A look into the candidates for the DCSD school board election

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A yard sign posted in support of Andy Jones in the school board election. Photo by Anthony Kargoll

     On Nov. 5, it will be Election Day in America yet again. While there is no election for state or federal office in Colorado, there’s still the Douglas County School Board Election. 

   For this 2019 election, only three of the seven seats on the school board are up for election. Each director serves a four year term and represents a district within Douglas County. According to Ballotpedia, “Although school board members are elected to specific seats, the district as a whole votes on every seat up for election.”

   In this year’s round of elections, District A, C, and F are up for election. Only David Ray, representing District F, is seeking re-election in this race. Each district has only two candidates running for the seat. 

   In District A, the two candidates running for this seat are Andy Jones and Susan Meeks. 

Andy Jones

   According to Jones’s website, he’s running because he wants “to strengthen the two most important contracts in the district: between the student and teacher and the parents and the school.  I want the best teachers to fulfill that contract with the highest levels of support and compensation. I also want the parents to feel like the school honors their choices and values.” According to his website, some of the key issues Andy Jones is running for include: “Prioritizing safety and security, respecting and developing teachers, and engaging parents in the education of their children.”

Susan Meeks

   Meeks, who is running against Jones, says on her website that she’s running for the board because “given my passion for public education and for serving, I cannot imagine a better volunteer role for me at this time in my life. My professional experience over the last 5+ years working with superintendents and school board members across the state has made me knowledgeable in understanding the role of school board members and the challenges that our schools face.” She’s running on the ideas of “community, accountability, and having safe and welcoming schools.”

   In District C, the two candidates running for this seat are Elizabeth Hanson and Franceen Thompson.

Elizabeth Hanson

   Hanson, on her website, says she’s running because “I promised my three children, who are in elementary school, that I would work to prevent school violence and make sure they feel safe at school. By seeking a Director position, I am not only keeping my promise to my family, I am extending it to our entire community.” Hanson “strongly supports charter schools” and is “ firmly opposed to arming teachers in our schools under any circumstances.”

Franceen Thompson

   Thompson says on her website she “felt compelled to seek this office after my daughter’s good friend, Kendrick Castillo, was murdered at STEM School Highlands Ranch”. Thompson says “It’s all about S.A.F.E.T.Y,” which is an acronym for “Security, Academic Excellence, Fiscal Responsibility, Educating all Children, Trade Schools, Yes to Teachers.”

   Finally, in District F, the two candidates running for this seat are Kory Nelson and David Ray.

Kory Nelson

   Nelson said on his website that he is running “to prioritize school safety at the district level, treat the teachers and staff like professionals, and engage parents, respectfully, as co-partners in the education process.” Nelson believes the top three priorities for the school district are school safety, increasing retention rates of faculty, and respecting parents as co-partners in the education process.

David Ray

   Ray is the current president of the school board, and the only candidate to be seeking re-election in the race. “The district has made tremendous progress in reclaiming its reputation as the very best place for every child to grow, learn and become successful young adults. I want to continue providing the leadership stability to ensure this happens.” According to his website, some of his goals include: promoting academic excellence, encouraging a positive and safe culture, and ensuring there’s fiscal well-being within the district.

Anthony Kargoll, Staff Reporter

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