Sally Gant is running for Fairbanks North Star School District Seat A. Gant moved to Alaska over 50 years ago after her father, who was in the military, retired here. She attended public schools in the state and graduated from high school in Anchorage.
Gant earned an accounting degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and has worked as an accountant throughout her professional life. She moved to Fairbanks over 40 years ago and currently works as a bookkeeper. Outside of work, Gant attends and is involved in the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
Gant has seven children, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Some of her grandchildren currently attend public schools in the Fairbanks North Star District, which was one of her motivations to run for school board. She ran for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board many years ago, at which time she said she pushed for closed campuses and truancy officers.
Gant explained she was motivated to run again in 2021 because, “I don’t like where our country is going.” Gant said that when she first moved to Alaska, “We were all in this together.” Now, however, she is concerned that Alaskans are being divided by special interest groups. Along these lines, Gant believes that Alaskans need to pull together and work together, regardless of what is happening politically in the rest of the United States.
“We need to be raising strong men and women and supporting families,” she said, adding that Alaskans should be self-sufficient. “I would like us to get back to the ethics and values that we had when I was going to school,” Gant said. Specifically, she believes that the focus should be on the basics of “reading, writing and arithmetic,” rather than “special interest groups.”
She believes history, particularly U.S. history, is especially important and wants it to be taught as events happened, she said, instead of students “being told how to think about what they read.” Additionally, “bringing God back into schools would be nice,” Gant said.
If elected, Gant believes that she can appeal to and represent a broad group of residents. Gant explained that although she describes herself as conservative, she is also an independent thinker and “votes for whichever candidate I think is right,” regardless of political affiliation. “It’s not about party lines, it’s about education,” she said.
Candidate Q & A
1. Are you satisfied with efforts by the school district to address diversity, equity and inclusion?
No, we should be working together, not separating into different groups, which this does. And why is this the first question? How about reading, writing and arithmetic?
2. What are your thoughts on closing a school building to save money?
Yes. What is a fair process for choosing a school to close? How far away is the next school?
3. If you were in charge, how would you handle Covid-19 mitigation?
This is a moving target and the answer depends on the circumstances.
4. Should smartphones be allowed in school? Why or why not?
No. Disruptive and affects the brain.
5. When was the last time you visited a public school and for what purpose?
Sept 17, 2021, to find out when the next PTA meeting is at North Pole Middle School. I was told that they are in the middle of switching from PTA to PTO and that she would call me back as soon as she finds out.
6. What makes you qualified to hold this office?
I am a long-time Fairbanksan, a student of history, and accountant. I have children and grandchildren that have been or currently are in the FNSB school system.