Election Day is still more than eight months away but election season in Denver Public Schools began Tuesday.
Meg Schomp, Denver native and daughter of former DPS board member Kay Schomp, sent out a news release announcing plans to run for the District 3 seat now held by term-limited Jeannie Kaplan. District 3 covers central Denver.
Schomp, the mother of two DPS students, is active in her children’s schools. Her son Luke attends the Denver Green School (DGS), a neighborhood school that emphasizes sustainability, and daughter Katie attends the Denver School of the Arts (DSA), a magnet school emphasizing both academic and artistic excellence.
People in Denver will recognize the name Schomp from license plates. Her father Ralph Schomp started the well-known auto dealerships, now owned by Meg’s sister.
In some respects, Schomp’s announcement is not surprising. Calls for new blood on the board have become louder as certain pockets of the DPS community express anger over school turnaround plans or decisions to locate two schools under a single roof, or what they see as a district focus on charter schools over traditional neighborhood schools. Schomp has faithfully attended numerous recent board meetings, dutifully taking notes.
“After years of volunteering at my children’s schools, I’ve looked for ways to get involved at the district level,” Schomp said in the news release. “When growing up, my mother would talk to me about the changes going on in my school. I understood from any early age the importance of having representatives on the board who care about our community.”
In addition to being active with PTO/PTA organizations at her children’s schools, Schomp helps run the “Kay Schomp Follow Your Dreams Scholarship,” which recognizes graduating seniors committed to using their arts to enhance and improve their communities.
Kaplan was among the first people to support Schomp’s decision to run.
“I cannot think of anyone I would rather have representing this community after I leave,” Kaplan said in the release. “Meg’s passion for our schools and knowledge of the district will help ensure a continued community voice on this board.”
The announcement adds to drama already underway on the DPS board as the six current members struggle to fill the seventh seat – made vacant last month when Nate Easley, who represented Far Northeast Denver, resigned to take over the Denver Scholarship Foundation.
The board will meet Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the vacancy and the nine finalists hoping to fill it.
Not only will the District 4 seat be up for grabs in November, board President Mary Seawell along with board member Andrea Merida are up for re-election. Both Seawell and Merida have said they plan to run.