stakes "accountability" schemes.
Voters deserve to choose between candidates that have been vetted and are transparent about their beliefs, which the partisan system facilitates. The parties also have the ability to offer supports to candidates as they navigate the long road to the election. However, I have serious concerns that it will dissuade individuals from running for state board seats, largely due to the costs of running a campaign.
I do not believe that local board elections should be partisan. It is much easier for a candidate to become known in the smaller communities in which they would serve locally. In contrast, state board candidates serve huge districts, where identifying with a party helps to clarify your foundational beliefs. Education cuts across party lines, and people from different parties want the same thing for the children--an excellent education in a safe, nurturing environment.