Three seats to be decided in school board election

Four candidates are registered with the state; incumbents have not released their intentions

Posted

Douglas County School Board hopefuls have until Aug. 30 to file to run as a candidate for one of three open seats in the Nov. 5 election.

As of July 19, four people had registered with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office seeking seats on the board: Franceen Thompson, a financial specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Andy Jones, who serves as co-vice chair on DCSD’s District Accountability Committee; Kory Nelson, an attorney; and Susan Meek, director of strategic engagement and communications for the Colorado Association of School Boards.

The seats of incumbents David Ray (District F), Anne-Marie Lemieux (District C) and Wendy Vogel (District A) are up for election.

Whether one, two or all three of the incumbents will seek reelection is to be determined.

“I spoke with both Directors Vogel and Lemieux and believe we are at a similar place in being undecided about running for reelection,” Ray said in an email correspondence. “It is our plan to publicly make known our intent no later than mid-August.”

The Douglas County School Board has been in the spotlight since the 2009 election of a reform-minded majority of members, who espoused policies such as pay-for-performance evaluations for teachers and a form of school choice that would later include a controversial voucher program.

For six years, supporters of the reforms held all seven seats on the board. They introduced new policies that, in the eyes of many, caused an exodus of hundreds of teachers and administrators.

A shift occurred in 2015, when sitting candidates who opposed the reform policies — Ray, Vogel and Lemieux — were elected to the board. Two years later, the board added four more members who largely opposed the reform movement: Anthony Graziano, Kevin Leung, Chris Schor and Krista Holtzmann.

The board has since selected a new superintendent and put two successful tax measures on the ballot. Last November, for the first time in 13 years, voters approved a $40 million mill levy override and $250 million bond. The funds have been used to address teacher pay and capital needs.

What to know

To be considered as a school board director, one must:

• Be a registered voter of DCSD for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the election.

• Be a resident of the director district for which he or she is a candidate at the time of filing the notice of intention and supporting petition.

• Have not been convicted of, plead guilty or nolo contendere to, or received a deferred judgment and sentence for, a sexual offense against a child.

Within 10 days of declaring candidacy, candidates must file an affidavit with the Secretary of State. Candidates must complete and submit a packet, with a notice of intent and petition for nomination with 50 signatures, among other requirements, to Tammy Taylor at DCSD’s Administration Building, 620 Wilcox St., Castle Rock, no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30. Candidates may retrieve the packet from Taylor no earlier than July 31, but may not circulate petitions until Aug. 7.

Contact the Designated Elections Official by phone at 303-387-0258 or by email at tltaylor@dcsdk12.org to arrange a time to turn in the documents.

About the districts

The following districts’ seats will be decided in the election:

• District A, which comprises western Highlands Ranch.

• District C, which comprises eastern and southern Highlands Ranch.

• District F, which comprises Parker and nearby unincorporated areas.

For a full map of the districts, go to https://bit.ly/2Ltg1yO.

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