Meet the candidates: Denver school board
A majority of the Denver school board seats are at stake in the 2021 election — including three that represent neighborhood districts, Chalkbeat reports.
What's happening: The races cover a vast swath of the city — southwest's District 2, the southeast's District 3 and northeast's District 4.
- Two are open seats, and one features an incumbent seeking another term.
Of note: The entire district will vote on the open at-large seat.
Xóchitl “Sochi” Gaytán, 46, real estate agent
- She says her experience as an undocumented child in the district informs her perspective.
- Wants to see COVID-19 vaccination clinics in schools, as well as a nurse and mental health professional in every school.
- Expressed concern about "big box" charter schools and unaccountable innovation schools.
Karolina Villagrana, 33, educator
- She is focused on declining enrollment and wants to see community input, but did not provide specifics on how to address the downturn.
- Supports using money previously spent on law enforcement in schools for mental wellness.
- Wants to mandate equity plans for Black students in every school.
Mike DeGuire, 76, former principal and teacher
- Believes more infrastructure, such as air flow and ventilation, is needed to mitigate the coronavirus.
- Supports spending federal pandemic relief dollars on mental and social needs of students and staff.
- He says the current school choice system does not work and needs an overhaul.
Carrie Olson, 58, incumbent board member and adjunct professor
- She says more needs to be done to address financial and staffing shortages at neighborhood schools.
- Touted the current board's work to follow public health guidelines and upgrade equipment.
- She supported removing police officers from schools.
Gene Fashaw, 37, math teacher
- Believes the district's biggest concern is equity and more attention is needed on improving outcomes.
- He says the key to improving student achievement is prioritizing their mental health.
- Criticized the district for looking to armed security guards to replace police officers, saying more counselors are most needed.
Michelle Quattlebaum, 51, school community liaison
- She says the district's top concern is recruiting and retaining non-white teachers.
- Supports educational choice but wants to see more accountability in innovation schools.
- Wants ongoing cultural competency training and certification for staff.
Jose Silva, 41, nonprofit leader
- He says the budget is his top concern and pledged to lead a fiscal audit, saying the district spent millions "on frivolous partnerships."
- Wants the district to partner with organizations like his, the Colorado Association for Infant Mental Health, to better focus on mental wellbeing.
- Argues his expertise in diversity and inclusion will allow him to lead a re-evaluation of the districts equity policies.
Read more about the candidates from our partners at Chalkbeat
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