Taggart Hansen, one of three finalists for the seat representing Northeast Denver on the Denver school board has dropped out, leaving only Landri Taylor, head of the Denver Urban League, and teacher educator Antwan Jefferson.
In a Friday night letter to board President Mary Seawell and copied to other board members, Hansen wrote that he believes he is qualified but was disheartened by the “political posturing on display by select members” at a special board meeting Thursday. (Read EdNews story).
He said the meeting “made it increasingly clear that I am unable to devote the time or energy necessary to help you overcome the dysfunction this type of behavior engenders.
“At a time when we should be focused on the needs of students, some have chosen instead to spend time focused almost exclusively on the needs of adults,” Hansen, a lawyer who lives in Stapleton, wrote.
“I believe you have worked hard and in earnest to break through the dysfunction and return the focus to our kids.”
Hansen said that commitments to work and family caused him to rethink his interest in serving on the board.
Because the six current board members failed to reach consensus on the new member, state law allows Seawell to make the choice. She has pledged to name someone to the seat no later than Tuesday. Seawell said she remained committed to choosing someone from the original list of nine finalists.
“I’m disappointed but I certainly understand Tag’s decision,” Seawell said Saturday. She said she spent time talking to him yesterday afternoon.
The Colorado Latino Forum, which has raised questions about the lack of Latino candidates in the finalist pool, was quick to criticize Hansen’s decision as a political one that allows Seawell to appoint “long rumored heir apparent Landri Taylor to the D4 vacated seat.”
“They must believe we were born under a rock and can’t follow the shell game happening before our eyes to select the anointed candidate they wanted all along,” Rudy Gonzales, league Metro Chapter co-chair, said in a news release. “It’s time to return the school board to community leadership rather than the puppetmasters behind the scenes directing the show.”