Who will run for Aspen school board? | AspenTimes.com

Who will run for Aspen school board?

ASPEN – Few people have expressed interest in filling the Aspen Board of Education’s two seats up for grabs in the November election.

Fred Peirce, current president of the school board, confirmed Tuesday that he will run for re-election in November. It would be his second consecutive four-year term; Peirce previously served on the BOE from 1997-2005.

Sheila Wills, a longtime Aspen resident with a son at Aspen High School, said she is considering a bid for office. Wills attended a public meeting Monday evening where school members outlined the role of the Aspen school board and, in particular, its model of policy governance. She was the only community member present.

“I do believe in public service, and in the importance of our schools,” said Wills, who considered running for the board in the last election, but with several qualified candidates stepping forward at that time she decided against it. Now, however, Wills sees where her skills – she is an attorney and former real estate developer, and also has a background in education – might be a good fit.

“I understand the board’s point that personal agendas need to be left at the door, and I believe I would be able to do that … to look at what’s best for all students,” she said following the meeting, where there was much discussion about the importance of potential board members being able to balance their roles as parents, community members and elected officials.

According to Angela Rittenhouse, administrative assistant to the superintendent, three other people have contacted the district office expressing an interest in running for the school board, but none have committed. Candidates must submit nomination petitions, with the signatures of 50 valid registered voters, by Aug. 26 to be included on the Nov. 1 ballot. Petitions will be available through the district office beginning Aug. 3.

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The two seats currently up for election are those held by Peirce and Laura Kornasiewicz, who cannot seek re-election due to term limits. In fact, term limits could create an interesting scenario for the Aspen school board.

In 2014, Charla Belinski and Elizabeth Parker will be forced to leave the board by term limits. Bob Glah could run for re-election in 2014.

Thus, the “best-case scenario” down the road – if institutional memory is considered an important foundation for success – would be a board comprising three members with two years or less experience, one member with four years experience (Glah, if re-elected) and Peirce, with a total of 14 years of experience. Conversely, the board could ultimately be comprised of three new members and two members with only two years experience in 2014.

jmcgovern@aspentimes.com