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Another name in DPS board race

Michael Kiley II, a parent of two Denver Public School students and Northwest Denver resident, is the second person to announce a run for the Denver school board.

Last week, Meg Schomp, daughter of former DPS school board member Kay Schomp, announced she would run for the central Denver seat now occupied by term-limited Jeannie Kaplan.

Kiley is running for the at-large seat now held by board President Mary Seawell, who has said she will run for re-election. Kiley describes himself as an advocate for community involvement in creating strong neighborhoods schools, most recently as a leader and founder of Choose North Now. The community group fought a district’s plan to co-locate STRIVE Prep Charter School at the North High campus. After months of often rancorous meetings and the appointment of a special working group to present alternative locations for STRIVE Prep, the divided school board ended up agreeing to place STRIVE at North starting next fall.

In a news release, Kiley cited “a lack of authentic community engagement from DPS” among his reasons for running.

“We have a board president and a board majority that refuses to partner with the community in any meaningful way,” Kiley said. “For instance, when the board voted 4-3 to co-locate another school at North, the board disregarded the will of 1,200 parent and community members that opposed to the co-location.”

Kiley’s daughter will attend Skinner Elementary next year; his son attends Edison.

In 2008, Kiley joined the leadership of Northwest Middle Schools NOW (NMSN), a community group focused on improving academic performance at Skinner Middle School. Working with school leaders, teachers, parents and community members, NMSN expanded the Spanish program at Skinner and improved academic performance. Skinner has seen a 33 percent increase in enrollment over the past three years.

But Kiley said his decision goes beyond the Northwest, as community members across the city have encouraged him to run.

“This is about schools in every part of Denver, from the Place Bridge solar farm fiasco, to the permit request by the administration to demolish the landmark Emily Griffith building, to the much-criticized Hentzell Park land swap, and most importantly the numerous failing schools, it is clear that the Board of Education needs a change in leadership.”

Find his full bio and more information at www.KileyForKids.com.

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