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Early elections held for uncontested school board races

APS, Cherry Creek shelve public votes

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Posted: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 12:00 am | Updated: 1:46 pm, Tue Apr 27, 2010.

AURORA | Candidates for boards of education in Aurora public schools didn’t have to wait 64 days for an election — they’ll essentially take their wins right now.

Jeanette Carmany, Matt Cook, Jane Barber, Jennifer Churchfield, Randy Perlis and JulieMarie Shepherd were elected to their boards by default after a lack of candidates negated the need for elections in both Aurora Public Schools and Cherry Creek Schools District races. Shepherd was the only candidate not already an incumbent.

In a statement released by CCSD on Tuesday, that district’s board of education met Monday night to cancel their election after no challengers submitted qualified petitions to run against Churchfield and Perlis for their seats. Both Churchfield and Perlis were automatically re-elected to four-year terms.

On Tuesday, the APS Board of Education followed suit after only one challenger and three incumbents qualified to run for the board’s four openings in November. Cook, Carmany and Barber already sat on the board. Judith Edberg did not seek re-election, opening the seat for Shepherd.

Shepherd and the other APS board members’ re-election passed on a 4-0 vote at Tuesday’s board of education meeting. Cook, Carmany and Barber recused themselves from voting on the measure.

Hinkley grad Shepherd set to join APS board

AURORA | The newest member of the Aurora Public Schools Board of Education doesn’t have to draw too far back from her memory to remember what going to school was like in APS.

After all, she’s only 23.

JulieMarie Shepherd, who won her first public office Tuesday night at the Board of Education meeting after only four candidates qualified to run for four open seats, said she’s looking forward to the challenge. Shepherd grew up in Aurora and is a product of APS schools and graduated from the International Baccalaureate program at Hinkley High School in 2004.

“I look forward to getting to know the current board members and act as one voice moving forward,” she said.

The University of Colorado Boulder graduate student is currently working toward her Ph.D. and graduated this year with a Master’s degree in political science with an emphasis in state fiscal and education policies.

She said she hopes her academic experience will bring a fresh perspective to the board.

While Shepherd declined to discuss specifics, her term will likely be financially challenging, as state constitutional funding mechanisms for public schools could run out or be challenged in the state Legislature.

Shepherd said she’s closely followed the challenges facing Colorado’s cash-strapped higher-education system and looks forward to tackling any issues that she may face on the board.

“Personally, I understand the impact of feeling budget cuts and constraints on higher ed, and realizing that K-12 may be facing similar things with the expiration of Amendment 23 … I hope that we can find an ideal solution that doesn’t harm our students or faculty and staff in the district,” she said.

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