Bruchez keeps School Board spot

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Voters on Tuesday opted to keep Patty Bruchez in the District A seat on the Hayden School Board.

About 56 votes separated Bruchez and challenger Jeff Fry in official results. About 610 residents voted in the election.

"I'm happy to serve another four years, that's why I ran," Bruchez said early Wednesday.

Fry was unavailable for comment.

Bruchez said she did not actively campaign. Fry had election signs posted and also recently sent out mailers to residents.

Bruchez had emphasized her experience with the district and familiarity with issues. She first was elected in 2001, though she served a short term in the mid-1980s as a replacement board member. She also has worked as a bookkeeper and business manager for the district.

The two candidates had different perspectives on important issues facing Hayden schools.

Fry had taken a strong stance on student enrollment numbers, which have declined in the past several years and are a primary concern among school district officials. He argued Hayden schools needed to offer more academic and extracurricular programs to keep Hayden students from attending nearby districts.

Bruchez and other board members have said that students change schools for a variety of reasons -- many of which the district cannot control -- and that Hayden is limited in the programs it can offer because of the district's size.

The candidates also had different opinions about student achievement, which has been an area of concern since 2004-05 ACT and Colorado Student Assessment Program tests indicated flat or declining scores in some areas and grades.

Bruchez emphasized that it was important to keep students' successes in mind while considering how, in a small district, a few low test scores can pull down overall class and grade scores.

Fry contended that the school district needs to keep more experienced teachers on board and do more to understand why some do not renew their contracts.

Fry also had hoped to make the school board more approachable and receptive to parents' concerns.

District A was the only contested seat on the school board.

Board president Kurt Frentress, representing District C, and Brian Hoza, representing District E, were unchallenged.

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