I am a proud graduate of Pocatello High School. Both of my parents graduated from this school as well as many aunts, uncles, and cousins. A framed picture of the beautiful and historic Pocatello High School building has hung on my bedroom wall for many years as an icon of the wonderful education I received there.
Two weeks after my graduation a job opportunity required my family to move to the East Coast. Additional relocations took my family to 3 different states. My 3 siblings and I graduated from 4 high schools in 4 different states. In addition, my husband and I have lived in 4 states where our children have attended 3 different high schools.
Each school provided an adequate education but only one of these schools had the magic of Pocatello High School. At Pocatello High we called it Poky Pride. This sense of belonging, deep historic roots, and traditions passed on from generation to generation were an important part of our educational experience.
I believe this tradition helped those who passed through its halls try a little harder and be a little better whether in sports, academics, or in life and it was clearly missing in most of the other schools.
I believe there are many people living in Pocatello and around the world who, like me, have been deeply impacted by Pocatello High School. As you move forward with necessary changes to Pocatello High School please proactively seek out and listen to the voices of those who have walked its halls, loved the school and “pledged our hearts and hands” to Poky High.
I understand that you provided opportunity for input last fall but many of us who live out of state did not find out about these changes until recently. Please provide a chance for our ideas to be carefully considered and make adjustments. Listening to the many voices that would like to contribute to this project will take time and might slow down the project but the results will be much better.
I have had years of experience listening to the public prior to making important decisions. I served as a member of the Jordan School District Board of Education for 6 years and as president for 2 years.
During my term I conducted many town hall meetings, read many letters from constituents, and listened for hours to individuals trying to understand different points of view.
Many times our decisions were changed or modified because of input from the community. We delayed building several schools for 2 years because we had not had time to adequately listen to the community. The changes were a benefit to the outcome and worth the wait.
Currently I serve as a member of the Utah House of Representatives. Again, I spend many hours listening to different points of view and seeking input on various decisions related to potential laws for our state.
I am the Vice Chair of the Education Committee and this year many bills were put on hold until next year because there were people who had concerns about various aspects of the bill.
When the voices are heard and the changes are made the law is much better. The beauty of our state legislative system is the opportunity to gather public input and create good laws that reflect the will of the people.
Thank you for all you do and for your consideration in this matter.
Rep. Susan Dayley Pulsipher,
Utah House of Representatives