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Disrict 50 School Board

October 13, 2011 | 12:59 PM

Top vote-getters for the three open seats will serve a four-year term. There are no incumbents in this race. Candidate James Bonner did not provide information.


1) What personal qualities would you bring to the job?

2) What can the school district do to reach out to the increasing Hispanic population?

3) With another round of budget cuts affecting this year's budget process, what would you do to stretch school funding and make it more efficient?

4) With the recent upheaval in the district, as a board member how would you mend ties with the district and the community?

Robert Landgraf (Bob)
Robert Landgraf (Bob)

Age: 67

Occupation: Retired Plumbing & Heating Contractor

Address: 10294 Meade Court, Westminster,80031

Contact: 303-809-4114

Background: I have lived in D-50 since 1953. I served two terms on the Board of Education from 1977-1985. I started a family business in 1972, selling my interest in 2010. I am now retired. I believe that I can have a positive influence on the upcoming Board changeover. I look forward to serving the residents of Adams 50 again.

1)I am a resident of D-50 since 1953 – forty years as an owner of a successful business, and eight years experience as a D-50 Board of Education member (1977-1985).

2) Continue effort to establish bilingual liaisons employed by D-50. Ensure that no educational facility is without at least one bilingual staff member. Be receptive to input from the Hispanic community.

3) Budget development and oversight is one of the most important functions of a board member. Every section of the budget must be accountable and transparent. I will see to that.

4) Function as a cohesive member of a board that is committed to moving forward while putting aside adult egos and focusing on student achievement. The community deserves nothing less. Maintain board/superintendent harmony while retaining objectivity.

Richard Pabon
Richard Pabon

Age: Not Provided

Occupation: Retired, Benefit Services Specialist, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Address: 7967 Elmwood Lane, Denver, CO 80221

Contact: 720-841-3191

Background: After retirement, I began volunteering daily in my daughter's kindergarten District 50 classroom. While volunteering, I served on several District 50 committees, learning about the challenges and opportunities our children face. Now, I'm passionate about ensuring each child has the 21st century skills needed to compete in our global economy.

1) I have 30 years of experience helping seniors enjoy their Medicare benefits by making complex government systems work. I will apply these same skills to cut through any government bureaucracy to make sure our teachers and support staff have the knowledge and skills they need to serve our students.

2) I would suggest simulcasting the school board meetings in both English and Spanish to involve more of the community. I would also bring families into the district by hosting community forums, job fairs, immunization clinics, etc. at our schools to create a positive association with the school district.

3) I would look first to cut any duplicate or redundant administrative overhead costs. Then, I would look for places where we could cut services without directly affecting classroom spending. Before any final cuts are made, I will ensure our financial decisions are shared in the sunlight of the public process.

4) Parents and the community deserve good communication from the school district, because everyone has a role in improving our schools. I will sharpen the focus on communication by increasing shared governance – involving students, parents and Community members – through community forums and discussions.

Ruben Lee Pacheco
Ruben Lee Pacheco

Age: 32

Occupation: Hospitality Manager

Address: 3332 W 73rd Ave

Contact: 720-253-6505

Background: I am a 1997 graduate of Westminster High School. I went to District 50 schools for all of my schooling before Regis University. I am a 30-year resident of the community with a deep concern for our schools.

1) I bring a customer service mind and professional demeanor to the job. I bring a level of objectivity and knowledge of the community. In my professional life, I have seen great leaders and organizations and will bring the qualities that make them successful to the job. I want the kids of this community to have a complete education and the knowledge that they can compete in whatever environment they choose to go to.

2) We need to make sure that every family knows what's happening and understands what is going on in their schools. We must insure that we have the resources and programs in place to see this through bilingual staff and English programs for the families.

3) I want to reach out to governmental, civic, and educational organizations to build partnerships that can shoulder the load. Our students are their kids too. The budget should also be a working process to insure that the district is using the people's money in the most efficient manner. Reviewing and cutting duplicate services is the best way to do this.

4) I want our community to become active members of our school community. I want to engage them at every available opportunity and show that we can work together for our schools. I pledge to be respectful of our community and their ideas, but also to work professionally with the board to ensure civility and progress in our work.

Anthony Sisneros
Anthony Sisneros

Age: 26

Occupation: FMLA Leave Specialist

Address: 7350 Winona Ct. Westminster, CO 80030

Contact: 303-931-2623

Background: I am a native of District 50.

1) I am a very determined and driven individual. I have a strong commitment to the D50 community because of the upbringing and education that it provided me. I continue to advance my education in aspiration to discover resources in which I can better serve my community. I also have realistic and measurable goals that I believe we can meet.

2) I believe that the school district can reach out to our increasing Hispanic population by engaging and inviting the community by providing cultural awareness activities. We also need to provide adequate translators at school events. We need to provide educational opportunities where we can learn about key Latino leaders that they can relate to.

3) I believe that we need to vigilantly identify our decreasing budget. We need to impose an internal audit where we can identify and outline unnecessary spending. We can reallocate this unnecessary spending to programs that can help our children succeed. We also need to make sure that we are providing every child in the district the same opportunity to learn.

4) I want to get out into the community and have discussions about the current state of the district. I want to educate those that have a misinterpretation about our district's mission. Through thorough discussions it is my expectation that we can change their perceptions and have them reevaluate negative conceptions of our district. We need to communicate with the community that our main priority is our children. By effectively communicating with the community, it is my belief that we can mend ties and improve our district to pinnacle levels.

Larry Dean "Dino" Valente
Larry Dean "Dino" Valente

Age: 41

Occupation: Owner, Valente's Deli Bakery & Italian Market; Attorney

Address: 3755 W. 81st Ave. Westminster, CO 80031



Background: I am a third-generation business owner in Westminster as well as a practicing attorney. I am a graduate of Westminster High and the University of Denver. I serve on numerous boards and commissions. I enjoy ice hockey, travel, cooking, genealogy and spending time with friends and family.

1) I bring professionalism, objectivity, critical thinking and business knowledge to the job. Most importantly, as a product of District 50, I bring to the job a commitment to community and a desire to help today's students to achieve their dreams and to enjoy the same success I have enjoyed.

2) We must offer the same programs to our Hispanic population as the rest of our diverse population. We must ensure that families have access to English language training and to necessary services. Our goal must be that no student – regardless of ethnicity – falls through the cracks.

3) I will make budget analysis an ongoing process. I will eliminate duplicate services and create money-saving partnerships. I will work to find grants and other sources of funding. I will work hard to ensure that as much money as possible stays in the classrooms. If the economy and funding cuts necessitate undesirable cuts, I want to ensure that such cuts are made only if no other cuts are possible.

4) I will make community engagement a priority. We must rebuild the trust of our community and bring business owners, parents, grandparents, employers and teachers back to the table. I will work professionally with my fellow board members and with staff and I will hold the superintendent accountable to the board and to the community.

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