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Home / Articles / Special Sections / Vote 2009 /  Boulder Valley School District breakdown
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Thursday, October 8,2009

Boulder Valley School District breakdown

Vote 2009

District B: John Kettling vs. Lesley Smith

John Kettling, 59, has 18 years of experience in Boulder Valley Schools as a lab advisor as well as 32,500 volunteer hours working with kids on engineering projects. Kettling is the 1998 Impact on Education winner. Kettling says he supports teachers having a professional pay scale so that the teaching profession can achieve upward mobility. Kettling wants to help Columbine School become a thriving neighborhood school. Kettling says he has definite opinions on floor polishing and playground monitoring, as well as having CAD systems for students and teaching seventh graders researchlevel calculus.

Lesley Smith, 51, was vice president of the board in 2007, BVSD stratification task force member in 2005, and former president and former vice president of Community Montessori's PTA. Smith spent 15 years at CU as a research scientist focusing on environmental issues and is currently the director of a $2.5 million NSF grant to support science education in BVSD. Smith says she has a passion for all levels of education and feels that she is a seasoned board member with leadership skills. Smith says state funding is a top priority while maintaining quality programs.

Although both Lesley Smith and John Kettling are active in BVSD, Smith impresses us with her current position as director of multimillion-dollar grant that supports science in the district. Vote for Lesley Smith for BVSD District B.

District E: Tom Miers vs. Jim Pollicita

Through raising his three children, Tom Miers, 55, was involved with Eisenhower Elementary, Douglas Elementary, Platt Middle School and Fairview High School for 22 years. His wife teaches in BVSD. Miers agrees with the districts visions and goals and he says he wants to provide a solid educational foundation for children that will prepare them for life's challenges. Miers says this is done through maintaining the quality of education and teachers, while providing resources and improving morale and trust. Miers says key issues are school finance, trust and morale as well as closing the achievement gap and addressing special needs of all students.

Jim Pollicita, 60, has been a volunteer to school districts in the past: the Blue Ribbon Task Force on school finance and Master Plan Liaison Committee in Hamilton, Ohio. Pollitica is also a twoyear volunteer on BVSD's accountability committee. Pollitica has volunteered at

Coal Creek Elementary and Louisville Middle School. Pollitica says it's a critical time for public education and that the district's key issue is sustaining overall student achievement. Pollitica says that these difficult financial times call for careful stewardship of available resources and collaborative approaches to issues. Pollitica has 30 years of experience in public and private education as a program developer and administrator, working with programs, pupils and teachers.

Miers is active in BVSD, but Pollicita's 30 years of experience in public and private schools outweighs Miers' experience. Vote for Jim Pollicita for BVSD District E.

District F: Louise Benson vs. Jennie Belval

Jennie Belval, 53, has 16 years experience as a parent, educator and volunteer in the district, having both of her children graduate from Boulder Valley Schools. She has been the Talented and Gifted Coordinator at Aspen Creek K-8 since 2001. She has worked at the district level as a district accountability Representative and as a member of the New Century Graduate Steering Committee and the Capitol Improvements Planning committee. She is currently the Citizen's Bond Oversight Committee chair. Belval believes that BVSD needs to address the achievement gap and still make sure that higher-end students are challenged. She thinks the district should work collaboratively with educators and the community to make dollars stretch, develop cutting-edge uses for technology and improve relations with teachers.

Louise Benson, 59, ran for City Council in 2007 on school, health care and over-regulation issues. Benson believes that the top priority is closing the achievement gap with proven programs. She believes that small neighborhood schools promote achievement, safety, climate and community. Benson believes in modernizing with optional programs like 6-12 online education and a five-year, state-funded HS/AA degree program. Benson says there needs to be restorative discipline and school board and district responsiveness. She supports a salary scale for teachers when the economy improves. Benson has more than 20 years of community service ranging from volunteering at schools to serving on the the health board.

We agree with Benson's idea of restorative discipline and a salary scale for teachers, but Belval has worked for the district and has first-hand knowledge on Boulder Valley's schools. We also admire her devotion to TAG students, whose needs are often underestimated. Vote for Jennie Belval for BVSD District F.

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