LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Teachers, parents and students lined several intersections along Wadsworth Boulevard, to show support for Jefferson County teachers and students, while also voicing frustration with the conservative, 3-2 school board majority.
“There is miscommunication happening and there is not transparency,” said Sarah Freza, a Jeffco parent and middle school teacher.
Many said there was not transparency when negotiations with teachers stalled, the long-time superintendent resigned, and a nationwide search for a replacement led to one finalist.
“I have questions about how that process went,” said Angela Wagner, a Jeffco parent and school librarian. “I was hoping that when we got down to finalists, we might have a couple to choose from.”
Friday that finalist, Dan McMinimee, sat down with FOX31 Denver to tell us how why he’s the best person for the job.
“I went and competed for the job in the interview and I`m not going to apologize for being the sole candidate,” he said.
McMinimee is currently an assistant superintendent in Douglas County, but as a parent of two students who attended Jeffco schools, he says he would bring a unique perspective to the job.
“I don’t know everything about Jeffco, but I have a parent’s perspective of Jeffco and I’m so proud of the opportunities that my kids had to be in Jeffco,” McMinimee said.
Though he has the support of the board’s conservative majority, McMinimee said he will bring his own ideas and perspective to the job.
“I think there`s people who have this picture of somebody just coming in and rubber stamping things and I think I`ve made it pretty clear that that`s not what I`m all about,” McMinimee said. “I think, first and foremost, we need to find ways to bring people back together and say what`s most important.”
During his first public meet and greet yesterday McMinimee faced many skeptics, but he says he welcomes the chance to explain who he is and what he will bring to the job.
As a former teacher, he says he values them and knows how vital they are to a strong district. He also said compromise is needed to bridge differences in the district. Most of all, he said he isn’t determined to the same changes in Jeffco that they underwent in Dougco.
“I think it`s important to take the best practices and the best thinking and try to move those things forward, but in terms of being scared that what is happening in one county is going to be happening in another county, that`s not my goal at all,” McMinimee said. “I can’t control what people’s feelings are, I can’t control what people are saying, all I can be is me and move forward.”
Jeffco will hold another meet and greet with McMinimee at 4:30 Monday afternoon at Lakewood’s Carmody Middle School.