Business owner Jeff Fry on Monday announced plans to run for the Hayden School Board.
Fry submitted his candidate affidavit with the Routt County Clerk and Recorder's Office for District A, an area mostly north of Hayden.
Patty Bruchez, who has occupied the seat since 2001, has filed paperwork to run for re-election. So far, District A is the only contested seat on the board.
Fry, 47, owns Bears Ears Excavating in Hayden and also was a candidate for Routt County Commissioner last year. He said he is unhappy with declining student enrollment in the Hayden School District.
Although some of that decline is because of demographic changes, too many students are going to nearby districts that offer more academic and extracurricular programs, he said.
"Hayden needs to offer more than they currently offer or something different than Steamboat and Craig to keep the kids," Fry said.
Fry also wants to know why more teachers in Hayden do not renew their contracts. He wants to see a more consistent staff that students can count on seeing from year to year, as was his experience growing up in Steamboat Springs, he said.
Fry graduated from Steam--boat Springs High School in 1976 and moved to West Routt County in 1996. Fry has three children. One will be a high school senior, and two younger children will be entering preschool and second grade in the fall.
"I'm pretty well-committed to this district for years to come," he said.
His experience running a business for six years will help with the budgetary responsibilities of the School Board, he said.
For example, Fry would like to see more efforts to seek grants for needed infrastructure, such as a full-size track.
He also wants to help make the board more attentive to residents' concerns.
"There's a lot of people that would like to see a friendlier board. ... They (board members) don't listen to our concerns very well," he said.
In addition to Bruchez, board member Brian Hoza and president Kurt Frentress also will be up for re-election in the fall.
Hoza, who has represented District E -- consisting of subdivisions mostly south of Hayden -- since 2001, has filed his candidate affidavit.
As of Monday, Frentress, who has been on the board for almost 10 years, had not filed paperwork to run for re-election. He was not available for comment.
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