By: Suzie Glassman/NewsBreak Denver
(Castle Rock, CO) Community leaders from Lone Tree, Larkspur, Parker, Castle Pines, Castle Rock, and Highlands Ranch voiced their gratitude, support, and appreciation for the school board and superintendent Erin Kane’s efforts to pass two funding measures, despite the failed outcome.
“Our message to you is very simple: keep going,” said Nate Jones on behalf of Lone Tree mayor Jackie Millet.
“I know that last week may not have been the outcome you were looking for, but don’t lose heart,” said Castle Pines mayor Tracy Engerman. “What your teachers and staff do is very important. One thing I always tell my kids, and I’m sure teachers tell their students the same, is that if you first don’t succeed, try, try again.”
Many leaders told the board they have kids in the district and are proud of the education they’re receiving, including Mark Dickerson, president of the Highlands Ranch metro area board of directors, who said an observant teacher in the district saved his daughter’s life.
Dickerson said his then 10–year-old daughter had been badly bullied at a former school, and her new teacher recognized her problems and told him they needed to help her. “My daughter is the most precious thing to me and becuase this district got involved and said this student was important, I have a daughter who I have a wonderful relationship with today,” he said.
Members of the mill bond exploratory committee also thanked the board for moving the needle as much as possible and said they were confident the measure would pass, but they ran out of time.
Superintendent’s reflections on the election
Kane recognized the volunteers who campaigned on behalf of 5A and 5B, saying they did an amazing job and that the district owes them a debt of gratitude.
In an email to district staff, employees, parents, and students, Kane said that the district will continue to operate as usual and plans to continue with small salary increases.
“We didn’t ask for 5A because we were in a financial crisis. We asked for 5A so we could be more competitive with our neighbors,” said Kane.
“I can still hear the pollster in my head telling me that there was no way in the history of ever that we would be able to get there starting at 39% (referring to a poll showing only 39% of voters would vote yes on a mill levy override and bond).”
The district garnered 49% of the vote, missing a majority by a few thousand.