Jasmin Ramirez Ramos, courtesy photo

Over the next three issues, The Sopris Sun will publish responses to questions posed to candidates running for the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education.

Jasmin Ramirez is running unopposed for reelection in District D, which includes the northern and western sections of Glenwood Springs.

Background and Motivation:
I am proud to be a Glenwood Springs High School graduate and a mother of two students attending Glenwood schools. Currently, I serve as Vice President of the board and as a member of the newly formed policy committee.
Despite the challenges brought by a pandemic and a superintendent search, I am grateful for the opportunity to have served our community since my election in November 2019 and the chance to have made a positive impact. As a strong advocate for education, I believe in equity, equality, justice, inclusion, access, and building communities centered around students, our most important stakeholders. I’m convinced that by holding ourselves accountable for our students’ performance in schools, we can make a long-term impact on the future citizens of our communities.
As a mother of a child on the autism spectrum, I’m also passionate about ensuring that all students and families have the best possible experience in our schools. As a daughter and wife of immigrants, I have firsthand knowledge of what it means to be a student in our district with diverse lived experiences.

Educational Vision and Priorities:
My main focus and priority as a board director remains that all students graduate from our schools with the necessary skills and knowledge to positively impact our ever-changing world. During my tenure, I have worked hard to ensure that our superintendent evaluation system effectively holds our district’s leader accountable for
student achievement. Under the guidance of our current board leadership, we’ve established a policy committee to ensure board directors are involved in creating and reviewing policies being approved. Moving forward, I am committed to ensuring that an equity policy is passed and that we hire an independent third party to conduct an equity audit to ensure our district is truly meeting the needs of all our students.

Budget and Fiscal Responsibility:
As a board member, I have advocated for improved communication regarding our district’s budget practices and how we allocate funds. Through my participation as a fellow with School Board Partners, a national fellowship for board members, I earned a Certificate in Education Finance from Georgetown University and now sit on their Education Finance Advisory Board. I have also worked to establish relationships with local and state legislators, believing that collaboration is critical to effectively communicating our needs and realities to best inform and impact their decision-making at the Capitol.

Community Engagement and Communication:
As a board member, I have emphasized the importance of effectively engaging with the community at the district and broader levels. I strongly advocate for better representation in our surveys and improved disaggregation of our collected data. In my opinion, it is crucial to establish measurable standards and expectations for community involvement and ensure that all stakeholders — including teachers, staff and students — are actively participating in the process.

Equity and Inclusion:
I understand the importance of addressing issues of equity and inclusion within the school district, especially for underrepresented or marginalized student groups. I believe the board can create an impact through implementing policies that prioritize diversity and inclusion, such as providing resources and support for students who may face barriers to success. But this work must truly be done at the school level to ensure our students are really benefiting from the sense of belonging. This includes mentorship programs, access to tutoring services, and promoting cultural awareness and sensitivity in the classroom. Additionally, developing partnerships with community organizations and hiring staff who reflect the diversity of the student population will help create a more inclusive and equitable learning environment.

Superintendent Accountability, Evaluation, and Housing:
The most current district data shows the current superintendent has already impacted student success and achievement. Current board leadership has ensured that the Superintendent’s Evaluation not only has accountability metrics but also defines goals and improvements needed to ensure we are evaluating the success of the school district leader. I strongly believe the board must choose one of the Superintendent Housing Task Force recommendations.