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Gov. Gary Herbert gestures as he answers questions from sixth graders at Fairview Elementary School. At right is Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, whose daughter is in the sixth-grade class.

Governor, Lt. Governor talk with students, shoot some hoops

9-6-2018

 

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox (with ball) and Gov. Gary Herbert (to Cox’s left in white shirt) get ready to shoot baskets with sixth graders on the Fairview Elementary School playground.

FAIRVIEW—The purpose of Gov. Gary Herbert and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox’s visit to Fairview Elementary on Tuesday was not to promote a new policy or make an official announcement.

No, the primary purpose was to visit the sixth-grade class in which Cox’s daughter, Emma Kate, is a student.

A secondary purpose was to find out what was on the minds of teachers at the school, who may reflect the feelings of other teachers around the state.

The day started in the school library, where sixth graders had a chance to ask questions of the state officials, such as “How old are you? How long have you been governor? Is your job fun?”

One student asked what it’s like living in the governor’s mansion. “It’s like living in a castle,” Herbert responded.

Emma Kate Cox had a very special question for her dad. “Am I your favorite?” she asked.

The lieutenant governor beamed, blushed a little and answered, “Of course you’re my favorite.”

The next stop was the faculty room where the governor and lieutenant governor met with some school board members, principal Allynne Mower and teachers who were free at the time.

Herbert said he is fixing up his home in Orem, the home he lived in before he was governor. He wants the work to be the very best. So he is hiring professionals who know their crafts

The same definition applies to teacher. Professionalism means having the very best people in Utah’s classrooms.

One teacher asked about the gap between teacher pay and pay in other jobs requiring similar education.

The governor said the answer may be found on Question No. 1 on the November ballot, which would increase the gasoline tax 10 cents per gallon, with the money earmarked for education.

But he also asked teachers how many of them had spoken personally with their legislators about teacher pay. No one raised a hand.

Lack of political engagement is part of the problem, the governor suggested.