State Senate District 4 race: Gorman has eye on schools

Holly Gorman
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Holly Gorman, the Democratic candidate for state Senate District 4, lives in The Meadows in Castle Rock and has lived in the district for six years. She is a native of Colorado and is married to Mark Gorman. The couple has three girls, Jordan, Amaris and Sabriya.

Gorman has a bachelor's degree in justice studies with a minor in sociology and family studies. She also attended the University of Colorado, where she studied politics and public policy. Gorman continues to pursue educational and development opportunities for personal and professional growth and presently attends Leadership Douglas County.

She facilitates online learning at Denver Public Schools and has worked as a restorative justice coordinator, a site assessment leader and adjunct faculty member for the University of Colorado. Before returning to education, she was a judicial educator for the Colorado Judicial Branch and has experience as a district interventionist and as a community coordinator for state tobacco education and prevention in the superior court in Arizona.

Her previous public service experience includes volunteer work with the Daughters of the American Revolution, organizing for Colorado Firefighters and Families Family Initiative, Leadership Douglas County, Turkey Rock Trot race director, Douglas/Elbert Task Force board of directors, Girl Scouts of Colorado school coordinator, Douglas County School District diversity council member, Colorado Juvenile Council board of directors president, Douglas County back-to-school clothing drive, Colorado Prevention Partners chair, Metro Denver Gang Coalition member, Young Offender Mentoring Program mentor, Colorado Coalition for Girls member, National/Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children member, and anger management facilitator mediator.

Colorado Community Media asked the following questions of the candidates in the race for Colorado Senate, District 4. Below are Gorman's answers.

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

My style of leadership. As a Colorado educator and civic-engaged leader, I'm all about our community. I will absolutely put the interests of people ahead of partisan politics and work with all Coloradans, Republicans, Democrats, and other to implement solutions to make Colorado a better place to live, work, play, and raise our families. I connect and unite people around common goals to strengthen and improve community. This will be the same approach I will bring to the Senate.

I know that our communities cannot stay strong if we don't rebuild our economy and expand job opportunities. Additionally, our children cannot be successful and competitive in a global economy without access to world-class education. I will listen to your ideas and concerns and make sure your voice is heard at the Capitol.

My opponent closely follows an extreme partisan ideology, without regard for the whole community. The consequences of that style of leadership can be found in the bitter division and partisanship rearing its ugly head in our schools.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing your constituents and what would you do to meet that challenge?

Education. As I have been reaching out to voters several issues have been brought to my attention to include foreclosures, jobs, healthcare, fracking, and most sadly drug-induced teen deaths. However, education rises to the top. In my district, folks with children are concerned about the quality and quantity of education their children are receiving; they are concerned about the bitter division and partisanship rearing its ugly head in our schools. And folks without children are concerned about their home values and the consequences to the community as a result of the district unrest. They understand the value of a great education.

What should be done to improve Colorado's K-12 educational system?

We first need to determine if public education is truly a priority. I see a lot of talk about this but then as a parent and educator I see major cuts occurring in the classroom. That said, we must strengthen P-20 public education across the state, ensuring all students have access to early intervention programming, preschool, full-day kindergarten, and affordable post-secondary options.

In addition, we must ensure all students learn in 21st-century (STEM) classrooms that prepare for careers, today undefined. Careers that will include mobile technologies, virtual learning, and advance computer applications. All schools should provide students with technology, and teachers with training to ensure our students graduate prepared for a global economy. How we do this is another article.

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