Back to school also means elections around the corner

Column by Jason Glass
Posted 9/11/19

With Labor Day behind us, the days are getting shorter which means summer is winding down and fall is just ahead. This also means we are coming up on the scariest time of year. That’s right, folks …

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Back to school also means elections around the corner

Posted

With Labor Day behind us, the days are getting shorter which means summer is winding down and fall is just ahead. This also means we are coming up on the scariest time of year. That’s right, folks – I mean election season!

Two of the five seats for the Jeffco Public Schools Board of Education are up for election this year. We thank Ali Lasell and Amanda Stevens for their four years of service on the board, navigating the district through a politically contentious and difficult period of change.

We are also appreciative of the new candidates stepping forward to run for the school board. In district Three (representing Wheat Ridge and Arvada) we have two candidates vying for the seat: Robert Applegate and Stephanie Schooley. In District Four (representing much of Lakewood), we also have two candidates Joan Chavez-Lee and Susan Miller.

Serving on the board of education is an unpaid elected position. Board members deal with complex issues and have to make tough decisions on issues such as the strategic direction of the district and the annual budget. The races are nonpartisan, meaning the candidates do not declare their party affiliations as part of the election process. These provisions are intended to keep public school boards focused on what is in the best interest of students and our community’s schools in effort to keep partisan politics out of boardroom decisions. I have had the chance to meet with all the candidates and look forward to attending events during the campaign to hear their perspectives and ideas. Candidate forums are presently scheduled on Sept. 25 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Lakewood High School (sponsored by the Jeffco PTA) and on Oct. 10 from 7-9 p.m. at the Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church (sponsored by the Lakewood American Association of University Women).

As a public servant, I am prohibited in my professional role from encouraging any vote for or against any issue or person on the ballot. Similarly, I remind Jeffco Public Schools employees not to engage in election activities while at work, though they are free to exercise their civic rights on their own time.

I encourage everyone to learn about the candidates and make an informed choice this November. Ballots will be in the mail in October, so be sure and exercise your right to vote!

On behalf of all of us with Jeffco Public Schools, thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve your family. We have the greatest jobs in the world – working with your kids!

Jason Glass is the superintendent for Jefferson County Public Schools.

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