Emily Green’s Life Experience Has Prepared Her to Lead for Utah Schools

From the first time she stepped into her oldest child’s classroom as a volunteer, Emily Green knew that her future was in supporting the public education of Utah’s youth. 

Awed by the teacher’s ability to juggle so many different responsibilities and still help each student achieve their academic goals, Emily wanted to show her appreciation on a higher level, and she quickly joined the PTA. 

As a Title I school, the elementary school the Green family attended struggled through redistricting and insufficient resources, but for Emily and her family, this school was home. Instead of moving to another area, Emily stepped up; eventually becoming PTA president, and worked hard to provide the funds, programs, and gratitude her local elementary school needed to thrive. 

During her time as PTA president, Emily conceived and executed two major fundraising events. Through creative marketing, cooperation with the community, and strong leadership, she was able to raise a combined $30,000 for the school. She also helped to amplify the voice of parents, showing them how to get involved.

Emily and her husband Mike, have known each other since she was 12 years old. The couple were married in 2003, and two years later she completed her bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Science; with a minor in Early Childhood Development.

As her involvement in the community grew, Emily was able to put that degree to good use when her passion for family values in education earned her invitations to participate in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the United Nations Civil Society and the World Congress of Families. 

The UN Civil Society Conference was deeply moving for her. While there, she observed youth representatives draft, discuss, and revise a declaration that went “against the grain”. Instead of calling out previous generations and wallowing in present day issues, as so many are prone to do, these intelligent and strong young people gravitated to the idea that life and people are beautiful; and each of us can make positive changes to our environment to achieve great things. This confirmed to Emily the power of an educated citizen. Through strong education, these kids knew how to think critically, how to engage in productive discussions, and how to use words to get their message across. 

Emily’s enthusiasm for education has carried over into her day job. As owners of SouthWest Plumbing Supply, Emily and her husband regularly have the opportunity to travel to a satellite office in the Philippines. In the Philippines, Emily reached out to elementary schools in the hopes of finding a sister campus for the school she represented in Utah. She soon observed the serious need for a real library, to give these kids an equal chance at a great learning experience. 

True to her character, Emily took the problem head on. She collected book donations, met with a professional librarian to learn how to set up a starter library and what books would be most useful to the school; then spoke with native Filipinos to learn more about their culture and how to support them, and meet their needs. 

A year later, Emily was able to facilitate the transport of 750 pounds of books back to the Philippines, plus art supplies, educational toys, and artwork for the walls of starter libraries in two different schools. Emily has big plans to expand the program as soon as the travel restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted. “Sharing our stories,” says Emily, “stays with people their entire lives.” 

Mike and Emily have five children of their own, and Emily stays busy with her family, work, and service commitments. As a result, she is wisely selective about how she spends her time. Since her oldest daughter started her academic journey nearly a decade ago, Emily has always made the choice to invest many of those precious hours in education. 

In her heart, Emily knows the value of elevating Utah’s youth through academic integrity, aligning public priorities with those of parents, and funding teachers instead of more failed technology programs. That is why, in 2022, Emily announced her candidacy for the Utah State School Board. The future is here––and all of her experiences have led Emily to this precise point. She is more than ready to meet the challenge.