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Denver now accepting applications for school board vacancy

Denver Public Schools board member Brad Laurvick sits at a desk in front of a microphone, with a blue name placard in front of him. A children’s art mural behind him reads “compassion” in black lettering on a green background.

Denver school board member Brad Laurvick in 2019 after being sworn in. Laurvick is resigning, and the board is looking for his replacement.

Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post

The Denver school board is now accepting applications to fill a seat that will become vacant when board member Brad Laurvick officially resigns in June. Laurvick represents northwest Denver, and the person filling the seat  must live in that district.

The person must also have been a registered voter for at least 12 consecutive months and never have been convicted of certain crimes against children, including sexual assault.

The appointee will serve the last 17 months of Laurvick’s term. If they want to continue serving after that, they must run for election in November 2023.

Laurvick was elected to a four-year term in 2019 as part of a historic “flip” of the school board. A Methodist pastor, he is resigning because he is being relocated from his job at Highlands United Methodist Church in Denver to First United Methodist Church in Fort Collins. 

By law, Denver’s six remaining school board members must appoint someone to serve the remainder of Laurvick’s term within 60 days of when the vacancy begins. Board members have said they’d like to choose a new member on June 9 so the person can attend a scheduled retreat on June 16 before the board takes a recess during July.

The call for applications was posted today and will remain open through April 29. Applicants must submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a statement explaining why they want to serve on the board and describing their involvement in Denver’s schools and community. Applicants must also agree to undergo a background check.

On May 4, the board will post the applications it receives online, according to its website. Residents of Laurvick’s school board district, District 5, will be invited to participate in a session with the applicants on May 16. If there are more than five applicants, the board will narrow the field to five or fewer finalists on May 26. 

The board will publicly interview the finalists on June 2 and provide an opportunity for the community to offer feedback. The board aims to vote on a new member June 9.

The last time the board filled a vacancy was in 2016, when former member Landri Taylor resigned. The vacancy process was contentious, with one appointee declining the seat before Rachele Espiritu was appointed to finish Taylor’s term. 

Melanie Asmar is a senior reporter for Chalkbeat Colorado, covering Denver Public Schools. Contact Melanie at masmar@chalkbeat.org.

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