The Orem Mayor and members of the City Council reaffirm their intention to proceed with a full and comprehensive Orem school district feasibility study conducted by Discovery Education Consultants (Discovery), led by Dr. Paul McCarty.
As a city council, we recognize what is at stake with this study. The residents of this community are entitled to reliable information and data. The City Council is committed to ensuring the study does just that. Utah State law sets forth that “The determination of all matters relating to the scope, adequacy, and other aspects of a feasibility study is within the exclusive discretion of the city’s legislative body (see 53G-3-302(b)(i)). We take that responsibility seriously and we are committed to doing this right.
The Discovery team has already commenced with their research and analysis and we have every confidence that they will produce a reliable and professional study. What set Discovery Educational Consultants apart in the selection process was their unique ability to interpret data and financial information for educational organization application.
Discovery Education Consultants is made up of Dr. Paul McCarty, LaVar Christensen, Michael D. Wankier. Each of these men are seasoned and celebrated professionals. While the company was recently formed in February of this year, they have 100 years of cumulative knowledge and expertise. DEC brings together expertise from a variety of areas including real estate, finance, education, school district management, and law.
Dr. Paul McCarty has served in education for over 40 years everywhere from the frontline, to middle management, to administration and knows how school districts operate. He has been involved in multiple public school evaluation studies. While working at Granite School District he was intimately involved with a community-driven effort to help understand the capacity of school facilities and identify future needs and educational programs. Many residents have correctly pointed out that Dr. McCarty was involved with the Canyons District School split and is currently involved in a proposed Draper School District split, and while some may see this as concerning, we value his unique experience in this matter. Dr. McCarty is particularly well-suited to conduct this study because he has an experiential understanding of the opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed by this feasibility study.
Michael D. Wankier, CPA, will lead the financial analysis part of the Feasibility Study. His extensive background includes being the former Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of the Larry H. Miller Management Corporation. He also was the Controller for Pinnacle Security and was responsible for the development of an accounting and finance function that supported a multi-million dollar customer base. During his career, he has led financial feasibility studies for various projects including acquisitions, construction projects, and real estate development projects. He has a network within the CPA community that allows him access to high-level CPAs in both the public and private sectors. In addition, he worked as an Auditor and was rated an exceptional performer at the prestigious Big Four accounting firm KPMG. Early in his career he also worked at Arthur Anderson.
LaVar Christensen brings over 40 years of legal experience to the Discovery team, specifically in education law, real estate law, public policy, and government regulations. He served as an elected member of the Utah House of Representatives for eight years and was Chair or Vice-Chair for many committees including the public education and public education appropriations committees.
Through the city’s website, we are providing an avenue for residents to submit questions. We will ensure that those questions are being considered in this study and we will hold our consultants to the highest level of professionalism. You can trust the City Council to ensure that the study focuses on facts, not opinions.