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  • Writer's pictureLeAnn Wood

Hanging out in the Back Room: Perspectives from the Back Row

At the back of the USBE boardroom is a waiting room ... with comfy chairs and a big screen. I've walked through there on my way in and out of state board meetings, but haven't hung out there until today. The Board went into executive session during lunch today. Usually, it's at the end of the day and I go home, but today, because it was held before the committee reports, I decided to stick around and I joined the group in the backroom. This is where the staff waits when they know they may be on deck for support during the board meeting. I'm always impressed when I interact with USBE staff. They are professional, respectful, and always ready to be of service. Over the years, through my involvement with Utah PTA the staff has gone above and beyond to support parents. When I was Education Commissioner I had staff attend my meetings and share information on early childhood education, assessment and accountability, federal programs and more. As part of the Early Reading Network, staff came to the Utah PTA Leadership Convention and taught parents on dyad reading. Last year at our Advocacy Conference, our keynote speaker came from USBE and spoke on Portrait of a Graduate. For a number of years I was invited to speak at the USBE Kindergarten Transition Summit on the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. Next week, USBE will be attending the 2022 Advocacy Conference and speaking on Utah Education Standards. As I move into this new role, I'm grateful to know there are experts in the field that truly care about children and families and are working hard to increase student learning in our state. I'm grateful to know that there are people in the back room that are on deck for support!

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