New Park City school board member is eager to serve
Anne Peters says she will be an advocate for students
Anne Peters had never given much thought to serving on the Park City Board of Education before a vacancy opened up when Phil Kaplan announced he was resigning for personal reasons.
A fellow Park City School District parent asked her if she would be interested in applying for the post. For the first time, she considered the prospect.
With a daughter at McPolin Elementary School benefitting from the district’s well-regarded education, Peters said she felt an obligation to give back. And with experience as a substitute teacher in Park City and from serving on a number of school committees, she believed her perspective would be valuable to the school board.
“I felt like if there was ever a time, this would be a good time,” she said.
She applied for the post. Weeks later, the school board voted her in as its newest member, representing District 1, which includes the Prospector, upper and lower Deer Valley, Old Town and Thaynes Canyon neighborhoods. Peters was scheduled to be sworn in at a public meeting Tuesday afternoon and said she will be a strong advocate for students during her tenure on the board. Her term runs through 2018.
Peters has a background in business and worked for years as an executive in the fashion industry. She currently owns Crosspointe Designs, and said her business experience has given her skills in negotiating, compromise and finding creative solutions. She expects all will prove useful in her new role as the board balances a variety of interests to chart a path forward on several important issues.
“I always try to see both sides and appreciate both points of view, even if I don’t always agree,” she said. “… What I bring from business, what I bring from my personal life, and how I approach people and situations are important. It’s not that I don’t like conflict, it’s that I’m looking at, ‘What can I do to resolve the conflict?’ I want to navigate through it because there’s always going to be conflict.”
Peters joins the board amid a period of extraordinary change within the school system. She will be tasked with helping the district work through large issues such as changing school start times, grade realignment and a bond measure the district expects to put on the ballot this fall to fund the construction of a new school for fifth- and sixth-graders and the expansion of Park City High School.
She acknowledged that, because she didn’t run for office, she comes in with a different perspective than someone who campaigned for the post. School board candidates typically spend months learning the issues, listening to constituents and forming opinions about important topics. Peters said familiarizing herself with the critical matters and how her constituents feel about them will be her task this summer.
“I really want to absorb the essence of these issues and formulate an opinion and meet with the other board members and see what they’re feeling and what the pros and cons are,” she said. “I want to come up with decisions that I think are best for all stakeholders — most importantly the kids.”
Apart from helping the board make the best possible decisions, Peters said she also wants to be a resource for the community. She hopes to educate her constituency about what’s going on in the district, and in turn use feedback to inform the board’s efforts.
“I have a huge network of moms just from being a mom,” she said. “I want to sit down and say, ‘What do you guys think?’ I’d like to be a conduit for them, then coming the other way, help disseminate information from the board and administration. People need to feel like they’re a part of this because there are amazing people here who have so much to contribute.”
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