School board members-elect speak up about election results
November 9, 2010
Of the six available School Board of Education seats throughout Summit County, only two races were contested. In Park City School district, Charles Cunningham gained the 4th Precinct over Ari Ioannides with 65 percent of the votes.
In South Summit School District, Steven Hardman earned 56 percent of votes to secure his 4th Precinct position on the board, beating out Paul Weller by a slightly narrower margin.
"I was very pleased with the support I received," said Cunningham, who complimented his opponent.
"Ari has been a very valuable asset for the school district in the work he does for the [Park City Education] Foundation," he said. "I hope he continues to stay involved."
Ioannides attributed the voting trend to Cunningham’s prominent and long-standing presence in the community. He said he plans to continue to raise community awareness regarding many of the issues he viewed as most important, which he said didn’t reach enough people.
Both candidates said they felt their discussions will help the district move toward more community involvement and improvement. "I think we raised the level of conversation in Park City," Ioannides said. "That’s what I’m most pleased about."
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Cunningham said he anticipates introducing new measures of teacher accountability, including performance-based pay and revamping the review process to occur more frequently and include parent feedback.
I know I want to be held accountable," Cunningham said. "If I don’t make a difference I want to be held very accountable."
The race for the South Summit School District 4th Precinct seat wasn’t as hotly contested as in Park City. Steven Hardman and Paul Weller said they have known each other for a long time, and they agreed on many aspects of what should happen on the school board.
Hardman worked in building maintenance in the high school and at the recreation center for almost 25 years. He knows the other school-board members well and has seen how the district functions and plans to introduce ways to help change what he thinks needs to change.
"I want to see our tax-payers’ money spent wisely to educate our kids," Hardman said.
Weller described his defeat as slightly bittersweet. Bitter because he didn’t win; but sweet because he has known Hardman his whole life.
"As I called Steve and congratulated him, we talked about a few ideas," he said. He added that he trusts Hardman will do a good job.
Weller plans to stay involved through his three children who attend South Summit schools until the next election. He said he’s unsure whether he’ll run again, but entertains the idea that he may.