Erin Grady’s Response to Park Rag School Board Candidate Questions
Earlier this week I provided questions to each of the Park City School Board candidates. The first response I received was from the current School Board President, Erin Grady.
- Tell us about yourself. How will you help make the Park City School Board the best that it has ever been?
I’m Erin Grady, one the five members of the Park City School Board (PCSD) and current President. I had the privilege of growing up in Park City. I moved here the second half of my first-grade year and attended Parley’s Park Elementary, then Treasure and graduated from Park City High School. I attended the University of Utah where I majored in Public Relations. I graduated and was immediately hired at Deer Valley Resort as part of their Public Relations team. While at Deer Valley I met my husband, we have two children that are both students in the Park City School District. Beyond the PCSD Board, I also sit on the Board for PC READS and on the Board of Directors for the Park City Chamber of Commerce.
Since being elected to the Board five years ago, I am proud of where the district has come. When I started, we were just beginning our Master Planning process. This past November, we were able to get a $50 million bond passed. This plan is not to just expand our schools but, to take the communities vision by realigning and growing space for our early childhood learners, wrap around services and CTE (Career Technology Education). These enhancements allow our educators ensure best practices for our children’s future education. I am committed to making sure that we are communicating and staying fiscally on track as we move forward with the building process and realignment. As we move into realignment, we as a Board are tasked with making sure our strategic plan continues to reflect the values of our community. Our strategic plan includes making sure our mission to inspire and support all students equitably to achieve their academic and social potential still stands. We will do this by working with our teachers, students, parents and our community partners.
- The majority of every Park City family’s property taxes goes to the Park City School District. Many of us have had our taxes triple over the last decade. How will you balance ensuring our educators are paid fairly while ensuring taxes are within residents’ means?
The actual rate has not significantly increased. It’s more a result of the property value assessments. In fact we didn’t even change the rate this year to pay for the new buildings.
- Should the book Fun Home by Alison Bechdel be in the Treasure Mountain Junior High library. Why or why not?
The board has adopted a policy that addresses HB374 about sensitive materials. We have adopted a policy that we believe complies to state law while balancing the inherent right of all students and relies on our wise and professional educators. We have set up a procedure to challenge any book under the sensitive materials definition and will take every challenge seriously and follow our policy and procedures to adopt it.
- The school district has been involved in a number of controversies recently (mask mandates, child abuse, building permits, etc.). Do you think PCSD needs to change? If not, why not? If so, why?
No, I stand behind how we managed the numerous challenges that have faced us. I think there inherently is always going to be challenges and it is not what happens to you but how you manage it. Does that mean we always get things right the first time, no, but we are willing to pivot and adjust as needed to serve this district and community.
- What is one thing you will deliver if elected to the school board?
I intend to focus on the elements of the position that may not grab the headlines but are necessary and foundational to create the best version of the Park City School District like salaries, retention, ensuring we have fiscal responsibility, facilities, etc. and I am looking forward to continuing to do the serious work my constituents have elected me to do and really try and avoid unnecessary and polarizing issues that are not necessary for the highest functioning district and have the potential to divide our community. You should and can expect that from me as a school board member.
- What’s the most impactful memory you have of when you were in elementary school?
Teachers…there are many of them from Elementary to High School that impacted me and am still so grateful for them today.
We need to move on from Erin Grady. PCSD has gotten so much worse on her watch. Teachers have left because of upper management. Local families have left because of PCSD. Volunteers have left. Students have left and gone down to SLC. Our ratings suck compared to years ago when it was at the top of Utah’s schools. The bond construction project went off track before it even started but Erin says she thinks everything’s great. She says, are we perfect? No. But that doesn’t help the district get any better at anything. That’s not problem solving. She can’t even put a finger on what’s going wrong. She doesn’t care about students and teachers. Maybe she cares about her own kid, but not anyone else’s. It’s way past time to give someone else a chance on the board.
That is not true. Erin has been incredibly supportive to teachers and has been instrumental in raising the RHTA and pushing for higher salaries. She cares very much about teachers and students, not just her own.
Erin has been instrumental in working will all staff to increase pay. I hope she gets re elected so we can continue the work! She understands it’s not just the teachers but it’s also the bus drivers, ESPs and cafeteria workers that make our district work.
COO Mike Tanner has estimated the permit SNAFUs at 4 different construction projects will result in PCSD being 6 months to a year behind schedule. This will end up costing the taxpayers dearly, likely millions. Erin acknowledges that mistakes were made, but doesn’t seem to take any responsibility. It is actually her and the board’s responsibility.
Interesting that the other “teachers” on this thread are so supportive. The culture in the district is toxic. Teachers are NEVER listened to, especially when important change is needed. Ask the teachers who left how they feel. 15 teachers at Treasure alone. The teachers are also unhappy with the superintendent, BUT the board (led by Grady) decided to happily keep her. The best advice I have, make change happen. Otherwise, more teachers will leave.
Erin can’t hide from the truth. The fact is this administration is a disaster that force teachers into uncomforatble situations. Its a toxic work place. She supports it and knows she supports it. She won’t change it. We can’t keep lying like the lego movie Everything is Awesome! Our kids suffer the consequences. Erin can’t hide from that. Look at http://www.schooldigger.com or http://www.niche.com or U.S. News and World Report. Nick Hill did and he’s right. There’s so much work to do to bring us up to speed we’re so behind. Erin can’t hide from the fact she’s part of that decline.
I mean, we left because of the super and board. Literally moved away. I personally know at least a half dozen teachers, all among (at least in my opinion) the best who also left the district.
Grady has been the president during a long series of pretty terrible scandals, at the end of which she voted to renew the superintendent’s contract. I’m surprised she had the chutzpah to run, honestly.
It’s possible that she and other board members honestly believe none of the various problems is their fault, I guess (or apparently the superintendent’s or COO’s fault, either). Cognitive dissonance/the PCSD curse is a real bitch.
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