Wednesday letters: principals and others for RFSD mill levy; yes on CRFR mill levy; Teitler, Kuhlenberg, McWhorter, Paugh, Carey for school board; 480 Donegan; Rob Gavrell will be missed; drummer preferred |

Wednesday letters: principals and others for RFSD mill levy; yes on CRFR mill levy; Teitler, Kuhlenberg, McWhorter, Paugh, Carey for school board; 480 Donegan; Rob Gavrell will be missed; drummer preferred

Yes to mill levy override

My name is Aimee Brockman, and I am the principal of Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale. It is my first year working as a principal, but I have been an educator in Roaring Fork Schools since 2003.

I am grateful to spend my days with talented, dedicated and dynamic educators who give so much to our students and community. These are teachers who show up on weekends to watch students’ soccer games and attend Potato Day to see students on the school float.

I dread asking teachers to do things like cancel their classes to work as a substitute or eat lunch outside while they are supervising recess due to staff shortages. It also pains me to hear that a promising candidate will not accept a job offer because they can’t afford to live here on our current salary schedule. The worst scenario is when teachers who have invested in our district and community realize they can’t stay because they don’t see a long-term, viable option to keep teaching in our district. Roaring Forks Schools has the third highest cost of living of all school districts in Colorado but ranks near the bottom in per-pupil funding from the state.

The mill levy override is our only option to keep our schools staffed with highly effective, experienced educators. Making a living in our valley should not be beyond the reach of educators, who are highly educated professionals. One of my great joys is living and working in my community, sending my own children through the public schools in Carbondale and building relationships with family members who are also my neighbors. Please return your ballot and vote yes on 5B, so students at Crystal River Elementary and throughout Roaring Fork Schools can have the incredible educators they deserve.

Aimee Brockman


Board thanks, and yes on 5B

As a former member of the Roaring Fork School District school board and a parent of two kids at Glenwood Springs High School, I want to give my sincere thanks to the current school board for keeping our kids in school, in person, throughout this pandemic. I cannot imagine how much time, effort and emotion it took to come up with the protocols that have made this a success, including the mask mandate, which has been instrumental in reducing quarantines and enabling classes to continue in person.

To continue building on this success, I encourage everyone to vote yes on 5B, the mill levy override. Seventy-five percent of the 5B funds will go straight to salary increases for all RFSD teachers and staff, excluding senior district leadership. The remaining funds will be used for retention and recruitment of teachers, staff and students.

RFSD has the third highest cost of living of all 178 Colorado school districts but can pay teachers only 23rd best in salaries due to ranking in the bottom third of state funding. RFSD loses 75% of the teachers who are offered jobs, and 75% of teachers who do work for RFSD have to work two or more jobs to make ends meet.

Excellent schools are integral to a thriving community, and the key to these is hiring and keeping excellent teachers. Voting yes on 5B will cost homeowners only a few hundred dollars a year, or less than $25 per month in most cases.

Although many people may think that school districts are flush and have plenty of money to “move around” to easily raise salaries, such couldn’t be further from the truth. Every dollar in the current budget that can be moved to teacher and staff salaries has already been moved there. Let’s do what’s best for our community. Vote yes on 5B.

Mary Elizabeth Geiger

Glenwood Springs

Yes on fire district needs

Vote yes on 6A Colorado River Fire Rescue, which serves New Castle, Silt and Rifle along with portions of unincorporated Garfield County. CRFR is seeking a phased-in mill levy with ballot issue 6A on the November ballot. Issue 6A asks approval for a 3 mill levy in 2022, with an additional 2 mills in 2024 and 1.75 mills more in 2026.

The impact will be approximately $1.79 per $100,000 of a home’s value. Following an unsuccessful mill levy election last spring, CRFR closed Fire Station 43 in Rifle, left six vacant first-responder positions unfilled, lowered daily staffing and sold apparatus and utility vehicles.

Emergency call volume continues to increase. 911 calls surpassed 2,300 last year, up 6.1% from 2019. CRFR’s average response times, if you live 0-5 miles from a fire house, is 6:31 and for 5-10 miles is 18:33. CRFR is an independent taxing entity. Passage of 6A will have a positive effect on the health, safety and welfare of these towns and their residents.

Our firefighters respond always to our calls, and now they need our help. This is not a want, people, this is a need to keep our families, friends and neighbors safe, our homes and property safe. So when you call next time, the firehouse will be open and staffed with firefighters to respond to your call.

Please, let’s not let them down, they have never let us down or refused to answer any call that has come in to them.

Adria Milton Baker

New Castle

Kenny for school board

I have never met a school board candidate more qualified to serve than Kenny Teitler.

Not only is he a parent (both daughters are RFSD graduates) who cares deeply about the education of all children, he taught at several grade levels in Basalt and Carbondale and helped promote bilingual education within the entire school district.

He understands where the district is doing well and where it can improve from firsthand experience. He will be a great school board member. Do you want all students, teachers and schools to thrive within RFSD? Do you want RFSD to be the best it can be? Vote for Kenny Teitler.

Colin Laird


Yes to Teitler, Kuhlenberg and 5B

With all the complicated problems we face today, it’s hard to find a simple step you can take to have a positive impact on a big problem. But on Nov. 2 you have a great opportunity to use your ballot to directly improve our local schools by voting for Kenny Teitler and Kathryn Kuhlenberg for school board, and voting yes on 5B.

Kenny and Kathryn are experienced educators who deeply understand the complex issues facing our schools, and they are dedicated to providing the best opportunities to every student in our communities.

The mill levy override proposed in 5B is the only way Roaring Fork Schools can increase teacher and staff salaries enough to address the staffing crisis that’s threatening the quality of our kids’ education. 5B will cost the average homeowner only an additional $14.21 per month, but it will enable our schools to recruit and retain the high-quality teachers and staff our students deserve.

The outcome of this election, and the future of our schools, will be determined by how many supporters make the effort to return their ballots by Nov 2. This is up to you. Seize this rare opportunity to have a positive impact on your local community.

Ben H. Bohmfalk


Kenny Teitler for school board

As a public-school parent in Carbondale for the past 13 years, I have never seen a candidate as qualified for the school board as Kenny Teitler.

Kenny is a Colorado native, a graduate of CU Boulder, a 29-year resident of the Roaring Fork Valley and a parent of two RFHS graduates. He holds a MA in reading with an emphasis on second language learners, he is fluent in Spanish and has spent his entire 26-year teacher career making sure that all students get the education they deserve.

Although he retired from Re-1 as a classroom teacher, he still teaches GED classes at CMC and is a mentor for ninth graders in the pre-collegiate program. He can be found in the stands supporting the Roaring Fork High sports teams and his previous students. He truly cares about his community.

Mr. Kenny knows the long and complicated history of the Roaring Fork School District better than anyone. As a public school teacher in both Basalt and Carbondale, he has seen many school boards and superintendents, and he knows what it takes to make a school district successful. He will bring a depth of experience and wisdom to the position that his opponent greatly lacks. He is approachable and will listen to the concerns of his constituents and will fight for what is best for the staff, students and community of Re-1.

I believe he will be an accessible board member, and he has the history, education, experience and desire to be an excellent addition to the Re-1 school board. Please cast your vote for Kenny Teitler.

Ashley Jardine


Principal for 5B

In 1998, I began my career in our community as a teacher at Carbondale Middle School. I have been the principal at CMS since 2014. We have seen many changes to Carbondale schools throughout the years, but I have never felt this uncertain about our public schools as I have this past year.

We are in the middle of a critical staffing crisis. Housing has always been a challenge in our valley, but I found this past hiring season that many of the candidates (six, actually) we interviewed chose to move to other communities with comparable pay, an easier commute and more options for housing.

The inability to recruit and retain staff is impacting our students and families. This October, unfortunately, we had to transfer several of our students to another school community as we couldn’t find the necessary staff to meet the programming needs of the students. This shortage also impacts current staff who are covering additional duties to maintain our programs the best possible.

This election’s mill levy override is a great opportunity to address this crisis. Please return your ballot by Nov. 2 and vote yes on 5B, so we can continue to be a well-educated community.

Jennifer Lamont

Woody Creek

Another principal for 5B

As the principal of Glenwood Springs Middle School, I know that great schools are only great because of great people. We all want our children to be encouraged, inspired, comforted and kept safe each day by the best teachers, assistants, office staff, bus drivers, custodians and kitchen help possible. As a parent and a principal, I am amazed by the passion and dedication of the people working in our schools each day.

But we are reaching a point of crisis where it is more and more difficult to attract and hire candidates for these positions due to the low wages we are able to offer in comparison to other school districts and employers. During the past year I have posted several teaching and noncertified positions for months and attracted zero or one applicant.

The guest teacher situation is also dire. Since we can’t fill most requests for subs, teachers feel obligated to work while under the weather or with sick children at home. We combine classes, use our administrative team as guest teachers and ask teachers to help during plan times and breaks. GSMS is a great school and a strong crew, and together we make it work. But as a community, we can make this situation better. Please return your ballot by Nov. 2 and vote yes on 5B. This modest property tax increase will go directly to significant salary increases for teachers and staff, excluding district leadership. Go to for all the details.

I know from daily experience that your kids are awesome and deserve the best.

Joel Hathaway

Glenwood Springs

Rob Gavrell will be missed

Every once in a while, Glenwood Springs gets one of those outsiders to visit and stay and make a difference. Rob Gavrell was one of those who will be missed as much as any native. He brought his intelligence, his quiet East Coast savvy and that Ivy League education to Glenwood. And he also embraced the beautiful outdoors and all that Western Colorado offers the adventurer, even one with a bookish bent.

I got to know Rob inside the world of law and all that it entails, but we mostly talked about literature, history and philosophy. We had planned to get together again soon. I will miss him. Glenwood will miss him.

Richard Dally


Vote ‘Kadi’ for school board

Our valley is so fortunate to have a knowledgeable and passionate candidate like Kathryn “Kadi” Kuhlenberg seeking a seat on the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education.

Long before Kadi became a valued resident and employer in our community, I had the pleasure of getting to know her as a hardworking college student who spent summers working at her aunt’s preschool in Aspen. With my children in several of Kadi’s classes, I witnessed firsthand her passion for educating children, incredible patience and calming personality.

The excitement she brought toward educating children was palpable. This was just the beginning for Kadi, as her drive and commitment to education led her to earn her undergraduate degrees in education policy and child psychology, as well as a law degree with specialties in education policy and civil rights.

With three school age children of her own, a thriving business and a wide breadth of both professional and personal experience, Kadi has her pulse firmly on the RFSD community. Her practical experience as both an educator, preschool owner and attorney are invaluable, and she is dedicated to significantly improving all aspects of the RFSD.

Kadi is approachable, an excellent listener and collaborator and a staunch advocate for education. She will work diligently and effectively, taking the necessary time to carefully consider the issues at hand and work toward consensus-based solutions.

Kadi has so much to offer our community. A vote for Kadi on Nov. 2 is a vote for elevating education, opening the lines of communication and developing a comprehensive path forward.

Alyssa Shenk

Snowmass Village

Easy choice for school board

Kenny Teitler is an easy choice for the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education.

As a teacher and parent in Carbondale, I have known “Mr. Kenny” for over 20 years as a colleague in the district, parent of students, teacher of my own children and dedicated member of our community.

In all of these roles, Kenny has always been a respected voice because his commitment is sincere and his work ethic is impeccable. He cares deeply about this community and the education of our students.

As a school board member, Kenny will bring the parent and teacher perspective to decisions with a real understanding of the impact on student success in our schools. Anyone who knows Kenny knows that he will ask tough questions, do the research and ensure that voices are included. His contagious smile and enormous heart come with a relentless pursuit of results for all our kids.

I am confident that Roaring Fork Schools will benefit from having Kenny Teitler on its board. He knows the needs of our schools and understands our communities. We’d be lucky to have him serve on our school board.

Kim Hamilton


Quality choice in Kenny

Kenny Teitler has all the qualities I could hope for in a school board member. To list just three: Kenny is an analytical thinker, a creative problem solver, and he is deeply committed to the well-being of the students, teachers and families living in our diverse Roaring Fork Valley community.

I have worked with Kenny as a fellow teacher and on a school leadership team. His daughter was in my fourth grade class; my daughter was in his middle school math class. I have experienced firsthand how Kenny carefully listens to the information and perspectives presented to him and always comes up with well-thought-out, logical solutions that take into consideration everyone involved.

Evaluating and synthesizing information, whether it be about cost of living for teachers or programs to adopt for students, is something that Kenny does with depth and intelligence.

Kenny never stops at the first ideas presented; he always looks for new ways to understand things and creative approaches to consider. Kenny will bring fresh ideas and interesting solutions to discussions around some of the big challenges we find ourselves facing in public education today.

Most importantly, Kenny has been a committed advocate for every family in our community. He worked harder than any other teacher I know to ensure that every student in each of his classes met the standards they were supposed to learn. He has worked with children and families from a variety of backgrounds through his involvement in Ballet Folklorico, as a basketball coach and as a mentor for the pre-collegiate program. He has fostered connections in our community by teaching Spanish to teachers and teaching English to adults.

I can’t imagine anyone more qualified to represent students, teachers and families. He has the experience and wisdom to make a significant positive impact on the future of the Roaring Fork School District.

Danny Stone


Concerned taxpayer for Chase

I am writing as a concerned parent, educator and taxpayer in the Roaring Fork School District. We have a very important election happening this fall — an opportunity to vote for increased accountability, transparency and results from our school district and its administration.

It is time for a change on the RFSD school board. It is time for a board that operates according to its own organizational design, which calls for ultimate authority to flow from the voters, not the board, and certainly not administrators. It is time for a new voice to challenge the status quo and reorient our district to the priority of educating our children.

One of these voices is Chase McWhorter. Chase is not from the educational system but instead brings the bottom-line perspective of a successful businessman to the table. Our district needs his experience implementing systems to increase efficiency and results. He will challenge current policies and practices that have resulted in declining student performance.

Chase’s sole focus will be representing parents, students and taxpayers to help our district provide the best possible education and opportunities for our students.

Dendy Heisel

Glenwood Springs

Teitler is the integrity candidate

I am writing to support Kenny Teitler for the Re-1 school board position.

I have known Kenny as a colleague and a friend since he began working for the Roaring Fork School District. If I were asked to describe Kenny, the first thing that comes to mind is “Kenny is a man of integrity.” He’s true to his word and doesn’t let emotion control him.

When presented with a difficult situation he keeps his head, listens to others and presents his perspective respectfully. He considers all options before making decisions. What better traits to bring to a school board?

Kenny also brings with him years of first-hand experience in our district as a teacher, parent and community member. He is an excellent educator, and he knows what it takes for schools and students to succeed. He genuinely cares about this community and the schools. He will listen to and consider the positions of all stakeholders — students, staff, parents and community. He will work diligently to make the Re-1 schools the best that they can be.

Mary E. Lamb


Paugh, Carey for Re-2 board

​​My daughter’s excitement about starting college last month reminded me of her 5-year-old self and how thrilled she was to finally start kindergarten. Each day after school she would talk about her teacher nonstop, pull out of her backpack every little masterpiece she created that day, and count the days until she could pick out a new picture book from the library.

I’m so grateful that my daughter’s enthusiasm for learning, pride in her work and special connections with teachers continued all the way through high school. I credit the many wonderful teachers and administrators of our schools for making that happen. I’d love for all kids in our community to have that kind of experience in our public schools for years to come.

We need to remember those fundamental and crucial aspects of our children’s education as we think about the upcoming school board elections. We want our teachers to be able to focus on supporting and inspiring our children and challenging them to be the best they can be. That means we need school board members who can keep our district running smoothly so that teachers can focus on our kids.

That’s the No. 1 reason why I’m encouraging people to vote for Jess Paugh and Caitlin Carey for the Garfield Re-2 board. They are motivated by a desire to ensure that Re-2 remains a strong, stable school district. Jess and Caitlin are running because they want all of our children to get the kind of educational experience they need and deserve.

Debbie Bruell


Try bongos instead

If I go to Aspen, I see this fellow beating the drums with a donation jar. He’s no Dave Grohl, but he’s honestly trying to improve his skill, do something he likes and earn a bit from generous passersby.

If I go to Glenwood, I see this fellow with an amplifier and a violin, pretending to play with an accompaniment. I asked him to play a C Major scale, which he could not do, because it is a recording.

I’d much rather see the guy playing the bongos inexpertly and honestly than a guy pretending that a Yo Yo Ma recording is his own work. If the woman accompanying him is in fact pregnant, as his sign attests, he would serve his nascent family much better by getting an honest job. There is no shortage of well-paying work in this valley.

Thomas Patierno


No favors with pasture development

Our City Council does not have the right to exchange one lifestyle for another, which is what will happen for most of Glenwood if they approve, unamended, the annexation of the pasture development.

At the least they have the responsibility to investigate all the impacts such a large increase in population will have on our infrastructure. Greg Jeung seems to have been more thorough than the council in looking at the follow-through impacts on assorted city services. These impacts that don’t go away, like the developer, will continue to cost us all.

It is the responsibility of council to go slowly and not succumb to the obsequious public relations nudging that is part of the development model, nor to the newspaper’s half-page ads purchased by the Diemoz family. There is money to be made; the quicker the better, the more the better. Density = money. They are not doing favors or making changes unless forced. This is transparent.

Glenwood is becoming a twisted little knot of population and traffic, and our elected leaders have no inclination to insist that density include park space, trees, bike paths or things that make an area livable and desirable. We insist!

We live in a world that has been and will be rocked with the effects of climate change. Our water supply, water rights not withstanding, will diminish at an unpredictable rate. For safety (fire) issues and water issues, let alone quality of life issues, council needs to deny and reexamine the expense to existing infrastructure with eyes that look to the future and the inevitabilities science predicts. What’s the hurry?

Barb Coddington

Glenwood Springs

Teitler has the right perspective

I’m writing to echo my support and encourage voters to join me in marking their ballot for Kenny Teitler for Re-1 school board. Many previous letters have outlined Kenny’s numerous qualifications and the dynamic skillset he has gained during his lifelong career in public education.

I’ve been fortunate to know Kenny in various roles over the years. He taught both of my children, and as a fellow parent, I’ve gotten to spend countless hours with Kenny and his wife, Karla. Working alongside Kenny, when parental participation was in short supply, I truly got to know the character of this dedicated community member. Kenny is approachable, curious, funny and kind. His steadfast commitment to public education, our children and, in turn, our community cannot be overstated.

Re-1 has areas that are rightfully criticized, and some past decisions have been negatively impactful in several ways. Chief among them being leadership has not valued longevity or consistency in many of our schools. Kenny’s perspective is an asset to help Re-1 see the benefit in growing tenured staff that are committed to our communities. I recognize that I will not agree with all of Kenny’s positions, and future votes, that’s a given, but what is important to me is that Kenny will come to his decisions in a thoughtful, collaborative and data-supported manner.

I have no doubt that Kenny’s service to Re-1 in this new role will reap benefits for all stakeholders. Kenny’s unique outlook will serve all of Re-1: students, families, teachers, staff and the general public. Kenny isn’t a pushover, he’s a good listener, and he will put in the work to ensure his decisions are those that are in support of providing the best quality education to all of our students.

Having the caliber of a candidate such as Kenny Teitler to step up in today’s climate is worth speaking out in support — please vote.

Stacey Bernot


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User