Fisher won't seek re-election to School Board

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— Steamboat Springs School Board President Paul Fisher announced Monday that he will not seek re-election.

Fisher, who is serving his fourth year on the board and his second as its president, said family issues influenced the decision.

Fisher's youngest child graduated from high school in May and begins her studies at an East Coast college this fall. The family's home is for sale, and Fisher said it's likely he and his wife will move from Steamboat Springs.

During his four years on the School Board, Fisher has dealt with controversial and contentious issues, including the feud between Strawberry Park Elementary School Principal John DeVincentis and former superintendent Cyndy Simms and the ongoing Montessori charter school issue, which looks to be headed to court.

Tough issues and controversy were something he was prepared for when he decided to run for School Board in 1999, Fisher said.

"The important thing is to not lose focus on what decisions need to be made and to listen to rational debate on the issues while maintaining the objectives of the school district," Fisher said Monday night.

Fisher said he is fortunate to work with a board as respectful and insightful as the current one.

"I've served on several management teams and some boards, and I have to say, in my opinion, this board is a great board," Fisher said. "It's just amazing how everyone felt comfortable voicing their opinions, hearing (those) of others and supporting the board's majority position. I'm so honored to serve on this board."

Fisher's announcement came less than a week after School Board member Tom Sharp said he will not seek re-election.

School Board member Pat Gleason also is up for re-election. Gleason has not decided if he will run.

A group of community members formed a political action committee this spring to raise campaign money for potential School Board candidates in an effort to unseat Fisher, Sharp and Gleason. New blood within the ranks of the School Board could be good for the district, Fisher said.

"On any team you have to balance between continuity and new, fresh energy and ideas, and you don't want too extreme on either of those," he said.

The new board members will likely discover just how much time and energy is involved with serving on the School Board, Fisher said.

"I think a lot of people don't know how much work and energy it takes," he said. "There is a steep, steep learning curve when beginning with the School Board. It's a real learning experience."

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