Gary Lake and Stef Dickinson recall, Ellicott School District 22, Colorado (2011)

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An effort to recall school board members Gary Lake and Stef Dickinson from their positions on the Ellicott School District Board of Directors in El Paso County, Colorado was launched in June 2011. The recall was organized, according to the arguments in the petition, because board members showed poor fiscal oversight and failed to improve educational performance. The petition also argued that the school board did not communicate effectively. The recall effort submitted signatures and the election was scheduled for November 1, 2011.[1][2] The recall campaign was successful, as both Lake and Dickinson were recalled. Dickinson previously resigned, but state law mandated that her name remain on the ballot.[3]


According to recall successor candidate Gary Dahn: "My number one priority is to help build a school district known for its academic excellence. To do this some problem areas must be fixed first; such as teacher retention, open communications, board-focused program building and implementation. Our teachers are the worst paid in El Paso County, they need to be paid comparably, as well as implementing an award system for excellence."[4]

Election results

Gary Lake

  • Yes: 456 (49.57%) Approveda
  • No: 409 (44.46%)

Stef Dickinson

  • Yes: 686 (74.57%) Approveda
  • No: 194 (21.09%)


Stef Dickinson resigned from her position on September 23, 2011 due to an arrest on suspicion of luring a child via internet. A local deputy found text messages from a 14-year-old's phone offering to have sex with him.

Despite the resignation, the recall effort for Dickinson and Lake proceeded, according to reports.[2]

See also