As of November 7th, (still waiting for oversea votes) the community matters slate candidates were all elected to the Douglas County School Board of Education. This group includes Anthony Graziano, Chris Schor, Kevin Leung, and Krista Holtzmann. Kristas mission statement is as follows, “My family and I are so grateful for the partnership we have had with the many teachers and staff who were a part of Jake and Will's K-12 experience. The educators in our children's lives helped us meet the unique needs of each of our sons and gave them opportunities to reach their full potential. This is what every child deserves: to have their individual needs recognized, to be given endless opportunities to learn and grow, and to be part of an educational community that prioritizes their education. I am concerned that DCSD has strayed from that focus in recent years. If I am elected to be a Douglas County School Board Director, my ultimate goal will be to make sure that every decision I make focuses first on how it affects the children of our District, always asking the question "Does this support the best interests of our students?".” Kevin Leung’s; “Kevin Leung knows how important it is to have a good education. His parents were illiterate and he grew up very poor. Through quality education and hard work, he now owns a successful local business and lives in a beautiful neighborhood in Douglas County for 26 years.” Chris Schor; “Partnerships between teachers and parents are our greatest assets in the education of children. Understanding the needs of all children requires strong parent partnerships. Children are successful when they have knowledgeable, passionate, caring, and supportive teachers. It is essential to recruit, develop and retain quality educators in Douglas County.” Anthony Graziano; “I am not someone who is content to sit on the sidelines. It’s time for me to step up. I am running for School Board with the promise to listen closely, understand issues and seek solutions through responsible service. I commit to working collaboratively to serve our county to ensure our public schools live up to the greatness of Douglas County.”Each of these winning candidate won by at least 15%. These four candidates have all had some kind of background in school education. The community matters slate’s main message, that won them the election, talks about refocusing on students and academic achievements, rebuilding a positive culture and climate and spending taxpayer dollars responsibly. In an interview with Vista Now’s, Gabe Barnard, Holtzmann said, “The financial policy would help the board in ensuring that money meant for the classroom reaches the classroom.” In every election, huge amounts of money go into campaigning. In this election, the four community matters candidates spent a total of $69,292.96. While an immense amount of money is spent, a massive amount is raised by the candidates as well. The candidates raised $83,470.00. According to Ballot Pedia’s article on this election, outside companies and groups also supported the winning slate; “Organizations and committees that were not connected to candidates also raised and spent funds for the board of education election. As of October 31, 2017, the Douglas Schools for Douglas Kids committee, which supported the Community Matters slate of candidates, had spent $266,422. It received $300,000 from the American Federation of Teachers and $100,000 from Citizens for Integrity earlier in the election cycle”. All of this support from all of these different groups of people, played a piece in this election. The education system relies on the help of the people to get our students the proper education system they need to thrive.
Story by Jazmyn Andre and Emerald Herman