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Adams 14 school board member resigns

Students walk through the hall at Adams City High School Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 in Commerce City.

Hallway at Adams City High School, part of the Adams 14 district, which is under external management in part because of high turnover in leadership. This week, for the third time in three years, a board member resigned midterm.

Michael Ciaglo/Special to the Denver Post

For the third time in about three years, an Adams 14 board member has resigned midterm. Regina Hurtado, elected just over a year ago, stepped down Thursday because she has moved out of the district.

“While we still live in Commerce City, we no longer reside within district boundaries and the law is the law no matter how much your heart is in it,” Hurtado, also a district mother, stated. “I wish my fellow board members much continued success in the healing and redevelopment of Adams 14.”

The board will have to declare a vacancy and will have 60 days to appoint a new board member. Hurtado’s term would have gone through November 2023, but the person appointed to the vacancy would serve until the next election, this November, where the person would have to be elected to continue to finish out the term.

The Adams 14 school district is in the second year of a four-year state order that required hiring a for-profit consultant to help improve the low performance of students in the district. 

One of the challenges the district has faced for many years — and contributed to the state order for outside management — is the high turnover in leadership. In recent years that has included turnover on the school board.

Since 2018, two previous Adams 14 school board members have resigned. In both cases, the board appointed replacements who served short terms and chose not to seek election to continue on the board. 

The board last filled a vacancy in February. At the time, leaders called it a step toward improvement in governance to have all five board seats filled. All were women and included some parents.

The board has recently been working on setting goals for the district, and has been overseeing a plan to phase students back into classrooms next week, for the first time since March.

In the coming months, the board will launch a search for a superintendent. So far, the district has put out a call for bids from search firms to help in the process. 

For about two years, the district’s external manager, MGT Consulting, has run the district, filling the top position with Don Rangel, former superintendent of Weld Re-1. The plan has been to slowly let Adams 14 take back more control over district operations.

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