Governor Gary Herbert has appointed a longtime business man on the Utah Education Council, replacing a seasoned teacher – and one of the members the most liberal – who resigned mid-term after winning a seat in the state Senate.
Shawn Newell, vice-president of business development for a Utah industrial equipment business, would, if confirmed, represent District 10. This area covers the Canyons School District at the southern end of Salt Lake County, and has more than 34,000 students.
"His ingenuity and insight will help better connect our public and higher education systems, and he will be a strong voice for students, teachers and parents," said Herbert in a statement announcing his choice on Friday. .
The 15-member council saw a little bit of business this year, with a single incumbent in office, two others who do not wish to be reelected and Kathleen Riebe, elected in 2016, became a member of the Legislative Assembly.
Newell, chosen to occupy the seat of Riebe, must be confirmed by the Senate to join the board of directors that governs public education from kindergarten to grade 12 and tends to look more conservatively. In addition to his business training, much of his experience in the schools is at the college level.
He is a graduate of Salt Lake Community College with an associate degree, from the University of Utah with a bachelor's degree and from the University of Phoenix with a master's degree.
Currently, 56-year-old Newell is a member of the SLCC Board of Directors and chairs the school's alumni council. He also advises the business department, deals with campus economic development projects and funds a marketing grant.
When he was honored in 2017 as a a distinguished alumniNewell said, "It's humbling to be recognized by an educational institution, knowing that when I was young, I struggled with studies. I had to learn very early that my future depended on my willingness to make the effort to create what I wanted throughout the educational process. "
Newell played football while he was at the University of Utah and tried the Chicago Bears in 1984. He joined the team, but injuries prevented him. to pursue a career in the NFL.
He worked at Industrial Supply Company in Salt Lake City for over three decades. He is also a member of several community advocacy groups, including serving as vice-president of the NAACP Salt Lake City Chapter, a member of Governor Martin Luther King Jr.'s Human Rights Commission, and Chair of the Utah Multicultural Civic Council.