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“Let’s get started!”
Those words of Olene Walker resounded throughout the capitol rotunda and across Utah Wednesday as the 72-year-old veteran politician assumed her new role as governor.
The fact she spent little time with inaugural festivities, but went almost directly to the governor’s office to begin working leaves the distinct impression she has no intention of being a caretaker governor.
As expected, a desire to reform and improve education in Utah dominated her inaugural address. Education is in her DNA, she proudly declared. Her parents were educators and she has a doctorate in Education Administration. There’s little question she’ll work diligently to move along efforts to responsibly overhaul the state’s system of education.
At the same time, it was good to hear her acknowledgment of Utah’s diversity and her plea for Utahns to become more involved in service. Especially timely is her suggestion for each adult to spend 20-minutes a day reading to a child.
As Governor Walker stated, she brings to the table what she’s learned over a lifetime in many roles, including the desire to seek understanding, the skill to negotiate and the capacity for hard work.
As the 15th Governor of Utah, she’ll undoubtedly give it her all. After all, it didn’t take her long to get started.