Park City School Board president resigns
Julie Eihausen has served since April after predecessor’s resignation
After six months serving as president of the Park City Board of Education, Julie Eihausen is stepping down. She will resign as president at the end of the month and from the Board completely on Feb. 5.
“It was a difficult decision for me because I have been a very active member in this district for over 15 years, but the current climate is not conducive to me being, number one, effective as a president, and also as a board member,” she said in an interview Wednesday.
Eihausen said she had been considering resigning for “quite some time.” Since being elected to the Board in November of 2014, she has been a major proponent of bonding efforts that would go toward expanding Park City High School and creating a new school for fifth- and sixth-graders, among other developments. She has also been in favor of changes such as grade realignment and adjusting school start times, which have taken longer than she believes is warranted to be implemented.
A $56 million bond failed in 2015, and in August, the Board voted against putting another measure on this year’s ballot. Eihausen was the only one who voted in favor of going to bond, which she said was necessary because of issues like overcrowding in the schools and the need to get students out of Treasure Mountain Junior High School.
“I’m disappointed that we opted not to go to a bond,” she said. “I understand why, but it lengthens the time that Treasure Mountain is going to need to be in service. Every year, it costs us a significant amount of money to maintain that building and it’s not the best learning environment.”
Board members were stunned, said Anne Peters, a member of the Board. School officials did not know of Eishausen’s plans prior to the meeting, but it is no secret that there have been divisions in the Board about certain issues, she said.
“There are five of us. And there’s a community at large that we need to address and sometimes we’re not all going to see eye to eye,” Peters said. “It’s our job to negotiate and find common ground and to move forward. I would agree with her, I think it’s been frustrating.”
Eihausen was named president in April of this year after her predecessor, Phil Kaplan, stepped down. She previously served as vice president.
She is appreciative of the community for its support and proud of improvements the district has made, such as increasing interest in the Advanced Placement classes. Following her resignation from the Board in February, the other members will be tasked with finding a replacement.
“I hope it’s somebody who can be more effective than I have been able to be recently,” she said. “When you lose your effectiveness, then it’s time for you to go. So that’s what I’m doing.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information.
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The public is invited to learn more about, and weigh in on, the Park City School District’s $79 million bond proposal.