Nancy Stubbs, who served six years on the Durango School District 9-R Board of Education, has resigned to deal with family issues after the accidental death of her grandson in October.
“He was more than a grandson. He lived with us the last nine months,” Stubbs said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
Steve Torres, 21, died Oct. 3 from an accidental gunshot wound while using a Colt .45 that he believed was unloaded.
Stubbs resigned as president of the board two months ago to ease her workload, but she said the pressing demands of the job and her need to heal with her family from the loss of her grandson proved too overwhelming to continue serving on the board.
“I stepped down as president, I thought that would help, and it did for a while. But I care about this district and I don’t have the energy that’s required,” she said.
The current environment – with the district in the middle of a review of all its facilities while revising its master plan and its continuing efforts to base its curriculum on performance-based learning – provide fertile ground for someone concerned with the district’s development to serve and make a difference, she said.
Julie Popp, 9-R spokeswoman, released a statement about Stubbs’ departure: “The district and board greatly appreciate the six years of service and dedication from Nancy Stubbs while on the 9-R school board. We respect her desire and need to focus on her family, and hope she will consider returning at some point in the future. We know she will undoubtedly stay active and involved as an advocate for public education.”
Stubbs said the most recent arrivals on the board, Kristin Smith and Andrea Parmenter, have brought new focus and energy.
“Kristen asks the tough questions and demands answers, and Andrea is knowledgeable about the district and knows the concerns of the teachers,” Stubbs said.
Stubbs, who represented District A, which is principally the north Animas Valley with a sliver of north Durango, said it can often be difficult to find a representative from the district, where the demographics contain a lot of retirees without children mixed in with some lower-income housing with families that struggle to find the time to serve on a board of education.
“I think it would be great if we could get a minority on the board. It would be good for the district to have diversity on the board,” she said.
The deadline to be appointed to the district is 4 p.m. Wednesday.
To be eligible, a candidate must have been a resident of the school district for the last 12 months, be a registered voter of the school district and a current resident of District A.
A district boundary map is available on the 9-R district website or from the 9-R superintendent’s office located in the Administration Building, 201 E. 12th St.
Anyone interested in the position will need to file a letter of interest with the board clerk by 4 p.m. The letter should include information pertinent to qualifications and reasons for applying, and should be submitted to: Sarah Berggren, board clerk, 201 E. 12th St., Durango, CO 81301.