Oct 18, 2021 - Politics
Meet the candidates: Denver school board at-large seat
The state's largest school district is holding elections in four of nine districts, our education reporting partner Chalkbeat writes.
Let's meet the at-large candidates in the order they will appear on Denver residents' ballots.
Marla Benavides, 49, home-school parent
- Her focus: improving the district's literacy rate.
- She supports more choice when it comes to where kids go to school. "Parents have the absolute right to train their kids," she says.
- Backs the district's mask mandate but doesn't want it enforced.
Scott Esserman, 55, consultant and former educator
- Leads the district's accountability committee and worked to keep two schools open.
- Believes too much money is going to the school choice system and wants dollars sent directly to all schools.
- Supports implementation of "Know Justice, Know Peace" resolution to add more diversity to history curriculums.
Jane Shirley, 61, retired teacher and principal
- She says the district's current model allows some schools to fail and needs to be changed.
- Argues the school choice model is an illusion and needs an overhaul.
- Didn't support the decision to remove police from schools because she contends it was a one-size-fits-all mandate.
Nicky Yollick, 35, hospice volunteer coordinator
- Believes the district's biggest problem is the "bloated central administration" that "continues to propagate corporatist and segregationist policies."
- Focused on addressing learning loss with one-on-one tutoring for those in need and child care for low-income families.
- He wants to stop the competition between schools to attract students.
Vernon Jones Jr., 44, former educator
- He stepped down as director of the Northeast Denver Innovation Zone after the district expressed concern about its operations.
- He says the district's most pressing concern is its failure to serve all children, regardless of race and income levels.
- Regarding police officers in schools, he wants to make sure children are "not learning in a police state."
Read more about the candidates from our partners at Chalkbeat
More Denver stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.