Gordon Van de Water
|Gordon Van de Water|
|Former candidate for|
|Board Member, Jeffco Public Schools, District 5|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|Master's||University of Michigan|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Elections
- 3 Campaign themes
- 4 What was at stake?
- 5 About the district
- 6 See also
- 7 External links
- 8 References
Van de Water reached the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army. He has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Syracuse University. He is retired two years ago. He is married and has eight grandchildren.
- See also: Jeffco Public Schools elections (2013)
Van de Water was running for election against challenger Ken Witt on November 5, 2013.
|Jeffco Board of Education, Four-year term, District 5, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Gordon Van de Water||41.9%||56,948|
|Source: Jefferson County Board of Elections, "2013 Coordinated Election," November 27, 2013|
Van de Water listed his campaign priorities as the following on his website:
Student performance: Every child deserves a great education. Children who are struggling may need extra intervention. Students who are excelling need to be continually challenged. All students must be well prepared for the path they pursue after graduation.
Teacher and principal quality: If we don’t have it, we don’t improve. Research shows high quality teachers and school leaders can have the single greatest impact on a child’s education.
Budget: Careful stewardship of taxpayer dollars is essential. I will focus on how budget decisions relate to improved student achievement and make sure every dollar is used wisely.
Safe schools: A safe learning environment is critical to student success.
Parental and community involvement: Our students and schools thrive when parents and our community are engaged in helping our students learn and achieve.
Choice: Every child learns differently. That’s why choice is so important. Parents need to find the best fit for their child. I support neighborhood, option, and charter schools.
Compensation re-design: It’s long overdue but needs to proceed carefully. Our focus should remain squarely on how changing the way we pay and support teachers and principals impacts the bottom line: student performance.
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|
|Gordon Van de Water||Support|
Issues in the district
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.
About the district
- See also: Jeffco Public Schools, Colorado
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.
- Spud for Jeffco Kids, "Meet Spud," accessed November 4, 2013
- Colorado TRACER, "Candidate Detail," accessed December 20, 2013
- Van de Water for Jeffco School Board, "Issues," accessed November 3, 2013
- Colorado Community Media, "Jeffco: Candidates' views differ on Amendment 66," accessed November 4, 2013
- 9News, "Jefferson County Schools Superintendent: 'I will be gone by the end of the month'," February 9, 2014
- Zahira Torres, Denver Post, "Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Cindy Stevenson will leave post early," February 8, 2014
- U.S. Census, "Quick Facts: Jefferson County, accessed October 28, 2013
- Colorado Secretary of State, “Voter Registration Numbers,” Accessed October 28, 2013