Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Voters to decide on school board members

Denver voters living in the vicinity of DU will have the chance to choose two of the three school board members on the Nov. 6 mail-in ballot.

Running for an at-large seat on the Denver School Board are Theresa PenaJohn McBride and Rita Montero.

Pena has been board president for the last two years. She backed the board’s Denver Plan for improving student achievement and supports the efforts of Superintendent Michael Bennett. Her agenda includes upgrading classroom teaching, improving middle schools and better managing performance. 

McBride supports a return to “fundamental, neighborhood-driven education.” He favors letting teachers and parents set school agendas, creating a statewide assessment system and setting up academic resource centers in the neighborhoods. 

Montero served on the board from 1995–99. She believes academic achievement is inadequate and blames the DPS board. She supports stabilizing the school system and providing “a superior alternative and transportation” for schools forced to close. 

Candidates for District 1, which includes DU, are Laurence BotnickFrank Deserino and Bruce Hoyt.

Botnick is a clinical social worker who earned a master’s degree in social work from DU. He believes in more textbooks for students, better pay for teachers and a recycling plan for the district. He wants to make sure “the money is going to the kids.” 

Deserino is a teacher at South High School. He believes the board is poorly advised as to curriculum. He favors bringing back electives and “making academics fun again.” He wants to focus on “the whole child and not just on standardized testing.” 

Hoyt is an investment banker and has been a school board member for four years. He backed the Denver Plan, the ProComp pay-for-performance plan and DPS spending reforms. He favors fully implementing the Denver Plan, strengthening the budget, applying pay-for-performance to principals and administrators, and increasing preschool and full-day kindergarten.

District 5, which is northwest of Broadway and Alameda Avenue, pits Jose Silva, Raymond Gutierrez, Tony Curcio and Arturo Jimenez.

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