The K-12 Initiatives spoke focuses on a variety of strategies, efforts, and programs that will better prepare Utah girls and young women to successfully complete high school, transition to college, and become healthy, positive, and contributing members of society. Initiatives may focus on improving confidence and resilience, increasing aspirations to attend and complete college, raising interest in nontraditional fields, and boosting math scores by eighth grade. With the newly released CDC data, initiatives could also focus on strengthening mental health more broadly through decreasing rates of sexual violence among youth, partnering with other entities to reduce suicide ideation, and other critical elements. Raising aspirations among girls and young women to become leaders is also crucial to positive outcomes as well.
Public Information Officer, USBE
Tabitha Pacheco is the Special Education Public Information Officer for the State Board of Education. She is also the Director of Education Programs for the Utah Teacher Fellows and is on the board for the Utah National Board Coalition and Utah Emerging Leaders Initiative.
Education Commissioner, PTA
Amber Bonner is the Utah PTA Education Commissioner, Former Alpine School Board Member, and volunteer.
Amy Ahrens Terpstra
Chief Impact Officer
Amy Ahrens Terpstra is the Chief Impact Officer at Promise Partnership Utah, a cradle-to-career effort working to create equitable outcomes in education that lead to greater economic mobility for all.
Bold Vision & Goals
To make Utah a place where more girls and women can thrive, the K-12 Initiatives spoke leaders and partners have crafted the vision and goals below. Spoke leadership and UWLP team members are currently working to collect baseline data that will assist in adding numbers to the changes we want to see by 2026 and 2030.Vision: Provide access and opportunities for all Utah girls and young women to successfully complete high school, be college and career ready, and become healthy, positive, and contributing members of society.
- Increase Utahns levels of agreement in the belief that it is important for girls to take advanced coursework to prepare for postsecondary and careers. [Data Forthcoming]
- 100% of students in two Promise Communities graduate high school by 2028 - gender gap closed. Current graduation rate is 80%, increase to 90% by 2026 and increase to 100% by 2030. [Metric]
- Increase numeracy by kindergarten entry [Data Forthcoming]
- Increase the percentage of Utahns who believe it is important for girls in k-12 to have strong math skills for their future career and life. [Data Forthcoming]
- Increase the percentage of Utahns who believe it is important for girls to complete career and technical education pathways in high school. [Data Forthcoming]
- Increase the percentage of Utahns who believe it is just as important for girls as it is for boys to take advanced coursework in high school. [Data Forthcoming]
- Increase the percentage of Utahns that believe it is concerning that the Nation's Report Card math scores for 4th and 8th grade are lower for girls than for boys. [Data Forthcoming]
Working Group Members
- Davina Sauthoff, Library Media Specialist, Utah State Board of Education
- Emily Berry, Program Evaluator, Utah State Board of Education
- Holly Bell, Student and Family Rights Specialist, Utah State Board of Education
- Lindsey Henderson, Secondary Mathematics Specialist, Utah State Board of Education
- Meghan Everette, State Director of Utah Leading through Effective, Actionable, and Dynamic Education (ULEAD), Utah State Board of Education
- Naomi Watkins, Secondary English Arts Specialist, Utah State Board of Education
Get Engaged: Ways to get engaged include joining a working group that focuses on a variety of areas related to girls, young women, and education; creating school and community partnerships by sharing educational resources and opportunities across organizations; volunteering at your local school and participating in school and district events; and engaging in school and district policy by providing public feedback, serving on community councils, attending school board meetings, etc. Thank you for your interest!