Campaign season for Ignacio School Board officially began Tuesday night, with two incumbents and three newcomers announcing their candidacy for three open seats.
Ignacio residents will vote Nov. 5 for their new school board representatives. The candidates are Toby Roderick, Gina Schulz, Allen McCaw and current board members, Yvonne Chapman and Doug Little. Candidates accepted their nominations Tuesday, and now all they need to do is campaign to win. The district plans to hold a community meeting this fall to give residents and candidates an opportunity to discuss school-related issues, like budgets, district goals, and more.
“They have to have a strong belief in the value of public schools,” said Janet Reinhardt, executive secretary for the Ignacio School District. “You need to be a team player because on a school board, you’re not one person’s voice, you’re voicing for the whole community.”
The school board decides district policies and makes sure that the school district follows those policies. They also establish school district goals and oversee the district’s budget, Reinhardt said.
In the past, the board has decided teacher rental housing contracts and rates, set goals to reduce truancy, and decided district financial investments.
The candidates are elected for four-year terms, must pass a criminal background check, must be registered electors of the Ignacio School District at least 12 months before the election and must be residents of the school district.
The Ignacio School District asked for candidates who want to serve children and the community; value public schools; are open-minded, fair, and team players; and can designate the time necessary for being an effective member.
“You have to have time to learn, to get in and see what the policies are, what they mean, and if it’s something that would affect our district in any way,” Reinhardt said.
Over the next few months, the five candidates will try to show that they have what it takes.
Toby Roderick has been the gas balancing coordinator at Red Cedar Gathering Co., a natural gas company managed by the Southern Ute Growth Fund, since 2009. He is a former president and vice president of the Ignacio School Board and served eight years. Roderick has a sophomore and a seventh grader in Ignacio schools.
Gina Schulz is a substitute teacher for Ignacio School District. She has been a parent in the district for 19 years and currently has three children in Ignacio schools. She is also the board chairwoman of ELHI Community Center and vice chairwoman of the Ignacio Planning Commission.
Allen McCaw is forest engineer for the U.S. Forest Service on the San Juan National Forest. He serves as one of three directors on the Pine River Irrigation District board. He is also president of Pine River Conservation District and a football official in the Southwest Football Association. He has a freshman and a junior in Ignacio High School. The school board is a family affair for the McCaws: his sister-in-law, Kelly McCaw, is board president, his brother served for two terms and his father served for 24 years on the board.
Yvonne Chapman, a first-term board member, is vice president for the board. She is the financial coordinator for Vaughn Johnson Orthodontics in Durango and a member of the Mount Allison Grange. One of her children is a junior this year and another graduated from Ignacio High School.
Doug Little is a current board member and the board’s Southern Colorado Community Action Agency representative. He is a retired industrial arts teacher. Little was not immediately available for further comment.