‘Eihausen for Education’
Julie Eihausen has been a regular attendee of Park City Board of Education meetings for eight years, sitting patiently in the chairs facing the panel of school board members. Now, Eihausen is campaigning for a seat on the other side of the table. She is one of four candidates running for the District 5 seat in the primary election later this month.
District 5 incumbent and current school board Vice President Michael Boyle decided not to run for re-election, so Eihausen will be running against Edwin Lowsma, Doug Payne and Julie Nirula to fill his seat. The primary election on June 24 will determine which two candidates will go on to campaign on the November General Election ballot to represent the precincts of Lower Silvercreek, Upper Silvercreek, Lower Pinebrook, Pinebrook North, Summit Park East, Summit Park West, Upper Pinebrook and Wagon Wheel.
"I have been asked to run for school board twice, but I didn’t do it because I wasn’t ready to give up volunteering at my kids’ schools," she said. "Now I’m ready. My youngest daughter is going to be a junior at the high school, so now I have the time to do it not being so involved at the school-site level."
Eihausen has served on the school community council as treasurer at Jeremy Ranch Elementary, Ecker Hill Middle School and Treasure Mountain Junior High School over the course of nine years and served as treasurer for the Parent Teacher Organizations at every school in the district her daughters have attended.
She has also served on the Dual-Language Immersion Task Force, PCSD Compensation Committee, Strategic Planning Committee and Budget Committees. Eihausen is currently a representative for the Utah State School Community Council, treasurer for the United Against Bullying Coalition, the Foreign Language Program Accountant at Jeremy Ranch and was recently re-elected as president of the Timberline Homeowners Association.
Eihausen said she feels most strongly about class sizes, the budget and community engagement. She has spoken at several school board meetings about the class sizes at Ecker Hill, Treasure Mountain and the high school reaching an average of 30 students per teacher.
Her budget concerns include finding the money to hire an extra teacher at Ecker Hill and Treasure Mountain to reduce class sizes. Eihausen also believes there should be more input from the community and faculty when making decisions about programs that affect the budget.
"I really am having a hard time understanding why, with such minimal growth, we are going to be looking at going from a $46 million budget to an over $60 million budget in a four-year span," she said. "I think our community should have a voice in what we want to support and in where our dollars are going."
The Dual-Language Immersion program, like the budget, is operating in "crisis mode" due to poor implementation and poor planning, she said. She believes DLI should be available to any student who needs it or wants it, because limited enrollment has "torn apart the community of Parley’s Park Elementary."
"What I don’t want to see happen is these students taking foreign language Advanced Placement tests in ninth-grade and then not being supported in that language in 10th, 11th or 12th grade," she said. "I don’t want to see that happen, and I don’t want us to go into online classes."
Eihausen said she is not afraid to speak up or express what may be an unpopular opinion but will always try to base her decisions on what she truly feels is best for the district.
"I am very passionate about education, and I am passionate about making sure that it is an equitable education for all of our students," she said. "I listen and try to get facts and base all of my decisions on facts and data."