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Get to know Davis and DelGrosso, candidates for State School Board District 11

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The Primary Election is less than two months away, andincumbent State School Board member Cindy Davis (R) is being challenged by Kim DelGrosso (R) for a seat on the influential board. 

The newly drawn District 11 primarily consists of Alpine, Highland, Cedar Hills, Lehi, American Fork and Pleasant Grove. 

Primary Ballots will be mailed on Tuesday, June 7. The Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, June 28. 

Cindy Davis

Lehi Free Press: Why are you running for the State School board?

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Cindy Davis: Initially, people tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to run. I’ve spent decades in our schools as a parent and licensed educator and care about students and their families. Three years later, I am running for reelection because I see candidates reducing the complexity of the work down to hot-topic sound bites. Our schools will not flourish if that is the only focus of its policymakers to the exclusion of other areas. Hot topics should be a key focus for the safety of our children, but there is much more work to be done on top of that for academic excellence. Our community and economy depend on an educated citizenry and qualified policymakers.

LFP: What experience and qualifications do you have for the position?

Davis: I have a bachelor’s degree from BYU and a Master’s in Education Leadership and Policy from the U of U. I taught English and was a principal in Alpine School District before being asked to teach in the Education Department at UVU where I have been for 14 years. I am a life-long Republican spending many years as a delegate representing neighbors, and I’ve been a precinct vice-chair twice. Most importantly, I am a wife and mother, and my children attend our local schools. Prior to running to be a USBE member, I spent three years attending Board meetings, so I could hit the ground running. Now I serve as the Board vice-chair. The more I learn, the more I understand that this work is crucial to the future of Utah families, economy, and communities. I am responsible, transparent, and accessible.

LFP: What is the top issue facing the Utah State Board of Education?

Davis: Students experienced learning loss during the pandemic in every grade and content area. Parents and teachers want and expect us to work toward rebuilding and supporting increased efforts to close academic gaps and help students excel, which we are doing. Equally, parents are concerned about CRT, so we responded with a rule prohibiting its key concepts. They are concerned about inappropriate library books, so we passed a rule requiring all districts and charters to enact local policies not only for book removals but also for how books get into the library in the first place. Parents express concern about teachers’ personal politics in the classroom (as we saw here) so we created training for teachers to engage in parental transparency, ensure content is age-appropriate, vet all materials before use with students, and remain unbiased in the classroom. Teachers want time, so we supported extra paid days and reduced relicense hours by half. Some opponents are accusing the Board of getting Planned Parenthood into schools for after-school tutoring through the Utah After School Network. Planned Parenthood is not one of these tutoring providers, nor will they ever be under the current Board.

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LFP: How would you balance the interests of students, parents and teachers?

Davis: I partner with parents and practitioners for students. This is the golden trifecta. Parents have the primary responsibility for their children,
while teachers work with them each day. To disregard either group is ineffective or constitutes policy malpractice. I have toured or attended meetings at Lehi HS, Skyridge HS, Lakeview Academy, Ignite Academy, Willowcreek Jr. High, Lehi and Traverse Elementary schools and many others. I ask parents and teachers what matters to them. I have also attended events like the Harry Potter Leadership Summer Training at Lehi Junior High, school carnivals, etc. While we have increased opportunities for private and home-school students through SOEP and other programs, 98% of parents in our area choose district and charters, which are both publicly funded and under the purview of the State Board, so whoever runs for these seats had better be listening to parents, teachers, and students to build bridges. We can grandstand all day long, but what we need are board members with the skills to move the policy needle to actually improve schools for our kids.

Kim DelGrosso

Lehi Free Press: Why are you running for the State School board?

Kim DelGrosso: I’m running for State School Board to put our kids and their future first. My mission has always been to work with parents and teachers to help students succeed and accomplish their dreams. And that’s what I want to bring to the State School Board. As a business owner, I see the lack of accountability and transparency on the board, and that’s simply unacceptable. I’m running to protect parental rights, support teachers, put students first, and improve education no matter which option parents choose. As your State School Board Member, I will stand up for our Utah values, fight to keep radical policies out of classrooms and focus on curriculums that help educate and inspire our children to chase their dreams and find success.

LFP: What experience and qualifications do you have for the position? 

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DelGrosso: I’m a conservative, a small business owner, and the proud mother of 8 and Grandmother of 26. I have 38 years of teaching and helping children learn, chase their dreams, and find success. I have raised my family, developed my business, and worked as a teacher of the arts. With my fantastic team, we have developed our performing arts school into the number one rated school in the nation. As a Utah State School Board Member, my job will be to communicate with constituents and work with parents, teachers, and the legislature to improve education. I grew my business to number one in the nation through communication and hard work. I’m ready to work hard, put our students first, and ensure their education is number one in the country. 

LFP: What is the top issue facing the Utah State Board of Education?

DelGrosso: The top issue should always be improving education for our children. But unfortunately, the problem the State Board of Education faces is a lack of transparency and accountability. My opponent is involved in Board Leadership that has failed to make votes and budgets a transparent and easy to follow process for parents and taxpayers. She has been backtracking on liberal policies she and other board members have pushed, which I’m thankful to see, but our children’s future deserves safeguarding every year, not just during election years. 

LFP: How would you balance the interests of students, parents, and teachers?

DelGrosso: My mission has always been to work with parents and teachers to increase communication between parents and teachers and help students succeed and accomplish their dreams. And that’s what I want to bring to the State School Board. My brother is a great teacher here in Utah; I support our teachers. However, many problems stem from a lack of leadership, transparency, communication, and accountability in the Utah State School Board. We must increase the transparency of proposals, votes, and budgets, so parents can view and better understand what is going on and everyone can work together to put students first.

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