San Juan School Board
Merri Shumway is an incumbent up for re-election in district 2. Merri currently serves as the vice president of the San Juan Board of Education and as a board member of the Utah School Boards Association, representing seven school districts in southeastern Utah.
As a past school board president, PTA president, community council member at Blanding Elementary and Albert R. Lyman Middle School, classroom volunteer, and a San Juan Foundation board member, Merri has a lot of experience in many areas of K-12 education.
Utah K-12 education is funded by income tax and local property tax. Utah statistic show more unemployment claims were filed in the past six months than were filed over the last five years. This indicates that there may be a significant loss of revenue to the school district.
During this period of economic uncertainty, Merri’s experience will be valuable to keep current employees in place if budget cuts become necessary. Merri, a conservative, will not increase taxes to make up the difference though. Careful planning will be crucial.
COVID-19 is has taken a toll. It is important that the school board address the current District COVID-19 Plan and make practical changes. It will be necessary to address the plan every month and listen closely to teachers, parents and students, in order to come up with solutions in areas that are not working and have caused unnecessary work and stress for teachers, students and parents. SJSD teachers have been carrying a huge load. Plans to alleviate the workload on teachers is badly needed.
Merri has been part of a school board that supports teachers- SJSD is in the top third for highest teacher salaries in the state. It’s balance act worth working on, trying to keep taxes as low as possible while funding quality education.
Basic, legal responsibilities of school boards in Utah are: Hiring and working closely with the business administrator and the superintendent, setting the property tax rate, approving the budget and employee salaries. Merri brings an unbiased viewpoint, which allows her to vote objectively. As you vote for a school board member, please consider voting for a candidate without a conflict of interest.
Merri appreciates the input she receives regularly from parents, students and SJSD employees. She values the suggestions and criticism, stating, “It would be difficult to know where to improve without this type of communication”.
Merri is married to Shane. They are the parents of five married children and they have 15 grandchildren. Ten of their grandchildren attend or will attend schools in Blanding.
If you feel that Merri is the best candidate to represent your interests, please make sure to check the box by her name on your ballot, as she has a write-in opponent. Her name, alone on the ballot, may look like she doesn’t need your vote. She would appreciate, very much, the opportunity to continue as your school board member.