School board candidates speak out at forum |

School board candidates speak out at forum

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

Five Roaring Fork School District Re-1 school board candidates answered questions at Monday night’s Issues and Answers forum. The two contested seats are District B, between incumbent Brad Zeigel and Debbie Bruell, and District D, between incumbent Bruce Wampler and Bill Lamont. Myles Rovig is running for the District D seat uncontested.In opening and closing remarks, Bruell stressed collaboration between parents, community members and teachers – the district’s most valuable assets. She said as a board member she would advocate for local citizen control over public education.Zeigel said his guiding principals as a board member are doing no harm and looking out for what’s best for the kids. He said the district must continue to face many challenges including population growth and promoting cultural awareness. He added that he’s learned a lot through his experience on the board.

“The school board is about compromising,” he said.Lamont said major concerns that caused him to run for election are the excellence and achievement of the schools and the responsiveness of the district.”I feel the district has to be responsive to issues that are raised in real time,” he said.Choices in the valley are a blessing, but also a curse, he said. Each child that leaves the district for another school causes a loss of funding, which causes a loss of teachers, leading to a loss of programs, which can continue in a vicious cycle, he added.

But Wampler said that enrollment in all the district’s schools is up this fall and that the school board has been listening to public concerns. He also mentioned his experience on the board and announced that he has a campaign Web site –”I want to use my experience to help keep the school district moving forward,” he said.He said in his four years there have been many visible achievements, including the quality of learning that standards-based education has led to.Asked to elaborate on comments about the district’s lack of responsiveness, Lamont said there has been a history of parents raising an issue only to have it extend over a period of time without getting addressed. He said he can help build the bridges to change that for the better.Wampler said it can appear at times that response is slow, but that issues are not being ignored. The district tries its best to respond and listen to what parents and teachers say, he added, and the district is about as responsive as any district could be.

Bruell said she’s seen more efforts recently by the district to increase communication, but it must get better and include seeking input and collaboration instead of only telling people what the district is doing.”There’s so much more energy the schools could have,” she said.Zeigel said the district does its best to listen and be responsive, but the responsiveness that’s most important is that inside the classroom.”This school district has a bright future,” he added later. “Not every school district can say that.”

Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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