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Meet the Montezuma-Cortez School Board candidates

Students outside Montezuma-Cortez High School.
Some candidates introduce themselves in Q&A

The Nov. 2 election will usher in a mix of old and new Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 Board of Education members.

Only one candidate is running opposed. Tammy Hooten, who currently serves as the director for District E, is being challenged by Ed Rice.

Cody Wells, Jeanette G. Hart, Stacey Hall, Sheri Noyes and Layne Frazier are running unopposed in districts A, B, D, F and G.

Sherri Wright, the current board president and director for District C, will not face reelection.

Jack Schuenemeyer and Chris Flaherty are retiring from their positions in districts B and G, respectively.

Directors for Districts A and G will serve for two years, and directors in Districts B, D, E and F will be elected for four-year terms.

A “Meet the Candidates” event is scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Elks lodge.

The Journal asked candidates what their main objective would be, why they are passionate about taking on the role and for any other details they wanted to share. Wells, Hart and Noyes did not respond.

Responses were edited for grammar and style.

District D

Stacey Hall, unopposed

What would be your main objective?

The main objective to my sitting on the board is to provide equity to everyone in the county and the school district. That means that all staff members receive the same equipment and knowledge to do their job. This also means that each student with the help of their parents receives the necessary tools to get a quality education while enrolled in the Montezuma-Cortez School District.

Why are you passionate about taking on this role?

My passion has always been education. I want to make sure that our teachers and staff are taken care of, both by the tools that they need to teach our students and by making sure that they are compensated for their knowledge and hard work that they give in the classroom, on the school bus, on the playing field, in the cafeteria and in the maintenance of our buildings.

Our students and their parents are our customers, and we need to do everything possible to make them feel comfortable in our schools and receive a quality education at the same time.

District E

Tammy Hooten, incumbent

What would be your main objective?

My main objective would be advocating for a more competitive salary schedule for our teachers, administrators and staff. This would be closely followed by other objectives such as improving test scores, graduation rate and technology.

Why are you passionate about taking on this role?

I am passionate about taking on this role because I am enthusiastic about education. My enthusiasm started as a stay-at-home mom who was very involved by volunteering in our children’s classrooms. I was able to witness firsthand the interaction between teachers and students love of education. This motivated me to become an active member of their elementary school’s PTA, where I held many officer positions, including the role of president. It was during this time their elementary school principal took me under her wing to teach me what it takes to balance the education relationship between the community, parents and teachers while focusing on how that relationship impacts our students. Now that our children are grown and have families, I felt led to run for board director.

Ed Rice, challenger

My name is Edward Rice. I am requesting Montezuma County voters to elect me onto the RE-1 School Board. My experience has been 18 years as a teacher and/or administrator in the Cortez high school. I have a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education and a master’s in educational leadership. I’ve also been self-employed in Montezuma County.

What would be your main objective?

  • As all of us, we want our students to receive the best education possible. The last two years have been a disservice to those students. We can’t turn back time to better that. but we can have better plans in place to deal with future issues. We need to stay on track in having every student prepared for life and a career. My experience with Career Tech (college-bound or school-to-work programs) will be a value to our school board.
  • Having been a teacher, my priority is having the best teachers in every classroom. My experience as an administrator, as well, will bring a lot of value to the board so that we can improve this area.
  • Funding is always a challenge. It requires not only the ability to obtain funding but the wise decisions in using those funds to better the education of our students. I’ve had experience in writing grants, distributing funds through Career Tech and creating and implementing budgets.

Why are you passionate about taking on this role?

I am truly passionate about helping our community. The base of a good community is the students that will become productive adults. Over 20 years of actual teaching (18 in Montezuma County) has illustrated that times are changing and more than ever, we need to address challenges head on so that we can come up with solutions to make RE- 1 the very best district possible. My passion is to share my experience in education where it will make a difference in helping others.

District G

Layne Frazier, unopposed

What would be your main objective?

My main objective is to ensure challenges dealt with by the district are with excellence and a forward-thinking mentality so that our teachers, students and staff are set up for success in the future.

Why are you passionate about taking on this role?

I am passionate about seeing the school district succeed. I grew up in Cortez and would like to play a role by offering support in any way I can.