Here is a summary of candidates running unopposed in the upcoming Durango School District 9-R mail-in election.
Ballots already have been mailed to voters. Returned ballots must arrive at the La Plata County Clerk and Recorder’s office by 7 p.m. Nov. 3. School board candidates represent geographic districts, but voters may vote for all races on the ballot.
The districts in which candidates running unopposed are:
Andrew Burns will run unopposed for the District C seat after incumbent Melissa Youssef opted to not run to clear Burns’ path.
Burns is director of admission at Fort Lewis College. He and his wife, Emily, have two children, ages 3 and 7.
Burns called education his “life’s work,” and said the opportunity to serve as a board member excites him as a parent, an educator and as a Durangoan.
Last fall, he was involved in drafting Durango School District 9-R’s strategic plan. Burns said the experience reassured him that the district and Superintendent Keith Owen are heading in the right direction.
Julie Levy will run unopposed for the District D seat. She will serve a two-year term because of the timing of previous appointments to the seat. The other board members will serve four years.
Levy, 26, is program manager for the Regional Housing Alliance in Durango. She earned a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Colorado at Denver, where she was raised, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Fort Lewis College.
“I feel an obligation to participate,” she said.
Jim Callard was appointed to the seat in October 2008. The retired Air Force colonel took over from Dave Farkas, who forfeited the seat by moving outside District D.
Jeff Schell will run unopposed for re-election to the District F seat. It will be his second term.
Schell was elected in 2005, promising to provide oversight of proposals brought to the board by then-Superintendent Mary Barter.
Schell has quietly worked behind the scenes on myriad issues.
“I feel like we’ve gotten a lot of things started, specifically with the strategic plan, and there needed to be some continuity on the board to see that it doesn’t just sit on the shelf,” Schell said.
Schell’s youngest daughter is a senior at Durango High School. Two older daughters have graduated from DHS and now attend college.