Jeff Lamontagne

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Jeff Lamontagne
Jeff Lamontagne.jpg
Former candidate for
Board Member, Jeffco Public Schools, District 2
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sCornell University
J.D.College of William and Mary
Personal
ProfessionExecutive director
ReligionPresbyterian
Websites
Campaign website
Jeff Lamontagne campaign logo
Jeff Lamontagne was a candidate for District 2 on the Jeffco School Board in Colorado. He was defeated by fellow challenger John Newkirk on November 5, 2013.

Biography

Lamontagne has a Bachelor's degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a law degree from the College of William and Mary. He grew up in Colorado and currently lives in Lakewood with his wife and two children. Lamontagne is a Co-Founder and long-time Executive Director of the Second Wind Fund, which provides assistance to uninsured youth who are at-risk for suicide. He, along with members from his church, founded the fund after four Jeffco students at one school took their own lives. He moved on in 2011 to become Executive Director of a youth open space/wildlife refuge and environmental science center in Denver.[1]

Elections

2013

See also: Jeffco Public Schools elections (2013)

Opposition

Lamontagne was running for election against challenger John Newkirk on November 5, 2013.

Results

Jeffco Board of Education, Four-year term, District 2, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Newkirk 54% 72,769
     Nonpartisan Jeff Lamontagne 46% 62,073
Total Votes 134,842
Source: Jefferson County Board of Elections, "2013 Coordinated Election," November 27, 2013

Funding

Lamontagne reported $59,150.32 in contributions and $59,150.32 in expenditures to the Colorado Secretary of State, which left his campaign with no cash on hand.[2]

Endorsements

Lamontagne was endorsed by U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter, former Jeffco Schools Board of Education President Sue Marinelli and State Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp, among numerous others listed on his website.[3]

Campaign themes

Lamontagne listed his campaign priorities as the following on his website:[4]

Student Achievement and Equal Opportunity: Our first priority is making sure ALL of our students, regardless of where they come from, have access to quality education and can excel at basic subjects – reading, writing and math. For Colorado to thrive, we need a well-educated workforce from strong public schools that attract quality businesses with good jobs. I will be an advocate for thoughtful approaches that lead to the highest student achievement, making certain that our kids are career and college ready.

Teachers and Principals: Excellent teachers and principals are a crucial factor in a child’s success at school. It is imperative that we have a great teacher in every classroom and a quality principal in every school. In order for our kids to succeed, we need to provide our teachers and schools with the resources they need to be successful. We need to develop and implement strategies to attract and retain the best teachers and principals in our district. I will be a leader in this endeavor.

Collaborating and Creating Community Partnerships for Jeffco Schools: While the world becomes smaller through advancing technologies and innovations, it is also important to bring our neighbors and community together to build a stronger school district. As I’ve met and spoken with business leaders and other members of the Jeffco community, I’ve heard a desire for greater and more meaningful partnerships with public schools.

Teacher Growth and Excellence: I support evaluating teachers and principals on a regular basis. We need to be smart and consistent about how we measure what it is to be an effective teacher or principal. We need to provide constructive feedback and professional development that helps our teachers and principals increase student achievement. The work that the district is already doing in this area is promising and I will continue these efforts.

Choice, Charters, and Options: I believe parents must have choices when it comes to their children’s education and my kids are choice-enrolled. Additionally, charter and option schools are laboratories for innovation and a good alternative when traditional school settings aren’t a perfect fit for students. At the same time, we need to support the foundation of our system – our neighborhood schools – and make sure that we balance our Choice, Charter, and Option policies with keeping our neighborhood schools vibrant.

Mental Health: As the former Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Second Wind Fund, I worked with mental health professionals in many Jeffco schools on hundreds of cases dealing with kids struggling with mental health issues. I believe we should be strengthening mental health services in our schools. I will work to continue to build public-private partnerships and to identify solutions to this serious issue.

School Safety: As a parent, nothing is more important to me than my children’s safety, and keeping our schools safe is a priority. I am in favor of increasing responsible security measures such as striving to ensure school resource officers are assigned to each school and making it more difficult for outsiders to gain entry into a school.

Budget Transparency: Exceptional public schools are the backbone of a strong economy, and you – the taxpayers – trust our school board with some hefty decisions regarding how to spend and allocate taxpayer dollars. I am dedicated to ensuring that we are transparent in the way we allocate and spend those dollars. I believe those dollars need to be focused on the classroom to ensure that our children are succeeding. We need to continue to innovate and fund the programs that are having success and eliminate those that are not working.

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[5]
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.[6][7]

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.[8]

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.[8]

Racial Demographics, 2010[8]
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[9]
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, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[10]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References