Meet Rob Applegate, candidate for school board

Posted 9/24/19

Rob Applegate says the things from his elementary school years which stands out to him include the connections he made with classmates, but also the hard work his mother put in behind the scenes. …

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Meet Rob Applegate, candidate for school board

Posted

Rob Applegate says the things from his elementary school years which stands out to him include the connections he made with classmates, but also the hard work his mother put in behind the scenes. Applegate lived just outside of Chicago with his mom, who raised him as a single parent and worked two jobs.

Decades later, when Golden’s Pleasant View Elementary closed in 2017, he wondered if there was a large group of Pleasant View parents like his mother, who would have spoken up but didn’t have the opportunity because of their busy work schedules.

“Pleasant View was a less affluent community than some. I really feel like the parents couldn’t rally,” he said.

Hoping to advocate for those families and promote other improvements in the school district, Applegate is running for the Director District 3 position on the Board of Education. The seat is one of five on the board, two of which are up for election in 2019.

Applegate is an Applewood resident and Jeffco parent who works as an energy market analyst. He has been a member of the Welchester Elementary PTA and was coordinator of the school’s Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) program.

Additionally, he has served as a board member for the Golden Schools Foundation, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science Development Steering Committee and Think 360 Arts for Learning.

With experience in the realms of science, art and education, Applegate believes he is well qualified to make decisions for the good of the entire district, he said.

If elected, he would collaborate with board members to ensure all experiences in Jeffco are equitable, which could be accomplished in several ways, he said. For instance, the district could create new virtual classes so those who attend rural-area schools have access to classes not offered nearby.

He also believes the district could do more to encourage schools to learn from one another. He would like high-growth schools to advise other schools on how to boost enrollment; while high-achievement schools could advise others on how to bolster standardized test scores, he said.

Schools with special focuses, such as integrated arts schools, could work with neighborhood schools to provide high-quality science and art programming at every Jeffco school, he said.

Further, after serving as treasurer for several organizations, he aims to bring his math and analytical expertise to district budget discussions. He would particularly like the budget to direct more funding toward teacher compensation, he said, to “make sure teachers feel supported by the district.”

“Teachers should be paid what they’re worth,” he said. “We need to reach out to the community, especially around funding issues, and bring everyone together.”

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