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Sept. 1 deadline for RFSD school board candidates

Locations: News Published

Three of the five Roaring Fork School District (RFSD) Board of Education seats will be on the ballot on Nov. 7.

The district, with 14 schools and 5,600 students, is publicizing the board of education upcoming election through their usual channels, including parent and staff newsletters, social media, radio and directly to media outlets through press releases.

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The three incumbents whose terms are up for election this year are Natalie Torres, representing District B, Maureen Stepp, representing District C, and Jasmin Ramirez, representing District D. All were first elected to their four-year terms in 2019 and, as of The Sopris Sun’s print deadline, Natalie Torres is the only incumbent to announce that she is not seeking another board term.

Geographically the three seats encompass the areas west of Highways 133 and 82 from Carbondale to Glenwood Springs, including Ironbridge/West Bank and Four Mile (District B); the south and east sections of Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley and western Missouri Heights (District C); and the northern and western sections of Glenwood Springs (District D).

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For those interested in running for a school board director seat, the first step is to contact the district’s designated election official, Jonathan Landon, to request a candidate petition packet.

In an interview with The Sopris Sun on Aug. 10, Landon said, “I’ve had a few people reach out already, and I’m scheduling appointments for them to pick up their packet.”

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The packet includes a written notice of intention to be a candidate and a nomination petition to be signed by at least 50 eligible electors registered to vote in the regular biennial school election.

Landon said petition signatures will be reviewed and verified and, after validating that all election requirements are met, Landon will notify individuals that their packet has been processed.

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Working with the county clerk’s offices in Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin — the three counties within RFSD boundaries — Landon said the process of assembling the ballot will include a lottery drawing to determine the order of the names on the ballot. Candidate names will be listed in alphabetical order on the RFSD website.

Eligible district voters can vote for a candidate in each of the three districts. However, school director candidates must reside within the district they will represent. Candidates must be a registered voter, and at least 18 years of age on Election Day.  A person is ineligible to run for a school director position if he or she has been convicted of committing a sexual offense against a child.

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The RFSD Board of Education calendar has a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 8, the day after Election Day. Due to the possibility that vote tabulations may not be completed by Nov. 8, winning candidates will be seated at the next regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 29.

According to the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) website: “A great board candidate understands the proper relationship of the school board to the state, the community and the superintendent — and the proper relationship of the individual board member to the other members of the board.”

School board directors have an important role in the decision-making around policies that impact students, and while most school board elections across the country are meant to be non-political, issues faced by school board directors changed greatly with the introduction of COVID-19 face mask and quarantine mandates.

As some parents and community members have questioned school policy choices, some have vented their anger and frustration at school board directors.

An Oct. 2021 story from Colorado Public Radio (CPR) stated: “questions about COVID policies, masks and “critical race theory” or “CRT” and “DEI” (diversity, equity and inclusion) are more common. Two strong themes among some candidates in several debates reviewed by CPR is the notion that parents’ voices are not being heard and deep suspicion about what is taught in schools.”

Given some of the political rhetoric that has infiltrated school board elections, some people do not wish to subject themselves to the fray of constant public scrutiny and criticism.

However, a school board director has an important role in the community they serve. A 2017 CASB Leadership Workbook stated: “Colorado school board members have the privilege of serving their communities in order to ensure all students have access to high-quality education. School board members have the ability to make positive changes, which affect the lives of students and therefore community members.”

Candidate petitions can be obtained by contacting Landon by email at or 970-384-6009. Spanish speakers can contact Cristina Vargas at or 970-384-6026.

Completed petitions must be submitted in-person to Landon by 3:30pm on Sept. 1 at the RFSD office at 400 Sopris Avenue in Carbondale. The last day for write-in candidates to file an affidavit of intent to be a candidate is Sept. 1.

Additional election information can be found at

Tags: #Board of Education #elections #RFSD #Roaring Fork School District
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