Recall proponents circulating petitions to oust DCSD directors

Directors critical of recall group's leadership

Jessica Gibbs
jgibbs@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 2/19/21

A group seeking to recall four Douglas County School Board directors has begun circulating petitions. The group Road2Recall announced volunteers began gathering signatures on Feb. 19 in an effort to …

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Recall proponents circulating petitions to oust DCSD directors

Directors critical of recall group's leadership

Posted

A group seeking to recall four Douglas County School Board directors has begun circulating petitions.

The group Road2Recall announced volunteers began gathering signatures on Feb. 19 in an effort to oust school board President David Ray and directors Susan Meek, Elizabeth Hanson and Christina Ciancio-Schor.

Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Merlin Klotz said he was approving the circulation of recall for all four petitions in letters addressed to Highlands Ranch Metro District Board Director Andy Jones on Feb. 17. Jones was not immediately available for comment regarding the recall effort.

Recall proponents have said directors lacked leadership navigating the COVID-19 crisis, amid other allegations.

Nate Ormond, who has helped spearhead the recall, said during the Feb. 16 school board meeting now is the time to remove directors, despite Ciancio-Schor and three other director seats being up for election in November.

Directors should have been able to return children to in-person learning under guidelines provided by state and federal health agencies, he told Colorado Community Media in previous interviews.

Elementary schools are currently learning in-person while middle and high schools began second semester remote before transitioning to hybrid learning.

Hanson posted a statement to her Facebook page highlighting challenges directors have faced in the past year, including millions of dollars in budget cuts during COVID-19, a superintendent who resigned and frequently changing guidance from government agencies.

Recall leaders appear to have “very limited understanding of district operations,” she said, and are playing “Monday morning quarterback.”

“I am proud to be a leader who builds relationships, makes decisions with integrity, values differing opinions and recognizes the critical role our employees have in the quality of education we are able to provide our students,” she said.

Meek also shared a social media statement criticizing what a recall election would cost DCSD and Jones' involvement in the group as a local elected leader. Jones narrowly lost to Meek in the 2019 school board elections.

“I believe that as leaders we need to be willing to roll up our sleeves and engage with one another in the interest of our community,” she said. “Unfortunately, he has made no attempt to reach out to me and discuss his concerns.”

In a statement, Ray said the recall effort is not productive or beneficial for students. 

"It further saddens me that anyone would put forth a recall ellection effort knowing that it depletes financial resources intended for our students," he said. "In spite of this inopportune distraction, I will remain focused on serving our students, staff and community as we navigate through these tumultuous times."

Ciancio-Schor also said in an email the cost of a special election would divert funds from students.  The board director added, "I have no intention of running in this next election."

"My seat is up for election in November and I will have served my community as intended and will have completed my commitment to this endeavor," she said. "I am honored to have served in this capacity and have dedicated my life-long efforts in support of the children in our community."

This story has been updated with comments from  board President David Ray and Director Christina Ciancio-Schor.

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