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Five people have applied to fill a vacant seat on the Adams 14 school board

A man wearing glasses in a blue shirt and a woman also wearing a blue shirt sit at a table. Both are looking down.
File photo of the Adams 14 school board, including Connie Quintana, right, the board's current president. (Photo by Nicholas Garcia, Chalkbeat)

Five people including newcomers and active parents have applied to fill a vacancy on the five-member Adams 14 school board. They are:

  • Joseph Dreiling, who previously served on the Commerce City Planning Commission and for about one year from late 2016 to 2017 in an appointed seat on the Adams 14 board.
  • Luz Molina Aguayo, a parent who served on the community review team for the district’s external management applicants.
  • Cynthia Sawaya Meyers, a former teacher who applied for a different seat on the board last year then withdrew her application.
  • Laura Martinez, a leader with the Colorado Industrial Areas Foundation, a coalition of progressive religious and community organizations often aligned with the teachers union.
  • Austin Rollison, who is also running for city council in November’s election against the wife of current school board member Harvest Thomas.

The board will interview the candidates on April 23 and can make a decision during the same meeting.

The vacancy was created last month when Bill Hyde resigned after a district investigation found he had violated district policy in regularly joining his wife when she worked as an Adams 14 substitute teacher, and in physically handling an elementary student during one of those visits.

Last summer five candidates also applied to fill a different board vacancy created when the board president abruptly resigned.

Now the board faces a challenging task as the district works to hire an external manager to take over much of its operations for at least four years. The district’s selected manager did not win the approval of the State Board of Education. The state board will review the situation again Thursday.

The open position this year has a shorter life span. By Colorado law, an appointed school board member serves only the remainder of the vacant seat’s term. To continue beyond that the person would have to run for re-election this November.

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