Littleton Public Schools is hosting two Board of Education candidate forums:
Monday, September 30
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Littleton High School Forum classroom
199 East Littleton Boulevard
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Arapahoe High School Forum classroom
2201 East Dry Creek Road
In addition, the LPS District Accountability Committee is hosting a Board Candidate Forum:
Wednesday, October 16
8 to 9 p.m.
Boardroom, Education Services Center
5776 S. Crocker Street
The candidate forums provide an opportunity for community members to learn about and ask questions of the four candidates running for election this November for two at-large positions on the LPS school board. All community members are invited to attend.
The candidate forums will be moderated by the League of Women Voters of Arapahoe and Douglas Counties.
Click here for more information.
Four candidates are running for the two seats up for grabs this fall on Littleton Public Schools’ five-member Board of Education.
Board secretary Robert Reichardt will seek a second four-year term, while Jim Stephens, the board’s assistant secretary, will not seek reelection as his family has plans to relocate.
Election day is Nov. 5.
While the candidates have different perspectives on the district, they all have kids who attend LPS schools. Here’s a look at all four:
Reichardt, who is seeking reelection, is the father of two teenage girls: one at Littleton High School and another at Heritage High School.
Reichardt was raised in Colorado Springs and went to college at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He works as an education policy researcher.
“Being on the board is a way to use my knowledge and skills to support the community,” Reichardt said. “It’s been a real joy.”
Reichardt said he’s proud of the board’s achievements over the last four years, including instituting later start times for middle and high school students; investments in safety, mental health and special education programming; and the passage of the “All Means All” resolution, which declared the district’s commitment to providing quality education to students regardless of identity or personal challenges.
If he’s reelected, Reichardt said he hopes to keep up momentum on the $298 million bond approved by voters last fall, which includes a vast array of projects and school rebuilds around the district, including the development of an old car dealership beside Littleton High School into a career and technical education center.
“That will be an exciting component to our overall strategy to encourage innovation within the district,” Reichardt said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Jessica Roe made headlines last spring as the face of a largely anonymous coalition alleging a toxic culture at Arapahoe High School. With the height of the controversy in the rearview mirror, Roe said she’s focused on working with LPS to improve communication among students, parents and the district.
“While I don’t regret speaking up for parents who felt their voice wasn’t being heard after they made many attempts, our efforts paid off in that the district took note and took action on the items we requested they look into,” Roe said, saying the district improved processes to take parent input and feedback.
Roe is the mother of two teenagers in Littleton schools, and she and her husband are both LPS graduates. Roe works as a private investigator and is finishing a master’s degree in legal studies at the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law. She previously worked in journalism and in communications for former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper.
“I feel our district needs a board member who is trusted by students, parents, educators and the public to be someone who not only listens, but is not afraid to push for change and speak up for what needs to be said,” Roe said in an email statement.
Roe said she hopes to advocate for more direct communication from the district, and for better education funding among a long-term slump in district enrollment and paltry state funding.
Crysti Copp (whose name will appear as Christine on ballots) has children in 7th and 9th grades in Littleton schools. Copp says she is “almost a Colorado native” and was born to a military family stationed in the Philippines. Copp holds a degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Copp, along with fellow board candidate Lindley McCrary, co-chaired the campaign committee that built support for the $298 million school bond passed last fall by voters. Copp works for Run4Funds, which conducts school fundraisers. She has also served in leadership roles in the parent-teacher organizations at her children’s schools.
“My extensive volunteering with the district makes me a great candidate,” Copp said. “I know a lot about how the district works, and I can slide in without any trouble.”
Copp said she would like to help see projects related to the bond carried out and would like to better communicate with parents.
“LPS is doing a lot of great things that people don’t even know about,” Copp said. “There’s a need to communicate differently about safety and mental health.”
Copp also said she wants to work on getting the Career and Technical Education Center project off the ground to help boost alternatives to four-year college.
“At every level, I’ve been impressed with what I’ve found at LPS, and I want to be involved in making things better in the track we’re on,” Copp said.
Lindley McCrary, a Littleton Public Schools graduate, has two kids at LPS — one in elementary school and one in middle school.
McCrary, a chemical engineer by trade, most recently worked as a part-time contractor in the oil and gas industry, but became a stay-at-home parent to help support her older daughter, who has an illness that keeps her out of school for prolonged periods.
The experience has given McCrary the ability to be more involved in her children’s education, she said. McCrary, along with fellow candidate Crysti Copp, served as co-chair of the committee that built support for last fall’s voter-approved school bond.
She also serves on the accountability committees at Franklin Elementary and the district level, and the district’s finance committee.
“I’ve seen the tremendous impact the strength of this district has on the community,” McCrary said. “It keeps our property values strong, and it creates a wonderful sense of togetherness in the community.”
McCrary said she would like to improve communications between the district and parents, and be a thoughtful and active listener when problems arise.
McCrary said she also hopes to be a voice to improve state-level funding.
“We’re choking schools with the funding we have,” McCrary said. “It’s a big concern.”
McCrary said her role as the only candidate with a child still in elementary school is important, because she is personally invested and connected to the younger grades.
“It can feel like a different world sometimes,” McCrary said. “I understand their concerns and how they’re feeling.”
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