As promised, we are posting the public comment that Jonna and I gave Thursday night. The rules for the evening were that you could not stand with more than one group. While Jonna and I make it clear that we always stand together, we were separated by the rules of the evening.
We are grateful to all of you who stood with us. Thank you for waiting so long to help give us this opportunity!
You can watch our back to back comments via the Board recording beginning at about 4:06 in the video:
Here is the public comment given by Jonna:
We are Support Jeffco Kids, and on behalf of our many supporters which includes parents, grandparents, business and community leaders and teachers and district staff, and especially on behalf of the 86,000 students of Jeffco Schools, we would like to take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Les Dahlkemper and Jill Fellman for your 4 years of service as Jeffco School Board members.
Few folks realize, a school board member is an unpaid volunteer position and, depending on the issues the school district may be facing at the time, there can be long hours of prep time (studying budget information and various district reports), as well as the community engagement board members should be participating in (around the district), not to mention the time spent in the board meetings themselves.
Les and Jill, we would like you to know –
We all appreciate that first and foremost, you both chose to be a voice for our students and their families and our community, and many times fought for the community to have input when we were originally denied.
We appreciate your tireless efforts to push for transparency in how decisions were being made when it appeared there would be none – asking for conversations to take place in public, requesting a process open to the public – even though, over the past two years, there have been many times you were denied.
We appreciate that not only have you always treated members of this community with respect, you have always treated district staff with respect, and yes, you’ve even been respectful of our students.
We appreciate you never found it necessary to degrade our district as a whole, or our students, but instead, always showed your Jeffco pride; and while we all know Jeffco is not perfect, we appreciate that neither of you ever hesitate to point out our great tradition of excellence.
We appreciate that you actually know how many schools we have in Jeffco, recognize how different our demographics are, understand why those differences exist, and you embrace our diversity – For the things that make us different from one another also makes us stronger as a community when we come together.
We have no doubt your work at the board table has been very different than what you may have originally envisioned. We are especially grateful when the road got rocky, you stayed for the entire ride.
You have both been grace under fire. For many of us, over the past two years, you have been our only hope.
We suspect you both have a long list of how you will spend the many hours you now have to call your own. We want you to know we hope you won’t step back too far. Please continue to watch over Jeffco. Don’t disengage. Bad things happen when people step away for too long a time or too great a distance.
We know you will always be Jeffco proud.
Jill Fellman, & Les Dahlkemper, you are our heroes. Thank you!