A Passion for Education
Why am I running for the MCVSD51 Board of Education District C seat?
Having a quality, equitable, free public education isn't – and shouldn't be – a partisan value; it's an American value. We all have an interest in ensuring we have an educated community. Not everyone gets the same start in life, but after thirteen years in D51, everyone should have the necessary tools to compete in our society. Our school board majority has brought a partisan agenda to a nonpartisan office. It is currently dismantling our public schools by haphazardly closing our neighborhood schools, opening charter schools that drain needed resources, and voting against a school-based health clinic that would support the most basic needs of our students. While I normally hesitate to join recall efforts, too much damage is being done to wait for a normal election cycle to rectify the Board leadership.
I have been a member of the D51 family since I started first grade at Nisley Elementary School in 1977. After I returned from seeking a degree in accounting at CU-Boulder, I started a business investing in and managing residential and commercial real estate which continues to this day. Knowing I hadn’t found my calling, I returned to school to be a teacher. It was the best decision I ever made. Since then, I have dedicated my adult life to strengthening our community by advocating for quality public schools. I was chosen as D51’s Educator of the Year in 2004, was selected to represent teachers for negotiations with our Board of Education for seventeen years, led a sixth-grade social studies class in a real-life civics experiment that resulted in a city ordinance banning smoking in public places, served as the Mesa Valley Education Association president, served on the Colorado Education Association’s Board of Directors, and served as an instructional coach (a teacher of teachers) for our district. I believe quality public schools are the backbone of a strong democracy and a strong economy. Teachers are our biggest asset; attracting and retaining quality teachers should be our highest priority.
I have never been more worried for our students, our teachers, and our community. My rich history with D51 can be part of the solution to restoring a vibrant D51.
Please join me in recalling Andrea Haitz and electing me as the successor to the MCVSD51 Board of Education seat for District C.
Darren A. Cook