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Education

  • School board candidates forum polite

    While the political storm surrounding Jeffco’s school board election continues to rage, a candidate forum Oct. 13 in Conifer was, in contrast, low-key and civil.

    Eleven of the 13 candidates in the Nov. 3 election appeared at the event at West Jefferson Middle School, which was moderated by Evergreen Newspapers editor Doug Bell and co-sponsored by the newspapers and the Conifer Area Council. For the most part, candidates seemed to lean on their usual talking points.

  • Dakota Ridge set to begin Theory of Knowledge discussions

    Dakota Ridge High School on Thursday will kick off its Theory of Knowledge Talks, a series of community conversations led by instructors from the school on a range of topics that impact the community.

    Teachers from the school’s International Baccalaureate program will lead two discussions each semester on a range of issues, said Mark Sherman, a teacher in the IB program who is coordinating the talks.

  • Witt seeks ethics investigation of himself

    A recent announcement by Jeffco’s embattled school board president that he is requesting an Independent Ethics Commission investigation into himself to counter allegations of sunshine-law violations likely will lead nowhere since the commission oversees neither the state's Open Meetings Law nor school boards.

    Ken Witt, one of three targets of a recall in the Nov. 3 election, called a news conference Oct. 8 to make the announcement to a room of reporters. 

  • Donors’ identities concealed in school board campaigns

    Groups on both sides of the contentious Jeffco school board recall election have employed funding methods that conceal donors’ identities.

    Since efforts to recall conservative board members John Newkirk, Ken Witt and Julie Williams were launched in late June, Jeffco residents have been inundated with information from both sides.

    On the incumbents’ side, a nonprofit group with conservative ties has funded television ads featuring Williams that toe — but do not cross — lines that would require it to disclose finances.

  • Regan Benson, candidate in District 5

    Yet another challenger has emerged in the school board recall election.

    Longtime district critic Regan Benson is running for the District 5 seat currently held by recall target Ken Witt. Also in the District 5 race are veteran Jeffco educator Ron Mitchell and former school board member Paula Noonan. A total of 13 candidates will appear on ballots that will be sent out this month — nine are vying for the three recall seats, including the targets of the recall, and four are competing for the two seats up for regular election in Districts 3 and 4.

  • School district considers charter application

    A presentation from a group that wants to establish a charter school in north Jeffco raised concerns among some members of the school board at a recent meeting.

  • School board tensions erupt over accountability committee

    The Jeffco school district’s fledgling accountability committee is looking for volunteers, following a heated discussion last Thursday among school board members.

    The transitional District Accountability Committee is planned to be a group of parents, teachers, community members and a school administrator, among others. Once the school board selects the members of the committee, it is expected to work with school-level accountability groups and the board on a variety of issues, including budgets, test scores and discipline.

  • Tori Merritts, candidate in District 4

    Tori Merritts, a former Jeffco school board member of nine years, said she is running for the board again because the school district needs someone experienced to provide guidance.

    Merritts, who served on the school board from 1994 to 2003, is running for Lesley Dahlkemper’s seat in District 4, which is up for election this year. Also contending for the spot is former teacher Amanda Stevens. Merritts is concerned about the possibility of having a completely untested board this fall as a result of three board members facing a recall.

  • State approves ballot that includes school board recall

    Colorado’s secretary of state has approved a Jeffco ballot that will include a recall question targeting the three conservative members of the school board in the Nov. 3 election, according to the county clerk’s office.

  • Susan Harmon, school board candidate in District 2

    Lakewood resident Susan Harmon said she wants to bring a reconciliatory voice and more thoughtful decision making to the Jeffco school board.

    Harmon, a family law attorney and mother of two Jeffco students, is running for the District 2 seat currently held by John Newkirk, one of the recall targets. Physician assistant Matthew Dhieux of Littleton is also a challenger for the seat.