Roger Kilgore

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Roger Kilgore
Roger Kilgore.jpg
Former candidate for
Denver Board of Education, District 4
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
ProfessionSmall business owner
Campaign website
Roger Kilgore campaign logo
Roger Kilgore was a candidate for the District 4 seat on the Denver Board of Education in Colorado. He was defeated in his election bid against incumbent Landri Taylor on November 5, 2013.


Kilgore holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering. He worked for 30 years as a water engineering consultant before opening a small business in 2000. Kilgore has served on the 2012 Bond Oversight Committee as well as the District School Improvement and Accountability Council.[1]



See also: Denver Public Schools elections (2013)


Kilgore sought election to the District 4 seat against incumbent Landri Taylor.


Denver Public Schools, Four-year term, District 4, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLandri Taylor Incumbent 65.5% 16,380
     Nonpartisan Roger Kilgore 34.5% 8,616
Total Votes 24,996
Source: Denver County Clerk and Recorder, "Final Official Election Results," accessed December 13, 2013


Kilgore reported $46,559.26 in contributions and $46,800.04 in expenditures to the Colorado Secretary of State, which left his campaign with $240.78 in debt.[2]


Kilgore received the following endorsements for the 2013 campaign:[3]

  • Denver Classroom Teachers Association
  • Denver Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO

Campaign themes


Kilgore explained the major themes of his 2013 campaign on his website:

"The Denver Public Schools are at a crossroads. Implementation of the Denver Plan has yielded successes and we've learned lessons about how our mission may be better achieved. All good plans must change and adapt as we move forward. Now is a critical time to reinforce the positive and retool the strategies that are not producing the desired results. We must begin to think differently about our Denver public schools.

Our school district is overly focused on new schools and outsourcing education. It is missing the opportunity to apply the lessons learned in recent years to all of our public schools. There is also too much conflict in our city's school system: between the district and its teachers, within the communities the district serves, and between factions on the board. Sustainable success depends on a collaborative environment. I will work hard to achieve the trust and respect needed for effective collaboration. I will listen to, and work with, all stakeholders, not simply those who already hold my views.

My Sustainable Educational Excellence Plan represents a fresh look at the way we deliver public education. It is based on four strategies:

  • Subordinate the current test-taking culture to teaching the whole child. Current accountability and reporting practices focus only on what is easily and quantitatively measured. This data-driven approach warps our education by leading us to neglect critical thinking skills, the arts, music, physical education, history, civics, and the sciences. When we address the whole child, we are more likely to provide the "hook" to life long learning that is invaluable to staying in school, graduating high school, and continued personal growth after high school. We also need to cultivate the critical thinking skills necessary for a healthy society.
  • Strengthen the schools in each of our neighborhoods and end the often haphazard introduction of new schools. A good school is an essential part of a thriving community. Charter, magnet, innovation, and traditional schools have the potential to provide models for educating diverse populations of students. It is essential to identify what is successful and sustainable in these schools and work to apply those models throughout DPS for all our students.
  • Provide autonomy and authority for teachers and the principal, commensurate with their responsibility to provide a good education for our students. In the current DPS structure teachers and principals are held accountable for results, but are given very little latitude to implement changes at the school level. To hold someone accountable, without providing autonomy, is an unreasonable and unsustainable policy.
  • Transform the organization of the DPS administration from a top down decision making model to a school-centered decision making model where parents, teachers, principals, and community members work together to identify the constraints on success and develop approaches for improvement. The DPS administration supports the schools by providing resources, professional development and support, standards, curriculum guidance, and master planning. This will enable every school in every neighborhood to be more responsive to the needs of its students and community, with the support of the administration."

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

What was at stake?

Incumbents Mary Seawell, Andrea Merida and Jeannie Kaplan did not seek re-election to the at-large, District 2 and District 3 seats, respectively. A three-way race for the at-large seat featured Poston, former Lieutenant Governor Barbara O'Brien and Michael Kiley. The District 2 race featured newcomers Rosario C. de Baca and Rosemary Rodriguez. Mike Johnson and Meg Schomp competed to replace Kaplan in District 3. Landri Taylor ran for re-election in District 4 against challenger Roger Kilgore.

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[4]
Candidate Stated position
Barbara O'Brien Support
Michael Kiley Support
Joan Poston Oppose
Rosario C. de Baca Support
Rosemary Rodriguez Support
Mike Johnson Support
Meg Schomp Support
Landri Taylor Support
Roger Kilgore Support

Conflict of interest concerns

Candidates for the at-large, District 3 and District 4 seats accused their opponents of conflicts of interest. At-large candidate Michael Kiley pointed out that the district has a $350,000 contract with Get Smart Schools, a non-profit organization headed by Barbara O'Brien. O'Brien countered that Kiley's employer, Kronos, provides software to the district. District 3 candidate Meg Schomp believed opponent Mike Johnson could not meet the board's ethical standards due to his work as a school finance consultant. Johnson pointed out that Schomp's husband is an attorney who has represented the district in past legal actions.[5]

District 4 candidate Roger Kilgore asked his opponent, incumbent Landri Taylor, to resign due to a conflict-of-interest allegation. Kilgore noted that Taylor is the CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, which has a $142,962 contract with the district for after-school programs. Taylor criticized Kilgore's request and argued that the agreement occurred after Taylor was a board member. He also suggested that he would recuse himself if the board voted on issues related to agreements with the Urban League.[6]

School reform in Denver

The 2013 election has developed into a referendum on the reforms set in motion by Superintendent Tom Boasberg since his appointment in 2009. Boasberg has increased the district's emphasis on charter schools and closed poor-performing facilities. Opponents of Boasberg's reforms cite a persistent achievement gap between affluent and low-income student populations.[7]

The direction of the seven-member board could change significantly based on the results of this election. Three current members of the board are not seeking re-election. The Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) has endorsed at-large candidate Kiley, District 2 candidate Rosario C. de Baca, District 3 candidate Meg Schomp and Roger Kilgore in District 4. These candidates want to slow down or halt development of charter schools in the district. Democrats for Education Reform, a non-profit organization supporting Boasberg's reforms, has endorsed at-large candidate Barbara O'Brien, District 2 candidate Rosemary Rodriguez, Mike Johnson in District 3 and District 4 incumbent Landri Taylor.[8] With clear divisions between these two slates of candidates, Denver voters are able to express their views on district policies at the ballot box.

About the district

See also: Denver Public Schools, Colorado
Denver Public Schools is located in Denver County, CO
Denver Public Schools serves students in Denver, the county seat of Denver County, Colorado. According to the 2010 US Census, Denver is home to 600,158 residents.[9]


Denver outperformed the rest of Colorado in higher education achievement while lagging behind state rates for median income and poverty in 2010. The average household income in Denver was $47,499 compared to $57,685 for the state of Colorado. The poverty rate in Denver was 18.8% compared to 12.5% for the entire state. The U.S. Census also found that 41.3% of Denver residents aged 25 years and older earned a bachelor's degree compared to 36.3% in Colorado.[9]

Racial Demographics, 2010[9]
Race Denver (%) Colorado (%)
White 68.9 81.3
Black or African American 10.2 4
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.4 1.1
Asian 3.4 2.8
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 4.1 3.4
Hispanic or Latino 31.8 20.7

Party Affiliation, 2013[10]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 164,196 50.5
Unaffiliated 103,119 31.7
Republican 53,385 16.4
Libertarian 2,880 0.9
Green 1,187 0.4
American Constitution 630 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, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[11]

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