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Friday Churn: Hancock’s third pick

Updated – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced his endorsement of school board candidate Jennifer Draper Carson at an event Friday where he was critical of current board dynamics.

Draper Carson is running against incumbent Arturo Jimenez to represent the District 5 northwest Denver seat on the Denver Public Schools board of education. Hancock previously had announced his endorsements of Allegra “Happy” Haynes for the citywide at-large seat and Anne Rowe for the District 1 southeast Denver seat.

Hancock made his comments during an appearance at an event sponsored by the Colorado League of Charter Schools. EdNews Publisher Alan Gottlieb was there – read his blog post.

What’s churning:

Charlotte Ciancio, superintendent of the Mapleton schools, has been named 2012 Colorado superintendent of the year by the Colorado Association of School Executives.

Ciancio has led conversion of the districts neighborhood schools into small, specialized schools and worked to obtain voter approval and state aid to upgrade aging district facilities.

She will be Colorado’s candidate for national superintendent of the year, who will be announced at the February 2012 conference of the American Association of School Administrators.

Gerald Keefe, superintendent of the 109-student Kit Carson school district, has been appointed a county judge by Gov. John Hickenlooper. (County judges aren’t required to be lawyers.)

Although his district is small, Keefe is well known in education circles for service on boards and study panels, regular testimony at the legislature, and his independent ways. Kit Carson has declined some federal funds to avoid the accompanying strings, and Keefe used the state’s Innovation Schools Act to obtain waivers from some elements of the new educator effectiveness law.

For the next two years, Keefe will work two days a week as a judge and three days as superintendent, leaving the superintendent’s job after that.

Keefe, who lives in Cheyenne Wells, will serve in the 15th Judicial District, which covers Kiowa, Prowers and Baca counties in southeastern Colorado.

What’s on tap:

Only two more chances to catch a Jefferson County school board candidate forum. Saturday, there’s a 10:30 a.m. forum sponsored by the American Association of University Women, Foothills branch. It’s at the Arvada Community Food Bank-Community Room, 8555 W. 57th Ave. in Arvada. And on Tuesday, there’s a 7 p.m. forum at the Evergreen Fire/Rescue Auditorium, 1802 Bergen Parkway in Evergreen. That’s sponsored by the Jeffco League of Women Voters.

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