Parker woman runs for school board

Fire trustee concerned about district’s direction

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A former broadcast journalist and current Parker Fire Protection District board member is running for a seat on the Douglas County school board. Ronda Scholting, whose adult children attended Douglas County schools, believes it’s time for a new voice on the seven-member panel.

“It looks like the school district I moved my kids to Douglas County for is not the same,” she said. “I decided something needed to be done to try to change the direction they’ve been taking us.”

Four board members’ terms expire this November, including those held by Doug Benevento, Carrie Mendoza, Meghann Silverthorn and President John Carson. Carson is term-limited and cannot run again.

Scholting is running for the District G seat, currently held by Silverthorn.

A public relations manager for the Denver-based RE/MAX real estate company, Scholting worked in the past as a reporter and anchor for Denver’s KMGH-TV Channel 7, followed by a self-employed period in which she researched and reported stories for national media including ABC, CBS and CNN.

“Being a reporter is sort of like being a public servant,” she said. “Since I’m no longer a reporter, I feel like I still owe some public service.”

Scholting is concerned about some of the board’s fiscal decisions, compensation for upper administration and changes to the high schools’ schedules.

“Where they think the money should go is not where I and my neighbors think it should go — which is in the classroom,” she said.

Many of Scholting’s Parker neighbors have teenagers enrolled in Douglas County high schools, most of which adopted a block schedule that has received both praise and criticism.

“The parents in my neighborhood are very concerned about the quality of education their kids are getting and how much time they’re spending in the classroom,” she said.

Scholting questions the current board’s overall use of taxpayer dollars, including the setting aside of large reserves she feels could benefit students.

“I don’t mean to spend every penny of taxpayer dollars; I’m fiscally responsible,” she said. “It just doesn’t seem like we’re getting a good return.

“We also need to take another look at what administrators are making, the philosophy around big bonuses, and decide if those people sitting in the building in Wilcox are where we need to be investing the money.”

The Douglas County School District administration offices are on Wilcox Street in Castle Rock.

Scholting is a Democrat. Though the office is officially nonpartisan, all current school board members are Republicans, and the Douglas County Republicans plan to invest money in the November election to support pro-education reform candidates.

“When it comes to the school board, there should be no partisanship,” said Scholting, noting she has bipartisan support. “It should be what’s best for students, teachers and taxpayers. There are many people who don’t believe the direction this board is heading is best for the community. I feel like I have a lot of support to move the district back toward where it was when I moved here.”