E-mail: email@example.com Website: fb.me/MorganD11SchoolBoard.com Phone: 719-930-0040 Education: Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, UCCS Occupation: Senior Service consultant, Progressive Insurance
I am running for school board to be a fresh, progressive voice for the community. I believe I am the best candidate because I will bring a new energy and I will serve with compassion. I am an advocate for truth and knowledge. I know the value education has and I am committed to supporting parents, teachers, and support staff on all levels. I am a firm believer of open and free communication between the board and the community.
The most pressing problem the district is facing right now is the budget shortfall. This leads to teacher pay that is not competitive to be able to retain the most talented teachers. I am worried this will ultimately cause a teacher shortage. I am hopeful this will be able to be addressed by passing the proposed Mill Levy. If the Mill Levy fails the board should work with our state representatives to address the funding at the legislative level.
The obvious answer for an immediate budget solution is to get voters in the district to pass the Mill Levy that is on the ballot. If the Mill Levy doesn’t pass the board should work closely with our state representatives to find a funding solution. The Colorado economy is rebounding now from where it was in 2009 but the schools haven’t seen any corresponding rebound in our funds from the state. If the legislative option doesn’t pan out the only other option would be further cuts to the budget but only where it would have the smallest impact to learning.
I love all the options that public school choice has allowed parents. I take advantage of this option for my own children. I hope that option remains open for those who want to utilize it. Tax dollars should not, under any circumstances, be used for private schools or any kind of voucher program. Anything that takes money away from public school’s budgets that are already stretched incredibly thin is not a good option.
Schools need to be a safe and positive environment for all students. This includes all LGBTQ students, without exception. I think schools should incorporate age appropriate conversations and/or specific curriculum on inclusion and acceptance. I also believe Transgender students should be allowed to use the facilities that align with their gender identity. The district should also be opening the conversation to the community and hosting town halls style meeting and/or learning workshops to engage parents in the topic as well.
I have always been a firm supporter of the arts. I think a truly great society is evident in their appreciation of the arts. I would love to see very strong programs in music and art in every school. I think art is also a great way to build a bridge with the community. My daughter’s school has top-notch art and music teachers that work together to put on a full musical every year. I think this is something the community would love to see and should be welcomed to see.
In addition to being able to increase the counseling staff throughout the middle and high schools, I think teachers should receive training so they can better recognize a student that is struggling. Every school needs to have a very clear plan for crisis intervention and every teacher, principal, and counselor should have access to all resources within the district and community to help these students.
The district has a confidential reporting system that allows people who are the victim or witness to an incident to report it anonymously. I would not suggest any specific changes right now to the response to incidents. I think we would be better served trying to address inclusion and acceptance before it develops into a hate incident.
I think the district has maintained as much of a religiously neutral learning environment as possible in this city. That is a very tough question to answer in this city. I would like to see religion kept out of schools. But the even the school calendar is arranged around Christian holidays so I don’t think it is possibly entirely. Because of this it should be in every school’s parent handbook that religious holidays are always excused absences. I am not sure what else I would like to see addressed but I will research that further.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.electjulieott.com Phone: 719-362-0569 Education: Journalism, JBA and Land Resources, MS Occupation: Community Volunteer
I believe in and support public education; our children deserve a great education in quality public schools. I am running to advocate for that great education for all students in our district. As an involved parent, I have seen firsthand how important it is to have public education options for a child and to find the right fit. I have experience in our schools as a volunteer on the school accountability committee, as PTA Treasurer at my sons’ high school, and in a public charter school that I helped found.
Inadequate education funding has led to overcrowded classrooms, outdated technology for our students, a teacher shortage, and an aging infrastructure. I will look for creative solutions and encourage family and community involvement to help address these problems and strengthen student learning.
I will work with the board and community to prioritize the funding we do have so that it is spent efficiently and effectively to maximize student success. I will advocate for sufficient education funds from the state to support our students and schools.
Children learn differently and no one program is likely to be perfect for all children. For that reason public school choice can benefit many; it allows some families to find a school that may be a better fit for their student. All of our public schools should be offering our children a great, well-rounded education. Taxpayer dollars should not be used for private schools.
Teacher and staff professional development can include information about LGBTQ student issues, rights and inclusion. Schools should consider inclusivity options in curriculum and functions, teachers and staff should honor a student’s choice of pronouns. I will push the district to reach out to the community and organizations to ensure that our schools are safe and welcoming.
Art is an important part of public education. Art plays a role in greater academic achievement, children’s social and emotional development, and engagement in school and our community. In addition to learning about the contribution of the arts in our culture and experiencing the creativity that art offers, our students should have hands-on art experiences that allow them to develop individual expression and confidence.
Students need to feel safe and part of their school community. Families, teachers and school counselors should understand risk factors and warning signs. All of the adults in students’ lives can encourage students’ healthy choices and strategies for coping with challenges. Age-appropriate and proven suicide prevention programs can be used to help students understand how to deal with their mental health and suicidal thoughts and how they might seek help for themselves or others. District 11 adopted such a suicide prevention program in June, 2017 and is also offering suicide awareness programs to families and the greater community.
Students, teachers and staff must be safe, and feel safe, in our schools, and hate incidents must be condemned immediately. District 11’s Board has adopted a strong, comprehensive anti-bullying policy and has recently reviewed its discipline policy. The district also partners with Safe2Tell which allows students, parents and the community to report safety concerns. I support the District’s efforts to model and support diversity through resolutions, policies and resources.
The district is legally bound to ensure a religiously neutral learning environment and has a policy that encourages understanding and tolerance of religious beliefs and non-religious beliefs. The board, staff and teachers should take opportunities to educate themselves on how to address these issues. District policies can often be improved - I will encourage the district to regularly review its policies to ensure that all students and their religious views are respected.
E-Mail: gullixonforD11@gmail.com Website: gullixonford11.com Phone: 719-373-5553 Occupation: Vectra Bank Vice President
I want our kids to have access to workforce resources to be better prepared for their careers earlier in life; I want to support our teachers in developing outside-the-box teaching approaches in order to connect more effectively with each child’s unique learning style; and I want our overall property values to increase as D-11 once again becomes the standard for excellence and innovation in education. I build bridges; my background in the business and non-profit communities opens doors for students and teachers, critical to building a strong local workforce and graduating students who have mastered the art of learning.
We have a long list of infrastructure needs within and outside the classroom. We currently have a plan to address these needs over time, but not soon enough to stay competitive in education. We must retain our talented teachers and support them in the classroom through technology and community engagement. We can speed up the capital investments and teacher retention by passing the MLO in November, and I am committed to four years of seeing our plan through and delivering on the BOE’s promise to manage your tax funds responsibly and with transparency.
Strategic, responsible spending and transparency will be key in addressing overall reduced funding from the negative factor. Additionally, I believe we will see growth over the next ten years because of infill initiatives and our status as the fastest growing city in Colorado. D-11 will be proactive in engaging new and existing families and key partnership in the community to make sure our messaging is strong, and our students are performing, which will keep investments in the district. The MLO is necessary to position the district to be competitive and building out the classroom of the future.
Competition is healthy, but I also believe our schools are prepared to offer every student a great education - especially with the help of our community. Charters should serve a specific purpose that our public schools simply cannot provide before being approved as a district charter. I also believe charters should be held to the same accountability and performance standards as public schools.
I believe D-11 is a leader in being inclusive of all students and families, regardless of sexual orientation, race, and socioeconomic background. Our schools are a place of belonging and should always be focused on creating a space where every student feels comfortable learning. The District should continue to equip school resource officers and counselors with the tools and training to support a safe, encouraging environment.
Arts should forever be a part of public education. The arts are a critical component of learning; art inspires students to understand the higher and human values of education. In addition, D-11 should leverage all available community partnerships and opportunities to engage our students in the arts. I have already begun work to connect local arts non-profits with our schools to supplement opportunities for our youth to experience and grow in the arts.
We are now participating in the Healthy Kids Survey. I advocated for limited censoring of questions because I believe every piece of data we can collect to fight against this issue is important. We have top talent (e.g. Cory Notestine) in our counseling department and it’s my priority to provide them the tools they need to be successful in addressing the emotional needs of our students and families. We have a series of upcoming events that will facilitate authentic discussions around teen suicide, and will be a huge step in addressing the issues involved.
We will continue to create a shared, open community space in our neighborhoods and schools. When a student feels they belong I believe hate disappears. I’m happy to say D11 experiences very little issues with hate as it relates to current national affairs. We are the most diverse district in COS and inclusion is a high priority.
We must abide by laws and regulations. It’s important that each student feel comfortable and confident in themselves, and in their beliefs. Each student has the choice to celebrate or not to celebrate certain holidays.
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 719-321-5820 Education: Knox College, BA, Political Science; Troy University, MS, Personnel Management; U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Master of Military Arts and Science; and U.S. Army War College, Graduate/Strategic Studies Occupation: Defense Contractor/PARSONS, Inc.
I seek re-election to continue work with Board colleagues, the Administration, Staff, and Parents/Guardians toward our goal of improving Student achievement through improved and increased educational opportunities; and maintenance of a high performing learning environment. After 4 years of work and decision-making, I have firsthand experience with the challenges facing the District and have assisted in formulating effective courses of action to accomplish our goals and objectives. My Priorities are: 1) Increase Student academic achievement opportunities; 2) Increase Staff professional development opportunities and compensation attributes; and 3) Increase and improve parental/guardian involvement.
Passage of the current Mill Levy Override initiative is paramount. This additional funding will allow the District to keep pace in hiring the best qualified Teachers and Staff, while providing the resources necessary to improve overall educational opportunities; classroom equipment; and maintenance of our aging Schools.
I will work with Board colleagues and District Administration to prioritize spending…we will strictly spend in accordance with established Goals and Objectives. As a Board, we will take every opportunity to communicate to the Legislature the dire consequences of reduced funding---while working to convince our D 11 citizenry to vote ‘Yes’ for the current Mill Levy Override initiative.
I support Public School Choice. Should taxpayer dollars be used for private school choice? No. In my thinking this is a personal decision, which should be underwritten by the decision-maker.
Frankly, this is a matter of enforcing Laws, approved policies, and Standards of Conduct. LGBTQ Students are Students, like any other required enrollee in School; thus, they deserve to be treated with Dignity and Respect, just as every Student. As Public Education leaders, we must ensure there is a climate of Respect and Courage towards protecting and supporting the Rights of all people. I think District 11 leads by example in this area…with our demand that every Employee and Student, endeavor to treat each other with Dignity and Respect while pursuing the finest education and learning environment possible.
The role of the arts is crucial in achieving a holistic education. Thus, I think the arts are a non-negotiable component of public education. I am proud to report…within District 11, we fight to maintain one of the most competitive and resourced Arts curriculum within El Paso County.
We must resource and make available Behavioral Science Professionals and the associated assets in providing increased access to care, counseling, and education for all…not only Students, but Employees and parents/guardians as well. In fact, this specific area is one we plan to significantly address through the Mill Levy initiative.
We are increasing awareness and education, while undertaking measures that enhance the maintenance of safe and secure Schools; and school-sponsored events. What specific changes would you suggest? We must ensure a learning environment and professional culture of Dignity and Respect for all people; while enhancing physical security systems.
First, we educate our Staff to guarantee full understanding of applicable Laws and requirements; then all must work collectively to ensure adherence. Do current district policies adequately address religious expression, intelligent design, and holiday celebrations? Yes.
Citizens Project is the watchdog that ensures a robust and transparent public process in local government for our community. - Gary Fornander, Community Advocate