The race in Precinct 1 will be the most contested of any seat on the Davis County School Board with six candidates vying,including incumbent Ray Briscoe.The precinct includes voters living in seven voting districts in southeast Bountiful, North Salt Lake, West Bountiful, Woods Cross and contiguous unicorporated areas of Davis County.
***Incumbent Briscoe's foremost concern in this year's election is that the three tax limitation initiatives do not pass and cut educational funding.
"Education will take a decade to recover if the initiatives are not defeated. We must attract and keep quality teachers in our classroom," he said.
Briscoe, a resident of Bountiful, said he has lived in Davis County for 31 years. He is a former teacher in the public school system and has been a professor at Westminster College and the University of Utah. He founded and was president of Wasatch Opinion, a public opinion research firm. He is now employed by the LDS Church as a researcher.
Briscoe said he supports giving parents more choice in the schools their children attend. He also wants parents involved in evaluating administrators and teachers. He wants to give parents and teachers more say in how schools are operated by having fewer directives from board headquarters and more from the local people.
"Schools are improved when teachers are actively involved in decisions. When they are not schools will not improve," he said.
Briscoe also believes teachers must receive a raise. "Teachers must have a raise without cutting programs or increasing class size," he said.
If the tax initiatives pass, Briscoe believes, cuts to school funding will be absolutely necessary. He said he would vote to cut sports programs first, then transportation and food service programs. The last to go would be core curriculum subjects.
Briscoe believes schools must distribute information about AIDS, but should never teach about contraceptives. He voted against a recent board decision which requires mandatory reporting of AIDS cases by district employees and students.
***A former member of the Davis County School Board, Theo T. Italasano, is running again for a board seat because she wants make sure people are getting value for each dollar spent in the district.
Italasano, a former elementary school teacher, said she has always supported the highest possible pay scale for teachers, but doesn't believe in cutting programs to raise salaries.
Italasano, a Bountiful resident, said she hasn't made up her mind whether to support the tax limitation initiatives, although she signed the petitions that got them on the ballot.
"I signed the tax limitation petitions simply because people ought to be able to decide for themselves whether they want the tax cuts," she said.
Italasano has no specific changes in mind for the educational system, but wants to study it.
"Opinions on changes could only come after closely studying the existing system. I would like more public involvement," she said.
She supports AIDS instruction in the schools, but said basic information should only be given by extremely well-informed people.
Teachers ought to stay out of the development of school district policies, but should have a say in school policies. She supports recent board decisions requiring employees and students to report if they have AIDS and to bring drug-sniffing dogs into schools.
Italasano served on the school board from 1977-81 and is a former member of the Davis County Council of Aging. She has served in local and district PTA leadership capacities and was instrumental in obtaining the Woods Cross High School Auditorium complex.
She graduated from Utah State University in elementary education and social work.
***Davis School District should implement year-round schools and pay raises for teachers even if it means cutting some programs, candidate Theodore E. Kanell said.
Kanell, a Bountiful resident, said district teachers deserve a raise and would vote for one even if it does mean cutting programs or increasing class sizes.
"Teacher input would be needed before any cuts were made or any classes were increased in size," he said.
His three concerns about education in Davis County are the quality of education, job satisfaction for teachers and staff and population growth.
Students should get information about AIDS in school. That instruction should include some information about contraceptives, but abstinence should be advocated, Kanell said.
If teachers took a greater decision-making role in schools it could be "helpful," he said.
He would have voted for a recent board decision that allows drug-sniffing dogs into the schools.
"I do not agree with drug-sniffing dogs without probable cause," he said.
He is opposed to the tax limitation initiatives.
"It is not well thought out and is not needed in this state. Its consequences are too grave," he said.
***School districts should be combined and the elimination of the state school board should be studied, school board candidate Paul T. McGarry said.
"I believe we could save millions of dollars by combining school districts and by looking at cutting the state school board," he said.
McGarry, a Bountiful resident, supports the tax limitation initiatives.
"I do not feel the people of Utah can endure further tax increases nor can the economy prosper under present tax levels. I do not think we have been innovative enough in our funding of education," he said.
McGarry supports more family and corporate involvement in schools including student and family involvement in the upkeep of schools.
He would like "to see schools and families work closer together in creating a desire to learn and to have well disciplined classrooms which are free from drugs, aggression and crime," he said.
He also believes the community should have a say in whether teachers get a raise. Those raises also should be funded without a tax increase.
"Teachers deserve adequate pay, but I am concerned that good teachers are not rewarded enough while all teachers receive similar pay increases. This provides very little incentive to good teachers to do well or to remain as teachers," he said
McGarry believes it is essential that teachers take a more active role in decision making and policy development.
"They are on the front line and have to deal with the problems daily. I believe we need more teacher and parent involvement in schools," he said.
McGarry holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Brigham Young University and a master's degree in social work from the University of Utah. He is employed by the State Division of Youth Corrections. He has served on the Utah Corrections Association Training Committee.
***If students are frequently truant, make their parents spend a day at school with them. That is a policy candidate Steven Thorsen wants to implement in district schools.
Thorsen, a Bountiful resident and a venture management analyst for Northwest Energy, believes the truancy policy is an an example of a positive approach to education that includes parent involvement. He said his truancy idea has a three-fold benefit - students will know parents are concerned, parents learn about the schools and it will cause teachers to be more prepared.
"My main concerns about public education in Davis County are the number of students that must be educated, where to put them and how to fund their education," he said.
Teachers in the district are paid too little, but increasing class size or program reductions isn't the way to generate money for raises, Thorsen said.
"Good teachers make the programs not the other way around," he said.
He supports teachers taking an active role in school policy development and believes teachers ought to be the last thing to be cut if the tax initiatives, which he opposes, pass.
"Teachers would be the very last people affected by any cuts. Anything else that can be cut is fair game," he said.
Thorsen graduated from USU with a bachelor's degree in accounting. He also received a master's degree in accounting from USU. He has worked as the chief accountant for the Salt Lake City Airport Authority and was an accountant for Weber School District and an auditor in the State Auditor's Office.
***Wayne O. Westergard wants to turn around the attitudes of "knocking" the educational process and community.
To do so, he wants to promote more teamwork and positive interaction between the public, parents, teachers, school board and school administrators.
"This will lead to a stronger united team with an environment where solutions for the problems we have can be worked out," Westergard, a Woods Cross resident, said.
While he doesn't have all of the solutions, Westergard said he believes he can solve problems because he is a good listener, a logical thinker and has management experience.
"I believe more attention needs to be focused on the core curriculum of education with the other educational activities and programs ordered by priorities," he said.
Westergard supports a switch to year-round schools and a limited open enrollment policy. He said year-round schools, while painful to change to, are the most economical approach to raising teacher salaries.
He said teacher raises also need to be addressed by the Legislature and salary schedules should be restructured to be based on initiative and productivity.
He opposes the tax limitation initiatives and teaching about AIDS in schools.
"I view it (teaching about AIDS) as essentially sex education without the necessary moral and ethical support activities and instruction and providing information on contraceptives further stresses the mechanics of sex without regard to responsibilities," he said.
He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from USU. He also received graduate instruction at the U. and BYU. He is a former Woods Cross City Councilman and previous director of the South Davis Chamber of Commerce.
***LuCene C. Hougaard, whose name will appear on the ballot, has withdrawn from the race.