Letter to BOE, Unanswered

Jeffco School Board:

My name Is Ali Lasell, I am a parent of 2 boys, grades 1 and 2.  After much research 7 years ago, my husband and I moved to Jeffco BECAUSE of the great PUBLIC school system.  There are many things about Jeffco that sets it apart from the rest.   


I am both shocked and concerned at what has transpired the past 4 months.  I haven’t been to meetings as I work full time, have a 6 and 8 year old, and a husband who travels.  But guess what?  I will be hiring a babysitter when my husband is out of town so that I can attend the meetings from here on out.  Why?  Because your actions are quite frightening and I don’t trust you.  From the videos I have watched of the BOE meetings and word from neighbors in attendance, it seems clear to me that our 3 new BOE members are not conducting themselves in a respectful, collaborative manner and are not making decisions in the best interest of the students of Jeffco.  I fear that the three of you are using your position on the Board as an opportunity to put forth some political agenda with little regard for your clients; our students.  This doesn’t serve our kids.  It is your job to work directly with our Superintendent to develop and discuss policy implementation.  


I do not understand why you don’t want to hire an interim Superintendent for the remainder of this school year.  Do you actually think you are capable of overseeing the District Operations, after being in office for 4 months?  You cannot possibly do this.  It is NOT your job to do this.    Sounds very suspicious to me, again as if you have an agenda.  An agenda you aren’t sharing with the taxpayers of the District you are serving.  Not very transparent and I believe that is a buzz word you used throughout your campaigns.  


I do not trust you.  Mr. Witt, Mr. Newkirk, and Mrs. Williams, I find it pretty shocking how you are just taking over rather than standing back and learning from the veteran BOE members, for at least a few months,  asking numerous questions and trying to understand the ins and outs of your job and the Jeffco Education System.  I understand you might think you were/are an involved parent/business person, etc….but with any new position or job, there is a “training” time where one gets the lay of the land rather than ramrodding your opinions and agenda; disrupting the entire system.  


If nothing else,  understand that the teachers are the DIRECT PORTAL (the only portal in our schools) to our students.  They spend more time with our kids during the week than we do.  LISTEN to them.  Do not make them feel undervalued, as other districts have been doing  the past few years.  Our district has benefited from the other district’s mistakes in that arena.  We have acquired hundreds of teachers from other districts who have bailed BECAUSE of lack of professional respect, lack of incentive to stay.   Understand that the good teachers will bail and find employment in other Districts if you fail to treat them professionally.  


I hope I am wrong.  I hope at the next BOE meetings I attend I see the 3 of you willing to collaborate, compromise, and LISTEN to other BOE members, the open comments people make, and make decisions the 5 of you (and the parents, teachers, and principals) collectively believe best for our students.  I am very curious to see your behaviors LIVE for myself.  Mrs. WIlliams, you have a lot to learn about collaboration and  treating people respectfully.  Your behavior that  I have witnessed is appalling.  Again, I have only seen snippets of video, I will be there LIVE from now on to see if your behaviors are for real.  I hope, for our kids, I do not see that person I viewed in the videos of the past meetings.   


Thank you for reading this.  I hope the three of you start making more sound rational decisions for our students and teachers.



Ali Lasell