Letters to the Editor, June 13-15, 2012
June 13, 2012
As a parent with kids in the Park City School District for over fifteen years, I understand the importance of choosing the right school board representatives, which is why I wholeheartedly support Nancy Garrison.
Nancy’s philosophy of "it takes a village," combined with her track record of maximizing community resources by orchestrating groups with common purposes, will make her an incredible board member. She has an extensive background in local board membership and understands how to run a mission-driven organization with limited resources. She knows how to make tough, strategy-focused decisions.
She recently received her master’s degree in education with an emphasis in higher education preparedness. She has been active in pivotal education organizations such as Education First, The Human Rights Education Center and the Association for the Study of Higher Education. She volunteers at a free drop-in community tutoring center here in Park City, making a difference in the lives of our students. With our votes she will continue to make the difference we need to keep our schools strong and competitive. Remember to vote on June 26 or vote absentee beforehand!
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Brown is approachable, positive and hard-working
I encourage Park City residents to vote for Kristen Brown for school board trustee in District 3. Kristen’s ability to collaborate with parents and teachers alike for the benefit of students will make her an excellent addition to the Park City School Board.
When I met Kristen upon moving to Park City a year ago, I found her to be approachable, positive, and hard-working. She has devoted countless volunteer hours to our Park City schools, both as a committee member and as a room parent for 11 years.
Because of this tremendous dedication and these ongoing interactions over the years, Kristen has developed trust relationships with teachers and parents, who frequently see her as a "sounding board" for their ideas and concerns. This trust will be a vital ingredient as the Park City School Board faces ongoing budgetary and curriculum challenges in the coming years. Kristen understands firsthand what is going on in the classrooms and administration meeting rooms of the Park City School District, as well as in the minds of teachers and parents.
As mentioned previously in these pages, Kristen served on the Budget Advisory Committee and was instrumental in crafting the recommendations presented this past January. In addition, she has a degree in finance and is a frequent fixture at the School District meetings, even those that are poorly attended by other parents and residents.
I am delighted that Kristen has joined so many other qualified individuals in running for school board. We are very fortunate to have so many individuals who care deeply about the quality and direction of our schools. Please vote for Kristen on June 26.
Tirelessly engaged and relentlessly committed
When I try to think of someone who really cares about and has a passion for educating her kids and every other child in this state, it’s Tania Knauer. She’s tirelessly engaged, relentlessly committed, completely informed, and extremely bright when it comes to anything related to education. Whether it’s attending Park City School District or State Board of Education meetings, lobbying the Legislature, volunteering in the classroom or anything else, she’s been there for years, lending an able hand and a clear voice to improve our schools. She is not bashful and has found a good balance of persistent boldness without being overbearing. Tania is also very business savvy, having earned her MBA and worked in corporate finance and IT development, skills that will come in very handy as our school district navigates its current financial storm.
It is with complete confidence and a high privilege that I recommend Tania Knauer as the best candidate for Park City School District Precinct 3.
Snyderville trees had many stories to tell
So we are all on the same page, I’m not a historian but a good listener and this is what my friend Carolyn Bloom McVey has told me about the history of her place as she knows it. The Durrant family lived in Snyderville in a small rock house raising cattle around the 1800s. One morning the father built a fire in the house and went out to the barn to begin his daily chores. Somehow the house caught on fire! The mother was able to get out but the children perished in the fire. Some of the willow trees also burned in the fire but did not burn down. The place sat vacant for a long time.
Other families moved onto the property with stories of their own to tell. The Bloom family moved there off of Main Street, from the upstairs apartment above Carolyn’s shop called Blooms, into the "UP&L All Electric Home" on 224. When the highway was enlarged, the state paid Carolyn a large sum of money for tearing out some of the black willows. We then landscaped the front of her property with that money, putting in trees to screen the highway.
Disease or no disease, these were heritage trees planted in the 1800s. I should have chained myself to the tree stumps when they could have been saved in April; instead I started an e-mail nightmare? We are all going to miss them!
The school will plant new trees. They too will have their own stories to tell. We have all been reminded to bring our voices to the Planning Commission and County Council meetings! A lot of us old-time locals need to get involved to preserve the local history before it’s too late!
Old Ranch Road
Brown has international perspective on schools
While it takes a lot for a guy like me to express an opinion or to get involved, from time to time an issue or a person raises to that level. Three seats up for election on the Park City School Board and a $5,000,000 deficiency raises me to that level now.
Our current school board and our remarkable teachers have created the best-in-class schools Park City has come to expect. However, there are new macro challenges threatening the degree of educational excellence we have come to expect. Addressing these issues will require a level of seriousness and focus Park City has never faced. I was ecstatic to discover Kristen Brown had elected to run for the School Board in District 3.
Kristen is extremely involved in Park City schools with her three children and has been a property owner in Park City for 16 years. Kristen brings extensive exposure to a range of educational environments, having lived with her family is six states. She has also lived in both Canada and the Netherlands, which gives her an international perspective on education. This is important to me.
In 2011, Kristen was appointed to the School Board Budget Advisory Committee. Making difficult recommendations on budget cuts and amendments, Kristen is focused on prudently balancing the current Park City School Board deficit. This is an enormous task for which Kristen is ideally suited and eagerly engaged.
Being one of many entrepreneurs in Park City, I believe our school system has the ability to inspire and prepare our students for creative, adventurous, productive lives with worldwide views towards creating jobs. Kristen Brown has that vision for Park City as well.
As the father of a recent PCHS student body president, I can see how Kristen and the board will benefit from the synergies that would exist with her son, Tommy Brown, who will be the student body president for the 2012-2013 school year.
I’d like to thank all our community leaders who work tirelessly to make Park City such a remarkable place to raise our future leaders. Please join me in voting for Kristen Brown for District 3 School Board at the Primary Election on June 26, and then the General Election on November 6. Kristen Brown is absolutely the right person for this role.
Founder, Skullcandy Inc.
Sean Wharton knows both sides of the county
The place to make your vote really count in the primary election is on the Democratic side of the ballot, not in that big money battle for U.S. Senate. Particularly in the County Council Seat "A" race there is an opportunity to "bring your government home."
There are actually two compelling Democratic races, and no bad choices between the four very able candidates. That includes exceptionally well-qualified Summit County resident Donna McAleer running for the 1st District Congressional seat now occupied by Rob Bishop. However, Sean Wharton’s run for County Council presents an opportunity for us to bring a unique and valuable perspective to our County Council.
Effectively representing and governing the diverse and sometimes diametrically opposed interests of Summit County’s east side and west side is a challenging job. Sean Wharton is uniquely qualified to straddle that divide. He knows both sides of Summit County intimately, at a depth that few can approach.
Sean is fully home grown, a Park City High grad who grew up on the west, lives on the east, and has businesses on both sides of the county. His thirty working years have been spent cultivating sound judgment and a very deep love for this place, its abundant beauty and resources, its communities, and its people. His is a background that could not be taught in any school. He owns and operates a catering company, concessions in the ski resorts, and the renowned Gateway Grille in Kamas, as well an organic pig farm in Marion. His family, that includes seven adopted siblings, tells you all you need to know about Sean and his wife Rebecca’s capacity for compassion and commitment.
His desire to help make Summit County the best place to live on the planet has led him into public service as vice chairman of the county’s East-Side Planning Commission, and 3 1/2 years on the Board of Recycle Utah. Sean is bright, genuine, competent, public spirited, refreshingly modest, and unassuming. He is the right kind of person, uniquely qualified to represent and reconcile the wide spectrum of interests and perspectives that is Summit County.
We all would be very well represented by Sean in Coalville.
There are other ways to fund Rec Center
What kid hasn’t daydreamed about owning a nice sports car, maybe a Ferrari? How do you fund it? Ask your parents for money? I doubt they’ll just hand it over. Steal it? Not a good idea, although some try. Earn it? It’s much more difficult than most are able to accomplish.
We eventually decide that even though we’d really like to have one, buying it, insuring it, maintaining it and filling it with gas is just too expensive, a fact that becomes even more apparent after we grow up and have kids of our own. When our kids come and want us to buy them a sports car, I suspect most of us will tell them to get a job and save their money so they can buy themselves one. If they do, they’ll appreciate it so much more. They will have grown in character and feel the satisfaction of accomplishment. They’ll understand the value of work and love the freedom that can only be found by staying out of debt.
On June 26 we’ll have the opportunity to vote on our community "sports car" of sorts in the form of a Rec. Center. With so many recreation opportunities already available, we need to determine if it’s really necessary.
I’m sure some people would really like one. Fine. Build a Rec Center. Not by taxing those who don’t want it or wouldn’t use it, but with donations, fund-raisers, and sweat equity. Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. If it is really a priority for this community, we can do it without raising taxes. How many would volunteer to give $3,500 or more to build this? That’s roughly the amount most people will be forced to fork out over the next 20 or so years. Our local businesses will be expected to pay considerably more.
Hopefully before we’re buried in bills, we’ll realize it’s like our childhood dream of a sports car. Needs will surpass our wants, reality and good judgment will take over and we’ll be glad we still have enough money in hand to fill the Geo with gas and go to work to feed the family for another week.
I’ll probably never have that Ferrari, unless you want to buy me one by raising your taxes.
Knauer has a passion for STEM education
As an active Park City School District (PCSD) parent, I have served alongside Tania Knauer on many education-related committees. Tania’s passion for enhancing educational offerings for our children is inspirational.
Tania has worked tirelessly to increase science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) offerings for our students. For instance, under Tania’s guidance, our elementary and middle schools now all conduct standardized science fairs and students have the opportunity to participate in a district and a statewide science fair all important additions for any student who is planning on applying to a university STEM program. This last school year, over 800 students in the PCSD participated in a science fair and many moved on to the Salt Lake Science and Engineering Fair to win awards for PCSD.
Providing the same opportunities across schools gives students chances to excel that they might otherwise lack, provides learning opportunities and builds self-esteem. Standardizing the science fairs took dedication, perseverance and stellar negotiation skills.
Tania knows that fourteen out of the top fifteen college majors required for our students to find jobs and be able to earn a living wage are STEM. Currently, Tania is working to establish a STEM committee in the district. She knows how to make great things happen for our students, and she has the track record to prove it.
Additionally, Tania has two kids in the PCSD, and consequently, she can tap the pulse of current needs and wishes. Having a parent of Park City students on the board would add invaluable perspective and balance. Please vote Tania Knauer for PCSD Board of Education.