Aspen School District swears in fifth board member Monday |

Aspen School District swears in fifth board member Monday

Michael McLaughlin
The Aspen Times

It took nearly three months to find the right person, and now the search is over.

The five-member Aspen School District Board of Education has been a quartet since November’s election, when just two people applied for the three openings on the board.

That will change at 8 a.m. Monday at the regularly scheduled board meeting when President Sheila Kennedy Wills swears in Annie Cassidy to be the fifth board member.

Cassidy is an Aspen native who went through the Aspen school system growing up. She’s married to Coley Cassidy, also from Aspen, and the couple have four young girls in the Aspen elementary and middle schools.

“I’m honored and very excited,” Cassidy said. “It’s a really unique opportunity to make a difference in our community.”

Cassidy is a graduate from Hamilton College in New York with degrees in psychology and mathematics and has a background in advertising and teaching. She previously taught math at three private schools, two in California and one in New York, before moving back to Aspen. She also served on the board of directors at the Wildwood School.

Cassidy will serve a two-year term that runs through November 2015.

“We’re really lucky,” Wills said. “We were looking for someone just like her. We did take our time with this process, and it was a true board decision. This board is a very cohesive and cooperative group. We all had input in the decision and all agreed she’s the right choice.”

Wills said Cassidy had several strong qualities the board was looking for. Cassidy’s teaching background was a huge plus,as well as having younger children in the Aspen school system.

Wills said that three of the board members have high schoolage kids, and the board was looking specifically for someone who was in touch with the day-to-day experiences of the elementary and middle schools.

Cassidy has a long relationship with the Aspen School District, from her youth as a student within the system to a parent with four kids currently attending Aspen schools.

“She also has an advertising background,” Wills said. “Those skills will help as we reach out to the community.”

Cassidy admits it’s a big commitment and hopes her own unique skills translate into a big positive for the board.

“I have a steep learning curve ahead of me,” Cassidy said. “But I’m ready and looking forward to it.”