Jonathan Nickell for Aspen school board | AspenTimes.com

Jonathan Nickell for Aspen school board

I am endorsing two candidates for the Aspen School District Board of Education, Jonathan Nickell and Suzy Zimet.

Today's letter is my endorsement of Jonathan Nickell. Later I will provide a letter that endorses Suzy Zimet.

As a lifelong educator, I am drawn to people who care about understanding the complexity of teaching and learning and who do their homework around what it takes to ensure quality education. Jonathan Nickell does all that and more.

I've served on the District Accountability Committee (DAC) with Jonathan for the past 18 months and during that time have been impressed with his dedication to understanding the complexity of the Aspen School District — the myriad of data, budget allocations, student achievement, policy governance, state laws, staffing, etc. More importantly, doing so before making any recommendations. Jonathan does his homework and takes time to process it before jumping in with an opinion. When he speaks, I listen.

As a member of the DAC, he has a deep understanding of the successes and challenges of the district and sees clearly the urgent need to improve support for the teachers of the district, not just with financial compensation, but also with ongoing professional learning opportunities that are a critical component of all highly effective schools.

And with Jonathan's extensive business background we can look at the way the board does business to ensure that it is not cumbersome, that the board thinks independently and keeps the end in mind, and that teachers and community voices are welcome.

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Having spent 40-plus years in education and nearly 30 years in the Aspen School District, I believe Jonathan is an excellent candidate for the Aspen school board. He is deeply knowledgeable, innovative, and committed to excellence in education.

Jonathan has what it takes. Vote Nickell for school board.

Barb Pitchford

Aspen