Supported by newly elected members, the Aurora school board chose as its new president a district critic who sometimes has challenged support for the superintendent.
Kayla Armstrong-Romero, who until now has been the most frequent voice of dissent, won support from three new colleagues to become president of the seven-member board.
Stephanie Mason, Vickie Reinhard, and Nichelle Ortiz, elected last month, were sworn in Tuesday at the start of the board’s regular meeting.
After the new members were seated, the board voted on new roles. Former board president Marques Ivey nominated himself to continue leading the board. Armstrong-Romero and board member Debbie Gerkin each nominated herself as well.
After each candidate gave a 3-minute speech asking for support, the board held a “show-of-hands” vote. Gerkin withdrew after seeing she only had two votes.
Armstrong-Romero won support from the three newest board members in addition to her own. Ivey had three votes.
Before the vote, Armstrong-Romero criticized the current board’s practices, saying that “sometimes when we come back out here,” after discussion in closed session, “our message changes. That’s unfortunate.”
She said she would “lead with integrity” and said she would ask uncomfortable questions.
“Things sometimes have to get uncomfortable,” she said.
Elected in 2017, Armstrong-Romero has been the most vocal critic of the district and of Superintendent Rico Munn.
Armstrong-Romero also has pushed the district to provide more detailed budget reports and to be more transparent.
Kevin Cox was voted board vice president. Gerkin as board secretary, and Ivey as board treasurer.