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 Lisa Dean’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?
Social-Emotional Learning is teaching students to be aware their own and their peers’ struggles, background, and culture and how to work and interact positively in the face of challenges. I think the goal of SEL is growth mindset throughout the school. I think another component of SEL is teachers and administration being aware of students’ social and emotional background and capacity. I don’t know exactly what formal SEL does. I have heard anecdotes of positive results in helping students process trauma and learn skills for appropriate interactions. I have seen teachers listen to students one on one and help them process good and bad news.
What importance do you attribute to PE and health and how do feel about the cuts made to these subject areas in the past?
I have six kids. I have talked to all of them about puberty, human reproduction, and hygiene. We sometimes have conversations about nutrition, fitness, body image, disease, etc. I want them to get more information and conversation on all of these subjects. I also want them to learn the skills that help them to feel more confident in their ability to participate in team and individual sports and find out what they enjoy. I want this for all kids, so I think that PE and health are very important subjects from elementary through secondary. I do not agree with cutting PE and health education.
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 haven’t thought past truth in taxation or bonding for increasing public school funding. I do think that entities that don’t pay property taxes should give to public education by donations, volunteer hours, internships, sponsoring computer labs, playgrounds, CTE facilities, arts programs, etc.
How do you define CRT and do you believe it is currently being taught in Utah public schools?
This question is asked quite a lot. I define Critical Race Theory as a theory that most governments (especially with colonial beginnings) have been established at the expense of certain groups of people, and that in order to root out the resulting systemic racism the government must essentially be torn down and rebuilt. I don’t believe that CRT is being taught in Utah public schools. I hope that cultural sensitivity and history, even the uncomfortable parts, are being taught with honesty and compassion.
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?
I think the JSD’s policy is fine. It involves the parent making the formal complaint, the committee reading and reviewing the book; the book remains on the shelf unless the complaint is found valid. The committee has a specified amount of time to complete the process and is composed of parents, teachers, and an administrator. I think there is a limit of three challenges per school per school year, and just because a book was deemed “inappropriate” at one does not mean it will be removed from another school.
Considering legislation that has been proposed in the last 10 years, how would you vote on voucher/school choice bills?
N/A (But I would vote no if I was a legislator because public funds should not go to private schools.)
What are your views on the Summit program or programs like it being implemented in our schools?
I just watched the YouTube video from Farmington Jr High’s page about Summit. This is the first I am seeing it, and my gut reaction is that I don’t like it. it seems like a lot of pressure on teachers to have every thing for the whole year already planned and online with no flexibility to change. I need to talk to teachers and families that use Summit to form a better opinion
What ways can we support diversity in our curriculum so that all students see themselves as culturally relevant?
I love seeing posters in classrooms that are not just the usual suspects. For instance, I was in a biology classroom at WJHS last year and saw that most of the scientists’ pictures on the wall were BIPOC and women. I loved that. It gave me few tears to see underrepresented people represented. I’ve also seen posters of diverse people who have contributed in their fields on posters throughout the school. I would love to see a monthly spotlight on a person that is exemplary in the subject during the month that recognizes that person’s ethnic or cultural history. (I think it would be great to spotlight women during women’s history month too.) For example in November in math classes the teachers could give a five minute spotlight on a Native American mathematician or engineer. I don’t think this is something that teachers should be made to participate in, but something that is suggested.
What have you personally done to support teachers/public education?
Throughout my own kids’ public educations, I have volunteered hundreds of hours at their elementary schools, reading with kids, doing multiplication tables, helping with art projects, going on field trips, etc. I’ve served in PTA and on school community councils at all of my kids’ schools. I vote yes on bonds. In conversation where there is a fear of “what is being taught in schools” I ask for sources and defend public education. I am currently employed by JSD as a math aide at Joel P Jensen Middle School. There I try to give some specific positive feedback each week to the teachers I work with. I listen to teachers as they blow off steam. I give one on one attention to students that need extra support. I do my best to contribute to a positive classroom atmosphere.
How will you show your commitment to public education outside of your role as an elected official?
I will continue to send my kids to public schools. I will continue to volunteer at public schools.