MHN Newstip


October 13, 2011 | 02:11 PM

Top vote-getters for the three open seats will serve a four-year term. Mark Clark is an incumbent.


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) Aside from the budget, what do you see as the most pressing issue for your district this year and what solutions would you propose to fix it?

Antonio B. Esquibel
Antonio B. Esquibel

Age: 65

Occupation: Retired School

Social Worker

Address: 9740 Melody Drive, Northglenn, CO 80260

Contact:, (303) 227-0865

Background: Employment: Retired Adams 12 Social Worker; Military Service: Vietnam Era, eight years United States Army; Education: Master's of Social Work from New Mexico Highlands University; Public Service: Magistrate Judge, San Miguel County, NM; School Board – Las Vegas, NM (2 terms); Bilingual (Spanish)

1) I value education. I personally struggled and persisted! I am fair and open-minded. I believe I must do the right thing for good of the whole. I have strong experience as a previous school board member. I know the district well and understand decision-making processes. I also understand our community. I have helped diverse students at risk to stay in school and succeed in life. I have also served as a community liaison under two superintendents, representing the needs of Hispanic and American Indian communities.

2) 1) Recognize and value the growing diversity in the district. 2)Improve our understanding of diverse learners, families and cultural views. 3) Increase sense of belonging at schools. 4) Create service opportunities for students and parents. 5) Start Adams 12 Youth Leadership Council. 6) Encourage school environments to reflect and celebrate diverse students.7) Develop future educators by mentoring diverse students

3) Reorder priorities to put teaching and learning at the top and streamline administrative structure and appropriate more to directly benefit students and classroom teachers.

4) Everyone is stressed and discouraged! This creates huge barriers for learning, attendance, and human development. We need to re-examine the purpose of public schools and rethink how to remake schools in light of tight budgets. We need to remember that the schools belong to the community and build meaningful partnerships with all stakeholders: families, district employees, businesses, city governments, churches, higher education, and retired citizens.

Norm Jennings
Norm Jennings

Age: 48

Occupation: Former project manager, Master of Business and Administration student at the University of Colorado - Denver

Address: 1244 W. 111th Place, Northglenn, CO

Contact: (303) 913-0865,

Background: I am the son of blue collar parents and grew up in Federal Heights, graduated from Ranum High School, and earned a degree in Architecture from the University of Oklahoma. During the last 10 years I have served on several parent accountability groups in Adams 12.

1) Experience, leadership, and vision. I've been a parent volunteer in the school accountability system for 10 years. I understand that short-term solutions create problems and long-term solutions create success. My vision for the district is to provide outstanding programs for all of our students so that they can reach their full potential.

2) I worked with members of the Hispanic community to help get them involved in the accountability process. We need to expand our engagement with Hispanic families by increasing opportunities for parental involvement. By achieving parental buy-in and support for a rigorous academic experience we can increase their student's academic achievement, close the achievement gaps, and increase graduation rates.

3) Adams 12 has the highest mill levy tax rate in the state so asking for a tax increase should be a last resort. We will have to ensure that we fund only those programs that are effective at both academic achievement and producing well-rounded future citizens. When education funding is tight the opportunities for innovation increases, and we must take advantage by finding low-cost, high-reward solutions.

4) The most pressing problem after the budget issue is addressing academic achievement in our low performing schools. Increased academic achievement begins at home when parents simply tell their students, "School is important." Secondly, a common misperception is that option/choice academic programs are expensive when in truth they are often cheaper than standard class programs.

Mark D. Clark
Mark D. Clark


Age: 51

Occupation: Electrical Engineer Address: 3317 W 113 Ave, Westminster, CO


Background: I am a Westminster native with three children who have attended District 12 schools. I am currently vice president of the Adams 12 board of education and vice president of Adams County Board of Cooperative Educational Services, and a member of Westminster 7:10 Rotary.

1) As a business owner I am aware of current economic difficulties and having to make tough decisions. I still have a student in the district so I know what a student's needs are and also have the opportunity to speak with teachers and administrators. After four years on the board I have the experience needed to lead this district through the next four years.

2) District 12 is already reaching out to the Hispanic population by offering parent support groups at individual schools, increasing the number of certified English Language Learner teachers in all schools and requiring continued training of all our teachers in ELL methods. What needs to happen is for the Hispanic population to start reaching back. What do they need from us? The district is ready to help.

3) Eighty percent of the district's budget is in employee expenses. This is where the adjustments need to be made. Employee contributions to health care and other benefits need to be changed to reflect current economic conditions and the changes that administrators and employees in other industries have already made.

4) Parents have the right and the responsibility to be involved in their student's education. We need to bring the public back into public education by making parents feel like partners in the education process. Whether it's the choice of which school they can attend, what teachers would work best with their child or what classes their children need to succeed in the future.

Richard R. Ezo

Age: 59

Occupation: Owner Operator of a Telecommunications Company

Address: 12230 Cherry St. Thornton, Co. 80241

Contact: 303-255-1281

Background: President of Integrated Communications Enterprises, Inc. – 20 years; member of DSIT (District School Improvement Team) for more than 10 years; past president of DSIT for two terms; a member of Advent Lutheran Church Council, serving three terms as president; manager at Fontius Shoe Retail Store in Boulder, Co.; B.A. Political Science, University of Colorado.

1) As the owner and operator of a small business I understand the importance of servicing the needs of customers. I know how to make the tough but important budgetary decisions that keep a business going. Wise decisions in budget management are just as important in good times as well as hard times.

2) Parental involvement is an important part of educational success, and language barriers can negatively affect that involvement. I was lucky enough to participate in a school plan review where the principal invited and provided translation services to her parents. I would like to see more invites of this nature for all parents, and where needed include the offer of translation services.

3) I think we should continue to strive for greater efficiency, but we need to be more creative in our approach. We need to look for business partners to help with specific programs that will better prepare our graduates who enter the work force directly from high school.

4) We need to engage the entire community in the education of our students. If we want the support of the entire community we need to spend more time listening to their concerns and desires. I believe inviting a wide variety of groups to participate in forums with the board of education will give us a clearer understanding of the community, and greater involvement and help from the community.

Max Willsey
Max Willsey

Age: Not Provided

Occupation: Not Provided

Address: 3210 E. 123rd Drive,

Thornton, Co.

Contact: (303) 280-3088

Background: I have been a district resident since 1961, when I began my 50-year career proudly serving as teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, director of driver education and district athletic director. I graduated with a B.A. from the University of Denver and a Master's Degree from the University of Northern Colorado.

1) As an educator who has watched the growth and development of the District for over 50 years, my experience gives me an unmatched perspective regarding student needs and fiscal management. As a teacher, I knew the importance of a well-supported classroom. As a coach, I came to appreciate the motivational significance of athletics and extracurriculars. And as an administrator, I developed sound facility and program budgets.

2) I have coached and taught many Hispanic students and worked with their families to ensure their success. Multiple opportunities for success and recognition in both academic and co-curricular programs must be guaranteed for all students. The board and school staffs must proactively engage Hispanic parents — barriers to inclusion can and should be overcome.

3) Budget reductions should focus in those areas which least affect students. This can be done by protecting the integrity of the general fund and making sure expenditures directly support the classroom. A line item budget audit should be conducted by an outside accounting firm to ensure all funds are being used for their stated purpose. Results would be reported directly to the board.

4) Staff morale is critical! The district tradition of treating all who work there as respected colleagues must be restored and re-emphasized. Teachers especially should be properly supported so they effectively deal with ever changing and increasingly demanding state accountability requirements. Recent reductions in benefits, salary freezes, and increased class size should be eliminated as soon as fiscal feasibility permits.

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