Two seek CMC Lake County seat |

Two seek CMC Lake County seat

Christine Ina Casillas
Vail Daily
and Roger Peterson
Leadville Chronicle

LEADVILLE – Education writer, mentor and teacher Helen Ginandes Weiss and Leadville Mayor Chet Gaede are running for the Lake County position on the Board of Trustees for Colorado Mountain College.

Voters in the six CMC district counties can vote in all trustee races in the Nov. 4 election. The other race is between Tom Boas and John Patillo for the eastern Garfield County seat. (See the Election 2003 link at for profiles on Boas and Patillo.)

Weiss has been an educator for more than 40 years, first teaching at the high school level. She now travels the country with her husband, Martin, on lecture tours.

“Sitting on my buns is not for me,” Helen Weiss said. “I still see children. I’m still in the education field.”

Weiss served on CMC’s Board of Trustees from December 1986 to November 1993, representing Eagle County. She also taught at the Eagle County campus for 14 years as an adjunct professor.

“I love the college so much, and I got so much out of the college when I was teaching there,” Weiss said about Colorado Mountain College. “This campus needs support, and it could use more vocational types of programs.”

Gaede said he seeks the seat because he believes the college is important for economic development.

“It brings students, teachers and classes into the community. It’s also important for the quality of life, including providing classes for high school students, continuing education and noncredit courses. All of these are important to our community and therefore are important to me.”

In addition to serving as Leadville’s mayor, Gaede has chaired the Leadville Coalition, the Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments and the five-county Rural Resort Region.

CMC’s strength, Gaede added, is allowing each campus to be unique and to grow stronger.

“Eagle and Summit campuses have culinary programs, Timberline has outdoor recreation, Garfield has nursing and veterinary tech programs and the Rifle campus offers science for the oil and gas industries,” Gaede said.

“These campuses need to be allowed to grow to service their communities,” he said. “I can help by seeing the big picture and by watching to see that the president of the college doesn’t lose sight of it and the individuality of each campus.”

With her background, Weiss said she can provide alternatives to the board of trustees – all in the name of education.

She has developed programs to assist underachieving students and learning-disabled students and trained teachers to work with all kinds of students.

A supporter of expanded vocational and technical education, Weiss said the college provides students who might not be able to go elsewhere an opportunity to seek an education.

“It’s so important to provide educational alternatives for students,” she said. “The cost of a college education now is very scary. It practically eliminates (the chance for) the middle class to get an education without paying through their ears for it.”

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