"Where there's a Williams there's a Way!"

Vote for Chris Williams

Utah State School Board - District 8

With nearly 18 years experience in the technology industry, I have enjoyed tremendous professional success as an IBM certified engineer, and recently as a ‘green’ technology specialist and a customer advocate. However it was the experiences with my wife who was a 5th grade teacher at Pioneer Elementary in South Salt Lake, working with some of the most difficult challenges a student can face, that has given me a unique perspective that I would bring to the Board.

Her task was to teach children who were besieged by gang, drug, poverty, violence and family issues. She inspired me to volunteer at Jackson Elementary, using my Spanish skills to teach literacy to Hispanic children. My proficiency with technology and its applicability in the classroom, along with my advocacy for science, technology, engineering and mathematics would be an asset to the Board, but I believe it is my passion to serve those who are especially at risk that most qualifies me to be considered as a candidate for the State Board of Education.

I would initially focus on three pressing needs facing Utah education :

1. Incorporating changes in teaching methods as they are influenced by technology:
As more personalized ways of educating become available the public education system needs to be able to filter the promised hype from actual reality, not necessarily being on the ‘bleeding edge’ of adopting the very latest, but current enough to ensure future relevancy in what is adopted.

2. Parental engagement in the education process:
Too few parents are actively engaged in the process.
Lack of parental involvement hampers the efficacy of the provided education. I would look for creative solutions to make it easier for parents to be engaged. As an example, taking advantage of the proliferation of devices that are capable of ‘texting’, which are increasingly prevalent even among some of the poorer Utah families, could be used to disseminate information and get feedback.

3. Increased academic preparation of students as they transition to higher education or other post-high-school training:
As the workplace increasingly rewards the ability to create and collaborate, I would promote fluency in science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses using teaching methods that would facilitate greater student to student collaboration; undergirded by the arts to enhance creativity.

Chris' answers to the School Board candidate evaluation committee :

·         Do you support the Utah Core Curriculum Standards?  YES

·         Do you support increased rigor for high school students?  YES

·         Do you support more STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) requirements for high schools students?  YES

·         Do you support the investment in and use of technology as part of the educational experience?  YES

·         Do you support students having the option to take courses online?  YES

·         Do you support students having the option to choose the providers for online courses?  YES

·         Do you support merit-based pay for educators?  NO

·         Do you think sex education should be taught in schools?  YES

·         Do think schools should address the skills gap that employers are seeing?  YES

·         Do you support the FFA program and teaching of agriculture in the classroom?  YES