UPDATED: Voters elect educator to Park City school board
Kara Hendrickson is the newest member of the Park City Board of Education.
Hendrickson, a former teacher in the district, earned more than twice the number of votes than her opponent Vicky Fitlow in the District 4 race. Hendrickson won 69.7 percent of the vote to Fitlow’s 30.3, according to updated preliminary results released Friday by the Summit County Clerk’s Office. She will be replacing Board member J.J. Ehlers.
Board members Anne Peters and Erin Grady were both unopposed in Districts 1 and 5, respectively.
Hendrickson ran for a seat on the Board because she wanted to bring a teacher’s voice to the district’s critical decisions, because she said that perspective is often absent. The Board is currently determining its master plan, including future facilities and school amenities.
Hendrickson stressed her experience throughout her campaign, which was highlighted on her posters with the phrase “30 year parent, 30 year educator.”
For the last 16 years of her working career, Hendrickson taught at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School. Her children attended the district from kindergarten through senior year.
Hendrickson also campaigned on a need for more “transparency” in the Board, especially as it relates to budget and curriculum decisions. For example, the addition of various new programs in the past put too much stress on teachers, she said, and she hopes they are more involved in future changes to curriculum.
She said she is “really excited” to be a part of the Board.
“I couldn’t be happier, because we have a lot of work to do. I think it will benefit the Board so much to have an education perspective,” she said.
Fitlow said voters appeared to hold onto the fact that Hendrickson was a former teacher and that she could bring a different point of view.
“I wish her well,” she said. “I am proud of the campaign I ran and grateful to the many voters who supported me.”
She said she plans on staying involved with the community going forward.
In South Summit Board of Education’s District 4 race, incumbent Steve Hardman topped Hoyt Atkinson with 51.7 percent of votes to 48.3 percent. The other incumbent, Debra Blazzard, beat out Stacy Maxfield, with 53.8 percent of votes to 46.2 percent in the District 5 race.
Blazzard said she thought it would be a close race because both candidates are involved in the community, but she is happy with the outcome.
“I am excited to move forward and continue on with where we are at and what needs to be done to get a bond passed in 2019,” she said.
The bond that failed last year was the main talking point of the South Summit race, as candidates stressed the skills they would bring to get a bond to pass.
Hardman was not available for comment.
The two races in North Summit School District were uncontested.
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Compensation is the largest issue left on the table after a contract governing most every other aspect of teachers’ employment was negotiated earlier in June.