John Graham (Colorado)
|Falcon School District 49 Board of Education, At-large|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|Service/branch||U.S. Marine Corps|
Graham holds an A.S. in Engineering Science, B.S. in General Studies and M.S. in Management. He served for 23 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Graham has five children who have attended or currently attend district schools.
|Falcon School District 49, At-large General Election, 4-year term, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Tammy Harold Incumbent||25.6%||7,331|
|Nonpartisan||David H. Moore||17.2%||4,927|
|Nonpartisan||Henry D. Allen, Jr. Incumbent||10.6%||3,025|
|Source: El Paso County, Colorado, "2013 Coordinated Election," November 14, 2013|
Graham received the endorsement of the Falcon Teachers Education Association (FTEA) during the 2013 campaign.
Graham explained his views on the major issues facing the district for the Gazette Voter Guide:
Pressing issues for the district
"I believe the School Board should represent the educational needs and values of our community. I want to empower our teachers, parents, and community to reach positive and innovative local solutions. The Board needs to focus on goals and policies that provide all our children a safe, encouraging, and positive learning environment while performing in a transparent, inclusive, and civil manner. I believe I have the leadership skills to encourage the Board to work in a cohesive manner. I will work to encourage involvement from our stakeholders and be the crucial link between the public and schools. The District is also faced with an increasing student population and limited facilities/resources that we can address together as a team."
Areas of emphasis
"I believe the School Board needs to provide the resources required by teachers and staff to achieve the highest quality education for our students while also being good stewards of the community’s tax dollars. We need to focus on the strategic vision and priorities developed by D49 stakeholders, engage stakeholders to better determine programs and policies that support these priorities, promote empowerment and innovation, and keep in mind the taxpayer “foots” the bills. Areas we should focus on are the educational needs of students, facilities, training (especially in the area of special education), and competitive compensation to retain the best qualified teachers and staff."
"I do not support Amendment 66. This ballot measure will effectively take more tax payer money out of D49 to be redistributed to other districts then we will get back. The ballot measure is not a local solution and I do not believe it is by D49 voters. If the ballot does pass, I will engage the public and other District stakeholders to discuss the best way to allocate the resources and come up with a team solution."
"This is a very complex question. There are many metrics that affect student achievement. It boils down to if we are and how we are addressing the educational needs of each student. If 70 percent of the children are proficient, this means that 30 percent are not. Those who are not proficient need more individual attention, educator time, and resources to lift their achievement levels. The Board can work with the community, teachers, students, and staff to set policies in place and attitudes that can positively affect this achievement."
What was at stake?
Incumbents Henry D. Allen, Jr. and Tammy Harold sought re-election to the board. The ballot included challengers Graham, Chris Bombria, Kevin Butcher and David H. Moore. Member Christopher Wright did not file for re-election in 2013.
Conflict of interest concerns
Dana Palmer, the chair of the District Accountability and Advisory Committee, has raised conflict-of-interest concerns about the candidacy of Kevin Butcher. Butcher is the president of Tutt Commercial Center LLC, which currently leases real estate to the district for administrative offices. He has also acted as an intermediary between Eastern Colorado Bank and Falcon School District during negotiations to rent space for the Falcon Virtual Academy. Palmer is concerned that Butcher "will not be able to make unbiased decisions" about district finances if he wins on November 5, 2013. Butcher has countered that the district agreed to a lease with Tutt well before his candidacy and he would not be biased if the district pursues leases or other real estate transactions.
About the district
- See also: Falcon School District 49, Colorado
El Paso County lagged behind state averages for median income and higher education achievement while outperforming the state poverty rate in 2010. The average household income in El Paso County was $57,079 compared to $57,685 for the state of Colorado. The poverty rate in El Paso County was 11.7% compared to 12.5% for the entire state. The U.S. Census also found that 35.1% of El Paso County residents aged 25 years and older earned a bachelor's degree compared to a 36.3% rate in Colorado.
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100.0%. Each column will add up to 100.0% after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.
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- Falcon School District 49, "BOE Elections Information," accessed October 28, 2013
- Colorado TRACER, "Candidate Detail," accessed December 19, 2013
- John Graham for Falcon School District 49 School Board, "Endorsements," accessed October 28, 2013
- Gazette Voter Guide, "John Graham," accessed October 28, 2013
- KOAA, "Local school board candidate raising eyebrows," October 15, 2013
- U.S. Census, "Quick Facts: El Paso County, accessed October 28, 2013
- Colorado Secretary of State, “Voter Registration Numbers,” Accessed October 28, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014