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Academy School District 20 {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Academy District 20 has three open School Board Director positions that will each serve for a 4-year term.

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Biographical Information

In what ways have you been involved in public schools, and how will you address the most pressing challenges for your district? (100 word limit)

What will you do to ensure equity among schools in your district, accounting for varying needs of students and families? How do you ensure that the district's budget reflects these values? (100 word limit)

How do you balance school choice when encountering the challenges of changing enrollment? (100 word limit)

What role should the arts, STEM, athletics and workforce training play in public education, and how do you balance their funding?

How will you balance meeting the academic needs of students, and also meet their emotional/social/safety needs?

Background My husband and I have lived here for nearly 17 years. We have 2 boys and have lived in ASD20 for the past 10 years.
Contact phone 719-440-6962
I attended public school from kindergarten to 12th grade. I attended BYU, UVSC, Towson State and BYU Pathways online. My own children have been in ASD20 for the past 10 years. As far as the most pressing matters, I will address those as they come. With a growing district we have many challenges. We will need to remain intentional concerning our budget. With a new Superintendent it is important to gain clarity of his vision of the district.
I have been part of committees that have watched over this exact scenario. I believe we have done well in this district to watch out for and maintain our schools, as well as build new ones. We need to continue to make intentional decisions concerning our budget which will allow for healthy growth of this district as we continue to be innovative in our thinking and in our curriculum. Our parents are able to make smart choices as to which programs best suits the needs of their child(ren).
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We need to give opportunity for our students to be as well rounded as they can be. We need to offer programs that are innovative and current. D20 just built a state of the art CTE (Career Technical Education) at Liberty High School. Each extracurricular activity, and program deserves to be a part of this district allowing our students to thrive and be workforce ready when they graduate.
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Background Aaron has lived in Colorado Springs with his wife for 8 years. During this time, his educational experience includes time as a substitute teacher in multiple school districts and founding a charter school where he has served on the board for nearly 4 years, sitting as the board chair for 2 years. Aaron has a BA in Psychology from Auburn University and a Masters in Social Work from Florida State University. His professional work includes adolescent drug rehab centers, software development, project management, and business consulting.
Contact e-mail
Contact phone 719.445.9202
I have been involved in choice education since I moved to Colorado 8 years ago. I have been a substitute teacher in 2 districts, and I joined a board to found a charter school nearly 4 years ago. One of the biggest issues I’ve encountered is a lack of parental involvement in the classroom. Some schools don’t want parents involved, and some parents don’t want to be involved. I want to find a way for our schools to partner with parents, both in and out of the classroom. This is one of the biggest predictors of academic success.
I believe every child has the ability to succeed. Equity among schools is about meeting the needs of the students in the school. As a district, we must take on the responsibility for finding out what resources a student needs and how best to provide those resources. Identifying these requirements is the first step. The next step is to ensure funding is available to procure the resources needed and making sure the funding flows accordingly. It’s imperative to find ways to maximize the dollars going into the classrooms instead of being funneled to overhead costs.
I believe school choice is critical to meeting the social and emotional needs of our students. When a student is in the wrong learning environment, it can lead to a multitude of issues. As such, it’s the districts job to figure out a way to meet the needs of our students and maintain a balanced budget. Enrollment will fluctuate over time, but with our district expanding at the current rate, there are more students coming into the district overall than are choicing out of district schools. We must ensure D20 maintains it’s reputation as a pillar of education in Colorado.
A school’s role should be to educate students so they can become productive members in society. American society is losing its place as a leader in innovation. To restore our place, we must teach more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. The arts have been shown to increase academic performance, promote creativity, and support emotional healing. STEM and workforce training prepare students in a technical sense for our ever-changing world. The district must prioritize these programs, as it’s our role to educate for the future. As these are academically driven, they must be prioritized in the budget ahead of supplemental programs.
A safe and secure environment is an academic need. Students cannot fully exercise their learning abilities if there is undue stress from a lack of safety. This safety isn’t just environmental, but includes social and emotional needs as well. Schools should create a safe space for students to learn, which includes being able to fail in a controlled environment. With that said, you cannot meet the academic needs of students outside of emotional and social safety.
Background EXPERIENCED Academy School District 20 Parent. For 25 years, Will has been an engaged parent in Academy School District 20. As a Leader or active participant on the following Committees and Councils, he has gained vast in-depth knowledge about the issues, challenges and trends affecting our parents, students, teachers and the administration: Parent Chair, District Accountability Committee (DAC), 2018-Present; Co-Chair, Yes for 3A Citizens Committee, D20 Bond Campaign, 2016; Growth and Capital Needs Committee, 2015-2016; Superintendent’s Communication Council; Certified Performance Evaluation Council, 2018-2019; Rampart High School, School Accountability Committee, 2017-Present; Mountain Ridge Middle School, School Accountability Committee, 2014-2017. COMMITTED TO Working to Ensure a Safe, Achievement Oriented Environment for Academy School District 20 and Our Students. As an involved parent of five children who have either graduated from or currently attend D20 schools, Will believes there is nothing more important than educating and giving all students the opportunity to become productive citizens. Will believes in order to accomplish that goal the following issues should continue to be a priority: Student Achievement; Safety and Security; Listening and Advocating for Stakeholders (Parents, Educators and Students);Student Emotional and Social Health; Faculty Recruitment and Retention; Strategic Planning for District Growth and Educational Outcomes; Sound Fiscal Management. PROVEN ORGANIZATIONAL LEADER. Will has spent more than 30 years leading both corporate and non-profit organizations and serving on boards at the national, state and local levels. He fully understands the role of boards and believes in giving back to the community: Managing Partner/Owner, Apprentice Personnel, 2011-Present; President and Chief Executive Officer, Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, 2000-2007; Associate Vice President of Special Projects, University of Colorado Foundation, 2007-2009; Consultant, National Institute of Space, Science and Security Centers, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, 2009; 22-year career in hospitality industry with Hilton, Hyatt, Sheraton and Steamboat Ski and Resort corporations. General Manager of hotels in Colorado Springs (Antlers Doubletree Hotel); Sedona, AZ; Steamboat Springs, CO, and Palm Springs, CA; Chair, National Homeland Defense Foundation Board of Directors; Director, United States Air Force Academy Foundation Board of Directors; Chair, Colorado Competitive Council (C3) Steering Committee; United States Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100;Chair, Colorado Springs Leadership Institute Board of Directors; Chair, Pikes Peak Workforce Center, Workforce Development Board; Numerous other boards and advisory boards. Education: B.S., Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Contact e-mail
Contact phone 303-945-9876 (cell)
I am the parent of five children who attended or still attend D20 schools. My involvement includes: Current Chair of the District Accountability Committee, Co-Chaired in 2016 the successful $230 million bond campaign, Growth and Capital Needs Committee, Superintendent’s Communication Council, Certified Performance Evaluation Council and School Accountability Committees at Rampart HS and Mountain Ridge Middle School. To address pressing issues, I will rely on my excellent relationships with parents, educators and administrators to identify ever-changing pressing issues, listen to all stakeholders, and do what is best for the district and its 26,300 students and their families.
The allocation of the D20 budget is proportional to the enrollment of each school. The bond issue that passed in 2016 addressed the age and condition of every school to include its enrollment to direct resources to the schools most in need. As Chair of the District Accountability Committee for the past two years, our work includes reviewing the strategic (site) plan of every D20 school as compared to its academic performance to include minority students, kids on free and reduced lunch programs, English Language Learners, students with disabilities and special needs, etc. We ensure that inequities are addressed.
Colorado is a choice state. D20 students have choice preference over out-of-district choice students. By statute, D20 must accommodate choice students if classroom seats are available. D20’s growth and demographic changes makes it difficult for administrators to accurately project open seats. Every school district is budget challenged to maximize its enrollment, as per pupil funding from the state follows each child. D20 has to carefully track enrollment at its schools in growth areas of the district to ensure that new arrivals to a neighborhood can get their kids into their neighborhood school.
Studies have proven that students who are involved in the arts and extracurricular activities such as athletics perform better on standardized tests than those who do not get involved. My children have been involved in athletics and several programs to include band, drama and art competitions. STEM is part of every school’s curriculum and there are STEM magnet schools in D20. Funding for vocational training and an expansion of Liberty HS for vocational programs was part of the 2016 bond issue. I am a former Chair of the PP Workforce Development Board. I am very aware of skills gaps that exist in numerous industries. D20's budget clearly outlines resources allocated to all of these programs.
Like many districts, D20 has programs is place such as Safe 2 Tell and Signs of Suicide but knew more needed to be done. In 2017, D20 implemented a program called “Sources of Strength” that focuses on “upstream” prevention that involves school faculty and peers in the process. This program has been recognized by several national organizations to include the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. More resources must be directed to hiring more mental health professionals. As the son of a mental health professional, mental health issues and the social and emotional health of students is very important to me.