Jim Sayers first came to Bluff in 1980 as a teacher at Bluff Elementary School after just receiving his teaching credential at San Francisco State College. After managing the federally-funded tutoring at Bluff Elementary program for two years, he taught fifth grade for three years before leaving Bluff to obtain his Master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language at NAU. In 1986 he married Paula Hadley at St. Christopher’s Mission in Bluff, and in 1987 he returned to Bluff Elementary, once again as manager of tutoring.
Jim Sayers’ professiona trademark has been an unwavering commitment to equitable treatment for all students and inclusive decision-making. Sayers was an early adopter of computers in the classroom, and was voted President of San Juan Education Association in 1989. His energy and accomplishments, including several regional and national ESL professional presentations, supported his joining the English faculty at College of Eastern Utah (now USU Blanding) in 1992 as full-time untenured instructor. He taught College Prep (Developmental) and other English courses in Blanding, Montezuma Creek, and Monument Valley. He continued his professional activities, including publishing, as a member of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Civic activity at this time included running for School Board for the Bluff-White Mesa-Southeast Blanding position, which he lost by a narrow margin.
In 1993 Sayers was appointed to the Utah Humanities Council, and in 1997 he was brought into a tenure appointment with the University of New Mexico-Gallup Campus. His successful accomplishments at UNM-G include Department Chair, Title III Grant Manager ($1.3M), and Associate Academic Dean. He served on a number of task forces and special committees for New Mexico Higher Education Department. He retired in 2015.
Jim Sayers’ civic life in Bluff, similar to his professional career, is marked by actively attending to fairness, conscience, and integrity. As a founding member of Bluff’s first Service Area Board, he worked to ensure residents received factual information when decisions were to be made, and as Chair of the Board, he advocated transparent process and sensible and affordable solutions. He is a candidate for a two year position on Bluff City Council.
Jim Sayers is married to Paula Hadley Sayers, who is a member of Mexican Water Utah Chapter of the Navajo Nation. They have two grown children, David Sayers and Cheyenne Charlee.