MEET THE CANDIDATE
I want to build a school district where parents, students, and teachers feel valued, respected, trusted, and understood. That's why I'm running for Murray City School Board. We need to establish quality communication and cooperation as we all work together to get through difficult issues. Creating an encouraging environment where all stakeholders can be united in providing safe schools and a well-rounded education for each of our students is one of my top goals.
As a resident of Murray and a career educator, I will bring my knowledge and experience to accomplish these objectives.
I received my Masters in Educational Leadership (M.Ed.) from Brigham Young University and my Bachelors in Elementary Education from Southern Utah University. I taught elementary school for over 15 years and was in school administration for 2 years. As part of my career, I've developed school wide discipline plans, created curriculum mapping, and served on advisory panels for the Utah State Office of Education.
District 3 represents Parkside Elementary, Hillcrest Junior High, and Murray High. This is a diverse and unique precinct. The school board member who represents these schools needs to be committed to representing the families, students, teachers, and communities. We must have a school board member who will stand up and require the actions needed for the success of our students and schools.
We should be doing everything in our power to support our teachers. Teachers are already following a very strict set of core standards and have many demands placed on them from numerous sources. As we create practical guidelines and provide increased support for our teachers, we will be able to attract and retain excellent educators and staff.
I want to provide ongoing training and innovative strategies to help students succeed academically, emotionally, and physically.
Since students spend so much of their time at school, schools are critical to building successful individuals and communities.
Every student needs four things from their school:
They need to feel safe.
They need to feel that they belong.
They need to realize that they are good at something.
They need to enjoy the experience.
We need to look for innovative strategies to help kids be well-rounded, healthy individuals. These strategies can be implemented with the assistance of great social workers and counselors. Healthy, happy students are always more successful students.
I strongly support art and music programs. There are so many good things that come from these programs. I would love to see greater involvement in art and music in our schools. It’s a place that many of our students gain confidence through a sense of accomplishment and belonging.
I will listen to all stakeholders and seek common ground as we work toward answers. We need to be a community that can come to the table with many viewpoints and still find things we can agree on. All of us want the same outcome. We all want our children to grow into happy, productive adults.
I will work to provide transparency for district policies and programs so everyone feels empowered and involved in the education of our children. As we work together, the district needs to make parents aware of decisions and policies so families can work with schools to teach and rear their children how they see fit. If parents are well informed about what is happening in the schools, they can follow up with discussions at home to guide their children.
Additionally, I will encourage fiscal responsibility and consider innovative strategies and ideas as we prepare for major facility upgrades and reconstruction. Also, I will look for new strategies to increase graduation rates, including opportunities for non-traditional students.
I'm looking forward to this opportunity to serve the children, families and communities of Murray.
- - - - -
Questions asked of Jill:
How can the Murray School Board attract and retain quality teachers and support staff such as bus drivers, teachers aides, and custodians? Are there factors besides salary which could make the district more competitive?
We should do everything in our power to make sure teachers, support staff, and administrators feel supported, valued, and empowered. We need to make sure they are treated as professionals. We need to ensure that teachers have time to accomplish the work they need to do, and allow them the discretion to use their time as they need for planning, learning, development, training, etc. We need to support bus drivers, teachers’ aides, custodians, and all school employees by providing channels of communication for them to voice what they need – then work with them to make sure they have the support they require to do their jobs effectively. In my experience as an educator, lack of communication can breed problems for all stakeholders. When faculty and staff feel heard and respected, then schools and students can improve.
Do you support the district's policy for reconsidering books and other resources in classrooms and libraries? Please explain your position.
The District’s current policy is well researched and thought out. It gives teachers and administrators the ability to select books and curriculum that are appropriate and empowers the parents and other stakeholders to provide feedback and suggestions through established communication channels. I believe it is a model for how teachers, administrators, and parents can work together to create supportive schools. Parents can voice concerns and help shape what happens in the classroom, while educators can use their knowledge and expertise to help students thrive.
How do you propose to provide an equitable education to a diverse student population? In other words, how might you better assist underserved students and their parents?
We need to create an inclusive environment so that each child can focus on learning. Every student needs four things from their school:
1. They need to feel safe.
2. They need to feel that they belong.
3. They need to realize that they are good at something.
4. They need to enjoy the experience.
We want to provide a variety of services that will strengthen education, including, but not limited to, adequate translation services for English Language Learners and their families, easy physical access to buildings, increased counseling support, and enhanced career preparation resources. These and other services can help students feel accepted and excel in schools.
Why are you running for the Murray School Board? What experience, expertise, and insights would you bring to the Board?
I was asked by Murray parents and educators to run for Murray City School Board because of my experience as an educator and administrator and my desire to help students succeed. I want to help shape a school district where parents, students, and teachers feel valued, respected, trusted, and understood. I want to establish quality communication and work with all stakeholders to get through difficult issues.
What role should the Murray School Board have in combating bullying, harassment, and discrimination within the district? What actions would you suggest be taken to address these issues?
We need to see the value of each individual in the schools. Parents, educators, and students can stand as role models against bullying, harassment, and discrimination. Murray City School Board can better equip principals, teachers, and support staff by providing regular training to identify the symptoms and incidences of bullying. These trainings ought to include clear communication channels for students, parents, and educators to share incidents and feel protected. These trainings could be modified and shared in age-appropriate ways with our students. In considering bullying, harassment, discrimination, and other issues, I realize the value the power of collaboration and cooperation to get the best possible outcome in any situation. I welcome and encourage perspectives from all stakeholders. As we gather better information, we can make better decisions. This will happen as students, parents, educators, and community members engage and invest in our schools.
Learn more about Jill and her goals for strengthening Murray schools and education.
Learn how you can participate in this election and help to make Murray Schools even better.