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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Weld County School District 6 {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Four directors will be elected for a term of office of four (4) years to serve on the Weld County District 6 Board of Education.
  • Roger A. DeWitt (N)

  • John W. Haefeli (N)

  • Candidate picture

    J. Michael Matthews (N) Pastor of Saint Patrick Presbyterian Church

  • Rhonda C. Solis (N)

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Biographical Information

What are your qualifications to serve on the Weld County School District 6 Board of Education?

What will be your top three priorities as a member on the District 6 Board of Education?

What do you believe the principal issues will be for School District 6 over the next ten years?

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Background Husband. Father of 5 boys in District 6. Pastor of Saint Patrick Presbyterian Church for 10 years. Former teacher in Mississippi and France. Educated at Mississippi State University and Covenant Theological Seminary.
Contact phone 970-346-8812
My first qualification is that I am a parent in District 6. I have 5 children (grades 8, 7, 6, 3 & 1) at Chappelow Arts Magnet School, so I see first hand the achievements and struggles of students, teachers and administrators.

Second, I have had the opportunity to serve District 6 in different capacities that have given me a fuller understanding of the needs of our District. I have tutored for 7 years at Shawsheen Elementary. I have served as the community representative on Shawsheen's School Accountability Committee and as the District Accountability Committee representative for Chappelow. I also served on the Citizen's Advisory Committee for the MLO in 2016.

Additionally I have served as the pastor at Saint Patrick Presbyterian Church in downtown Greeley for 10 years. I serve on the Executive Board of Weld's Way Home and on the Weld Faith Partnership. I am a member of the Redeye Rotary.
Changing Culture. We won't change the culture until we broaden the ownship. Getting a greater number of parents, teachers, and community members to take ownership of our District is difficult work, but it begins with a willingness to listen.

Changing the Narrative. I am frustrated by the criticism of District 6, because I believe my children are receiving a fantastic education. Because I am parent and am in schools so often, I can speak to the success our schools are achieving in a personal way.

Changing Support. We must begin by passing a Mill Levy Override. The current state funding formula virtually requires that communities dedicate additional local monies to achieve even adequate school resources. Because District 6 has never passed an MLO we currently rank 168th out of 178 Colorado school districts in funding. Because Colorado generally ranks toward the bottom nationally in education funding, District 6 consequently has some of the worst funded schools in the country.
Our most critical issue currently is a lack of community support. Our failure to pass an MLO last year not only resulted in a loss of funding for our schools but also demonstrated that more than half the community still doesn't trust District 6. While I believe that District 6 has shown we are worthy of the community's trust, we must do a better job at communicating the progress that has been made over the last few years. We must also listen more carefully to our community and strive to better meet its needs. Good listening requires accessibility and flexibility. The doors of teachers, principals, and school board members should always be open. We can't solve every problem, but we can always make sure concerns are heard. We must also strive for greater flexibility with our strategies and curriculums so that we better meet the needs of every child in our District. We have done a better job recently, but there is more work to do in this area.
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