What inspired you to run for office?

The unveiling of the Luna Laws motivated me to become politically active, other than just voting. I spoke at the hearings on SB1108, SB1110, and SB1184.  I became a community organizer to recall Tom Luna and was also part of the referendum efforts to get the education reform laws on the ballot in the 2012 general election.  As I watched the 2010 and 2011 Legislative sessions go by, and witnessed the priorities of our Legislature, this motivated me even more  to run for office and try to unseat a 10 year incumbent who continually votes against women’s rights, seeks to repeal the 17th amendment, and sits on the House Education Committee voting in support of all the education reform laws.

Tell us a bit about your teaching experience.

I began teaching in 2005 after a career in the Information Technology field. After my daughter was born I attended the U of I and earned my Masters in Education, graduated in May 2005 and began teaching in Elmore County where I grew up.  Being an educator is such a personally rewarding career and I know I have done my job well when my students come back year after year after graduation to see me and to let me know how they are doing.  It is truly an honor to be a small part of their development and to see them reach for their dreams. I am so proud to be an educator and more importantly my students make me proud.
In what ways will your teaching experience make you a better legislator?

As a teacher I have to be patient, understanding  and most importantly I have to listen.  As a teacher I deal with a diverse population of people.  I have to be able to relate and communicate not only with my students but with parents, administration, and the public at large.  A State Representative must be able to listen to the people they represent and communicate issues to the same.   As a teacher and a former IT Analyst I know how to solve problems, to multi-task, and work with deadlines.  I know how to communicate and work cooperatively with others to achieve common goals and objectives.  My educational and work background has prepared me for this role.

What legislative issues are you most passionate about?
As a Representative all issues are important, some more than others.  Education and equality are the building blocks that create opportunity and build a strong economy and society.
We need to adequately and equally fund schools. It’s is a direct responsibility of the Idaho Legislature, and I believe that our State Superintendent of Public Instruction should have, at minimum, the same qualifications required of a local school district superintendent.
I believe that it is important to preserve and uphold the rights of all people and I continue to fight for equality.  Women’s rights were a big topic last legislative session and I believe that we will see similar legislation in the future.  Therefore it is important to elect people who will work for all of the people, not just some of the people.

What do you do when you’re not campaigning or teaching?
I spend my spare time with my family.  Our favorite family activities are camping, fishing, swimming, ATV/4-wheeling, and cross country skiing.

Pam Chiarella