Five candidates to vie for four openings on Meeker school board

MEEKER | Meeker School District RE-1 Superintendent Chris Selle announced last week that five candidates for the four openings on the school board will be on the Nov. 7 ballot. The candidates are incumbents Bill deVergie, Buddy Ridings, Todd Shults and David Smith plus challenger Laurie Whiteman Simonsen.
deVergie has served two four-year terms. Ridings and Shults were elected to four-year terms in 2013. Smith was elected to a two-year term in 2015. Selle said he expects the high school student council in conjunction with government students to host a candidate forum in October.
Selle is also very enthusiastic about the news revealed last week that the district has been awarded “Accreditation with Distinction” by the Colorado Department of Education for the second year in a row. Last year was the first year the district had earned that standing since the state started the program in 2009.
This designation means the district remains within the top 15 percent of the 184 education entities assessed by the state. Selle says he is considering ways to honor the board, staff and students for their hard work.
Selle also announced another great accomplishment by Meeker schools. A new report shows that among economically disadvantaged students and students learning English as a second language, the Meeker district had the highest growth in math achievement last year of any district in the entire state.
“Our district, like many others, has struggled to close the ‘achievement gap’ between our overall population of students and our ‘sub-groups’ like free and reduced lunch students, minority students, etc. To demonstrate this type of growth in math for these two groups is phenomenal,” Selle said.
At this week’s work session, the BOE gave its first consideration to a draft resolution opposing the sale of marijuana within the school district boundaries. Specifically, the resolution states “the Meeker School District RE-1 Board of Education stands firmly against any ballot initiative or local ordinance, or passage of the same, to promote or allow the sale, production or distribution of marijuana within the boundaries of Meeker School District RE-1.” This resolution will be voted on by the board at their Sept. 19 meeting.