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Granite School Board 2

Our Charge & ResponsibilityStudents will leave us prepared for college,career and life in the 21st century world.Board Goals Increase achievement for every student Enrich and increase parent and community engagement

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    Clarke B. Nelson

  • Starleen Orullian

Biographical Information

What experience and skills do you bring to solving problems?

How do you propose to provide an equitable education to a diverse student population, including underserved students?

How would you provide a healthy, safe and supportive learning environment for all students?

What would you do to attract new and retain teaching staff?

What are the most critical needs facing the district and how can you best contribute to potential solutions?

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Clarke-Nelson-School-Board-114795643577706
Age 47
For over a decade I have been heavily involved in our schools through Community Councils, PTAs, arts and music, and athletics. I have observed firsthand the needs of students, teachers, and administrators in the Granite School District. They deserve the voice of an active parent on the School Board, especially when decisions are made that will impact both our current and future generations.

Professionally, I am a former partner in an international business and advisory consulting firm, and today lead a regional business consulting firm. I received an MBA degree from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). I bring expertise in fiscal policy and budget analysis to a board that oversees an over $850 million annual budget.

I am a political newcomer, with no strings attached, and no prior negotiations against the board. In short, I’ll be a PARENT’S VOICE, bringing a fresh, independent, and committed voice FROM OUR COMMUNITY.
Despite the challenge of meeting incredibly varied needs of students, it is our opportunity to find common ground and come together. Some schools have already implemented mentoring programs--others are in need of a significant boost. The Mentor 2.0 program and peer mentoring have been effectively instituted at Cottonwood High and I want to see such opportunities expanded throughout the District. I believe strongly in the power of peer mentorship for both parties.

I have already advocated for and implemented significant investment in AVID training to support preparing all students for college readiness and want to expand such investment throughout the District. By providing tiered support throughout high school, struggling students from disadvantaged backgrounds are taught practices to create a successful educational experience. By investing in this program we are investing in principles of prevention and strengthening students before they fall too far behind to recover.
We must empower rather than burden our principals in bureaucracy. We need to give them autonomy, trust, and authority to run their schools as they see best and empower teachers to do the same in their individual classrooms. Individual school needs are best met when we use local evaluation of mental health, academic experience, and social integration to guide and foster supportive learning for all students.

I also support a shift to a more restorative practices framework. Our society favors penalizing offenders in response to misbehavior, rather than providing opportunities to learn and improve. I believe students need more peer intervention and disciplinary groups with the objective to restore them to traditional classroom settings as quickly as possible, rather than disciplining through suspension and/or expulsion. This approach emphasizes efforts to better understand background and context of a youth’s actions to reform misbehavior rather than ejecting individuals from the system.
GSD has made valuable progress in increasing teacher and administrator pay. However, in my many conversations with our teachers they repeatedly tell me that their future retention is not necessarily about more pay. Rather, what our teachers need most is more help in their individual classrooms. Gone are the days when teachers had multiple qualified aides to help manage the classroom. Now they are lucky to have someone for 15-20 minutes during a school day. We cannot expect to recruit qualified aides when pay for such work is only $9/hr and limited to 29 hours per week.

Our teachers (and ultimately our children) deserve the opportunity for teachers to do what they do best—TEACH. Investing in our teachers includes providing an environment that allows them to perform at their best.

I am humbled to have the support of so many local teachers and principals throughout my campaign and know the responsibility Board Members carry for supporting the teachers on our educational front lines.
Finding CAN DO solutions instead of defaulting to what has always been done or forfeiting solutions for the sake of ease are crucial during the pandemic. While keeping everyone who enters our schools safe and healthy is of utmost importance immediately, this philosophy extends beyond our current situation.

GSD’s graduation rate lags significantly behind national/Utah averages. Barriers include English language proficiency and economic disadvantage. Although we must ensure continued support of programs making headway, we must also look beyond the status quo. Investment in technology for ALL STUDENTS is critical.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for Utah tweens/teens and our suicide rate is more than 60% above the national average. I will bring attention to and further invest in solving our community’s staggering battle with depression and suicide. I believe the mental health of our youth (and of our teachers and administrators) is equally as important as their physical health.
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