Mail-in ballots will arrive in just a few days and voters have an opportunity to decide who will represent Lehi in the seven-member Alpine School District Board. Stacy Bateman is challenging incumbent Scott Carlson in the race.
Lehi Free Press: Where are you from and how long have you lived in Lehi?
Stacy Bateman: I am from Los Angeles, California. I spent my first 19 years in Temple City, and it was pretty close to idyllic. I was involved in my community my whole life — tying yellow ribbons around oak trees to welcome soldiers home, dancing and cheering my way through junior high and high school and participating in community service whenever possible. I moved to Utah to attend the University of Utah and then moved back to California after graduating and getting married. We then spent five years in Madison, Wisconsin before moving back to Utah.
I’ve been a room parent and classroom volunteer, PTA president in elementary, junior high and high school and I am currently serving as Director of District 9 for the Utah PTA and I’m on the National PTA Board. We’ve lived in two neighborhoods in Lehi over the last eight years, near Snow Springs Elementary and now on the east side of town. I have five children, three in high school, one in junior high and my youngest is attending kindergarten.
LFP: How will your experience on the national PTA board help you on ASD’s board?
I understand the power of my voice and vote, and I know parliamentary procedure. After a motion is made, the purpose of the discussion is to persuade fellow board members to vote for or against a motion. Advocacy is the most important part of the job, whether it is advocating for my constituents during a board vote or for the entire district at a state or federal level. I do my homework and am prepared for discussions, and I know how to use my voice effectively. My work with National PTA has given me first-person experience to know which issues fall under local, state or federal jurisdiction, and I know the members who represent us at each level. Having good relationships with our legislators is what allows us to have the necessary conversations to do the work before us.
LFP: What motivated you to run for the school board?
Stacy Bateman: As a PTA Director and a volunteer at my kids’ schools, I can advocate for students and connect people with the help they need, but as a school board member I would be able to use my knowledge to vote and be a voice and advocate for Lehi.
LFP: What sets you apart from incumbent Scott Carlson?
Stacy Bateman: I am in Lehi schools almost every day. I’m listening to teachers and students, including my children, and getting a picture of what they need from the school district and our state representatives. I am seeing how national programs are impacting local schools. I think that knowledge and perspective are important for our school board to have.
LFP: Is there a recent decision by ASD on which you would have voted differently?
Stacy Bateman: I would have voted against a tax increase and would have voted to place a bond on the ballot. I am pro bond for two reasons. 1) Passing a bond is in the hands of the stakeholders. If they vote against it, it is not their will. If elected, it is my job to be the voice of Lehi on the school board. Raising taxes takes away the choice from the people. 2) ASD does great things with bond money. The way they are layered is done so in a way to minimize taxpayer impact.
LFP: Would you change anything about the way ASD is responding to COVID-19?
Stacy Bateman: I would have preferred a more structured plan. I understand the need to be flexible, but I worry about employees feeling supported and unsure of what was expected of them or how they would receive the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE). During the July study session, we heard that teachers were not expected to do two jobs (in-person and online). Unfortunately, that seems to be what is happening. I think it would be helpful to designate specific teachers to online learning. Every school has the autonomy to choose what they do, and that leads to different experiences across the district. While I want online students (whether declared or because they have tested positive/are on quarantine) to have the best learning experience possible, I want to be mindful of what we are asking teachers to do.
LFP: Is there anything else you’d like voters to know?
Stacy Bateman: I’m an education advocate and I connect people. In a perfect world, every parent and student knows who to go to when they need help, and what to say when they need help. The reality is that they don’t know. My goal is to help everyone be in a position to advocate for themselves and be a resource to people around them.
Lehi is a wonderful place with a deep sense of community. I think it’s that pioneer spirit within us – we’re going to stop and help each other. Whatever your stakeholder status right now, whether you have children or grandchildren in Lehi schools or not, I want to hear from you. I want to represent Lehi as a whole.