We have much to accomplish as a board, beginning with breaking the cycle of poverty that plagues over 20% of our district. One does not step there. What has worked well and what areas stand in need of improvement? Over the past six months I have spoken with Native Americans, Cedar High students and teachers, parents of current students and alumni. Tessa Douglas: Right now, I believe some of the most immediate financial challenges being faced by the Iron County School District are related to facilities, both in regards to capacity and school safety. You can see a video about this on my website. Iron County School District 2077 W. Royal Hunte Dr., Cedar City, UT 84720 (435) 586.2804 | (435) 586.2815. The less micromanaging and paperwork expected of them, the more time they have to create, innovate and use their autonomy to their highest potential. I believe in fairly paying teachers. It has been a struggle for me as a parent since my kids entered school, and I have heard from many others that they want it changed as well. This inspires students. How do you feel Iron County School District has responded thus far regarding its response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Tessa Douglas: As I’ve seen and learned about other districts around our state and country, I’ve actually been very impressed with our district’s response to the pandemic. To address the board during public comments you must complete a blue “Public Comments Card” prior to the meeting and give it to the Board Secretary. We want our children to launch into the world with confidence in their ability to learn. Check out all of St. George News’ coverage of the 2020 election by clicking here. Iron County School District 2077 W. Royal Hunte Dr., Cedar City, UT 84720 (435) 586.2804 | (435) 586.2815. There were people in favor, against, and a lot who didn’t care or didn’t want to get involved. Too many people think that there is an unlimited supply of money and that as long as there is federal reimbursement for irresponsible spending, it is OK, such as happened (and continues to some degree) with the COVID “Meals on Wheels” program where the school district delivered thousands of meals each day for people 0-18 years of age for months. The Redmen symbol was never racist nor was it ever intended to be so. The return to school has probably gone as well as can be. When the decision was made to retire the Redmen name at Cedar High, there was pain on both sides of the issue. I am a retired high school teacher of 43 years: 10 years at Union High and 33 years at Cedar High. Something else I would do is to review our policies to ensure they are fair and effective for all district employees. The previous request for a bond looked like a blank check and there was very little communication with the public. According to a 2019 ULEAD report, approximately 40% of teachers leave the profession within five years and we’ve lost almost a third of the students in our teacher education programs in Utah. How do you see this affecting K-12 education, both in the short term and in the long term? As a school board member, would you endeavor to try to change Cedar High School’s emblem from the current “Reds” back to the former “Redmen”? I would have liked to have seen a stronger stand taken by our district and some efforts to form coalitions with other rural districts with the school reopening mask mandates. Teachers need time, resources and professional development to be successful. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is the absolute necessity of teachers being physically present with students. When disagreements arise, they need to be able to work them out and then support the final board decision. An ability to collaborate with others is hugely important in order for a board to be effective. Dave Staheli: I am a father and grandfather who has much interest in the Iron County School District. However, the narrative should never be, “How much can we get and how do we sell it to the voter?” (which is what I hear in school board meetings). I hope to unite us as a community and rally around our current Cedar High students. The original plan did not include a mask mandate; it was updated when the governor initiated one. The name was originally chosen for the athletic teams, but over time represented the entire student body. I will keep XLT time and I will make it better. Twenty years ago, teachers didn’t collaborate. They funded these through savings in the remaining substitute teaching budget, grants, and COVID relief. Three Peaks Elementary is maxed to capacity, as are our middle and high schools. Jeff Corry: A total of 608 hours of general instruction time over a four-year period are missed by students at Cedar High because of late start Wednesdays and XLTs (advisory time four days a week for 45 minutes a day). In your opinion, what are the greatest financial challenges being faced by Iron County School District, and how do you hope to prioritize and address them? However, the narrative should never be, “How much can we get and how do we sell it to the voter?” (which is what I hear in school board meetings). Address. My four kids attended Cedar High and I remember how difficult it was when the name was retired. I am a mother. CEDAR CITY — Tessa Douglas and Dave Staheli are the candidates on the ballot for the District 1 seat on the Iron County School District Board of Education. This might indicate a lack of trust. Teachers deal with far more regulation, professional peer pressure and administrative micromanagement than in years past. However, I’ve heard from a number of parents and teachers they would like something different. Teacher collaboration is great, but I am not a fan of mandated Professional Learning Communities, Check out all of St. George News’ coverage of the 2020 election by, With schools set to require masks, parents can help kids get the hang of it, UEA calls for delay in reopening schools hours after Washington County Board of Education approves plan, From paychecks to pandemics, state board of education candidates discuss how to improve K-12 academics, Red flag warning, wind advisory in effect in Southern Utah; gusts up to 50 mph expected, Washington County student's threat to shoot liberals goes viral on Twitter, Prescribed fire burning near Cedar City airport. I doubt the money involved with switching the name back would be much of an issue. These are all issues that need attention, and unfortunately, they are expensive. I believe that those who find it insensitive and painful have equally valid feelings. They get one-on-one help with assignments and materials they’re struggling with, they make up missed work if they have any, they connect with teachers in whose classes they need additional help. Shawn Pratt, President – Danny Wallis, Vice President – Jeff Pyatt, Treasurer – Adam Asher, Member – Cleatis Payne, Member – David Major, Member – Steve Pyatt, Member. That’s to be commended. I have experience hiring, holding people accountable, managing budgets and making difficult decisions. Iron County School District 2077 W. Royal Hunte Dr., Cedar City, UT 84720 (435) 586.2804 | (435) 586.2815. | Photos submitted by the candidates, St. George News / Cedar City News If a new bond is passed, it will allow us to replace aging buildings. COVID has exposed weaknesses the district didn’t know they had. I’m a farmer with common sense and familiarity in dealing with unforeseen events and challenges. I’m the VP of marketing at Leavitt Group and manage a large team of talented people. If a new bond is passed, it will allow us to replace aging buildings. Iron County School District 2077 W. Royal Hunte Dr., Cedar City, UT 84720 (435) 586.2804 | (435) 586.2815. In addition to my experience in education, I have also served on a number of boards and understand well how to work with others to create a shared vision and accomplish strategic goals for an organization. I am a proud Redman! The process was handled poorly, and people didn’t feel heard. Ultimately, there ended up being substantial food waste in the process. Our community might not have the appetite to approve a bond. My time is my own. The good news is that our district is close to retiring some bonds. And it’s something that takes time to educate the public about, so it needs to start now. None of our older schools are very secure, either in terms of entry or the ability to keep a shooter out of individual classrooms. Adopt the Native American education curriculum being prepared by the Native American Guardians Association to give our high school students a better understanding of Native American culture and tradition, including their patriotic view of the United States of America. I’ve been endorsed by the teachers and it’s because we believe in moving forward, not backwards. As a board, we need to earn back the trust of the community. The detailed plan was exhaustive and bold. Iron County School District Board of Education District 3 candidates Jeff Corry and Tiffiney Christiansen. Members: The long-term effects of our behavior in this situation leads me to believe that, we will never pass through another contagious seasonal illness without similar mandates, As the Title IX coordinator for my school, and as an experienced administrator, I understand the need for confidentiality and appropriate action when certain issues arise, and, I hope to show our district employees that I’m an advocate for them. Dave Staheli: Yes. By having the end picture in mind, I can help our district strategically plan our curriculum and advising to ensure our students are ready for success beyond high school. They feel it would be counterproductive and would reopen the divide that has been so painful. Times have changed. This must happen during contract hours when teachers don’t get interrupted and it’s not cutting into their family time. If this issue is brought to a vote, I would vote to switch it back in a heartbeat! Many teachers will tell you they can’t do their job without it, especially now with the added workload from COVID. Board Members. On a recent visit to Iron Springs Elementary to observe classes, I was impressed. One day, the kids are in front of teachers and then the next day they are not, yet education continues. If we go back to a system where teachers no longer collaborate or have trainings during contract time, or students have to try to come before and after school for help (especially our New Harmony and Beryl students), we are in danger of taking Iron County schools backward. Jeff Corry: In 1942, the student council of Cedar High, led by Jay Thorley, adopted the name “Redmen” representing the Native Americans who lived and still live in this area.