Like all parents, my family is the heart and soul of my life. From the moment of birth, we nurture, protect, love, care for, and teach our children. When we give our kids to a school district, we place our trust in the district to provide our children the same care, love, protection, and nurturing. As a school board member, I will dedicate myself to each of your children, every day.
I have a passion for community service, and have developed a collaborative and empathetic leadership style that relies heavily on active listening and an inherent ability to see all sides of an issue. I have a reputation for being reasonable, prudent, and rational even during the most difficult discussions.
Vision for SSD and Purpose
What made you what to run for school board and why?
Our district faced considerable challenges during the pandemic, under the pressure to keep students and teachers safe and mentally healthy, in addition to challenges with leadership, administrative, and staff turnover. We are at a critical point where successful rebuilding of our district, and driving the achievement of our entire student body will require our community to put the needs of our students ahead of all other considerations and discussions. As difficult as these times have been for everyone in our community, I have seen with my own eyes, and felt with my own heart the immense stress and pressure our children have faced and still carry with them as they return to school. For all of our efforts as a community, and despite the full resources of SSD, our children have exited this pandemic for the worse. With declining achievement measures and test scores, in addition to the myriad of mental health and social challenges our children face, I believe it is time for a fresh perspective and revitalized leadership within SSD. I have a vested interest in the success of SSD as a father, friend, community leader, and am ready to put my experience and passion to work for each and every family within SSD.
What do you hope to accomplish if elected to the board? What are your main goals?
Priority number one is to build stronger relationships between our county mental health network and the district, to ensure all of our children have the proper support and resources to recover from the isolation, fear, and learning challenges brought about by the pandemic. We must recognize that many students are still silently suffering from mental and emotional scars, and others are still catching up from learning deficiencies due to lack of proper structure and support. Ensuring our kids are fully supported and resourced to establish positive and healthy mental foundations and emotional structures is key to seeing each of them achieve academically.
Not far behind is the need to critically assess the achievement gaps within our student body, and the decline in testing scores overall within the district to locate opportunities for improvement. Let’s put aside how we got to this point, and focus on how we progress forward together and reach every student with the proper tools they can use to achieve individually. Let’s ask our kids what we can do as a district and a community to better facilitate their chosen path, and rely on our educators to provide insight into what works, what does not work, and why. We can then take this qualitative data and let it inform our policies, curriculum, and structural needs as a district. At only 3,500 students within our district, and 500 teachers, we have the ability to easily engage each of them and together we can reverse the negative academic trends collaboratively.
How long have you been in Summit County? Do you currently or have you had kids in the district before?
I have been a county resident for 24 years, over several decades. I am an SSD alum, going to Breck Elementary and Summit Middle School as a child. My family and I relocated back to Breck in 2008, and all of my children have only known SSD as their home. We feel fortunate to be part of SSD, and believe that with a bit of focus, attention, and adjustment, this district can get back on track and better serve the needs of every child, providing every opportunity they need to achieve their potential.
What do you think Summit County voters need to know about you?
I am a very active community volunteer and servant, having held board and committee seats within the Town of Breckenridge, Breckenridge Tourism Office, and several smaller non profit community organizations. I am the current Mayor of Blue River, and the current President of the Vacation Rental Management Association. The VRMA is an international trade organization, representing hundreds of member companies, and thousands of members across the globe. I am a passionate advocate of our community, and my leadership style focuses on being an active listener, and a balanced and reasonable part of any discussion or decision. I always put others first, and through empathy and understanding am able to reach difficult decisions in a positive way within a collaborative group.
In addition to being an SSD alumni, and current father of three children within the district, I had the pleasure to be a board member of Timberline Learning Center for many years. I have been a constituent of the local education system in Summit County as a student, parent, and volunteer Board Member, and understand in great detail how to utilize collaboration and feedback to drive the success of the families within the district, and provide each student a path to achievement, contentment, and fulfillment.