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Montezuma-Cortez school board names Lyndreth Wall as newest member

Lyndreth Wall attended a meeting with U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert at the Ute Mountain Ute Casino in October to discuss a bill to protect the Dolores River Canyon. (Christian Burney/Durango Herald)
Wall also serves on Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Council

In a special meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3, the Montezuma-Cortez RE-1 School Board voted in Lyndreth Wall as its newest member rafter the resignation of longtime member Stacey Hall.

The board announced in December they were looking for a replacement, and ended up receiving five applications. Because one applicant lived outside the district, the candidate pool was narrowed down to four – Lyndreth Wall, Selwyn Whiteskunk, Sarah Collins and Mark Wing.

The four candidates were asked questions about why they wanted to be on the board and what they hoped to accomplish amongst other questions during the special meeting.

“They were all really good and really qualified,” Superintendent Tom Burris said.

After the question-and-answer period, the board discussed which candidates to nominate, noting that each was incredibly talented and would do well on the board.

They also noted this was one of the hardest decisions they’d had to make in a long time, and that they were happy to see “four outstanding candidates” apply for the position.

Wall and Whiteskunk were nominated, and in the end, the board chose Wall with a 5-1 vote. Board Director Cody Wells said Wall’s experience would be a great asset.

“He’s been doing this for a long time, and he has a lot of the in’s and out’s as far as representing the Ute (Mountain Ute) Tribe well, and I think he’d step right into the role really easily, really well,” Wells said. “I’ve known him for a long time, and I think he’s really worked on the communication aspect of things … he’d be a really great liaison.”

Wall also serves on the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Council and Education Committee in Towaoc.

“He can get things straight to the council if there’s an immediate necessity on things like that,” Board President Sheri Noyes pointed out.

Treasurer Jeanette Heart said Wall has demonstrated his “passion” on the tribe’s education committee.

Superintendent Burris had noticed Wall’s interest and participation at school board functions in the past and said that made him stand out by showing he was invested in Montezuma County students.

Burris said he had met with Wall several times in the past, and he had even shown up to school board meetings to address the board. “He showed an interest,” Burris said.

Wall said he decided to run for the board position after hearing Ute Mountain Tribe Representative Stacey Hall had stepped down.

“My heart was already in it,” Wall said. “I was just waiting for it to be announced, and when it was, I put a letter of interest to the board to be part of the selection.”

Wall, who has lived in the Montezuma County area for most of his life, said he hopes he can represent all students in the area no matter their background or circumstance, and he hopes to “stand and deliver” on that desire.

“We need to have improvements for all walks of life,” Wall said. “If we don’t have young folks that are getting educated, we don’t really have a future then. We have to invest in the future of our young folks to get that quality education.”

One of Wall’s goals is for the board to collaborate well together and be an example for other school boards in the region.

“We really have to prove our relationship all the way around the state of Colorado,” Wall said. “I would like to see our board have other boards look at us and see us lead by example. I would like to see our board influence people to say, ‘Wow, they’re really kicking butt. They really understand the issues. They tackle it right off.’”

Wall will be sworn into the board at the next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m.