School Board candidate Jerry Kozatch delivers his opening remarks during the Rotary Club's forum for all School Board candidates at the Steamboat Grand Resort in Steamboat Springs on Tuesday.

Photo by Brian Ray

School Board candidate Jerry Kozatch delivers his opening remarks during the Rotary Club's forum for all School Board candidates at the Steamboat Grand Resort in Steamboat Springs on Tuesday.

Anderson, Brown, Crossan discuss shared campaign at forum


— Steamboat Springs School Board candidates Laura Anderson, Lisa Brown and Robin Crossan defended their decision to campaign as a group Tuesday during a candidate forum sponsored by the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs.

The candidates, who have been campaigning as the "ABCs for Education," share yard signs, advertising space and campaign fliers that highlight all three candidates.

"Before I would run, I wanted to know who else was running," said Anderson, who is challenging School Board member Jerry Kozatch for the District 5 seat.

"I wanted to know that it was a group that I could work with and respect that would be thoughtful and intelligent," Anderson said. "So, I held out my petition until I was sure who those people were because I believe in building partnerships."

Anderson said the three "ABC" candidates are running on different campaign platforms. Brown is running unopposed for the District 2 seat, and Crossan is challenging School Board member Char Rusk for the District 4 seat.

"We are not a political party," Brown said. "We are not out for a specific agenda, but we are sharing campaign resources, which are limited : the ABCs are three women who would like to represent the community in education."

Crossan noted she has worked with Anderson in the past.

"We have shared views in the past, and we sat down and agreed to respectfully disagree with each other," she said. "And we agreed if one or any of us would get on the board, we would support the whole board."

Kozatch and Rusk, who were both appointed to the School Board rather than elected, chose not to respond to whether the three challengers were running on a single platform. But Kozatch said in his opening remarks that he is "running in this election only representing himself."

"I am not part of any coalition or a group with a mission," he said. "My allegiance is with the community, not with any board - past or future."

Rusk was most outspoken about building an articulated curriculum and finding ways to assess "the whole of the child."

"The pendulum is shifting from standardized testing to a more broad approach," she said.


untamedShrewd 9 years, 6 months ago

Anderson, Brown, and Crossan may be sharing expenses by running together but they are their own entities, as well. And odd for Jerry to say he's not running as a group when his yard signs can be seen in the back of Connelly's car with Rusk yard signs. And in yards with Rusk signs. They too have formed a group, whether they share expenses or not.


SteamboatJoe 9 years, 6 months ago

Untamed you are a wise one! Hopefully the voters know that too.


paststudent 9 years, 6 months ago

They have not formed a group. It's just possible that the people with Kozatch and Rusk in their yards want to support candidates who are not right wing crackpots who want to put RELIGION (most likely Christian) classes in PUBLIC schools.

How do you know what Connelly's car looks like? That seems a bit strange.


mom 9 years, 6 months ago

Rusk and Kozatch are great! Matter of fact.....Connelly too....but I am not looking into people's cars. Any how, people CAN put signs in their yards based on their own views....right? Sound to me like more sour grapes from the SOS losers.


untamedShrewd 9 years, 6 months ago

ignorance is bliss...well it's not. Ignorance breeds intolerance. Having a religous studies as a selective at the High School level that teaches the similarities and differences of many, if not all, religions will help students see beyond their own upbringings that usually are focused on one religion. Religious and cultural studies should not be considered taboo. Also, the ABC canidates do not all agree on having religious studies in the school. Again, showing their separate entities. But they are all receptive to being open to discussion on any issues that are placed before them. And it is Okay to respectively agree to disagree on matters to resolve issues. Attacking character and not policy only displays intolerance on your part.


Julia Ernst 9 years, 6 months ago

While following this year's election for School Board members, all voters should consider these ideas on how to select the best candidates. To start, the requirement for a School Board member should be defined.

School board member requirements: A volunteer dedicated to excellence in educating our community of children. One who brings an area of expertise to the educational landscape. One who is unselfish and will bring leadership to our district. One who acts with integrity and professionalism always; WORKS WELL WITH OTHERS and understands Policy Governance.

Next, if you would like a board that is effective and gets goals accomplished, please be aware all RE-2 School Board members must know and follow the Carver Model on Policy Governance; a management technique. The following excerpt taken from an introduction to it will brief you on basic purposes for it.

"Leadership is an important, yet elusive concept. It takes on different forms in different settings. The intent of Policy Governance® is to give operational definition to "leadership" as it applies in the specific context of a governing board. It addresses the questions: "How can a group of peers be a responsible owner-representative, exercising authority over activities they will never completely see, toward goals they cannot fully measure, through jobs and disciplines they will never master themselves? How can they do so when within themselves they disagree, there is a limited time for the task, and there is an unending stream of organizational details demanding inspection? In light of the leadership opportunities made possible by Policy Governance . . .Our missions and our own integrity demand that boards govern rather than either rubber stamp or meddle. . ." (Policy Governance® in a Nutshell from After reading the above introductory ideas, ask yourself the following questions while considering who is best for this job. Do you want a board that blames previous boards for the current hard decisions they make? (If yes, then stop now and vote for your incumbents) Do you want a board that will take ownership for the current hard decisions they make? Do want a board that will work well together? Do you want a board that will never have to hide information? Do you want leadership in this group? Do you want someone who embraces the business management model of Policy Governance rather than someone who says the School Board should not run like a business? Finally do you want this board to be exemplary in integrity, honesty and never deceitful? If you have read this far and answered yes, then I am confident you will have this kind of board by voting for the ABC's. By the way, Robin Crossan is hands down a leader who can balance the problem. To quote Lisa Brown, "There is no reason our district can not be the best district in the state."


Chris Elliott 9 years, 6 months ago

Nicely put Julia. I am a little concerned that Char Rusk has her head in the sand if she believes" The pendulum is shifting from standardized testing to a more broad approach," as a person in the schools daily I can tell you standardized assessments are becoming more prevalent, not less, and it is under the direction of the district. It may not be a bad thing, but it makes me wonder where Rusk is getting her information.


CommonSense 9 years, 6 months ago

Ms. Ernst: You have not followed your reasoning to the logical conclusion. You yourself quote that board members must exercise "authority over activities they will never completely see, toward goals they cannot fully measure, through jobs and disciplines they will never master themselves" How is this accomplished? By depending upon their only employee (the superintendent) to communicate problems and concerns to them and communicate their direction and goals to subordinates. This means the superintendent must be honest and trustworthy and willing to follow directives. Obviously, this was not happening. Reading the investigation report on the district website and the previous two years evaluations substantiate this. Was this the past board's fault for tying the hands of the present board and leaving no motivation to do this job? YES. How many employers in this town would give a four year contract to an employee with a FULL TERM BUY-OUT--up to four years!? I'm sure no one has this deal. As for running the district as a business. To a certain extent this is possible. But, anyone in business knows that if a product is underperforming and bringing the bottom line down, it may be time to consider dropping it or putting fewer resources into it. Is this what you propose to do with students who lag behind? This is a scary line of reasoning when taken to the extent you propose. As far as the other questions you ask, the answers are YES: for honesty, integrity, being able to make the hard decisions without outside pressure from groups like SOS and threats from community bullies RUSK and KOZATCH should be voted in to continue the district on the right track they've begun. Our district is much better off now that last year.


CommonSense 9 years, 6 months ago

untamedShrewd: Read back on the description of that proposed religion course. According to articiles, it was a study of the Bible (new testament). People (including the board) might have advocated a comparative religions course as you are describing. That was not what was proposed.


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