Two school board positions contested
November 4, 2006
In the Nov. 7 North Summit school board elections every candidate has opposition, which, according to North Summit District Superintendent Steve Carlsen, is a sign of community interest he didn’t see two years ago.
But of the District 4 contest in which Phillip B. Geary is running against incumbent Thomas W. Toole, Carlsen said, "I’ve hardly heard a word from that race. I don’t think they’ve made signs."
"But the other two have campaigned more," Carlsen said of District 5 candidates Vern Williams and incumbent Jana K. Ross.
Carlsen said that the construction of the new middle school, the construction work on the high school and the new bus building, are almost completed after three years, which he said "brings everything up to snuff." He hopes to focus North Summit schools attention on achieving the goals set by the Federal No Child Left Behind, and the Utah equivalent of Utah Performance Assessment System for Students.
Beginning with the District 4 race, which covers South Coalville, Philip Geary sees the future growth of the district as the overriding issue. "The projected growth of the district indicates that by 2012 the current buildings will reach capacity," he said. "My feeling is we have to buy the right property, and when the time comes, build a quality high school."
Geary hopes to see the Latino parents become more involved in the education process and become more involved with organizations like the PTA and said he has been campaigning, and has sent out flyers.
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He says of the incumbent, "he’s a very good man, but it’s time for a change."
The incumbent, Thomas Toole, hopes to focus earlier attention on students’ preparation for the Utah Basic Skills Competency Test, all three sections of which must be passed for a basic high school diploma. He said he hopes students, especially with problems in math and English, can be identified and helped earlier.
He sees himself as being more conservative than any other board member, and a stickler for procedure. Although he said he did not place signs, he said he did go door-to-door with flyers.
In The District 5 race, which includes Calk Creek and Wanship, Vern Williams said he has issues with the school board not following board policy. "I want to make sure administrators follow policy to a T," he said. He also said he wants to ensure there are no wedges driven between parents and teachers, and teachers and the school board.
He said what separates him from the incumbent is that he has no kids in school. "I can look at all aspects of education without any bias," Williams said. "Eight years is long enough," he said of his opponent.
Incumbent Jana K. Ross wants the district to keep qualified teachers, stay on top of school programs and work closely with parents. She said she wants to focus on meeting the Annual Yearly Progress of the Federal No Child Left Behind program, where schools must show improvement on several indicators. She believes she has an edge on her opponent because she has two children in school. "My concentration is on kids," she said.
Carlsen is pleased with the interest of the candidates vying for seats the school board.
"I want this to be the best little small academic district that it can be."