Chris Taylor Elected LPSD School Board President


Photo of Chris Taylor, the newly elected Board of Education President. Photo from district website.

By Amber Wright, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In the special session board meeting held virtually on August 4, Former Board of Education President Matthew Clawson passed the torch to board member Chris Taylor.

“D-38 is fortunate to have a competent and talented board who are all natural leaders,” said Matthew Clawson.

Chris Taylor was elected to the board on November 7, 2017, and his term expires on November 2, 2021. He was the District 1 Director before being nominated and voted in as the Board of Education President early on August 4. “It is a pleasure to serve,” said Taylor.

Chris Taylor has lived in the Monument area since 2000, and two of his children are attending LPSD schools. Chris Taylor earned a degree in accounting from Brigham Young University and received his CPA license from the State of Idaho. He later graduated from Boise State University with his Master’s in Business Administration.

During the board meeting, Taylor thanked Matthew Clawson and his fellow board members for their contributions. “I thank each of you for your support today, individually and collectively,” said Chris Taylor.

Taylor went on to discuss the importance of diversity of thought in the educational field by saying “I hope, I pray, that as we move forward we will be open in our dialogue, that we will celebrate diversity of thought, so that we can find unity in the direction forward.” Diversity of thought, the differences in perception, mental processes, and opinions among people, is an important concept to acknowledge in an educational environment as well as in our community as a whole.

“I am convinced, and I know, that each of us have the right mindset and mission for service. We wouldn’t be here otherwise,” said Chris Taylor about his fellow board members.

“In all of our deliberations with Dr. Somers and his staff in developing a strategic plan, it’s clear that it is about our children. It is about our teachers. It is about the community.”

— Chris Taylor

For the future, Chris Taylor and K.C. Somers, the LPSD superintendent, elaborated on the importance of supporting the students in the D-38 community. “Focusing our efforts on… what we’re trying to accomplish on behalf of every student in our system to ensure that they have every benefit and resource we can provide to enable them toward that successful future,” said K.C. Somers.

Dr. K.C. Somers addressed the issue of future board meetings. The next board work session on August 11 will be an in-person meeting, and the board hopes to continue to meet in-person as long as the current situation will allow it.

During the meeting, Matthew Clawson offered his apologies to the community on the issue of the inappropriate photo that was posted to his public Facebook page over a month ago. “At this point, I would also like to apologize to the board, team members, and stakeholders for any distractions that I may have caused. As a board member, in addition, I also want to apologize for anyone that I may have hurt or offended,” said Matthew Clawson.

The other members of the board also gave their thoughts on the photo scandal. Chris Taylor said that he wants us “to always be listening to diversity of thought, diversity of ideas, and bring all of that together, that we might be united in supporting our school district…”

“I’m gonna call out the elephant in the room and say that the integrity of the Clawson family, I think we all agree that they’re an outstanding family… When we make mistakes, we make mistakes and we move on and we continue to invite voices to the table,” said Tiffiney Upchurch, the Board Secretary.

“We have a lot of learning and growing to do together.”

— Tiffiney Upchurch, the Board Secretary.

The board members expressed thoughts of accepting that while a mistake was made, our community has the opportunity to learn from it. “The events of this past summer have opened the door for all of us to have a bigger and better dialogue, and stay in tune with our staff and our students. I recognize that we can be better as a school district, as a community and that that’s part of growing,” said Upchurch.

The board will continue working hard to ensure the students, staff, and members of the community will have the support and information they need as everyone returns to school. “This 2020-2021 school year will also be a school year unlike one we’ve ever experienced,” said K.C. Somers.