Merri Shumway: Candidate, San Juan School Board, District 2
Oct 24, 2012 | 873 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I am Merri Shumway and am married to Shane. We have five children who have completed their kindergarten through high school education in the San Juan School District which has given me a broad understanding of challenges and achievements that students experience in each of the schools in Blanding.

Our children have graduated with a bachelor degree or are currently in a bachelor program. Education has been a top priority in our family’s lives and continues to be. I have been active in PTA and served as the president. I also served several terms on the community council. I have been involved in education in many ways throughout the years and I have a lot of background experience which helps me in decision making. I also attended school in Blanding and understand firsthand the unique circumstances of our district.

I am running for re-election of the Board of Education because I love of this area and the people here. There are many good things happening in our schools. There are also many areas where we need to improve and provide more opportunities for students. I am committed to make decision that hold people accountable for quality instruction in our classrooms. We are in the process of implementing Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) within our schools which have dramatically improved scores in other school districts across the country especially in the areas of math, science and reading. I am hopeful in this change and believe PLC’s will dramatically increase our scores as well. Change is often painful for many, but I believe we have to be willing to work smarter and harder to provide the necessary instruction and educational tools for our students.

Responsibilities of The Board of Education include annually setting the property tax rate, approving employee salaries and approving the budget. My family’s livelihood is not dependent on the school district so I am able to bring an unbiased viewpoint and it allows me to vote objectively. I have no conflict of interest in this duty as a board member. I take this responsibility seriously because property taxes affect people in a dramatic way. It’s hard to find the right balance on how much is spent on education and how much tax is taken from people in order to pay for it.

We have many hard working educators. I am grateful for the dedication and for the passion in which they teach and for the love and respect they have for students. I have seen this firsthand for 23 years as I have volunteered at Blanding Elementary. It has been seven years since I have had a child attend Blanding Elementary but I have continued to volunteer there. I love helping the students and it gives me insight to the everyday experience students and teachers are having. I also visit the middle school and high school regularly.

I understand the role the local economy plays in funding education. The stronger our economy the more money we have to spend on education. I don’t believe we should have a high tax rate to fund education. I believe we should focus on growing our economy to increase our educational funding. I don’t want to take a bigger percentage of what the economy produces I want our economy to produce more in order to have more money to fund education. I am a proponent of a lower property tax rate. I am conservative in my own life and I bring the same conservative belief to decisions I make on the board.

I appreciate and value exceptional educators. They teach and shape the lives of our children and create opportunities that affect their lives forever. I believe great educators are not paid what they are really worth.

Thank you for the support you have given me in the past. I appreciate all who communicate with me about concerns within our schools. Because of interested parents and community members there have been many improvements made. You are my eyes and ears. I appreciate comments and input and hope that it continues. I have always welcomed your comments and will continue to be open to all suggestions and concerns.

I ask for your support. Thanks for your consideration.
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