An automobile dealer, a retired educator and the president of Davis County's PTA will face off Sept. 13 in the primary election for the Precinct 2 Davis County School Board seat.
School Board President Sheryl Allen, who occupies the seat, is not seeking re-election. The precinct covers all areas of Bountiful except seven voting districts in the city's southeast section.
***Better use of buildings, narrowing teacher-student ratios and enhancing the school district's endowment program are among the changes Dan R. Eastman, candidate from Bountiful, wants to make in Davis County's educational system.
Eastman, a local automobile dealer, said he is concerned about maintaining the quality of education in the county. That means addressing the problems of low teacher morale and providing responsible fiscal management. He also wants increased use of school buildings.
He supports granting teachers more decision-making power at local schools.
"I am highly in favor of increased participation by the teachers. I strongly believe in the teachers taking greater responsibility of what takes place at the classroom level, and I imagine most teachers would welcome the opportunity," Eastman, a Precinct 2 candidate, said.
He also said he would support pay increases for teachers even if it meant cutting some programs. However, he said he could not support a salary increase if it meant increasing class sizes.
Eastman said he is opposed to the tax limitation initiatives.
Eastman was raised in Davis County and studied at Utah State University and Weber State College. He spent 12 years in the banking industry before going into the automobile business nine years ago.
He has served as the chairman of a town board in Nevada and a member of the Salt Lake Area Advisory Council to the Small Business Administration. He was a member of the Committee on Education with the Governor's Commission on Economy and Efficiency.
***Davis County School District needs to reduce its dropout rate and improve programs for slow learners, said Matt Galt, a Bountiful resident and candidate for the school board.
"We also need to find a way to encourage the gifted students in our schools so they will not become discouraged and bored with school. In helping both ends of the spectrum, we cannot forget the students in the middle," Galt, a recently retired school principal and former Bountiful mayor, said,
Galt wants more "collaborative teaching" used in Davis County schools.
"Collaborative learning is where people are engaged in mutual activities in which the more able and the less able can do things together," he said.
He pointed out that children have learned working together is cheating and that nothing in school is worth doing without a score. He also said scoring should be used to measure what should be retaught rather than a measure of the child's success or failure.
"Many of the good teachers I have known have been creative and have used exciting methods, whereby most of their pupils have succeeded without the stigma of always having everything being scored and recorded," he said.
He supports a salary raise for teachers, but doesn't feel increasing class sizes and cutting programs is the way to fund it.
Galt opposes the tax-limitation initiatives. He said he has not made up his mind about which programs to cut if the initiatives pass.
Galt has been an educator for 40 years. He taught in Salt Lake City before coming to Davis County. He was principal at Bountiful Elementary School, Centerville Junior High School, Mill Creek Junior High School and Mueller Park Junior High School.
He has served on the Bountiful Board of Adjustments and for 24 years on Utah State Retirement Board. He worked to bring the Little League baseball program to Bountiful and has worked in Scouting.
***Davis County schools need to develop more individualized programs because children are "slipping through the cracks," says Shauna Nakaya.
"New instructional delivery methods need to be incorporated with more parents taking an active role in the learning," Nakaya said. "Encouragement of creative and progressive approaches that deal with each child's needs should continue."
Nakaya, director of Davis County PTA, said she understands Davis School District's problems because she has four children attending all three levels of schools. The Bountiful resident said she is concerned about how to maintain educational quality with limited funding. Both the legislature and public at large must begin to address the problems facing education, she said.
"The legislature must be convinced that strong, financial support for education is the answer to a promising future for our children and our state. The lack of an informed and involved public is also a concern that should be dealt with," she said.
She said she is opposed to the tax-limitation initiatives. She does support a change in the tax structure, but believes the tax initiatives are too far-reaching.
Nakaya has attended 90 percent of school board meetings during the past 41/2 years and has represented the public on eight school district committees. She is also a registered lobbyist with the Utah Legislature where she has worked on educational and child-related issues. She has donated 4,000 hours working with administrators, teachers, legislators, the board of education and public, she said.
***Scott Steorts withdrew earlier from the race and will not appear on the ballot.