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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Widefield School District 3

Widefield School District #3 has two open, 4-year term, School Board Director positions.

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  • Candidate picture

    CARLOS GONZALEZ

  • VICTORIA LATRELL

  • EDWARD MOUCHETTE

  • Candidate picture

    NEIL NELSON

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 U.S. Army Veteran with 26 Years of Military Service, Small Business Owner, Founder/Director Nonprofit Organization
Contact phone 303-981-0611
I have volunteered with the Parent Teacher Organization(PTO) and Building Accountability and Advisory Committee (BAAC) from 2015 to 2018. I currently serve on the Widefield School District 3, 2017 Bond Oversight Committee.

My volunteerism with the public school system has assisted me in understanding the inner workings of the school system, budget, and challenges.

In 2017, I founded True North Empowerment Services, Inc., a non-profit (501c3) organization whose mission is to teach discipline to teens through leadership training. I hold the training after school at a local junior high school.
I believe that if we keep the needs of our students and their families a priority at ALL levels of the education system, we can ensure equity among all the schools in our district. We need to ensure we attract, recruit, and retain the best possible educators and staff.

We should make a concerted effort to create and maintain a strong school/family relationship. We need maximum parent/guardian involvement if our students are to be successful.

The budget has and will continue to reflect that our students safety and support staff are our priority.

Every effort should be made to accommodate the individual needs of every student. Our district has numerous programs designed to support and challenge our students.

In the event that we cannot meet the needs of a particular student, I believe it is fair to state that we should keep the School Choice Program as an option, but only after assessing our ability to serve first.
The Arts, STEM, and athletics plays a vital role in ensuring our students are ready to compete in a global economy. All of these should be offered to every student in grades K through 12th Grade.

Workforce training for students should be mandatory starting in the 6th grade. The age of technology has challenged us, more than ever, to ensure social skills training are reintroduced to our students.

Funding for these programs should be dedicated yearly. The Colorado Department of Education offers a Competitive Grants and Awards Program. We should have administrators dedicated to researching all available grants and awards. They should be trained in grant writing.

Every opportunity should be taken to leverage support from nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations secure their own funding and may have similar goals which align with ours (arts, STEM, athletics, and workforce training).
The emotional/social/safety needs should be met consistently in every interaction with our students. Support for these needs should be interwoven with education throughout the district. We should research other successful districts programs and best practices to ensure we are providing the best possible support.
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Background I am a third generation Colorado native. I was born and raised in Pueblo Colorado. I attended Southern Colorado State College (now known as CSU Pueblo) and graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. I began my thirty-two year teaching career that same year in the Widefield School district teaching science at Janitell Junior High. The last nine years of my career I taught at Mesa Ridge High school. I retired from teaching in 2006. For the last three years I have served on the Widefield Board of Education. I also serve on the Widefield Park and Rec. advisory board. My wife and I have been married since 1972. We have two grown children, and three grandchildren.
Contact phone 719-392-8621
I taught in the Widefield School District for 32 years before retiring in 2006. For the past three years I have served on the Board of Education. During my teaching career I served on numerous committees and task forces, looking at a number of issues ranging from the district calendar to the screening of candidates for Superintendent. I am always willing to put in the time to talk about district or building issues with our employees and community members. Working together we will always meet the challenges we face.
I will assure equity among our schools by voting to fund and staff them based on their enrollment. All students will have access to a quality education regardless of the school they attend in the district. When specific funding needs arise they will be considered on their merits. The district budget can always be reviewed on the districts website.
Students and parents in the Widefield School District have the opportunity to make choices about the schools students attend. I will always support having a full range of programs and courses to choose from. Four of our elementary schools have been designated Innovation schools by the State of Colorado and our music programs are recognized statewide. Elementary students can choose schools that emphasize the arts, STEAM, project based learning, or computer integration. Full ranges of classes from the building trades to Advanced Placement classes are offered in our High Schools and at our state of the art building trades program.

I believe it is important for public schools to provide ways for today’s youth to have lots of different experiences. I support a wide range of curriculum opportunities as well as a full athletic program. Not every student is destined to go to four years of college, so it is our responsibility to provide them programs that will lead into meaningful careers. Students should be able to choose to participate in these programs starting at an early age.
My biggest concern is always going to be for the safety of our students and staff. We need to continually evaluate and upgrade our safety protocols. We need to adequately staff our schools and district with mental health professionals and identify students who are struggling. Students need to feel, and be safe while at school. I want our students to be excited about going to school! Years after graduating when students say: “When I went to school…”, I want the stories to be happy ones with good memories.