From: Kimberlie Kehrer
To: Michael Mckell,
Subject: HB228 Yes Please
Date: Thu Mar 06 21:39:35 MST 2014
I don't write this because I am a spoiled sport.  Far from it.  I just love education and helping children succeed.  But my story with the state school board elections was quite different than I expected.

Here is my story:

I felt that I could offer insight from a variety of experiences.

  • As a public school teacher of 3-5th grade Spanish Immersion teacher  and 5th grade Science Specialist in the Alpine School District trained in the STEM fields.
  • As PTA teacher rep at my school.
  • As a shelter parent providing temporary foster care through the Division of Family Services.
  • As first treasurer of the Christmas Box House, to help raise the funds to build the first children’s shelter in Salt Lake.
  • Bilingual having served and worked with Spanish speaking as a teacher, mentor, Relief Society president of a spanish branch, and serving those in the community struggling.
  • As a mother who was told that homeschooling was the only option for my bright daughter since there was no available GATE programs where we lived.
  • As a teacher to students in the homeschool network teaching elementary sciences of Anatomy, Chemistry, Biology, and American Literature along with a program called Knight Writers (focusing on reading and writing skills for boys).
  • As a consultant both in California and Utah helping various venues create and  provide classes based upon the state standards.
  • As a parent teacher volunteer teaching children reading in the classroom.
  • Former president of WHEN who had watched it grow from an active 40 families to currently over 1200 families in 2013 that were seeking educational opportunities for their children.
  • As a parent volunteer at my children school creating the 7/8th grade accelerated learning/college prep program at Merit to prepare kids to enter the UCAS or associates programs.
  • As a parent with an excellent record with my own children as I focused upon meeting their needs and developing their personal skills sets despite severe difficulties.
  • A proactive parent of two children who successfully utilized the UCAS associates program.

Needless to say, I felt qualified and wanted to see if voters in my district would agree. More than current board members who have absolutely no education background.

I had seen many sides of the educational arena, had created and provided solutions to help children succeed, and was hoping my expertise, my ability to research, and time availability would help represent many parents both inside and outside the system. I had no conflict of interest for I had no business for which to make money. There wasn’t anything the board could offer me as a benefit but I knew that I could contribute my time to help the Utah State Office of Education succeed without anything in return.

I knew by looking at the experience of others who were on the board and what was required, I could relate to them as equals and speak eye to eye. Because I tend to be OCD doing my research in finding resources and solutions, I knew that I would need time available to do my homework and communicate with those in my district. I knew communication wouldn’t be a problem for me.  I was ready to find solutions, using ideas from my past experiences on what could be improved. I had a track record with my children’s successes. And I was ready to make my case to voters and see if they agreed.

But instead through the selection process, I made it to the very end but then two lawyers with far less educational background were chosen and our district had only these two voters had to choose from.  It really was a wash. 

If the school board is to represent the people to allow the people to choose from all the candidates, in a representative form of government, we shouldn't suppress the actual representation.  The current process to narrow down the voter's options of state school board candidates does not allow people to decide who should represent them.  Currently the governor gets first pick not the people. 

I didn't get to serve on the school board but I do serve on the parent panel for the state testing. For this, I am grateful but I would hope you would allow the people to decide not the governor or his pick from the USOE who have specific goals and targets in mind. 

Thank you for your time.
Kim Kehrer