by Senator Ross Romero
Senate Minority Whip
As the school year winds down, I want to take this opportunity to thank Utah’s teachers and educators for making a difference in the lives of their students. I am amazed and impressed with the dedicated educators who have undertaken the critical assignment of preparing the next generation of Utah’s and America’s leaders.
My second grade teacher Barbara Whaley passed away June 1 at the age of 61 in Salt Lake City. She was one of those teachers of whom I speak. She was a teacher at Indian Hills Elementary School for 39 years, impacting the lives of thousands of first and second graders just like me. My classmates and I adored her, and to this day, I feel a kinship with her and carry the memories of a wonderful school year as a young boy. I attended her funeral recently and learned of her love for the 4th of July, buying tee shirts for family members to celebrate the occasion, her fondness of chocolate kisses, and her commitment to family. I only knew her as a great teacher and appreciated hearing about her love in action. She will be missed.
Many teachers perform their work in a system deficient in textbooks, supplies, professional development time, and appropriate classroom size. Teachers spend many additional hours and dollars of their own to provide an education for our children. Despite these challenges, teachers continue to be dedicated to their students. The work they do in the classroom is deserving of the highest praise. They serve as mothers, fathers, counselors, friends, nurses, disciplinarians, and finally as teachers.
Teachers, and especially at this time, Ms. Whaley, thank you for all you do for our community and our future.