Ken Witt

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Ken Witt
Ken Witt.jpg
Board Member, Jeffco Public Schools, District 5
Incumbent
Term ends
November 2017
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sUniversity of Colorado Denver
Personal
ProfessionInformation technology professional
Websites
Campaign website
Ken Witt campaign logo
Ken Witt currently represents District 5 on the Jeffco School Board in Colorado. He won election to the board against fellow challenger Gordon Van de Water on November 5, 2013.

Biography

Witt graduated from the University of Colorado – Denver with a degree in Mathematics. He is an information technology and business management professional. He and his wife, Deb, have four children.[1]

Elections

2013

See also: Jeffco Public Schools elections (2013)

Opposition

Witt was running for election against challenger Gordon Van de Water on November 5, 2013.

Results

Jeffco Board of Education, Four-year term, District 5, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKen Witt 58.1% 78,943
     Nonpartisan Gordon Van de Water 41.9% 56,948
Total Votes 135,891
Source: Jefferson County Board of Elections, "2013 Coordinated Election," November 27, 2013

Funding

Witt reported $11,302.05 in contributions and $8,114.93 in expenditures to the Colorado Secretary of State, which left his campaign with $3,187.12 on hand.[2]

Endorsements

Witt was endorsed by the Jefferson County Republican Party,[3] Denver radio host Mike Rosen[4] and the Colorado Women’s Alliance.[5]

Campaign themes

Witt listed his campaign priorities as the following on his website:[6]

Educational Choice
Jeffco families have a variety of excellent public education choices. From great neighborhood schools to amazing charter and option schools, there are many choices for Jeffco families. However, many families have shared their frustration that their children were not able to get into the school of their choice. Jeffco is experiencing declining enrollment partially due to an aging population but also because many families are choosing to send their children to surrounding districts. The board must ensure that the programs that are experiencing wait lists are evaluated for the possibility of expanding programs, and must focus on replicating the best school successes in Jeffco.

Fiscal Responsibility
Jeffco voters have been generous in voting to provide an additional $39 million dollars a year to support the public education of all of our Jeffco students.The board must make certain that these resources are spent attracting and retaining the most highly effective teachers and that the resources are spent directly supporting the work in our classrooms. Looking for efficiencies and the ability to spread best practices should be embedded in the Jeffco culture of excellence. Having run profitable businesses I know the importance of listening to all stakeholders and valuing all thoughts on process improvement.

Academic Performance and Goals
It is the duty of the school board to set academic goals for the district, to engage the community, establish priorities and set policy that enables staff to meet the goals set. Jeffco school board members need to work with one another and the community to ensure that every child in every class has the best chance to achieve a year or more growth in each classroom. We must establish measurable goals in strategic milestone areas to empower every student to graduate and have the skills they need for a successful future.

Safe and Secure Learning Environment
With technology integration everywhere it is as important to ensure cyber and data security as it is to ensure safe physical and emotional environments. Our children’s data and that of their family, our staff and teachers should be protected with the same level of attentiveness as Jeffco has for other safety and security issues. I have led the information security efforts in Fortune 500 companies, including responsibility for the protection of data. I know that it takes careful planning, involvement of content experts, deep involvement of community and stakeholders and contingency plans that are tested as much as possible. Our students’ and staff’s data must be treated with the same respect and planning to ensure the risk of compromise is minimized and privacy is ensured.

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.


What was at stake?

Three seats on the board were at stake in this election in Districts 1, 2 and 5. All incumbents of those districts were ineligible to run for another term because of Amendment 17 to the Colorado Constitution, which states that no "elected official of any [...] school district [...] shall serve more than two consecutive terms in office." As a result, all board members voted in this election will be new.

Issues in the election

Stances on Amendment 66

Colorado voters cast ballots on Amendment 66, a constitutional amendment that increases income taxes to support public education. The following table lists the publicly stated position of each Board of Education candidate on the amendment.

Stances on Amendment 66[7]
Candidate Stated position
Tonya Aultman-Bettridge Support
Jeff Lamontagne Support
John Newkirk Oppose
Gordon Van de Water Support
Julie Williams Oppose
Ken Witt Oppose

Issues in the district

Superintendent resignation

Superintendent Cindy Stevenson announced plans to resign from the district shortly after the 2013 school board election. Stevenson left the district to work with the Colorado Association of School Executives after 12 years as superintendent. During a board meeting on February 8, the outgoing superintendent noted that the current board wanted changes in district leadership and she felt a lack of respect from new board members. Stevenson's speech drew cheers from supporters in the audience and boos for board members. Board member Julie Williams countered that Stevenson had not attempted to work with the board, citing her intention to leave the district shortly after the election. The board is working with district officials to handle day-to-day affairs through the remainder of the school year rather than appointing an interim superintendent.[8][9]

About the district

See also: Jeffco Public Schools, Colorado
Jeffco Public Schools is located in Jefferson County, CO
Jeffco Public Schools is based out of Golden, Colorado in Jefferson County. According to the 2010 US Census, Jefferson County is home to 534,543 residents.[10]

Demographics

Jefferson County outperformed the rest of Colorado in terms of graduation rate, median household income and poverty rate. The average household income in Jefferson County was $67,827 compared to $57,685 for the state of Colorado. The poverty rate in Colorado Springs was 8.5% compared to 12.5% for the entire state. The graduation rate was 93.2% compared to 89.7% statewide.[10]

Racial Demographics, 2010[10]
Race Jefferson County (%) Colorado (%)
White 92.4 81.3
Black or African American 1.3 4
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.2 1.1
Asian 2.8 2.8
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 2.3 3.4
Hispanic or Latino 14.9 20.7

Party Affiliation, 2013[11]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Republican 109,453 33.7
Unaffiliated 110,176 33.9
Democratic 101,611 31.3
Libertarian 2,326 0.7
American Constitution 527 0.2
Green 722 0.2

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 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[12]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References