Superintendent’s Corner: Seats available on Roaring Fork Board of Ed
The Roaring Fork Board of Education will be filling at least one vacant seat on the first Tuesday in November, and two other seats are up for election. Public school districts are governed by an elected board of education, which means that we — specifically, I — work for you via your elected representatives.
Board members serve as representatives of the community in providing direction for Roaring Fork Schools, including approving a mission, goals and strategic plan; overseeing the budget; adopting policies; and hiring and evaluating the superintendent.
Because I am the board’s employee, I don’t think it appropriate to endorse any board candidate. However, I do have some hopes for the outcome of the next election. First, it’s high time that the community elected its first Latino to be a board member. More than half of our students and families are Latino, and half of our students live in Spanish-speaking households. It’s time that our board starts to look like the community it represents.
Second, I hope that new board members will take a strategic and broad view of the school district and its priorities. Good board members tend to be non-partisan, non-ideological, willing to compromise, and dedicated to all students. People with a narrow view or specific goal — especially one focused on their own children — tend not to serve as well in a governance capacity.
Third, anyone who wants to run a school or program should apply for a job with the school district. Board members should be focused on setting policies and goals and monitoring outcomes. Leave the operations and management to employees.
The opportunity to run for board service is truly open to all registered voters who have lived in the district that he or she runs to represent for at least 12 consecutive months before the election. Individuals do not need prior board experience or any other educational or professional experience to serve — board members should just be willing to work for what’s best for students. Every board member brings a unique set of perspectives and experiences that help the board as a whole represent the entire community.
Three seats will be up for election on Nov. 5, 2019:
• District B (currently held by Matt Hamilton) for a four-year term
• District C (currently held by Mary Elizabeth Geiger) for a four-year term
• District D (currently held by Shane Larson) for a four-year term
Matt Hamilton has already announced his resignation effective June 12, and we are grateful for his nearly eight years of service. So this seat and possibly others will be filled in November.
The application process for the November election begins on Aug. 7, and all documents must be submitted by Aug. 30.
If you are interested in learning more information about this process, contact Senior Project Manager Angie Davlyn, the district’s designated election official, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 1405 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601.
Board members will attest that it’s a rewarding experience, but also a lot of work. For those who have the time and appetite for long board meetings and deep policy and budget reviews, and the patience for lots of stakeholder phone calls and emails, there can be no better way to serve your community.
Rob Stein is superintendent of Roaring Fork Schools.
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The Healthy Rivers Youth Water Summit brought together water policy experts, decision makers and more than 100 students from Roaring Fork Valley middle and high schools to learn about and discuss water issues.