Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Retired principal John DeVincentis easily defeated incumbent Michael Loomis on Tuesday, earning a seat on the Steamboat Springs School Board for District 1.
DeVincentis, who campaigned with his long-used nickname, "Dr. D," jumped to an early lead and never relinquished it as results came in Tuesday night. He won by a significant margin, with a lead of nearly 2,000 votes at press time.
"I'll tell you what, for me it's an honor," DeVincentis said from the Routt County Courthouse. "To see the vote the way it is so far, it says the community wants a change, and I'm glad of that."
Loomis and DeVincentis campaigned on similar platforms, both supporting better salaries for teachers and school staff, smaller class sizes and increased communication among school employees and administration.
DeVincentis, who presided over Strawberry Park Elementary School for 21 years, said longevity and trust made the difference.
"Over those years, a lot of people have come through the district," he said. "I think they see me as someone who cares, bottom line, about their kids first."
DeVincentis, 58, said he hopes to use his time on the School Board to improve relations with teachers, keep them in the community and "bring trust back to the district."
He also praised the credentials of Tom Miller-Freutel and Denise Connelly, who ran unopposed for school board seats in districts 5 and 3, respectively.
"I think, together, we'll be able to change some of the things that we all want to change," DeVincentis said, adding that "whatever those changes are, I'll be happy to be a part of them."
He is a cofounder of Deck Swabs, a deck re-finishing company in Steamboat, and consults part-time for the Colorado Department of Education's School Support System, which works with schools struggling with low test scores.
Michael Loomis declined to comment Tuesday night, preferring to wait until all the votes were counted.
Loomis has said his two daughters, ages 9 and 11, were the inspiration for his work on the School Board. Loomis, 48, filled the board's District 5 seat from 2002 until this summer, when he moved out of that district and resigned from the position. Fellow School Board members appointed him to the District 1 seat after the resignation of board member Tami Havener.
DeVincentis almost seemed sad to see the campaign process end.
"I really enjoyed it, mainly because I got to meet a lot of people," he said. "And I like to do that. I can't feel any more positive about it."