1. Please briefly describe your background (education, family, occupation, etc).
I have been married for 31 years to the same woman. She and I have 5 children and 8 grandchildren. We have lived in Duchesne Co., Salt Lake Co., San Joaquin Co. Ca., and I am currently in Sevier Co. My children have participated in all of those school districts as have I and my wife. I am currently employed as a civil engineer for the UDOT. I have been here for 15 years. My degree is in Engineering Geology from BYU although many of my credited hours came from the U of U. I have always been involved in my kids education. I have attended parent teacher conferences, substitute taught, coached sports teams, and served 3 years on the Sevier County School Board. I am currently serving as President of the Monroe Lions Club.
2. Why did you decide to run for school board, and what do you hope to accomplish if elected?
I am interested in all aspects of education. I am a firm believer that a public education is and has been one of Utah's greatest programs. I am concerned that we have slipped into a stagnant status quo. From my perspective, all I hear is that more money will cure our ills. I think we have to be more inventive and more open to new ideas (Charter Schools, vouchers, changes in per pupil funding, adult education and participation, tenure, and teaching requirements). I even think that NCLB had some positive effects even though it was not fully funded. In our traditional ways of thinking, change is scary, but we have to try even if we fail on occasion. And it all doesn't have to cost more money.
3. If elected, would you support adopting Texas' new state history standards with slight modifications to include important Utah facts? Here's a link to information if you haven't looked into this. See http://www.utahsrepublic.org/standards/the-awesome-new-texas-history-standards/
I'll get back to you on that one.
4. How would you handle a problem with an administrator, i.e. an administrator is engaging in unethical behavior, or lying to a parent, etc…
First you have to know what the truth is. No rumors. You have to listen to both sides. If it is determined that an administrator has acted unethically, the school board should discipline him according to administration rules.
5. If elected, would you support replacing Utah's current math standards, or only slightly adjusting from, the standards of an international leader like Singapore or Japan or even one of the top math states in America like Massachusetts? See http://www.utahsmathfuture.com/
Math is of the utmost importance, almost as important as reading. I think we have to be careful when we look to change what we do based on what other people or countries do. We have the mandate to teach everyone. Our success is measured on the average from the bottom of math skill to the top. Others measure their ability on the average of the middle to the top. Yes, if a new method or process can be demonstrated as being successful, I'm for it. I will have to read the address that you refered to in your question to be better able to answer your question.
6. How would you encourage and support more parental involvement in the schools and with the board itself?
Alot of parents today can't help their kids with homework because they can't do it themselves. Lets provide a chance for the parents to go back to school with their kids to learn the subject matter. Maybe its an adult education class in the evening that also serves as a tutoring session for the child. Maybe we pay the parent to go to school with the kids and they recieve compensation based on how well they do in class while also making sure their kid is there and participating. Maybe we contact the grandparents to help convince their children to be more aware of their grandchilds welfare. Maybe we offer a scholarship to the student whose parent does the best work. These maybe a little far fetched but who knows?
7. Are you interested in taking a class on the US Constitution and would you encourage the teaching of the Constitution in the schools in the words of our Founding Fathers?
8. When you take your oath of office as a school board member, you swear to protect the constitution from domestic enemies. What type of domestic enemy do you see as possibly affecting our educational system?
Enemies come in many forms. Some we don't even recognize. The NEA can be an enemy as their always want to stick to the status quo (same with the UEA). The ciriculum can be bad if we choose the wrong text books. Some teachers can be enemies if they are teaching countercultural ideas and/or are resistant to innovational change. Trying to do more that is mandated can be an enemy. I think we need to rethink our state education mandates. I think we need to take a good hard look at multiculturalism and its effects on our kids. Same with political correctness.
I hope that helps. I'll get back to you on question 3. Thanks for the opportunity. mm