Meet the Garfield Re-2 school board candidates — Part 1
Q&As with the six candidates seeking the four seats open on Board of Education
Voters had a chance last week to meet the Board of Education candidates for the four open seats in the Garfield Re-2 school district.
The six candidates met with the public last Thursday during a forum held by the West Garfield Education Association at the library.
With more than 30 people in attendance listened to the candidates answer a half-dozen questions during the nearly two-hour event.
Katie Mackley, and Meriya Stickler are both running unopposed for Director District C and D respectively; both seats are for four-year terms.
Chris Miller and Kirk Wilson are both vying for Director District B, which is also a four-year term.
Seth McMillen is challenging incumbent Tom Slappey, Director District A, who was appointed to the seat earlier this year for the two-year term.
For those who were unable to attend the forum, the Citizen Telegram sent out questions to all the candidates before the upcoming November election.
Ballots were mailed out last Friday; they must be dropped at one of the drop boxes and in hand by 7 p.m. Nov. 5.
Profession, how long have you lived here, and any relevant family or personal information you would like to share?
Katie Mackley: I am the Executive Director of the Rifle Regional Economic Development Corporation, the Community Manager of Rifle Cowork and the Operations Manager for Align Multimedia. I was raised in Rifle, graduated from Rifle High School and CU Boulder, lived in Los Angeles for a while and have been back in Rifle for 18 years. I am married with three children who attend school in the Garfield Re-2 school district.
Kirk Wilson: I have worked for the Rifle Police Department for 17 years. I am the Emergency Manager and Training Coordinator. My wife is a teacher at Highland Elementary School in Rifle and is in her 11th year with the school district. My son is a Kindergartner within the district.
Meriya Stickler: Healthcare Compliance, born and raised in Colorado, lived in Garfield County for 23 years. Married with two boys who both attend Coal Ridge High School.
Tom Slappey: I am a Sr. Account Manager for Ryerson, Inc. I also am part owner of Grand Junction Ice, LLC. I have lived and worked in the area since July 2008. I have several family members who also live and work in the Rifle area.
Chris Miller: My wife, Brooke Miller, and I have lived in Rifle for 8 years, we have four children, with our fifth due in November. She teaches children who are blind or visually impaired from Parachute to Basalt. I worked at Rifle Middle School, for three years as a classroom teacher, and the five years as Athletic Director and Dean of Students. I am currently an Assistant Principal at Eagle Valley High School.
Seth McMillen: I have been in the district for a year now, my daughter has been in the district for 10 years now starting in kindergarten. My wife is originally from this area and she has very strong roots here.
Why are you running for the Re-2 Schools Board of Education?
Katie Mackley: I grew up in the Re-2 school district, have had children in the district for 11 years and care deeply about it. I think we are heading into a period of transformation for public schools and I would like to be part of it. This school board will be hiring a new superintendent; it’s important that we find a superintendent who understands the complexities of the district and is prepared to meet them in an innovative and inspired way.
Kirk Wilson: I am running for Re-2 School Board because I feel I have a deep desire to ensure that the children of our community receive the best education possible in a safe and secure manner.
Meriya Stickler: To serve the community and Garfield Re-2 school district.
Tom Slappey: I have two kids in the district and believe that with a vested interest in their education and that of the other children it’s important to give back any way that I can. I also believe that we are going to be faced with several big challenges, funding the most difficult and believe that I can offer insight and direction that will help guide the District into the future.
Chris Miller: I am running for the Re-2 school board because I am passionate about public education. I have seen public schools be very successful, and I have seen schools that are not. When schools thrive, the entire community does as well. I want to use my experience and understanding of the educational system to guide our district to hire a new superintendent that has values that align with our community.
Seth McMillen: I am running for school board because I have a vested interest in how the schools are run and performing.
What qualifications do you bring to the table, and how do you believe that will benefit the organization?
Katie Mackley: I believe that my time as a parent in the school district provides me significant insight into the workings of the district. I have developed relationships with numerous Re-2 staff members and feel that that is an important point of reference moving into the role of being a school board member. My professions also provide me with a strong understanding of business and finance, which is crucial to being a competent school board member.
Kirk Wilson: I will graduate with my Master’s in Public Administration this December. Combined with my 17 years as a professional law enforcement officer, emergency manager, father of a Re-2 student and husband of a Re-2 Teacher, I believe I offer my community a wealth of knowledge and experience in several valuable disciplines.
Meriya Stickler: Before working in healthcare I worked in banking this experience will help me learn districts finance. I have Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in Human Resources from CCU a Certification in Healthcare Compliance, CHC and Society of Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional, SHRM-SCHP. My healthcare experience will help me learn my new role as a board member as healthcare is organized chaos, with complicated finances and as many acronyms as the school district.
Tom Slappey: I have worked for the same company for 22 years, I have a strong background in the financial aspects of our business as well as great listening skills, all of my experience has been on the commercial side from entry-level sales to sales management. I work well in a team atmosphere.
Chris Miller: Every great team is made up of people of various strengths. Our School Board needs someone with experience in public education. I have taught or been an administrator in the elementary, middle, and high school levels. I was the chair or vice-chair of the District Accountability Committee for five years, part of the district’s negotiating body, Collaborative Solutions, for two years, and a member of numerous other committees throughout the district.
Seth McMillen: I feel it’s a way to give back to the community that I have now adopted as my home.
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