DENVER (Aug. 2, 2017) – The Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) today announced its candidate endorsements for the Denver Public Schools Board of Education election on November 7.
“We have had great discussions with all the candidates, which made for some tough decisions,” DCTA President Henry Roman said. “However, these four candidates provide the best opportunity for Denver voters to regain control of a school board that is currently presiding over an unstable system that is unequal and unpredictable to parents and taxpayers alike.”
Representing more than 5,500 educators in the Denver Public School system, DCTA is recommending two teachers and two business people for the 2017 Denver school board races:
- Jennifer Bacon – District 4 (Northeast Denver – open seat)
Bacon is a civil rights attorney who earned her law degree from the prestigious College of William & Mary in Virginia. As such, she works closely with parents and community groups like Padres Unidos and the NAACP on education issues. Bacon is also a former teacher and school administrator who understands the issues schools and students face every day.
“Jennifer has been really clear about her vision for Denver schools and it’s a vision we share,” said Priscilla Shaw, a music teacher at Hamilton Middle School. “Jennifer will invest in teachers as professionals while promoting transparency and accountable decision making. She’ll encourage college and career readiness and most important, she will work to stabilize our schools.”
Bacon said her discussions with teachers have been very productive.
“We agree that closing schools takes a toll on students, families, teachers, and communities. No one wants our children in unsuccessful schools, however, the district should be using proactive interventions to prevent school closures and improve our schools.”
“Jennifer will be an agent of change on the DPS board and not just a rubber stamp for the current status quo,” said DCTA President Henry Roman.
- Sochi Gaytan – District 2 (Southwest Denver – open seat)
Gaytan is a Denver realtor. Unlike her opponent in the District 2 race, Gaytan is a DPS graduate as well as the parent of two DPS students. She understands the issues and concerns that most impact Southwest Denver students and families, making her the obvious choice.
“Gaytan will fight to ensure Southwest Denver gets its fair share of new construction bond dollars that are currently being siphoned off to other areas,” said Roman.
- Carrie Olson – District 3 (East/Central Denver)
Dr. Olson is a 37-year seasoned teacher in DPS who founded a non-profit organization that provides funding for low-income students to travel to Washington, D.C. to learn about the country. She has accompanied more than 600 students on trips since the effort began in 1993.
“Carrie’s commitment to DPS is unquestionable,” Roman said. “Her dedication to her students and decades of experience will best serve the families of DPS.”
- Robert Speth – At Large
Speth, a former telcom national account manager who now owns a small construction company, narrowly lost to Happy Haynes in this same race two years ago. He brings a deep understanding of the dangers of for-profit charter schools, which only serve their millionaire owners and not Denver families.
“We think Robert’s experience coming so close two years ago will resonate with Denver voters and he is another candidate that wants to shake up the status quo which is not working for Denver students,” Roman said.
About Denver Classroom Teachers Association
The first teacher’s union to secure a contract west of the Mississippi, DCTA represents the 5,635 educators of the Denver Public School system. DCTA believes public education is the gateway to opportunity – and that all students have the human and civil right to a quality public education that develops their potential, independence, and character. For more information, visit www.denverteachers.org.