Letters to the Editor
To the Park City Community and the Park City Board of Education:
It has been our privilege to work with Michele Wallace as principal of Jeremy Ranch Elementary for the past six years and, for many of us, as a teaching colleague before she became our principal.
Our staff has been continually impressed with Michele Wallace’s dedication to her job. She has made Jeremy Ranch Elementary a very supportive place to work. Her positive attitude, hard work and goal-oriented approach to her job makes our school a tremendous learning environment for students and teachers alike. She is completely approachable and always available to discuss concerns, help us problem solve when we’re having difficulty meeting the needs of a student, or struggling with a decision that will affect our classroom or ability to be the best teachers we can be.
After careful study and research, Ms. Wallace implemented a school-wide behavior plan that has practically eliminated disruptive behaviors. Appropriate conduct is reinforced and discipline problems are turned into teaching moments. Good choices are recognized with the distribution of notes known as "gold slips." Students who exemplify the traits of integrity, respect, compassion and civility are honored and have the opportunity to enjoy breakfast with Ms. Wallace and their parents. This behavior program has improved the climate at our school. It is a place where students are inspired to excel. They are able to focus on their studies, free from the distraction of inappropriate behavior.
Our students show outstanding academic performance, exhibiting some of the highest test scores in the state. Our academic scores were always good, but now they are even better. Much of this is due to the programs implemented by Michele Wallace.
Ms. Wallace’s dedication to the students at Jeremy Ranch Elementary is remarkable. We are motivated by her example and consider it a privilege to work with such an outstanding principal. We sincerely hope that Michele Wallace will return as our principal next year. Our school community, staff and students will suffer a tremendous loss if she does not return and continue in her capacity as our leader.
Faculty and Staff of Jeremy Ranch Elementary School:
Cresta Allen, Susan Brewer, Heatherly Gardner, Shawna Robb, Patti Davis, Kae Covington, Debra Guthrey, Jackie Lovett, Elizabeth Hensler, Debbie Jensen, Ginny Etheridge, Kae Covington, Traci Evans, Catherine J. Pankow, Melinda Breiholz, Sandra Jones, Barb Hansen, Nicholas Jones, Kara Hendrickson, Robyn Beck, Molly Forster, Patricia Papez, Pat Fulmer, Kris Morris, Susan Valentine, Valorie VanDenBerghe, Marissa Zuchetto, Marianne Demers, Nancy Berry, Elaine Jolley, Terry Black, Betty Santana, Joe Demers, Kevin Luke, Laura Hayes, Arturo Munos, Linda Hilton, Diana Sylvester, Stephanie Bartholomew, Cindy Medes, Crystal Carpenter, Marjean Johnston, Ellen Lowell, Jeanette Raymer, Mindy Nelson, Carol Grzybowski, Susan Boone, Keith Meyer, Karen Voth, Angela Parenti, Kathy Anderson, Paula Botkin, Chip Cook-Eichner, Mary Morgan, Caren McClelland, Lindsey Spendlove, Carol Boissonnault, Meg Marsland
Clarity is key
Fr. Bob’s humanitarian efforts, his kindness and compassion have never been in question. These are certainly traits that make him so likeable to many. What is important for the faithful is whether the Catholic Church’s faith and her morals are being taught and administered. The two must be separated for a clear and honest debate to go any further concerning Church teaching on homosexuality. Our church is not a democracy and Christ is still its head with our Pope as its Vicar. No one is required to stay a Catholic if they do not believe they can come to grips with the church’s teaching.
With regard to church teaching, Fr. William Casey, of the Fathers of Mercy once asked, "Are we trying to conform Christ and His Church into our ways or are we striving to conform ourselves in the image and likeness of Christ?" Christ’s sacrifice was the pinnacle of His showing His love for us. We too are called to live sacrificial lives of obedience, denial of self, denial of the world’s pleasures and going against the popular culture. These are some examples of the cross we pick up daily. It is not an easy life to live, but we have our example in He who gave His life for all of us.
Fr. Bob is a great example of Christian compassion and charity, as I believe the Catholic Church to be in all of her teaching.
School funding limitations
I’d like to comment on the recent letters, which have questioned why the School Board doesn’t increase revenues. Increased revenue generation is limited by state law and largely uncontrollable locally. Your school board members have spent countless hours at the legislature attempting to get the per-pupil funding increased, fighting against vouchers, pushing for impact fees and encouraging legislation to discontinue the float down on the voted leeway, which limits our generation of local property tax.
Many people have indicated that they would be willing to see their taxes increased for education, yet, when legislation is raised, such as doing away with tax deductions based on number of dependents, it seems that it is always defeated.
The one local, general fund leeway that the board controls is the voted leeway. This is the only source of potential extra funds, in times of shortfall. This year, the board increased this tax by $2.5 million. Had there not been room in the voted leeway, the district would have had to make immediate cuts, without the benefit of time for constituent input and planning.
This leeway has a maximum limit, by law. Not even a local vote can increase it. Exhausting this one remaining source of locally controlled funds takes the district dangerously close to the edge.
Different tax levies go to different funds, and the law forbids intermingling of these funds. For instance, taxes collected for buildings cannot be used to pay for compensation and programs. I urge those who are interested in better understanding the complexities and limitations of public school funding to contact their board member. If constituents would like to assist the board in increasing revenue opportunities they can call their legislators in regards to any of these issues and/or they can support the Park City Education Foundation.
Kathryn Adair, former member
Park City Board of Education
Dog park meeting
Dear Park City,
The Dog Park Foundation would like you to come support the Park City Dog Park on Thursday, March 29, at 5:20 p.m., at the City Council work session at the Marsac Building. We will be discussing the final decision on whether we will have a dog park or not.
Come show your support for the dog park. This is going to be a great park for our city, dogs and people.
Voters should settle road spat
Patrick Parkinson’s article presented a fair assessment of what the majority of citizens of Francis are concerned about. It is our hope that the "spat" about the road can lead to a two-way dialog between the town government and its voters so that an equitable agreement can be reached about vacating the road. At this time, it appears that a referendum is our only way of having our concerns seriously considered.
Thanks to The Park Record for the coverage of Francis petitioning to place the Hilltop Road closure issue on the November Ballot. Like Park City years ago, Francis, Coalville and Heber are experiencing tremendous growing pains. Francis citizens wish to work hand-in-hand with city officials instead of battling a runaway town council. To defend the closure of Hilltop Road because it rectifies the problematic intersection — and the intersection remains open and as is is illogical. It only becomes suspicious because of the new subdivision planned for the exact same stretch of road giving several hilltop lots added value.
Hilltop Road is important to many area residents now and will become increasingly necessary to accommodate the traffic of 250-plus new homes. In addition, re-routing all that traffic through a family-filled subdivision with no sidewalks is an accident in the making. If certain council members didn’t hear the overwhelming public outcry (both verbal and written) against the closure in the last couple of months, then we want to be sure they hear it on Election Day. flexing our constitutional muscle, Francis is simply asking that "We the People" be allowed to make the decision — no matter what the outcome. For, against or indifferent, I urge everyone to find one of the many petitions in circulation and add your name.
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“Proponents should be honest about what they plan to put in a landfill,” writes Thomas Jacobson, “and everyone should understand the consequences if the geology and hydrology have not been properly studied.”