SANDY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A swearing-in ceremony might be the last place you would expect to find a gathering of elementary school students, but Sandy City Hall is where a large group of mainly third graders gathered on Monday afternoon to support their teacher, Alison Stroud, who just became the new District 2 Council Member for the city.
Stroud is a third-grade teacher at East Sandy Elementary, and in addition to showing up to her swearing-in ceremony, some of her students even handed out flyers to encourage people to vote for their teacher.
“It reminded me how fortunate I have been to have such supportive families that were willing to take the time off of work and check their students out of school, to support me in this process,” Stroud said. “Each of those children have had such an impact in my life, and I was honored to have them there with me, sharing in this experience. Knowing it was the first day back from our 2-week long break, I was not expecting the turnout we had. There were more than a couple of times that I teared up, seeing so many of Sandy’s youngest residents there today, supporting their teacher.”
Stroud said she has always had an interest in helping families and the public and being part of something bigger.
“When the opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it,” she said of running for Sandy City Council. “I wanted to have that chance to make a bigger impact and to be a part of something that’s a lot larger than my community that I’m currently in.”
In many ways, Stroud says being a teacher has prepared her for taking on her new role. For example, she is used to working with many different students with different perspectives.
“…working with them every day and seeing the different personalities, how they tackle things, the problems that they have, the questions that come up, and understanding that it’s not just a one size fits all,” she said, “…I do believe that will be beneficial to be able to look at the perspective from a 360-degree angle.”
In addition, teaching has given her insight and understanding into the problems kids today face. And she plans to represent kids and fight for issues that are important to them.
“I can see what’s coming down the pipeline,” Stroud said. “The kids now- their questions and their issues are different from when I was a child and are different from even older generations. To be able to be a part of that and to hear what their concerns are and what they’re worried about can bring it back to where we start to address it now and not when it becomes a crisis…”
Stroud said she will continue to teach, along with taking care of her responsibilities on city council. She said while it will take some balancing, teaching is her passion and she loves to see her students grow and progress.
“I’ll be coming straight from school to here on Tuesdays for council meetings. I’ll prepare on the weekends and evenings to make myself available for my new council responsibilities and remaining attentive to my students,” Stroud said.
Her ultimate goal while working on Sandy City Council?
“… to do things that will further connection and commitment for families with young kids, with older adults, and to connect them to the community in which they live and to continue to ensure that they love that community,” said Stroud. So, looking at different social programs, looking at things that will help residents love where they live and want to stay here where they remember, this is my home town.”
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