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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Board of Education candidate profiles

Voters will elect three people to four-year terms on the Falcon School District 49 Board of Education in the Nov. 5 election, which is right around the corner. Here is a last-minute look at the six candidates and their reasons for wanting to serve on the board.Chris BombriaChris Bombria, the director of program management and business unit leader for the training and simulation division for Cyalume Technology, said itís the right time for him to run for the BOE.ìThe decisions that are being made right now at a board level are affecting my children and the children of all the parents in the district,î Bombria said. ìI want the board and the administration to look and feel as if they are the foundation of the school, and the kids, teachers, parents and taxpayers are at the top of the organization.îBombria said he has three kids in the district right now, and in a year he will have one in elementary, one in middle and one in high school. After meeting his wife in Antarctica and moving to Colorado Springs about 20 years ago, he and his family moved to Falcon 10 years ago and have been happy in the community ever since, he said.ìI have gotten very good over the years working with different groups of people,î Bombria said. Aside from helping companies that gross somewhere between $5 million and $30 million, Bombria said he is also a part of the D 49 Watch D.O.G.S. program and the District Accountability Advisory Council, and has been a wildland firefighter for the past 15 years.Increased transparency throughout the district is a key issue for Bombria. ìGood, bad, ugly or indifferent; letís get the information out there and letís make it constructive,î he said. ìAny organization has to understand that they have to answer to their stakeholders. I donít mind going that extra mile to get someone that extra training or that extra help, if it helps them do their job better.îBombria said he has been endorsed by the Falcon Teachers Education Association. Campaign signs around the district also indicate the Falcon Republicans support him. ButcherAs a local business owner of CameronButcher Commercial Real Estate and Tutt Commercial Center LLC, Kevin Butcher said he thinks he can bring some much-needed stability to the BOE.ìWe have incredible teachers, a strong executive team in place and a great innovation plan,î Butcher said. ìOne thing that seems to be lacking is good governance at a school board level.îButcher said two of his children have graduated from D 49 schools and two attend Sand Creek High School. He said he is familiar with the district and helped established the Falcon Education Foundation 15 years ago. Butcher said the current board appointed him to serve on the D 49 Capital Planning Committee.ìProfessionally, I bring parties with opposing views together to negotiate solutions,î Butcher said. ìI see the district being at the tipping point; and, if we donít tip the right way towards positive (actions), I really believe weíll fall back into this generation of dysfunction.ìIíve seen the inconsistencies in the boardís decisions. I can see that our teachers are tired of that. I think our parents are tired of it. Everybody has had enough. We can put this tumultuous history behind us. Iím impressed with the people we have in place, and I think our community is tired of being mediocre. We have the energy that can take us to greatness.îButcher said he has support from the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors and the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs, as well as several individuals from the community. GrahamAfter retiring in 2008 as a lieutenant colonel in the United States Marine Corps, John Graham said he and his family moved to Falcon; and, since then, he has realized his skill set would bring value to the BOE.ìOne of the things I believe is the role of the school board is to reach people,î he said. ìTo reach people, you have to be consistent in your message and it has to be simple: local solutions, community involvement.îAlong with his wife, Graham said he is raising five children, three of whom are currently in D 49 schools and one who has graduated from the district. Graham applied for the open board position in July 2012 ñ the position currently held by Henry Allen. ìD 49 is different from other districts in the area,î Graham said. ìItís fast growing. It has retention challenges and morale challenges. Itís not just with teachers, itís with the community. If we can focus on the local solutions, get the community involved, set egos aside, remain supportive once a decision is made and move forward; thatís what builds trust.ìIím not a politician. Iím a firm believer that relationships are what are important. Communication and understanding are whatís important to build those relationships. It takes leadership by example to get the community involved, not by dictating.îGraham said he has been endorsed by the Falcon Teachers Education Association and also received a donation from the Colorado Teachers Education Association.Johngraham3@q.comTammy HaroldAs the owner of a bookkeeping business for the last 17 years and the current BOE president, Tammy Harold said she feels she will be an asset to the new board.ìI feel like I have the historical knowledge, the continuity to know where weíve been, where we want to go and help keep that vision moving forward,î Harold said. ìI think one experienced person helps the continuity.îHarold said she has lived in the district for the past 20 years, and she has been actively involved in parent teacher associations and other school and district committees during the time her two daughters have attended D 49 schools. Both girls started in the district in kindergarten and are now in high school, she said.ìWeíve had so much change with our top level administration that I would really like to give the chief structure the time to prove that itís a good structure, and show that it works for a school to separate those key positions and have the experts in those fields truly manage,î she said. ìLetís let the board take its role as the governance and let the chiefs do the day-to-day running of the district.îHarold said she has received support from the HBA, the PPAR and the FTEA.http://tammyharold.orgDavid MooreCurrently serving as a church pastor in Colorado Springs, David Moore said he feels the time is right to get involved with the school board after seeing the struggles of some other school districts around the country. ìI saw the difficulties that the children were having in Indianapolis,î he said. ìThere were something like 40 shootings in that time, and it really moved me. We donít have that problem here, but I canít just sit back.îMoore said he has lived in Colorado Springs since 2009, after retiring in 2008 from 30 years of service with the United States Postal Service. He said he wanted to be involved in city politics and ran for the Colorado Springs City Council, but lost by 150 votes.ìWe need to develop a trust factor with the community,î Moore said. ìI can offer the school board common sense, transparency. Iím going to bring honesty to the school board and let the parents decide and the administration to decide. We have a great opportunity here to run the district in the way that we deem necessary for our children.îMoore said he has received sponsorship from the HBA and endorsements from the PPAR and El Paso County Commissioner Peggy Littleton.committeetoelectdavidhmoore@gmail.comHenry Allen†Henry Allen is fully retired and currently serving the remainder of Joan Johnson’s term, following her departure from the board in 2012. Allen said he wants to continue working for the community for the next four years through the BOE.”Before I came to the board, there were a lot of rumors about the board not meeting; nothing was getting done and there was a lot of fight,” Allen said. “I met individually with each person (board member) to let them know that I don’t do any fighting or backbiting. I gained the trust of the members of the board.”Allen and his wife of 21 years built their home in Falcon in 1999, he said. Allen now has the time, energy and support to stand for what is right in his community, he said.”This particular board has already proven that it can work together,” Allen said. “We have spent numerous hours in the interviewing process and hiring people and getting the Falcon Virtual Academy going. We have all agreed to work together and agreed to disagree but that the majority rules.”You cannot take this position personally ñ it has to be for the betterment of the community. If I’m elected, I’m going to work with everybody. I love the innovation piece, and I’ve worked hard with the community, with parents and with the staff.”Allen said he has fully funded his own campaign but acknowledged that the Falcon Republicans provided signs for him, and he is grateful for their support.

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