Mt. Carbon Mom Speaks Out

Jeffco Board members and members of the media,
It has been brought to my attention per a letter penned by Leslie Dahlkemper that the Board majority (Witt, Newkirk and Williams) is once again intending to move forward with its agenda by hiring the sole finalist for superintendent without the due process of having all Board members involved and up to speed on the contract to be presented to Mr. McMinimee.  The Board is made of FIVE members and the majority must remember that every member has the right to be treated with respect and inclusion in the democratic process. 


While on the topic of the choice in superintendent, I would like to express my displeasure of the Board majority’s choice in Mr. McMinimee as the individual finalist; after a nationwide search costing taxpayers a large amount of money he was the ONLY person to stand out for the job?  The Board majority has had numerous opportunities to display a sense of collaboration with the community it was elected to serve but each and every time makes decisions that only cause more strife.


To quote Michelle Rhee in her book Radical, “ ”You can’t make change from the top alone,” …. “That was our problem in DC.  We had the right policies but not the right politics.  We didn’t make sure that the very people who would benefit most from the reforms were driving and fighting for the changes.” “   According to her book, Rhee succeeded due to clearly defining her goals and how she proposed achieving them, and by conversations with the students, the parents, the teachers, the administration to create a collaborative effort (that and a huge influx of private dollars—but the market/merit pay system I will leave for another letter).  Most telling of all to me however was that she achieved this in an abysmal school district.  I assert that while JeffCo needs some tweaks and corrections, it has been shown to be a highly successful school district for DECADES.  The fact that the Board majority have spoken to JeffCo’s success for themselves and their own children only baffles me as to why they feel the need to gut the system; and more pointedly, to do so in the insensitive and unfeeling way they have.  In order for JeffCo to continue at the acclaimed level of success to date, or better yet, to achieve the elevated academic goals set forth by the Board we must have everyone moving toward the same goal—to do so requires respect, transparency and cooperative effort.  We are not asking the Board majority for the world on a platter, just that they follow the rules required as Board members and live up the their election platform of transparency and listening to your public— “Key to this is listening to the community to ensure we choose the best goals, and ensuring policy and financial transparency to permit the community to meaningfully participate in the process” (


That being said, I respectfully request the following:


1.       Provide all 5 board members with ample opportunity to review Mr. McMinimee’s contract prior to the May 27th meeting.
2.  Provide the PUBLIC ample opportunity to review Mr. McMinimee’s contract prior to the May 27th meeting.
3.  Disclose who drafted the contract, and under whose direction the contract was drafted.
4.  Allow the public to address the board regarding the selection of Mr. McMinimee as Jeffco’s sole superintendent finalist AND to address any concerns and/or edits on the contract during the May 27th meeting.
5.  Do NOT vote to approve the contract at the May 27th meeting in order for comments made and edits suggested – by board members and by the public – to be considered and to allow for time to make changes to the contract before voting to approve it. 


Your community is speaking, please show us you’re listening.


Katrina Prill

Mt Carbon Elementary parent of 4