• Jeffco official verifies signatures on school board recall petitions

    Jeffco’s elections manager has verified that the group seeking a recall of the school board’s three conservative members has collected more than enough signatures on petitions to force an election.

    The elections office finished verifying signatures on petitions to recall board members John Newkirk, Ken Witt and Julie Williams on Tuesday, according to elections manager Carrie Kellogg.

  • District, teachers tentatively agree on contract

    Negotiators for Jeffco Public Schools and the teachers union last Thursday evening preliminarily agreed to a 10-month contract after a three-week stalemate over the agreement’s duration.

    Bargaining team members for the Jefferson County Education Association, who had originally said they would hold out for a three-year contract, said they agreed to the shorter pact in the interest of teachers, who return to schools Monday. 

  • Police called to teacher welcome event

    Lakewood police officers made an appearance at a Jeffco Public Schools orientation for new teachers Aug. 4 after union representatives passing out fliers were told they were trespassing.

    The relationship between the Jefferson County Education Association and the school district has been strained in recent months over two lawsuits, contract negotiations, and an attempt to recall the district’s three conservative school board members.

  • School board recall organizers exceed signature-collection goal

    The group trying to recall Jeffco’s three conservative school board members has collected the signatures it needs to move forward with a recall election, a spokeswoman said.

    Jeffco United for Action over the weekend stopped gathering signatures to recall John Newkirk, Ken Witt and Julie Williams, according to spokeswoman Lynea Hansen. The group announced Tuesday afternoon that it had collected more than 110,000 signatures.

  • Fellman won’t seek re-election to school board

    Jeffco school board member Jill Fellman has decided not to run for re-election this fall, saying she wants to make her family a priority.

    Fellman, a former teacher who was elected to the board in November 2011, is one of the board’s two liberal members. She has often been at odds with the board’s conservative majority, a fact she referenced on Facebook when announcing her decision Monday. 

  • Building trades program to be revived at Conifer High

    Two Evergreen businessmen have revived a building trades program for high school students that flourished more than a decade ago.

    “We’re going to teach them a trade,” said builder David Graham, who is coordinating the program with Phil Shanley of Evergreen Fine Art. “At the very least, they’re going to learn to do something with their hands.”

    The program will teach students a trade while also meeting a need for skilled labor, Shanley said.

  • New school board members take oath of office

    Jeffco’s newly elected school board members officially took the helm of the district last Thursday and are set to re-examine several of their predecessors’ controversial decisions in coming weeks.

    Ron Mitchell, Ali Lasell, Susan Harmon, Amanda Stevens and Brad Rupert, who were elected Nov. 3, were greeted with waves of applause as they took the oath of office and their seats at the board table.

  • Hearing date set for campaign finance complaint

    The state has set a hearing date for a complaint filed by a Colorado Springs-based watchdog organization accusing groups involved in instigating the recall of three Jeffco school members of violating state campaign finance laws.

  • Regan Benson, candidate in District 5

    School board candidate Regan Benson, a former Jeffco parent and a longtime vocal critic of past school board members, said her rocky relationship with the board spurred her candidacy and her call for higher academic standards.

    Benson is running for the District 5 seat currently held by recall target Ken Witt. Also in the District 5 race are veteran Jeffco educator Ron Mitchell and former school board member Paula Noonan. 

  • Susan Harmon, school board candidate in District 2

    Lakewood resident Susan Harmon said she wants to bring a reconciliatory voice and more thoughtful decision making to the Jeffco school board. 

    Harmon, a family law attorney and mother of two Jeffco students, is running for the District 2 seat currently held by John Newkirk, one of the recall targets. Physician assistant Matthew Dhieux of Littleton is also a challenger for the seat.