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Park City school board interviews 3 candidates

E.J. Elliott interviews for a seat on the Park City Board of Education.
Screenshot courtesy of YouTube
E.J. Elliott interviews for a seat on the Park City Board of Education.

A retired FBI agent, a current school board candidate and a Park City High School alumnus each applied for the open Park City Board of Education seat and were interviewed by the board Tuesday evening.

The candidates are seeking to serve the remainder of the term of former Board Member Kara Hendrickson, who died earlier this month.

The board asked each candidate the same eight questions, including whether they’re related to anyone working in the district, what their priorities would be if appointed and if they have business with PCSD. The candidates did not state their full names, and the district did not announce who applied before the meeting.

First up was Carlos Villar. He said he’s retired but worked as the assistant supervisor for the Federal Bureau of Investigations in Puerto Rico, and as an FBI legal attaché in Mexico City. He said the district’s teachers are its greatest strength and that transparency and safety would be among his priorities.

"There's your lack of transparency Park City school district that is a real problem the strengths and you've got a great cadre of teachers instructors that are really good and it's really a shame that so many of them are leaving."

Villar also said the district’s official translator was not a fluent Spanish speaker and that another district translator was using Google translator to do their job.

Next was Mandy Pomeroy. Pomeroy is one of three candidates running for the full District 4 term, but the only one who applied for this interim appointment. The full four-year term will be decided in the November general election.

Pomeroy said she wasn’t running to pursue a political agenda and that it would be important to better understand and support decisions the board has already made. Anne Peters told Pomeroy that the board doesn’t want yes people, they need individual opinions and and don’t always agree, at which board member Andrew Caplan said, “Yeah we do. You got that?” as others laughed.

Pomeroy works with the Park City Education Foundation and the Jeremy Ranch Elementary School parent teacher organization. She told the board that student equity, communication and transparency were concerns for her but that she’d need to learn more.

"I'm not sure everything that you all speak to behind closed doors, but I think it's understanding more of the agenda and what the needs are," she said. "There's some I know as a parent and on the other side of it but there's some I don't know."

The third candidate was E.J. Elliott, an architect and 2013 PCHS graduate. Elliott said she works as a mentor with Park City High School, and that she would bring another perspective to the board as someone who had been through the Park City school system.

She said part of her fiduciary responsibility on the board would be understanding and communicating the district’s use of tax dollars. She said her education in the district would be a benefit for the board.

"You know, I've sat in those desks; I've had those teachers," she said. "I think what I can bring as an incoming school board members understanding not only that perspective but also the perspective of the community. I can bring in a different perspective of okay, not only is this your kid but I've also been through this so I know how these policy changes are going to take shape."

The board said it would deliberate in an open meeting next Monday before appointing a new member. That person would be sworn in at that meeting.