Ron Mitchell graduated from Arvada High School. He earned an undergraduate in education, and a master's in administration from the University of Northern Colorado. He served six years in the Army Reserves, before his education career. He taught at Arvada West High School, before becoming principal at Alameda and Columbine high schools.
He was elected to the school board in 2015.
Campaign website: ronforjeffcokids.com
Why do you want to serve on the school board?
I was elected to serve on the school board two years ago. My colleagues on the board and I have made good progress. We have put respect back in the boardroom, slowed teacher attrition, improved school climate, funded short term seat issues in NW Arvada and hired a new Superintendent. I believe the stage has been set to keep Jeffco Schools moving forward in a very positive direction. I am thrilled that Brad Rupert and Susan Harmon have decided to run again. One of the most important components of a great organization is consistent, steady leadership. I am still committed to the students and families of Jefferson County Schools as I have been throughout my career.
Your top three priorities if elected?
I believe there are many exciting opportunities ahead for Jeffco. Some of these are:
Continue to work on expanding career pathways.
Working to attract and retain teachers to put a quality teacher in every classroom
Many of our buildings are getting old. The investment by past generations should be protected and we need to provide all students with a quality learning environment.
With additional resources, we could expand full day Kindergarten and Early Childhood Education.
This list could be greatly expanded if resources became available.
What is one idea you have to improve student readiness/achievement?
There are no silver bullets to address student readiness and student achievement. We need to continue to raise the bar and make a commitment to close the learning gaps. Programs like:
a) Early Childhood Education,
b) Community wrap-around schools,
c) Expanded Career and Technical Education programs,
d) Partnerships with business and community organizations
e) Dual Language Schools
All have the potential to help us address gaps. Improving student achievement will require a strong commitment from our entire community.
What can be done to allow the district to keep its best and most experienced teachers at a higher rate?
Retention of quality teachers is the key to success. We operate in a very competitive market in terms of rewarding teachers. Districts around us have been more successful in passing mill/bond overrides. As a district, we cannot afford to continue to operate with fewer dollars than our neighbors. We also need to continuously work to provide a quality workplace environment. Teachers are motivated by the belief that they are making a meaningful contribution to their community. Every citizen can and should play a role in valuing and elevating teachers and the profession. Our teachers play a critical role in preparing tomorrow’s leaders.
Would you support another ballot measure to help the district pay for capital improvements? Why or why not?
Frist, I would like to see the state legislature fund Amendment 23 passed by Colorado voters years ago, and eliminate the negative factor. Even with more state K-12 funding we have fallen behind in capital improvements. I believe a ballot measure will be necessary to update our aging buildings and address growth issues. Every student should attend school in a quality learning environment. I will support another ballot measure, but I know we will need to do a better job of communicating with all residents. Our Jeffco students do not deserve less than students in neighboring districts.