LIVE BLOG: DCSD Board of Education Forum

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The Douglas County School District Board of Education forum, led by the Mountain Vista Media students, will begin shortly at 6:30p.m. Please refresh this page often in order to view the latest updates.

This forum will include all of the eight candidates from the CommUNITY Matters slate and the Elevate DCSD slate. On the Elevate DCSD slate, all four candidates, Randy Mills, Grant Nelson, Debra Scheffel and Ryan Abresch will be present. On the CommUNITY Matters slate, all four candidates, Anthony Graziano, Kevin Leung, Krista Holtzmann and Chris Schor will also be present.

For a brief overview of these candidates please visit our guide here.

For all references to this forum on Twitter or social media, please use the hashtag  #MVForum17.



6:36p.m.: Board members are all present and are settling in. First question will come shortly.

6:40p.m.: Senior Haley Kolseth makes opening statement.

Info: For all at home, this forum is not a debate. Candidates will not be allowed to respond to each other and each candidate will only be given 1 minute to answer a question, give their opening statement and their closing statement.

6:43p.m.:In his opening statement, Elevate DCSD Candidate Randy Mills talks about school choice. Gives example of his daughter who has previously attended Mountain Vista and later open enrolled in a different school when they moved to Castle Rock.

6:50p.m.: CommUNITY Matters Candidate Kevin Leung mentions that he is the only DCSD parent on the Colorado Board of Education. Also discusses the need for retaining high quality teachers. “In 5 years we have jumped from 5 percent to 10 percent of teacher turnover,” Leung says.

6:55p.m.: Kolseth asks “Your job as a board director would be to speak on behalf of students and teachers, how do you intend to accomplish this? ”

6:58p.m.: Elevate DCSD Candidate Ryan Abresh answers the question focusing on the crucial element for effective leadership on the school board in order to be able to speak for the needs of the teachers and students.

7:04p.m.: CommUNITY Matters Candidate Chris Schor emphasizes on the importance of listening to the needs of teachers and students. “There isn’t any better in the world than talking to students .. this comes naturally with me  it is a natural step of listening to the community” Schor says.

7:08p.m.: Elevate DCSD Candidate Debra Scheffel states that student voices are at the center of what we need to listen to. “To listen to teachers, go to classrooms, to be in the trenches … that is where we need to be in order to make the decisions that will affect them,”

7:10p.m.: Senior Lauren Lippert asks “What would you prioritize for the district if you were to be elected?”

7:11p.m.: CommUNITY Matters Candidate Anthony Graziano answers the question, focusing on keeping the best teachers, also addressing the concern for fiscal responsibility in the district and making sure that the money is prioritized towards the need for keeping good teachers and towards students.

7:15p.m.: Elevate DCSD Candidate Grant Nelson emphasizes financial responsibility, wanting to rebuild trust with the community and making sure that “the community knows where every dollar is going to,”

7:19p.m.: CommUNITY Matters Krista Holtzmann addresses what Scheffel said when she said that the board no longer maintains the proper professionalism at the board meetings. Holtzmann says that her opponent (Scheffel) endorsed the previous board members who are on the board that no longer maintains the demeanor and professionalism that should be on the board.

7:20p.m.: Senior Savanah Howard asks “Many students don’t know a lot about who their school board directors are, how would you bridge the gap between students and the board?”

7:26p.m.: CommUNITY Matters Candidate Kevin Leung answers the question, emphasizes on respecting what the students say (both regular students and students on the Student Advisory Committee (SAC)).  Also addresses his experience connecting with kids volunteering at his kids and other schools like Rock Canyon where he voluntarily lectured at times.

7:29p.m.:Elevate DCSD Candidate Ryan Abresch talks about how important it is to visit as many schools as possible and talk to as many people at those schools. Mentions how important it is to listen to students and student leadership as much as possible because “that is who we [the board] are serving,” Abresch says

7:30p.m.: Senior Mikayla Olave asks “What do you believe is the key to student’s success in education?”

7:30p.m.:CommUNITY Matters Candidate Chris Schor says we need to carefuly examine out budget and make sure that we carefully prioritize every penny we can find to our budget towards the students.

7:35p.m.:Elevate DCSD Candidate Debra Scheffel shouts out the various committees in DCSD that want prioritize regaining the trust of the community and want to create a comprehensive budget before going to a vote for raising educational taxes in DCSD.

7:39p.m.: Elevate DCSD Candidate Randy Mills talks about the “macro” issue of the districts financing, answers Olave’s question hitting on trust in the community and making sure that the community knows what the money is being spent on.

7:44p.m.: Kolseth asks “In the DCSD Employee survey from Fall of 2016, only 1% of teachers reported that they completely trust the school board. How do you intend to fix this so that teachers can be happy with their job and best serve the students of their school?”

7:47p.m.: Leung holds up a flyer that states that 57percent will support a tax levy if the money goes towards the teachers.

7:53p.m.: Graziano states “In my world 1 percent [current teacher approval rating] would be upside down.”

7:56p.m.: Lippert asks “What is your advice to the students of DCSD?”

7:59p.m.:CommUNITY Matters Candidate Krista Holtzmann emphasizes diversity in personal interests as students, “to explore and discover what you like, ”

8:03p.m.: Elevate DCSD Candidate Randy Mills addresses the opportunities that the United States employs, and also states that he continues to support training in trades and the opportunities that trades have.

8:05p.m.: Howard asks “What are your favorite memories from high school?”

8:06p.m.: Holtzmann talks about her time singing in high school musicals.

8:06p.m.: Abresch talks about his time in AP US History and his time with student government and boys’ state.

8:10p.m.: Leung talks about his struggle in Hong Kong of how he had worry about whether he would have something to eat and how he made sure he continued to receive good grades to obtain scholarships.

8:12p.m.: Candidates will now give their closing statements.

8:14p.m.: Debra Scheffel emphasizes wanting to restore the respect of the board.

8:15p.m.: Kevin Leung emphasizes his experience on the state board. He states that Elevate DCSD are too inline with the previous board with vouchers and pay for performance.

8:20p.m.: Candidates are done with their statements. Kolseth gives the final statement.