Policy Ambassador: “I can see that my voice matters”

Ready, Set, Eyes Open!

First of all, it is an incredible honor to be chosen as a UEA Ambassador. Not only have I experienced a new adventure, but I have been able to step outside of my box; my classroom, my school, and even my district in order to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming involved in something bigger than myself.

The experience of going up to the Utah State Capitol and joining other colleagues around the state to participate in political discourse and see first-hand how policy works in our great state has been eye-opening and life-changing. As a teacher of 25 years, I never thought I would have the power, the voice, or the chance to make a difference. I can see now that it takes every teacher, and every citizen to become involved in the legislative process. Our voices matter, and if we sit idly by and if we are not watchful and diligent, important laws could be passed without even a whisper of dissent.

HB 215 was certainly an eye-opener for many educators, including myself. Despite the voices of those who work so hard to protect our precious students and those who work with them, this bill was a disappointing and realistic view of how our lawmakers see educators and public education in general. This was a fire that led to my own realization that if we don’t let our voices be heard, and if we don’t write and speak to our state legislators, we only have ourselves to blame for the misconstrued and misunderstood among us.

I am truly grateful for my opportunity to participate as a UEA Ambassador. I am finally awake. I can see that my voice matters, and I will continue to work to make sure that my voice is not lost. I matter. We all matter. Get ready. Get set… EYES OPEN!

Shelley J. Timothy

Tooele High School

Financial Literacy, Geography, World History