Editor:

This is an open letter to Park City parents:

As an elementary counselor in the district, I work with wonderful children from amazing families. I'm grateful to work in a community where education is so highly valued. Even though teacher contract negotiations remain unsettled and the stress level is high, I see our teachers continually go above and beyond what you would ever imagine for public professionals.

Many evenings and weekends, teachers are quietly working in their classrooms to give students that little extra that Park City parents expect. Teachers go to their students' performances and games. They have more papers and tests to correct than ever with their larger class sizes. They continually adjust their lessons to new curriculums and have added trainings heaped upon their plates. They must keep up with relentless technology changes, while preparing your children for the new and expanding information age. Park City High School's number one state ranking begins with preparation taught at the elementary level and continues on through all the grades. Yet, with all these expectations, teachers continually worry about job security and how they can afford to live and work in this area.

Please support your Park City teachers. The teaching trenches are a difficult spot these days. Public sentiment for teachers across the nation has turned quite negative. Our Park City teachers truly deserve admiration and respect as they work to meet your high standards. Realize that our Park City School District educators take the public trust very seriously.

Mindy Nelson

Counselor, Jeremy Ranch Elementary


Tower of cans depicts work outside of duty day

Editor:

As a teacher of over 20 years and a mother of two Park City students, I must state first that it is a pleasure and a privilege to serve the wonderful people of Park City schools. The faculty and staff with whom I have taught are nothing but professional, caring, dedicated, intelligent individuals. Currently I teach third grade at Parley's Park Elementary School. My cohorts and I spend countless hours outside of our "duty day" preparing lessons, working on report cards, checking papers, maintaining our websites, contacting parents, professional development, preparing our professional development homework, as well as constantly reevaluating our own effectiveness.

Unfortunately, we are also working without a contract. In order to demonstrate to the Park City School Board and the community the extra time we are putting into our jobs, we made a display. For each hour worked beyond our "duty day" in two weeks, our faculty alone built a tower of over 450 canned goods to donate to the food bank. (Not all teachers had time to respond to this request, so there were many more than that.) We all hope the Park City School board will consider this when negotiating our contracts for the current year. We love being educators, and the extra hours of dedicated service (even without a contract) are an indication of this.

Thank you for your time, as I know it is precious.

Jennifer Shane

Parley's Park Elementary School