Teri McCabe’s family moved to Provo in 1984 where she went through the Provo School District on her way to graduation from Timpview High School. On Tuesday, it was officially announced that McCabe had been elected to the board of the same school district she graduated from.
In a razor thin race for the Provo School Board’s 5th District, McCabe was able to hang on and beat out incumbent Julie Rash to represent her district on the school board.
“I don’t know if it was very roller coaster,” McCabe said when asked about the close decision. “When I started knocking on doors and handing out lawn signs, I didn’t really know if I had a chance or not at all. Once I did start talking to people I realized I might actually have a chance at winning.”
Only 171 votes separated McCabe from Rash after the official canvass on Tuesday.
This was not McCabe’s first time running for office. In 2018, she represented the United Utah Party and went up against Tanner Ainge for the Utah County Commission Seat A.
That race proved to be an educational experience for her. She had to campaign across the entire county, and she went to numerous meetings to learn the ins and outs of the county government, which proved to be useful for her.
Then McCabe served as the Franklin neighborhood chair in Provo. In this role she learned how city government was run and continued to gain experience along her journey.
While she was the neighborhood chair, McCabe tried to contact former school board members about issues that were important to her community and schools in the area, but she never got a response.
Through all of her email attempts, she claims she never received an email back. This is what led McCabe to run for the school board seat.
The biggest item on her platform is transparency, and that is her biggest goal when she takes office as the representative for District 5 of the Provo School Board.
“Something simple that can be done right now is to put the link to the YouTube meetings on social media and the front page of the school district website,” McCabe said about the move toward more transparency. “Another reason I decided to run for school board was back in 2018 when I was trying to attend a school board meeting. I had to dig deep into their website to find the meeting schedule, the time, the place and all the basics you should know. I never could find out what the agenda was, but when I showed up to the meeting i found out that because i was late I missed my opportunity to speak in the meeting.”
She is looking to allow the public to speak on all matters on a school board meeting agenda while making meeting information and herself as accessible as possible.
The streaming of meetings was another big focus for McCabe, who would have trouble being able to attend. Through the streaming of meetings, parents can watch them whenever there is time available because they can’t always carve out time in their days during the scheduled times.
The pandemic sped this process up, but this is another step toward transparency, according to McCabe.
She also brought up the latest parent survey from the district, which showed that only 80 parents from Franklin Elementary School completed it. McCabe hopes to position herself as someone her constituents can go to with their concerns and questions.
“I live around the corner from Franklin Elementary School and only 80 parents filled that out,” McCabe said of the survey. “That’s a fraction. We’re hearing from 80 parents, but what are the other parents actually saying? I want them to feel comfortable enough to tell me what their opinion is and not feel like they’re going to be stifled.”
The campaigning process has been an interesting one for McCabe. She added that she had to put much more effort into getting her name out there than an incumbent would have, but through this she was able to meet many people in her district, discuss her running points and speak on her stance for certain topics.
“It was kind of interesting,” McCabe said of the support from voters. “I know that I had a little bit of name recognition but I would knock on complete strangers’ doors and ask if I could put a lawn sign in their yard. Then I’d talk to them about issues and they would agree with my campaign points. It’s been good seeing that I agree with the voters of District 5.”