One Roaring Fork school board incumbent to run again, other bows out
Deadline for nominees is Friday, as 3 seats up for election this fall
Shane Larson intends to run for reelection to the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education, while the other incumbent board member whose seat is up, Mary Elizabeth Geiger, will not.
Friday is the deadline for candidates to file valid nominating petitions with the school district to run for any of the three seats that are up for election this fall.
Those seats include Larson’s District D (downtown Glenwood Springs and West Glenwood areas), for which other prospective candidates have taken out but not yet submitted petitions, according to school district officials.
Two seats on the five-member school board look to be wide open in the Nov. 5 election — District B (west of Highways 82 and 133, including parts of Carbondale and the Aspen Glen, Ironbridge and Westbank neighborhoods), and District C (south Glenwood, Spring Valley and the western portion of Missouri Heights).
Geiger, who currently represents District C, said she will not seek reelection after six years on the board. Instead, she is joining the newly reformulated Roaring Fork School Foundation nonprofit board.
“I still want to be involved with the district, and I loved being on the board and being part of what we’ve accomplished,” Geiger, a Glenwood Springs attorney, said. “The schools have really blossomed over last five years.
“I will continue serving the community, just in a different role,” she said.
The District B seat was left open after former school board member Matt Hamilton stepped down in June when he moved from the area. The board will continue with four members until the election, after no candidates applied for what would have been a short-term appointment to the seat.
Larson said he’s ready to seek a full four-year term after three-and-a-half years on the board since being appointed to fill a vacant seat.
“I enjoy the work, and my background is in education,” Larson said.
Larson works as vice president of student affairs at Colorado Mountain College and was a middle school math teacher before transitioning into higher education.
“I’ve always been in the education arena, and it’s been good to connect back to K-12s. I hope to continue to provide something to the board,” Larson said.
Larson said the district took some steps forward last year to address teacher pay in the district, but more needs to be done on the state level. It will require collaboration with other area school districts to have any impact, he said.
“We have to combine forces with other districts to take that message to the state Legislature,” Larson said. “We need to do better at that.”
Larson, who has three children in district schools in Glenwood Springs, said he would also like to see the district continue to improve student performance when it comes to meeting state benchmarks.
“We’ve been moving in the right direction, but we want to keep that momentum going,” he said.
As of Tuesday, Larson’s was the only completed candidate petition to have been returned, but more than a dozen had been taken out between the three seats combined, said Angie Davlyn, board election official for the district.
Candidate petitions are due by 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
Prospective candidates must file a written notice of intent to be a candidate and a nomination petition signed by at least 50 eligible electors who are registered to vote in the Nov. 5 election.
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Carbondale Middle School teacher Grace De La Sala has been named the 2019 English as a Second Language Teacher of the Year by the Colorado Association for Bilingual Education. She’s the second CMS teacher in two years to receive the award.