Union endorses DeVincentis

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— The Steamboat Springs Education Association has endorsed candidate John DeVincentis for the School Board's District 1 seat.

DeVincentis, the former principal of Strawberry Park Elementary School, is running against incumbent Michael Loomis.

Brad Kindred, president of SSEA, said in a news release that the union recognizes Loomis' contributions on the board during the past two years. But, DeVincentis' credentials compelled the association to support him instead of Loomis.

"The association has had a long history of working with DeVincentis and believes he is the best-suited candidate for the position," Kindred said. "I hope that the Board of Education and, ultimately, the children we all serve, will see direct benefits of the contributions of the candidates the SSEA are recommending."

DeVincentis' wife, Allison Spear, is a teacher and a member of the SSEA.

Loomis said given the circumstances, there was no surprise in the SSEA's endorsement. Fifty-two SSEA members met Sept. 28 to discuss a number of issues, including which candidates to endorse. DeVincentis received unanimous support for the District 1 endorsement. The SSEA also recommended former teacher Denise Connelly for the District 3 seat and Tom Miller-Freutel for the District 5 seat. Both are running unopposed.

Mike Smith, past president of SSEA, said DeVincentis was recommended in part because he went through the SSEA's process for endorsing candidates, which includes filling out a questionnaire and consenting to an interview. Loomis did not go through the process, Smith said.

Loomis called the organization's endorsement of DeVincentis "a foregone conclusion" and thus bypassed the association's lengthy questionnaire.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail scunningham@steamboatpilot.com

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