Lara Salmon Ellingson

Meet the Candidate

Running For:
School Board
Mesa Elementary
Homemaker, Substitute Teacher
I have been married to Matthew Ellingson for 18 years. We have 4 beautiful children ages 17, 15, 11, and 7.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints
I’m running for Mesa School Board for my children and yours: the children of Mesa, Arizona. I want to see ALL children succeed and feel the power that a strong education can give them. Education is opportunity. It opens doors and builds a stronger community for all of us. I would like to see Mesa move to a more phonics-based reading program, rather than a whole language approach. In my educational experience (bachelor's and master's degrees in education), I have come to believe that children need a strong foundation in phonics. Your tax dollars are hard at work in Mesa Public Schools, and I will work to shape policy that puts money directly into the classroom.


Response Legend

  • SSupports
  • OOpposes
  • *Comment
  • Declined to respond
  • Declined to respond, Position based on citation

Question Response Comments/Notes
1. Providing parents the option of choosing phonics instruction for all K-3rd grade students S* I 100% support the option of choosing phonics instruction for ALL K-3 students. I want Mesa to have a stronger reading program with a phonemic awareness emphasis at every school.
2. Allowing parents to opt their children out of activities or lessons they find offensive to their personal, moral, or religious beliefs S* The parents have every right to determine what is appropriate for their children.
3. Increasing state and local taxes to provide more funding for schools and school facility projects -* This question is hard for me to answer because generally I strongly oppose increasing state and local taxes in every other area. I did vote for the last bond because I want my children to recieve the best education possible, and sometimes that means that we need to pay for it. I want to be on the board so that I can help insure that your hard earned money is being well spent with more money going directly to the classroom.
4. Requiring signed permission from a parent before a student may participate in sex education classes or presentations on gender identity S* I like Mesa's current 'opt-in' sex education program.
5. Allowing all parents to use tax credits, vouchers, or education savings accounts to enable children to attend any public, charter, private, homeschool, or online academy S* I support the parent's right to choose the learning platform that works best for their child.
6. Requiring full-day kindergarten for all students O* While I believe that full-day kindergarten is the best option because children have so much to learn, I again feel that it is the parent's right to choose what is best for their kindergartner.
7. Requiring sex education classes for K-12th grade students O* This is a BIG no for me. Sex education is not approprite for young children.
8. Allocating a certain percentage of the school district’s budget to be spent in the classroom, as opposed to for administration S* I want to see more of the budget money directly in the classroom.
9. Implementing policies to allow students and faculty to use the restroom, locker room, and shower room that aligns with their gender identity O* I do not feel that a policy of this nature is best for the students/faculty as a whole.
10. Presenting competing and alternative theories regarding the origin of life when evolution is taught in science classes S* The children deserve to hear all sides.