Aaron Simpson (Colorado)

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Aaron Simpson
Aaron Simpson CO.jpg
Former candidate for
Board Member, Harrison School District Two, At-large
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sUniversity of North Texas
Personal
ProfessionRetired veteran
Aaron Simpson was a candidate for an at-large seat on the Harrison School District Two Board of Directors in Colorado. He lost his election bid on November 5, 2013 against four other candidates.

Biography

Simpson has his Bachelor's degree in Geography from the University of North Texas. After 9/11, Simpson joined the military and completed two tours of duty in the Korean Peninsula and Iraqi Operations. Currently, Simpson is a retired veteran working to complete a Master in Aerospace Science with the future aspiration of completing a law degree.[1]

Elections

2013

See also: Harrison School District Two elections (2013)

Opposition

Simpson ran against four fellow challengers on November 5, 2013.

Election results

Harrison School District Two, At-large General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJoyce L. Leigh 24.5% 3,213
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDoriena S. Longmire 22.7% 2,986
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSteven R. Seibert 18.8% 2,471
     Nonpartisan Ryan Thompson 18.8% 2,468
     Nonpartisan Aaron Simpson 15.2% 1,998
Total Votes 13,136
Source: El Paso County, Colorado, "2013 Coordinated Election," November 14, 2013

Funding

Simpson reported $174.95 in contributions and $174.95 in expenditures to the Colorado Secretary of State, which left his campaign with no cash on hand.[2]

Endorsements

Simpson did not receive any endorsements.

Campaign themes

Simpson stated the following in an interview with The Gazette:[3]

What major challenges face your school district and how would you solve them, aside from additional funding?
Some challenges that I see facing Harrison School District are maintaining the exceptional academic growth, community appreciation, and state recognition for pay-for-performance. Another challenge is maintaining unity with a majority of new school board of directors. One way I would solve these challenges are by continuing to support the superintendent, administration, staff, parents, students, and community. I would continue to improve stakeholder relations by having the district engage the community as much as possible. These can be through the on going after school programs that aid in the academic success of our students. Another area is to maintain a model for other district's through leading edge programs such as pay-for-performance and nationally recognized teachers. As Harrison School District makes a change in board leadership, we all need to keep the interests of the students first and make Harrison School District good 2 great.

With budget constraints in place, what areas would you concentrate on?
Determining a specific area to focus on is difficult. I would prioritize my focus on the needs of the students. Students need a safe environment to learn in, qualified and fairly compensated staff to provide the learning environment, and the technology to access the material to expand their knowledge. Students also need to be well fed and have a world-class curriculum. Finding areas to cut costs would be difficult. I would also focus on making sure that the district is receiving all available sources of revenue as possible and look for other sources as well.

This year, voters will decide whether to pass Amendment 66, which would raise $950 million in additional taxes for education. If the amendment passes, how should the money be allocated in your district?
If Amendment 66 passes, Harrison School District should allocate the increase in funds in several places. These places would include expanding preschool to all day, expanded kindergarten classes, increase the support in professional development for all staff, and acquisition of additional staff to reduce class sizes. Also addition funds to further support the on-going expansion of technology to support 21st Century Curriculum design, STEAM, and space programs and resources. Another priority for additional funding from Amendment 66 would help support cultural learning opportunities, community engagement, and further enhanced resources for special education. This further ensures that Harrison School District 2 will graduate college-and-career ready students.

Why don't most districts get beyond 70 percent student proficiency on state assessments?
There are several reasons for why most districts do not get beyond 70 percent proficiency on state assessments. I feel one of the biggest reasons for this is the design of the test itself. Due various roadblocks not all 100 percent students can be fully assessed by a single test. These roadblocks can be a learning disability, physical disability, emotional conflict, or even test anxiety. I feel that the districts and state need to work together to better design an assessment that can reach all students. Another option is allowing districts the ability to have more local control over accommodating students with needs. This could allow more students to reach more proficient levels by having roadblocks reduced or removed.

What was at stake?

Current member Eileen Lynch Gonzalez sought re-election to the board to continue the term she was appointed to earlier this year when Keith Varney vacated his seat. Incumbents Deborah Hendrix, Richard Price and Linda Pugh were ineligible to run for additional terms because of Amendment 17 to the Colorado Constitution, which says that no "elected official of any [...] school district [...] shall serve more than two consecutive terms in office."

About the district

See also: Harrison School District Two, Colorado
Harrison School District Two is located in El Paso County, CO
Harrison School District Two is based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado in El Paso County. According to the 2010 US Census, Colorado Springs is home to 416,427 residents.[4]

Demographics

Colorado Springs lagged behind state averages for median income, poverty rate and higher education achievement in 2010. The average household income in Colorado Springs was $53,747 compared to $57,685 for the state of Colorado. The poverty rate in Colorado Springs was 12.7% compared to 12.5% for the entire state. The U.S. Census also found that 36.1% of Colorado Springs residents aged 25 years and older earned a Bachelor's degree compared to a 36.3% rate in Colorado.[4]

Racial Demographics, 2010[4]
Race Colorado Springs(%) Colorado (%)
White 78.8 81.3
Black or African American 6.3 4
American Indian and Alaska Native 1 1.1
Asian 3 2.8
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.3 0.1
Two or More Races 5.1 3.4
Hispanic or Latino 16.1 20.7

Party Affiliation, 2013[5]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Republican 141,493 45.7
Unaffiliated 95,849 31
Democratic 68,290 22.1
Libertarian 2,417 0.8
American Constitution 730 0.2
Green 635 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.[6]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References