By Lana Hiskey

Nebo School Board Members retire – Debbie Swenson 8 years and Collin Allan 30 years of service. It was a reflective and emotional farewell as two school board members of Nebo School District, Debbie Swenson and Collin Allan, served their last board meeting.

President Dean Rowley said, "We have two school board members retiring tonight – Debbie Swenson and Collin Allan. We probably don’t realize just how much these two Nebo School Board members have done for the students in Nebo School District. Debbie Swenson has served 8 years from 2003 to 2010, and Collin Allan has served 30 years from 1981 until 2010. Many people don’t even stay in their career for that many years."

Debbie Swenson

In 2003, Debbie was elected to the Nebo School Board of Education. She filled LaMar Wilson’s seat and covered Elk Ridge, Salem, Woodland Hills, and the east/south side of Spanish Fork. She served for eight years on the Board. Debbie is known for her passion of education.

Mrs. Swenson has a history of service that includes serving on the Utah School Boards Association (USBA) for four years and being selected on Governor Huntsman’s Commission for a 21st Century workforce. Mrs. Swenson was a candidate for Utah State Legislature.

Debbie graduated from Brigham Young University in 2002. She is currently a member of Women in Philanthropy, a group working through the United Way to help women and children of Utah County. She has also served on the board for Kid’s Cause.

Mrs. Swenson stated, "I thoroughly enjoyed my eight years on the Board. I am very committed to education for ALL children, which is what public education is truly about. I know that every child deserves a good education – it is the foundation to a successful life and a critical key to maintaining the freedoms we enjoy in our country. Working with the people of Nebo District was a great experience. I learned that the teachers and staff in Nebo are the best in the state. The patrons are very committed and supportive of education and make a difference for our children. I’m confident that the students of Nebo District are in good hands. I’m grateful for the opportunity that I have had of serving for these past years."

Superintendent Rick Nielsen said, "The students and employees express sincere appreciate to Mrs. Debbie Swenson for her eight years of outstanding service as a Board member. Mrs. Swenson came to the Board with a strong PTA background and carried that student advocacy perspective and community engagement commitment with her throughout her time on the Board. She has a strong commitment to local governance and champion’s law and policy, which benefit local students. Nebo District thanks Mrs. Swenson for her service and will miss her passion for excellence."

Debbie enjoys sewing, family history, and reading. She is married to Ken. They have 6 children and 14 grandchildren that live all over the country. Debbie & Ken enjoy traveling and spending a lot of time visiting grandchildren.

Collin Allan

In 1981, Collin’s children were all in Nebo Schools. His expertise and talent comes from being a Savings and Loan Controller, Director of Tours and Conferences for BYU, working with Steven Covey in Relations, and serving as Vice President for First Security Bank, working there for 27 years. Currently, he is the Director of the Western Community Bank and has served on Wells Fargo Central Utah Advisory Board for 12 years.

Mr. Allan has spent a lifetime serving the community including Mapleton City Council for 12 years, Mapleton Planning Commission for 9 years, Utah Bankers Association for 30 years, Rotary Club President, and serving on the prestigious Utah High School Athletics Association.

Mr. Allan has had numerous honors and recognition including being selected as the Jaycees Young Men Distinguished Award, and selected as the Utah Statesman for Wildlife by the Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. He was appointed by Governor Leavitt to the Blue Ribbon Fish Commission, and elected as President for the Downtown Coaches.

Superintendent Rick Nielsen said, "The students and employees of Nebo School District have definitely benefitted from the service rendered by Mr. Collin Allan over the past 30 years. Mr. Allan is a true statesman, whose wisdom and integrity have won great respect for him among his colleagues and the patrons of the district. He remained focused on students at all times, while maintaining the delicate balance between doing what was best for the common good and simultaneously representing his constituents. We are sincerely grateful for his many years of service and will miss him deeply."

With little spare time available, Collin enjoys his family, sports, BYU athletics, fishing, and hunting. He is one of the few to get the Grand Slam. In fact, Collin was the 916th person to get all four species of the North American Sheep.

When asked about a highlight in his time of service for the children of Nebo School District, Mr. Allan said, "I would have to say finances because we saved thousands and thousands of dollars and have arranged a long-term budget to help students. Taxpayers’ dollars are sacred and need to be well taken care of."

When asked about the future of Nebo School District, Mr. Allan said, "Give it the best – stay true to your principles. It has always been our goal to have outstanding academics. I am positive that Nebo School District will continue to have excellent academics and find ways to raise the academic standards."

Collin is married to Peggy. They have 5 children, 17 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren.

In their last Nebo School Board meeting, each retiring Board member had a chance to express their thoughts.

Mrs. Debbie Swenson said, "It has been a wonderful experience. Many of you, that might have known me before serving on the school board, may have thought that I was a rebel rouser. One thing I have learned is that Nebo School District has quality people. The students are in good hands. If I had to handpick people to work with, I would pick those that work for Nebo School District. I have served on the Utah School Boards Association and know that this is one of the best school boards in the state. Our district is student-centered and student-focused. I have loved getting to know all of you and thank you for this opportunity."

Mr. Collin Allan said, "I cannot believe how fast the years go by. We have a great school board, a great administration, and great teachers and staff. I want to compliment you, employees of Nebo. You have made Nebo School District exceptional through your dedication. I appreciate what you all have done.

There have been a lot of changes in the last 30 years. Our school district has gone from around 10,000 students to almost 30,000. We have had to build many schools. We have had good support from the taxpayers. That support has blessed all the students. Our students have excelled. I have appreciated the opportunity to improve education. Thank you! It has been a privilege working with each of you."

Rick Ainge filled the seat of Debbie Swenson when she didn’t run again. He covers Elk Ridge, Salem, Woodland Hills, and east and south side of Spanish Fork. You may reach him at 801-361-3552 or e-mail

Kristen Betts filled the seat of Collin Allan when he decided not to run again. She covers the area of Mapleton, Covered Bridge, Birdseye, east Spanish Fork, and east/south of Springville. You may reach her at 801-368-4840 or

"It was a tender and emotional board meeting to see Mrs. Swenson and Mr. Allan serve their last school board meeting. Nebo School District is a better place because of their service and will miss their tireless efforts in behalf of all children, teachers, staff, and community," said Lana Hiskey, public information officer.