Garland wins in landslide Cherry Creek school board race

District C is Cherry Creek’s only contested race; Districts A, B uncontested

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Angela Garland won by more than 50 percentage points over Alioune 'Ali' Sogue to secure the Cherry Creek School District Board of Education seat in the south Aurora and east Centennial area.

Garland, a nonprofit manager, stood at 76.2% to Sogue’s 23.8%, according to unofficial results three days after Election Day.

Garland is the committee chair of the school district’s Office of Inclusive Excellence, which serves as a community liaison to promote cultural understandings across different backgrounds in the district. Garland has four children who have been Cherry Creek schools students.

Sogue works as an environmental engineer and project manager in the Henderson area near Brighton. Two of his children graduated from Smoky Hill High School and the third from Eaglecrest High School.

He’s the co-founder and president of the board of directors of the Colorado African Organization, a nonprofit that provides services to Colorado’s refugee, immigrant and asylum-seeking populations.

District C, mostly north of East Smoky Hill Road, is the only contested Cherry Creek race for the November election.

Sogue acknowledged Garland's win on Nov. 6.

"I know she did a great campaign, she worked hard, she won and I wish her all the best," Sogue said.

He still wants to be involved in the school district to raise questions about how it could be better run, he added.

"They do a good job, but sometimes it’s good to challenge people," Sogue said. "You want something better for the kids, (then) what needs to be done? How can we change things?"

Garland could not be reached for comment.

The District C seat was vacated after former board President David Willman used a controversial term while speaking at a teacher awards banquet in April. He apologized and resigned a few days later.

All of November’s candidates have sounded notes about equitability or inclusion. They also said more needs to be done for students’ mental health, with multiple candidates pointing to outside organizations or community efforts as integral to progress on the issue.

District A candidate Anne Egan — for the area of Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village and west Centennial — ran unopposed.

Egan, who was honored as one of the district’s 2019 Exceptional Volunteers, has served on multiple schools’ parent-teacher community organizations, including as the president of Cherry Creek High School’s PTCO.

Three of Egan’s children are graduates of the district, and one currently attends a district school.

School board member Eric Parish announced he will not see re-election, citing desire to spend more time with his family. Parish, the board's treasurer, was elected in 2015 to the seat in District A.

Incumbent school board member and Secretary Janice McDonald ran unopposed in District B, the southwest Aurora area.

McDonald was elected in 2015. She was a licensed substitute teacher for many years and volunteered “countless hours” in the district, she has said. McDonald has five children who attended Cherry Creek schools and has grandchildren in the district.

Egan and McDonald could not be reached for comment.

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