1. Please briefly describe your background (education, family, occupation, etc.)?
I am 60 years old and have been married to a wonderful woman for 38 years.
We have 6 children (26 to 36 years old, 4 daughters & 2 sons), and 19 grandchildren with 2 more on the way.
I served on the Granite School Board from 2002 to 2006.
I have been a member of the Granite Education Foundation Board for 16 years.
I am and have been a Project Manager in Electrical Construction for the past 35 years.
Some of the Projects I was responsible for include:
The Capital Theater Stouffers in Springville Deseret Generation Powerhouse in Vernal 10 hangars w/4 bays ea. for the F-117A Stealth fighters at Holoman AF Base NM. Cleanroom Facility for Hewlett-Packard in Corvallis OR. Cleanroom Facility for Hyundai in Eugene OR. North-South TRAX, Salt Lake County Minidoka Dam Hydro-Electric Upgrade, Minidoka, ID. Billings Co-Generation, Billings MT. Intermodal Hub Light Rail, TRAX, Salt Lake City
I have extensive experience in managing large projects on fixed budgets and bring them to completion successfully.
I graduated from Cyprus High School, and attended the U of U for two years.
I am a Master Electrician.
I am also an Eagle Scout and have been involved in scouting for many years.
2. Why did you decide to run for school board, and what do you hope to accomplish if elected?
Because of my involvement with the Granite Education Foundation and the Granite School Board, I have seen a need for a more business like approach to education. Our State has very limited resources available for educating our children, and it is imperative that those resources be used in the most effective manner.
I am greatly motivated by concerns regarding the future of my grandchildren. They must be given the opportunity to succeed or fail on their own merits. I want them to become fully functioning adults, and to accept responsibility for themselves.
I have had the opportunity to come into contact with many of the teachers in our school system, and for the most part I find them to be competent, caring, and doing the best that circumstances allow them to do. However, there are some bad apples in the barrel. Therefore, we must develop a system that weeds out the bad apples easier, and rewards the efforts of those who are our most effective teachers.
I believe that we live in the greatest country ever to have existed. In our school system we need to emphasize this fact, and teach our children that this is not only a land of opportunity but also a land of responsibility.
3. If elected, would you support adopting Texas’ new state history standards with slight modifications to include Utah facts.
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.?
The reality of this question is that there is only one way to deal with a problem of this nature, and that is exactly according to written policy. Any other approach will result in long-term and costly law suits.
If the policy is flawed, then the policy must be debated, reviewed, and rewritten, and always in a public forum. If adequate policy does not exist, then it must be developed through the same process.
All such situation should also be dealt with individually, timely, and fairly; and most important, all participants should be given the opportunity to present their side.
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?
This is an interesting question. Certainly, our children deserve the best math programs available! However, fads in teaching math come and go frequently, and we need to be certain that we are not chasing the latest fad.
Furthermore, I am not at all certain that the examples you cite are the best. I have had several opportunities of working with engineers trained in the environments you mentioned. Each was competent and able to perform within the boundaries of their training, but most had not developed the ability to think in an innovative manner. Too much of their teaching was by rote.
I favor an approach to math that helps our children to understand the mechanics and process that lead to correct answers, an approach that teaches our children to be critical thinkers.
However, I am willing to investigate the programs you mentioned in your question, and if I am convinced that they fulfill the conditions I have outlined above, and if they are truly an improvement on our present standards, I will certainly support their implementation in Utah’s school system.
6. How would you encourage and support more parental involvement in the schools and with the board itself?
First, I believe that Parents have the primary responsibility for educating their children. Children from the time they are born until they graduate from High School only spend 9% of their lives in school. Without strong parental support our schools will fail.
Second, I understand that some times parents become so committed to the well-being of their child that they overlook the needs of other children. It is for this reason that we need impartial school boards. It is the responsibility of the board to balance these conflicting interests for the benefit of most of our children.
The business conducted by School Boards with a few exceptions should always be conducted in public. Parents should always be notified and encouraged to attend board meetings. Board Members must work to make themselves available to parents and listen to their concerns, and willingly explain the decisions made by the board. Time should also be made available for public input at all board meetings.
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.
I believe if we are vigilant and involved we can protect our children and education system from influences that undermine our country and our families.
I believe that there are individuals and groups who hold views that are detrimental to our culture and who if given the opportunity would damage the future of our children, families, and country.
I believe that the best approach to defend against these individuals and groups is to adhere to the principles laid out by our founding fathers.