We asked all candidates to fill out a survey and our group has chosen to endorse, recommend or not recommend based on their answers. Here are Ann Schrek’s responses that shows that she is a great representative for our teachers, students and parents!
How do you define SEL strategies and what do you believe it does in the classroom?
Helping students understand and use their social and emotional skills to effectively understand and communicate. Children can struggle to communicate their frustration and concerns if they don’t understand what they are feeling and how to express it appropriately. This helps build confidence and teach them ways to resolve conflict and concerns effectively.
What importance do you attribute to PE and health and how do feel about the cuts made to these subject areas in the past?
Children need to express their energy physically and give their minds time to process what they’ve learned. It’s also beneficial to create life-long habits of physical activity. Education is deeply stressed and the notion of making deeper and deeper cuts is counter productive.
What ideas have you formulated that will increase public school funding to keep up with growth, fully compensate teachers for their expertise and commitment to teaching, ensure they have the classroom resources they need to be effective educators, and making teacher retention a priority?
I suggest tapping new development and businesses (particularly along high commercial growth areas) to contribute to schools as part of their investment in the community. Many large companies relocating to Utah often attract talent that wants great education for their children. It’s in every citizen’s best interest (even those without children) to provide positive education outcomes – future increased employment options, future increased tax revenues, greater social engagement, etc
How do you define CRT and do you believe it is currently being taught in Utah public schools?
“Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” – Winston Churchill History is full of good, bad, and ugly. Skipping “ugly” parts of history is not useful to creating informed decisions and avoiding pitfalls that led humanity into some of its darkest periods. No culture, race, nation, or group of persons has used positions of power perfectly and some with only ill intent. Let’s really learn everything about our collective human experience to better guard against repeating dark days from the past.
What vetting process do you support when a parent objects to a book in their child’s school? What actions do you believe school districts should take or not take?
Not all parents will agree on what their child most needs to know. Education is not meant to be the sole source of learning. Education also teaches how to think, not just WHAT to think. If a parent doesn’t agree with content, a parent should have conversations with the child to help them understand other points of view. Restricting information or demanding removal of resources is the opposite of foundations of healthy citizens. Some material may be more appropriate for certain age groups with certain developmental benchmarks.
Considering legislation that has been proposed in the last 10 years, how would you vote on voucher/school choice bills?
Public education is a service supported by the government for the benefit of the whole. Those families with means may choose to enroll their students in different education opportunities but that shouldn’t remove support for the public offering. Those who don’t call 911 still contribute to it, or those who don’t drive still contribute to the roads for the benefit of the overall group.
What are your views on the Summit program or programs like it being implemented in our schools?
I don’t know enough about the Summit program to express any ideas about it at this time.
What ways can we support diversity in our curriculum so that all students see themselves as culturally relevant?
Support curriculum focused on positively showcasing the wonderful variety humans represents. Help children learn language and ideas that are inclusive and connective. Support teachers in bringing real-world examples of things students may not see in their own day-to-day lives.
What have you personally done to support teachers/public education?
I was a STAR tutor at an elementary school next to my office, I trained teachers for 8 years on how to help their students become college and career ready with industry certifications, and I volunteer at a friend’s classroom 1-2 times a year.
How will you show your commitment to public education outside of your role as an elected official?
I will continue to volunteer, vote for bonds for schools, and be educated about those running for school boards.