Douglas County

11 vie for vacant Douglas County Board of Education seat

Candidates run gamut from supporters to critics


The open Douglas County Board of Education seat has drawn applications from 11 Parker-area residents. The seat has been vacant since January, when board member Justin Williams reportedly resigned to spend more time with his family.

The candidates include two former teachers, an attorney and charter school board member, and a small business owner, among others. They are Leah Bliesmer, Gary Colley, Suzanne Cortright, Gerald Elwell, Shaylee Holland, Dilpreet Jammu, David Ray, Richard Robbins, Mary Strain, Franceen Thompson and Raymond Varela.

Several of the 11 previously have expressed strong support of the current board’s direction while several others have been outspoken critics of its recent policies and decisions.

Applicant interviews are planned March 3 before the “Board Unplugged” meeting set for 5 p.m. at Parker’s Cimarron Middle School.

As of late Feb. 24, a district spokesperson said the time for those interviews had not yet been set.

The current board is charged with conducting the candidate interviews and choosing Williams’ replacement.

The District F seat represents portions of eastern and southern Parker and some of Elbert County. The term will expire in November 2015, at which time the board member chosen for the seat will need to seek election or step down.


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