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Park City School Board interviewed three candidates today for vacated board seat

The Park City School Board interviewed three candidates for the position vacated by Phil Kaplan.

During a quick hour and a half session, the board asked the same questions of candidates and tried to ask questions of a third… but that didn’t go so well. We will post the video of the third candidate’s interview tomorrow.

The interviews led off with James Meyer, who was the former headmaster of Oakley school. Anne Peters, a former VP of Sundance Catalog, followed Mr. Meyer. Wrapping up the interviews was Tommy Tanzer, a sports agent.

The district did a good job with the interviews. The same questions were asked of each candidate. Having witnessed quite a few interviews for various boards round the county, the district mastered efficiency and showed great command over the process.

We’ve captured the interview questions and tried to summarize the candidates answers as best we could. The district will post a video of the interviews soon, if you want to view the exact answers. The decision on the newest school board member will come Tuesday morning.

James Meyer

Are you related to anyone on the school board our school district: No

Do you conduct any business with the Pc School District: No

Two primary responsibilities of the board are budget and policy?

  • I started my own business. I was the head master of Oakley school for 15 years
  • Writing policies for kids with behavioral issues, I did for 15 years
  • Now I run a small business and am responsible for that.

How would you decide on appropriate levels of spending?

  • Carefully and deliberately
  • Those are the roles
  • You can’t have it all
  • Thinking there is going to be enough money al the time, there isn’t.
  • A strength is collaborating
  • Big believer in compromise to find a way to get through.
  • Wants to make sure the process is admirable and ethical
  • May not be liked by all but at least its done the right way

How do you build trust and responsibility as a team?

  • I’m not a political person.
  • I don’t do well with factions and back room deals
  • I don’t live that way and have never done it.
  • When I was at Oakley school, I had teachers who sometimes would want things but I can’t give it to them. We had mutual respect . There is a sense of comradely. It is crucial for people to know that can all work together. If we are too polarized, that won’t happen.

What are the strengths of the district?

  • Our location should allow us to recruit and retain great people because of our location
  • We have a talented teaching staff and the decision to give them a raise speaks highly about how people feel about our teachers.
  • Have good parents

As an incoming board member, do you have priorities for improving district?

  • Developing a commonality is important. There is a perception that there is a split and that there are factions. Some feel the board is split. Need to bring a sense of unity and purpose.
  • The bond is an example and the upcoming bond is another example.

How will you balance your role on a board member with being a community member?

  • Important to have boundaries
  • Conjecture, gossip, and talking out of school are not things to do.
  • Quote: “You have to live your life so you wouldn’t be afraid to sell your parrot to the town gossip”
  • Everyone says this is a difficult position. Your talking about peoples’ livelihoods. This can’t be taken lightly. That can’t side tracked by rumor and innudendo.

How do see the boards role different form the Superintendent?

  • The board’s job is managing the policies of the district. The Superintendent’s job is to execute and then provide input back to board.
  • Superintendent is liaison between teachers and board.

What questions do you have for us?

  • Can this board work together?
    • Andrew Kaplan: Can you be more specific about how we are not working together? It’s a new board and we have one member who left. In the 6 months we’ve been together we’ve done a lot. What exactly are you trying to get at about how we are split?
    • Candidate 1: I don’t know whether it’s broken. I’m not sure. It’ why I’m asking the qesution. I’ve met with a number of board members to discuss issues. Through that, that’s one of the things I’ve gathered. People have said there are splits in things. The person who comes in will have a big impact on that.
    • Andrew: Te public’s perception of the board hasn’t been great. Over the past few months the relations between board, superintendent, and others has gotten better. The most important thing is weighing what’s best for students and not personal opinions.
    • Petra: This board has gone through a difficult time because of all the issues needed to deal with. The time put in by the members is huge. It hasn’t been just 5 hours a week. There are issues we have to work together… but you’d be part of that team and part of group. You’d need to be able to be open minded.
    • JJ: It will be good to be a full 5 member board.
    • Julie: We are all committed to working together as a team. While it may not be the smoothest to get there, we are working toward that.
  • What are the top 3 priorities in the next 1-3 years.
    • Petra: It’s facilities. It’s the Master Plan. Start Times. Mental Health.
    • JJ: In addition there is the strategic plan
    • Julie: The bond is important. Our relationship with the community is improving but we need to continue to work on it.

What are your thoughts on the bond (follow up question)?

  • The hard part of the bond is that we didn’t have a bond that passed… 1.5 years later we have another bond that costs more but we don’t have athletic facilities. I think teachers’ salaries will help with that but we as a board need to worry about facilities. That is going to be delicate. The bond itself needs to be detailed where people can their head around it. The 5/6 is a lighting bolt. Right now, I would vote for it. I would do that because its good for our community. It helps kids. Second, our facilities need an upgrade.

Anne Peters

Related to anyone in the district: No

Do you have business interests with the school district?: I am aa teacher substitute in the district

Two primary responsibilities of the board are budget and policy? What are your experience with policies.

  • I had P&L for many companies. 2 Billion dollars companies and small companies. I have experience in it and accountability. I’ve been part of executive leadership and boards. As part of that there are policy decisions. Some are big and some are small but I have had experience.

How would you decide on appropriate levels of spending:

  • I would use an example of a house. You can’t do everything you want.
  • I’d also look at the ages going in and figure out how to allocate money
  • I’d figure out also how to track that because many times that’s left out.

How do you build trust and responsibility as a team?

  • I have a lot of experience in that. I have a 10 year old in the district. I that others as I would want to be treated. I don’t want to waste people’s time. I like to express my position but willing to listen and discuss. I’ve been a liaison between large customers. You have to compromise. I have. A lot of experience i that.

What are the strengths of the district?

  • I’ve started subbing in the district and have been involved in the classroom for years. I have subbed for a year. Being the district, I see what teachers have to do. They are amazing. I work close with the Principal. The staff is our greatest asset.

As an incoming board member, do you have priorities for improving district?

  • I would say the buildings. I have a child going into Treasure. Think we have a best in class organization but I’d like to see the facilities match that.Colors, lights, and it all matters.

How will you balance your role on a board member with being a community member?

  • I thought about my experience in being in a company. You are with your employees on busies trips 24X7. In my opinion your allegiance is to the board. You pay attention to what people say and bring it back.

How do see the boards role different form the Superintendent?

  • The Superintendent is the CEO of the organization. The board gives her direction and supports her.

What questions do you have for us?

  • Most questions have been answered by info sessions
  • I love living here. I came here by choice and love it. I was to be part of the community.

How long have you lived here?

  • 2001

Tommy Tanzer

Related to anyone on the board: No

Business interest: No …

…but I want to say something. The reason I’m here is that I’ve watched for 40 years the disfunctionality of the district. It’s not your fault and it is getting better. No one here is pulling strings and I get this from the teachers. I really like where we are and see the potential. I’m tired of seeing the politics. It’s not a disfunctional admin, teachers, etc. It’s the board that’s dysfunctional. Phil’s an example. Today is the first day of a new School District. We can make a decision about going forward in a cooperative manner. The bullshit is going to stop today. I need the board to tell me what we need the public. If you pick me we won’t get there in pretty fashion. I’m doing this because I’m better qualified and I will do a better job. I am obnoxious but people believe me. If you pick the wrong person I will go to the press with information.

These questions don’t mean anything. You need to find someone who is not a dupe. You need someone who is independent and cares about kids.

[Park Rag here…] There were actual questions answered, but it was out there. We’ve decided to just point you to the interview one it is online. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

It was an interesting set of interviews. We’ll see who the board goes with on Tuesday.


1 Comment

My Choice

I pick Anne Peters.

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