No Soroco board races contested

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— There will be no election for the South Routt School Board because there are no contested races this year.

One person ran for each of the three open seats, and each will be appointed to those seats. Their terms officially will begin in November.

AlidaLee Gingerich, incumbent, will represent District 1; Regina Hange will represent District 2, which has been vacant since Gingerich moved into District 1 this summer; and Willie Smith will represent District 3, which is currently held by Kevin Gneiser.

Gingerich first became involved in the School Board in 2004 when she was appointed to the Distrct 2 seat. She was interested in becoming more involved "to help make positive changes for all of the kids in the School District," she said.

She is married and has two children and works full-time as a computer coordinator at Yampa Valley Medical Center. She worked as a clinical ICU nurse before that.

She said she is organized and looks at the whole picture when making a decision -- she does not base her decisions on emotions.

"My votes on the School Board and input are what I feel would be the best for the district as a whole," she said. "I truly want the best for the South Routt School District and the South Routt community."

She said that as in all school districts, it's important to keep an eye on CSAP scores, recruitment and retention of quality staff, and staff education. She hopes to see a continued upward trend in enrollment in South Routt School District, and wants to form relationships with areas in South Routt that might not feel as connected to the schools, such as Stagecoach.

Gingerich also hopes to review the extracurricular activities available in South Routt schools -- sports, music, arts, clubs -- and see what else could be offered, as those activities help children stay committed to school and work toward better grades and increasing self-esteem.

Smith said he has always entertained the idea of being on the School Board, so decided to go for it when the District 3 seat opened up. Gneiser, who is filling the seat, encouraged Smith to run.

"I just want to be more involved with the schools, period, for my kids' sake," Smith said.

Smith is married with two children, and is a drywall contractor.

He plans to learn by being involved and wants to understand the School District's budgeting process more.

He also has seen class sizes increase, and does not like that trend as he feels small classes are important to students' success.

Hange could not be reached for comment.

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