Incumbent Christine Martinez, Mary Beth Murphy and Audrey Yanos, who ran as the MMY slate, have won seats on the Westminster Public Schools board.
The winning group ran on the idea that the district is doing well and should continue on its current path, while the challengers said WPS needs greater accountability and financial transparency.
Tuesday’s 2023 election marked the first time in six years the WPS board election has been contested. The WPS board includes just five members, and three seats were up for grabs.
The trio defeated the ABC slate, which included husband and wife Charles and Brenda Gallegos and Anthony Sisneros. They promised to take a new direction from the current board, saying it doesn’t acknowledge “the challenges we face as a district.”
Those promised changes included improving student achievement, adding more fiscal transparency, and stepping up parent involvement.
“I’m very proud of the campaign we ran,” Martinez said. “Now it’s continuing to focus on how we can we expand our Ranum Reimagined CTE program and our Futures athletic program. It’s all about making sure kids want to stay and grow in our district. It’s exciting to know I can be a part of that.”
Murphy has been a public school educator for 32 years and is excited to continue giving back to kids.
“I know how important a school board is to a district,” she said. “I’m not coming in to make changes. I don’t have an ax to grind. I want to make sure they get the best free, high-quality public education they are entitled to. It’s not about me. It’s about what’s best for them.”
Yanos said she feels proud and happy.
“I’m really looking forward to learning about how to expand our programs and what it looks like to work for the district as a whole,” she said. “I have kids that play in the athletic program and I’m excited to continue to champion that program.
“My personal interests lie in gardening and food security and sustainability. I know we have a horticulture program now. I want to learn how I can help expand that, get our kids into urban gardening, and sustainability.”
Career and Technical program
The three women advocated for the expansion of the district’s Career and Technical Education programs, reinforcing school safety and mental health programs, and recruiting and retaining high-quality staff. They were supported by both the Westminster and Colorado education associations.
Adding to future changes at WPS, longtime Superintendent Pamela Swanson is retiring at the end of the academic year. WPS recently named Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jeni Gotto as her successor. She steps into Swanon’s shoes on July 1, 2024.
The six candidates running for three at-large seats included board treasurer Martinez, who won a second term. The other two vacancies come as current board President Ken Cianco and Vice President Max Math, both term-limited, step down from their seats.