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Pueblo school District 60 {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The District 60 Board of Trustees is responsible for educational planning and evaluation, staffing and appraisal, school facilities, financial resources and communication. The Board, whose powers and duties are set by state law, acts as a court of appeal for staff members, students and the public on issues involving board policy or implementation of that policy. The Board is composed of five members, elected at-large, to alternating four-year terms. Elections are held every two years. Board members are not paid.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Dotti Calhoun

  • Dennis Maes Retired District Judge

  • R. Kenneth O'Neal Retired Army/Adjunct Professor

  • Candidate picture

    Taylor Voss Community Engagement Director, Pueblo Triple Aim Corporation

  • Candidate picture

    Margaret Wright Education Consultant/Advocate

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Biographical Information

What are your priorities if elected?

What knowledge and experience will you bring to this board?

How will you advocate for children whose home conditions are affecting their school performance?

What can the board do to help the district attract and retain excellent teachers?

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Background Lawyer for 16 years. Judge for 24 years
Contact e-mail carlosjd63@gmail.com
Contact phone 719-406-1778
Bring fiscal responsibility, transparency, and community involvement to District 60 to ensure that classroom teachers receive the necessary resources to provide an outstanding educational experience.
Taught school for two years. Presided over a successful truancy reduction program. Mentored students. National lecturer on student engagement. Leadership positions on local, state and national levels. 24 years of making thoughtful and difficult decisions.
Identifying the home conditions which are affecting their school performance and bring every available resource to remove the home conditions.
Respect and appreciate their work by providing the necessary resources and compensation to allow them to do what they do best...teach.
Background Served 23 years with 7 Combat tours in the US Army. Retired Disabled Veteran. Current Member, Pueblo City Schools Board of Directors. Taught EMT School for 19 years, former Vice Director of Hospital Education, current Adjunct Professor at CCU. Class President, Leadership Pueblo 2017, Member Pillars of Unity, Chairman of USA Track and Field-Colorado, National Delegate for USA Track and Field Colorado, Board of Directors, Neighborworks of Southern Colorado, Marketing Chair, Neighborworks of Southern Colorado. Member, Colorado Association of Health Care Executives, Member-American College of Health Care Executives. Chief of Operations during 9/11 for Co. B Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC. Current US National Champion in M50 High Jump, 10x All American,2017 3rd QTR National Spotlight All American of the QTR. 2016 World Masters Athletics Bronze Medalist.
Contact e-mail raggttop91@yahoo.com
Contact phone 719 510-1600
Our Kids. Thats the only priority, everything else is secondary. To be effective in that, we must stablish individual and collective priority lists for budget and administration as a call to action. Definitive direction and vision for where we need to be and what we need to do is first. Our priority must lie in bringing together a community to address the many pressing issues that we must face this ensuing year, such as damage to schools and safety of our students in school. How to generate funds instead of cutting programs.
A vast array of knowledge outside of this district. As former Director of Hospital Education, 19 year EMT Instructor, and Adjunct Professor of Health Care Administration with an emphasis on policy and Administration, my background is one that adds a new dynamic to the board. As a retired Soldier, I understand the value of teamwork to accomplish missions and execute policy. Administratively, the board is deficient from top to bottom but a different view can help change that, especially if the viewer is well versed in policy and administration.
Our teachers are the bedrock for many families in Pueblo. They are the most stable and consistent thing in many of our students lives. We must support the teachers in the manner that they think is best as they are on the front lines right now. The boards responsibility is to remove barriers in the way of our professionals as they provide the best for our children. We must be responsive to the teachers to find out what those barriers are as they are an ever changing and ever moving target.
Hire earlier in the year then we do; reward the teachers that are doing well for us on a regular and consistent basis, Show our appreciation and get personally involved. I believe that each Board member should be a part of a quadrant and virtually adopt 4 schools. Get in there. Be a part of the solution. Mentor students, and be a sounding board for the Principle. We cannot sit in an ivory tower and dictate. That doesn't work. We have the experienced and we would be remiss if we didn't use it.
Background Taylor Voss is a Pueblo native who is proud to have been educated in the community. He attended Roncalli Middle School, graduated from South High School in 2012, and graduated magna cum laude from CSU-Pueblo in 2016, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Leadership Studies. Taylor was honored by the university’s Hasan School of Business as the Most Outstanding Overall Undergraduate Student. Taylor has emerged as an effective young leader with a genuine passion for Pueblo. He is deeply involved in the community and serves on the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk Project (HARP) Foundation Board of Directors, the CSU-Pueblo Alumni Association Board of Directors, and is a member of Rotary 43. Taylor is also a graduate of the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Pueblo program. In December of 2016, Taylor launched the Let’s March movement: a movement to challenge the status quo, march the path less traveled, and to inspire others to take action in their lives. He also published his first book Getting Strength From My Struggles: The Secret to Success in College That Nobody Talks About. Taylor also does motivational speaking, inspiring students of all ages to believe in themselves and to pursue their dreams. Taylor is currently the Community Engagement Director for the Pueblo Triple Aim Corporation, where he uses his community problem solving experience and communication skills to facilitate collective impact. His work focuses on reducing the county’s smoking rates, reducing the obesity rates in children and adults, holding the gain made in teen and unintended pregnancy, and changing the health culture in Pueblo.
Contact e-mail taylor.voss@comcast.net
Contact phone 719-242-3503
Twitter @taylor_voss
1. Students – I believe we as a district need to focus more on achieving equity in education; we need to do a better job of empowering our students and giving everyone what they need to be successful. We also need programs in all schools that spark students’ passion for education and properly prepare them for an ever-changing world.

2. Teachers – Teachers are the backbone of this community. They need to be valued, and that value needs to be shown by providing resources as well as through respect and praise. Every student deserves highly qualified educators in their classroom. But if we expect our educators to be the best of the best, then we as a district need to compensate as such.

3. Community Involvement – Massive change and progress do not come from a few people on a board, but instead from an entirely engaged and organized community effort. We as a district need to develop a new strategic plan, and heavily involve the community every step of the way; by going through this process our community will be fully educated on the challenges we face, and will be more invested in contributing to possible solutions.
I graduated from South High School in 2012, so I have the advantage of not being far removed from Pueblo City Schools. I feel that I can bring a perspective of someone who can be a voice for students, better relate to education today, and be more open to change because I’m not bound by the traditions of the past.

I have a genuine passion for Pueblo, and I’m deeply involved in the community. I currently serve on the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk Project (HARP) Foundation Board of Directors, the CSU-Pueblo Alumni Association Board of Directors, and I’m a member of Rotary 43. I am also a recent graduate of the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Pueblo program. These experiences have not only given me the opportunity to learn how to be an effective board member, but they have also allowed me to gain a deep understanding of Pueblo’s challenges and how I can be most impactful.

In December of 2016, I launched the Let’s March movement: a movement to challenge the status quo, march the path less traveled, and to inspire others to take action in their lives. I also published my first book Getting Strength From My Struggles: The Secret to Success in College That Nobody Talks About. I also have significant experience in motivational speaking, inspiring students of all ages to believe in themselves and to pursue their dreams.

I am currently the Community Engagement Director for the Pueblo Triple Aim Corporation, where I use my community problem solving experience and communication skills to facilitate collective impact. My work focuses on reducing the county’s smoking rates, reducing the obesity rates in children and adults, holding the gain made in teen and unintended pregnancy, and changing the health culture in Pueblo. My work experience has focused primarily on facilitating community collaboration, and I believe that experience is something that will be of tremendous value to the Pueblo City School Board.
To begin making progress in Pueblo City Schools, I believe we must do a better job of supporting and empowering the more than 60% of students who face socioeconomic challenges at home. Many of these students are not sure where their next meal is going to come from; over 1,000 students in our district are homeless and don’t have a consistent bed to sleep in; and a large number of these students lack support and encouragement in their lives.

If I’m elected to the School Board, my first initiative will be to launch a city-wide mentoring program in all elementary and middle schools. United Way of Pueblo County has an incredible Middle School Mentoring Program which is aimed at pairing nurturing adults as positive mentors one-on-one with 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students for one hour a week during the lunch period at school. 80% of students in the United Way Mentoring Program have shown significant improvements in the measurement areas of attendance, academic achievement, behavior, and engagement. To get enough mentors for a city-wide program, we need to recruit more professionals in the community to volunteer, but we also need to utilize students in athletic programs and service organizations at CSU-Pueblo, PCC, and all four high schools in the city. I plan to partner with United Way to model their program and expand it city-wide. I believe that would have a tremendous impact on the lives of students in Pueblo City Schools.
As a board member, I will work to improve recruitment by fighting for better pay for our teachers, as well as better shaping the narrative being told about our school district. We have to pay teachers better to truly attract the best of the best. We as a board need to take more of a role in crafting our story, and then effectively communicating that story to qualified educators.

I will work to improve retention by creating a healthier working relationship between teachers and administration. Those two groups are very divided right now, and we need to open up the doors of communication and build a better culture. Everyone should feel that they are part of a family, and that they are fully supported and respected.

Background Dr. Margaret B. Wright possesses a PhD in educational research and policy analysis with a concentration in curriculum and instruction, a Master of School Administration, a Master of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. As an educator, she has extensive experience and is credited with over 35 years in a myriad of roles: Meredith College and Dabney S. Lancaster Community College Instructor; Ravenscroft School’s Summerbridge/Capitol Breakthrough Education Director; k-12 public schools: principal; assistant principal; teacher (high, middle and elementary schools) as a core content teacher (English), Special Education (ESS teacher-gifted), fine arts teachers (theatre and dance), English Second Language (ESL) teacher, paraprofessional (hearing impaired), and substitute teacher; and as an education consultant. She has provided professional development for teachers, paraprofessionals and school administrators. During her tenure as a school administrator, she served in several alternative educational settings: three juvenile prisons for Department of Correctional Education in Virginia, a mental health hospital for Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina, Virginia Commonwealth University Hospital and Richmond Children’s Hospital in Virginia. She has led her school staff in developing a Comprehensive School Improvement Plan, analyzing school data and employing research-based and data driven approaches to increasing learning and improving instruction: researched, developed and implemented strategies to engage students in active learning; ensured compliance with all accreditation requirements and federal and state guidelines related to regular and special education, career and technical education, school law, and school finance. In Pueblo, Colorado, she served on District 10 Senate Bill 94 Board and later as an educational liaison for students transitioning out of the Pueblo Youth Center (PYC) detention. Currently, she is the President/CEO of Collaborative Educational Supportive Services, LLC an educational consultancy which she addresses the educational needs for students with educational challenges and advocates for their needs. She provides educational training and professional development seminars to administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, providers, parents, foster parents, kinship parents and caseworkers. She holds educational licensures in several states: Teacher (Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina); Principal (Virginia, North Carolina) and Division Superintendent (Virginia). Received AdvancED (SCAS CASI) Chair Training-as an AdvancED Quality Assurance Review Chair for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement; trained to lead a quality assurance review team to visit any SACS CASI/AdvancED-member school. Professional Affiliations Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) American Educational Research Association (AERA) El Pomar Emerging Leaders Development Program (BAC Member) Leadership Pueblo Class of 2016-Graduate Greater Pueblo Chambers of Commerce-Member Boards Colorado Juvenile Parole Board (Governor appointed-citizen board member) Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center (Trustee Board) Pueblo Center of Worship and Empowerment (Co-founder/President) A Cry for the Children, Inc. (Founder/CEO)
Contact phone 719-696-0715
Mailing Address PO Box 2271
Pueblo, CO 81005
My first priorities involve the stabilization of the infrastructure: operating budget, communication practices, teacher and leadership retention, foundational organization structure, and safe buildings.

As one writer says, “Where there is no stability, the students suffer.” We, as a board, need to ensure that our budget is a fiscally prudent and supports the current needs and the future projections for growth of Pueblo City Schools (PCS). We need to ensure that teachers, administrators, support staff have the tools, materials, professional development necessary to support our diverse student population. We must provide competitive salaries that commensurate with the educational level and responsibilities of our administrators, teachers and support staff in order to recruit and retain certified and qualified personnel. We need a system-wide master plan that supports the renovation and new construction of schools. We must communicate to our stakeholders in the community, providing a clear vision of our educational philosophy and the future direction for our school district. I believe the board should respond to public questions with honesty and integrity. Although there are legal parameters that the board must adhere to when addressing certain matters in the public arena, we as the board should work to improve the public’s level of trust and competency in us by ensuring that we inform our stakeholders of our position and the directions we are going. We must identify key stakeholders in our community who can partner with us and help us achieve our goals. Public City Schools District No. 6o is our school district for the city of Pueblo. These students are “our” students. The educational level of achievement of our students affects the economy of our city: viable consumers, educated workforce, and attraction of new businesses to Pueblo. So, we must come together as a “village” to save and to invest in our children.

As a Board of Education, we need to examine our current policies and practices to ensure that we do not impede the effectiveness of the school program and school staff in carrying out their duties. We need to examine our teacher transfer practices and its impact on our students, staff and program. We need to examine the discipline policies and its impact on student achievement, truancy rates, dropout rates, and access to instruction: discipline practices, school suspensions, expulsions, and zero tolerance. We must increase a student’s access to educational services. We need to increase the “parity” and “equity” in service for all schools and students, inclusive of those with special needs and supportive services. We need to look at the appropriation and distribution of finances for each school to ensure parity. We must adopt policies that are beneficial, practical, and fair which improve the outcome and productivity and ensure the wellbeing of our students and staff.
I believe that I am the “WRight person at the WRight time.” I possess a PhD Educational Research & Policy Analysis with a concentration in curriculum and instruction and a Master of School Administration.

I have the experience, education, commitment, tenacity, passion, openness, foresight and integrity to get the job done. Having served for over 35 years in education as an educational consultant/advocate, principal, assistant principal, teacher (English, performing arts, ESS-gifted education, ESL), paraprofessional and teacher substitute, I bring insight from multiple directions. I want to see our Pueblo City Schools System succeed and become the educational beacon and flagship that it can be for our community, state, and world-at-large. I am an “informed change agent” who brings a fresh and broader perspective to the board. I am able to critically look at how we are currently serving our student and make the hard decisions necessary to bring the change needed to support our current needs and projected growths. For the past few years, I have been serving our students in PCS, identifying areas of strengths and areas of needs in our schools through first hand observations. I have been working with administrators, teachers, students, parents, grandparents, foster parents, kinship parents collaborating together in the best interest of our students’ education. I have been fighting for the educational rights of our students with special needs (IEPs, 504 Plans, RTI plans, behavior plans, etc.) to increase the parity and quality of service. I have been holding workshops for parents, grandparents, foster parents, kinship parents, care givers and providers teaching them to advocate for the educational rights of their students. I have served as an educational liaison for students transferring out of Pueblo Youth Center (PYC) back into public schools. In addition, currently, I serve as an educational advocate for students in our Truancy Improvement Project.

I have the experience of working with interagency collaborations bringing various entities (with different viewpoints) together for a common cause and the common good. It will take a “village” to save our children. So, as board members, we must bring our strengths to the table to help accomplish our common goal while respecting our differences. We must make the hard decisions necessary to bring about the needed changes. Keep what is strong; change what is needed. We must open our eyes to truth and integrity and walk in it!
First, we must address the school related issues that affect our student’s school performance: school personnel, ample supplies and learning environment. We must ensure that we have and retain "certified", "qualified", "quality" teachers, administrators and supportive staff who are equipped to handle the needs of our diverse and at times challenging population of students. We need to ensure that we provide the school personnel with the curricular materials, professional development and working equipment needed to effectively serve our students. We must provide the supplies and resources needed for our students and engage community partners to accomplish this goal. We need to ensure that funding is available for academic and computerized programs and related supportive services needed to offer a variety of institutional options (e.g. career tech, vocational, college bound, visual and performing arts, sports, etc. ) and strategies for students with exceptionalities and disabilities (gifted, autistic, learning disabilities, behavioral challenges, etc.). In addition, we must ensure that the learning environments are “conducive” for learning: 1) the buildings are renovated and in good repair (e.g. roof, heating and air, etc., and that 2) the buildings support the expanded growth of our population (in a 5-10-15 years projection) and the special needs of our students are accommodated for in a system-wide master plan that supports the new construction of schools.

In concert with addressing the school issues that affect students’ school performance, for students whose home conditions affect their performance, we will partner with and advocate for and invite agencies and community partners to help with areas of identified needs for the students and their family. We will sensitize our school personnel through trainings to recognize these indicators and to identify a clear means of partnering the students and their families with the appropriate services.

Again as stated, “Where there is no stability, the students suffer.” First, we must stabilize our infrastructure so that we attract "certified", "qualified", "quality" teachers, administrators and supportive staff to our school system. Second, we must provide competitive salaries that commensurate with the education level and responsibilities of our administrators, teachers and support staff in order to recruit and retain the certified and qualified personnel. Allow teachers input in their placement in a school, based on the students’ need, teachers’ preparation and experience. In addition, we need to ensure that teachers, administrators, support staff have the tools, materials, and professional development necessary to support our diverse student population. Include in the schools a site-based management approach that allows teachers’ input in the curriculum needs and instructional strategies. Finally, we must provide opportunities and clear pathway of advancement for teachers in order to retain those who desire to progress in their career.

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