Doug Payne – Park City District 5
Park City District 5, Doug Payne
What are your qualifications and why are you running?
I have been in education for 34 years — two years teaching conversational German at (Louisiana State University) as a graduate assistant; three years as in-school suspension/detention moderator at (Park City High School); 13 years as a certified teacher at Tara High School in Baton Rouge, LA teaching foreign language and social studies; five years as principal at (Treasure Mountain Middle School); 11 years as assistant principal/athletic director at PCHS. I have a BA in History & French, an MA in German, a BS in teaching from LSU, and an MA in educational administration from BYU. I have worked closely with four PCSD superintendents and administrators at the district level. I was an administrator at TMMS during that school’s major renovation and at PCHS during that school’s major renovation, working closely with the directors of buildings and grounds during both renovations. I am running because the district needs a voice on the BOE with extensive experience in the fields of education of which I have been a part. I work well with people, and would like to be a part of developing and implementing the best approaches and practices to enhance the educational experience for the Park City school system.
Many in the community have expressed concern that the district’s budget model is unsustainable. Do you share this concern? If so, how will you fix it? If not, why not?
I believe there is valid concern for the management of the current district budget. I believe the budget can be sustainable, but we need to look at programs across the board that can be managed more efficiently and better serve our students and faculties. The question is not whether I can fix it, but how will we, the BOE, be able to work together to fix it. We, along with every other school district in the state, need to continue to work with the state legislature to provide all districts with the necessary funding to allow the Utah educational system to compete nationally with the best school districts in the United States. Status quo is not a viable option.
Numbers show Hispanic students in the district do not perform nearly as well on college entrance exams as the district average? What can the district do to narrow this gap and ensure that all Park City students are positioned for success when they graduate?
This is such an ambiguous question it is really hard to answer. There is a wide range of defining "positioned for success." I’m not so interested in narrowing a gap between groups as I’m interested in providing experiences that can give every student the best chances to increase their success rate and provide them the proper platform for continuing their education in their own time frame and venue. To provide fundamental needs, which are necessary in nearly every endeavor, programs such as early education must be looked at. A rational definition of "fundamental needs" would be helpful in designing pathways as students proceed from grade level to grade level. We need to continue to hire and retain the best teachers possible. The district must be willing to provide proper support for teachers and put their trust in the teachers to do what they have been hired to do.
Given the rise in enrollment in the district in recent years, what are your views on changing the district boundaries?
Some of the obvious concerns are: sufficient state funding to help with transportation and necessary hiring for increased enrollment; impact of possible redrawing of attendance boundaries within the district; possible addition of new facilities to accommodate increased enrollment – I feel the high school is close to capacity with usable space, some elementary schools are also close to capacity, Treasure Mountain Junior High is uncomfortably packed in the halls and classrooms; a reconsideration of the decision to build a new CAPS or undecided use building at a capitol cost of around 6 million; a look at the impact as far as UHSAA implications regarding a possible reclassification to 4A; and discussion and agreement with South Summit and Wasatch School District leaders with whom I have had a great deal of collaboration during my last 11 years as assistant principal and athletic director at PCHS.
The district is one of the state’s highest performing. But what specific measures should be taken to further improve the education offering?
Class size — the district must work to provide the best student to teacher ratio possible in the elementary setting and in core areas at the secondary level (23-1 max) particularly science and math. Again, the schools need to continue to hire and retain the best teachers possible. The district must be willing to provide proper support for teachers and put their trust in the teachers to do what they have been hired to do. Schedules need to provide as little time out of class for teachers as possible. Curriculum needs to be developed and addressed in conjunction with the teachers that we have in district so that coherent alignment can occur. Proper support would include sufficient materials including textbooks (hardback or online), remedial and enhancement resources, in class aides, proper assessment of data to ascertain where weaknesses occur and determining how those weaknesses can be addressed.
How does your platform differ from that of your opponent?
I have limited knowledge of her platform. However, I believe we both have concerns about the budget and how to make it sustainable and about responsible class size. My interest is in the continuance of the best school system I’ve been associated with. That we continue to provide quality programs from core to electives with the best teachers we can provide. I believe that great teachers can inspire good students to great achievements.
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The Summit County unemployment rate dropped slightly in October, the state Department of Workforce Services reported.