Aspen Board of Education news

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times
The three candidates hoping to earn the vacant seat on the Aspen Board of Education – left to right: Dwayne Romero, Blake Appleby, and Jeff Siegel – participated in a panel style interview before the board on Thursday. The school board plans to announce its decision at today's board meeting.
Erica Robbie/The Aspen Times |

Along with news of the future Aspen Elementary School principal announced at Thursday’s Aspen Board of Education meeting, the board also held its final interviews with the three candidates vying for the vacant school board position.

In a panel-type arrangement, prospective board members Dwayne Romero, Blake Appleby and Jeff Siegel each answered seven questions that school board President Susan Marolt posed.

The questions challenged the applicants to articulate their motivation for wanting to serve on the board, what changes they would like to see in the school district and what they view as the board’s roles and responsibilities.

They also were asked to discuss their skill set, qualifications and experiences that could support the board as well as what they believe are the most important aspects to preserve and protect within the school district.

The board members commended the candidates for their thoughtful responses and for their “levity,” as school board Secretary Sheila Kennedy Wills said.

Throughout the interview, Romero, Appleby and Siegel demonstrated a notable camaraderie and cracked a few jokes along the way.

“It’s going to be a really hard choice, which is a really great position to be in,” Marolt said, referring to the high level of interest in the open board seat.

The school board plans to discuss and announce its final decision during its board meeting today.

The new member will take office at the June 10 board meeting.

In other Aspen Board of Education news, the board unanimously motioned to approve the school district’s proposed budget for the 2016-17 academic year.

The total cost of the 2016-17 proposed budget is $29,84 million, which translates to a per-pupil amount of $15,192, according to the budget proposal from Aspen School District’s Chief Financial Officer Kate Fuentes.

The overall expense is 2.1 percent more than last year’s budget, Fuentes said.

A few minor changes to the budget reflect what the school district expects to be a slight decrease in enrollment next year (due to a loss of a large senior class) as well as a smaller first-grade class this fall.


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