The Douglas County school board voted unanimously Thursday to appoint Carrie Mendoza, an emergency room doctor, to fill a board vacancy in District D, which extends from Castle Pines to the southeast corner of Douglas County.
Mendoza was sworn in immediately after the board vote and assumed her seat.
She was chosen from a pool of six finalist candidates after a public interview process.
Mendoza received a bachelor’s degree in art history from Tufts University, a master’s in art history from the University of Chicago and her M.D. from the University of Chicago. She is a practicing emergency medicine physician and mom to three students in Douglas County schools.
The vacancy for District D was created when member Dan Gerken abruptly resigned in January due to work and family obligations, according to the district. Fifteen candidates submitted applications.
“My children go to public school in Douglas County, so I have a vested interest in the quality of schools in our county,” Mendoza wrote in her candidate application. “I also have a commitment to the local community through my work as a physician at Parker and Castle Rock Adventist hospitals. In addition, I am a strong supporter of innovation and school choice, principles supported by the Douglas County School Board.”
Mendoza is married to Myles Mendoza, a well-known figure in school reform circles. He is a board member of the STRIVE Prep and Rocky Mountain Prep charter school networks and runs Summit 54, a nonprofit organization created to boost the quality of K-12 public schools. He also has been involved with Democrats for Education Reform.
Also Thursday, board member Kevin Larsen was elected board vice president.
The other five finalists for the District D seat were:
- Daniel Coombe, lawyer and parent of two daughters enrolled at Academy Charter School
- Aaron Johnson, corporate communications manager at DISH Network, parent of children in Dougco schools and alumnus of Dougco schools;
- Brant Phillips, Dougco parent with a professional background in banking/finance and insurance/risk management
- Randy Reed, former mayor of Castle Rock, owner of custom picture framing store who helps with wife’s executive recruiting firm and whose daughters are Dougco schools alumni
- Judith Reynolds, exercise physiologist and Girl Scout troop leader who has three kids in the district.