Three women supported by the Adams 12 teachers’ union won board seats by comfortable margins in the November election.
Incumbent and board President Lori Goldstein and newcomers Paula Battistelli and Alexis Marsh-Holschen will fill three of the board’s five seats.
The three progressive candidates defeated the conservative slate of Ben Helgeson, Rebecca Elmore, and Ken Murphy-Montoya. Helgeson had reportedly sent multiple emails to district and union leaders, accusing the union and others of pushing a racist, religious ideology.
“We have a few voices who are saying we’re falling apart, and not teaching our kids,” said Goldstein, who taught in Adams 12 for 34 years. “When you look at community surveys, the general majority of the population agrees we’re on the right track. (Superintendent) Chris Gdowski’s leadership is part of that and has been amazing.
“We are a big district with a lot of small-town influences, relationships and networks. We just need to keep that going.”
During her 40 years in the district, Goldstein said she’s watched it grow dramatically. The district’s needs have changed along with that growth.
“We’re at the point now where we’re somewhat built out,” she said. “Our neighborhoods on the south end are aging. Affordability is an issue for a lot of people. And people aren’t having as many kids. We have to start thinking about how we’re going to age gracefully.
“Public education is changing too. Kids are coming in with more needs other than academics (including) social/emotional learning. Adams 12 has been really key in honing in on all these needs and doing something about it.”
Adams 12 has a combined at-large and director district plan of representation, requiring board members to reside in a specific geographic area.
Goldstein represents Ward 1. She has called the Five Star District home for more than 40 years, serving as a teacher, and participating as a parent.
Battistelli will represent District 2. A district parent and community member since 2013, she has served on the District Accountability Committee and participated in the Five Star Leadership Academy.
“My goal is to predominantly help Adams 12 ‘keep on keeping on,'” she said. “I want to help the district continue moving forward. I’m particularly interested in helping Adams 12 support our special student populations, like our kids with disabilities and our emergent bilingual learners.”
Marsh-Holschen takes the District 5 seat. A graduate of Legacy High School, her children attend district schools.
“As a graduate of Adams 12 and now a mom of an Adams 12 student, I feel I’ve come full circle,” she said. “We have a great district and I want to see Adams 12 continue in the right direction — educating all students, attracting and retaining the best educators. “
The trio will be sworn in at the Dec. 6 board meeting.
They join Directors Courtney Potter and Amira Assad-Luca, whose terms expire in 2025. Departing Directors Jamey Lockley and Laura Mitchell each served eight years on the board.
Adams 12’s five directors are elected at large to four-year, staggered terms.
The district serves about 35,500 students in Adams and Broomfield counties, including the cities of Broomfield, Federal Heights, Northglenn, Thornton and Westminster.