Candidate says school district is her passion

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Carrie Warren-Gully lost to Nancy Doty in last year’s Arapahoe County commissioner race, but now she has an opportunity she thinks is a perfect fit.

“This has just been my passion and my work for the last 13 years,” she said.

That’s how long she’s been volunteering for Littleton Public Schools, and now she’s running for a seat on the school board.

Warren-Gully says what makes her unique as a candidate is the extent to which she’s been actively observing what goes on at the state level, and how that’s helped her understand how legislation there affects the district.

“It makes you realize not all schools are the same,” she said. “To get involved at the statewide level, you see very direct impacts on the classroom. But there are kids outside of Littleton in this state that need an education too. We need to support education statewide, district-wide and right down to the neighborhood school.”

A Centennial resident, her three boys all went to Sandburg Elementary School, Newton Middle School and Arapahoe High School. With her oldest off to college next year, she’s now had the LPS experience from beginning to end and been active at the school and district levels throughout.

Warren-Gully said that so far, she’s most proud of chairing the committee that got the 2010 mill levy passed despite the recession.

“It was a perfect example of how this community comes together,” she said. “It shows you the community is proud of your school district and understands the importance of the school district. It says a lot about community and values. And it took so many people from every school, and volunteers from throughout the district. It wasn’t just one person leading the charge. It was enough people spending the time and energy to make this happen.”

The current board is set to decide this month whether to place a bond issue on the November ballot, and Warren-Gully hopes they do. Continuing to defer facility maintenance will only lead to bigger and more expensive problems down the road, she said.

“We have two huge investments that we’re responsible for,” she said. “Our staff and our buildings are what support the students.”

She said her hope is to follow in the footsteps of the current board members.

“It’s really all about how do we continue down the same path,” she said. “There’s no consternation, no dissatisfaction. … Those of us who have been involved long enough saw the opportunity to continue the work that’s already been done.”

She agrees with her fellow candidate Kelly Perez that she’d hate to see someone’s personal agenda disrupt the spirit of teamwork the current board will bequeath to the next. She believes a broad focus better serves the district rather than a narrow agenda.

“Every year, 13,000 kids show up at our doors, and not one of them is the same as another,” she said.

Three people besides Warren-Gully and Perez have officially declared bids for seats on the Littleton Public Schools Board of Education: Dallas Jones, Robert Reichert and Jack Reutzel.

LPS canceled its last two elections when nobody stepped up to run against the incumbents. This time, Bob Colwell, Renee Howell and Sue Chandler are all finishing their second four-year terms and cannot run again due to term limits.

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