Candidates emerge for Routt County school boards

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Sandra Sharp

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Courtesy photo

Wayne Lemley

— Steamboat Springs’ school board election finally has come into focus.

Sandra Sharp, an adjunct professor at Colorado Mountain College, and Wayne Lemley, who has served on Soda Creek Elementary School’s Accountability Committee, are the latest entrants into a school board race that had no candidates until Monday.

Sharp has filed for the District 5 seat being vacated by Laura Anderson, and Lemley is seeking the District 2 seat being vacated by Lisa Brown. Board President Robin Crossan on Monday filed for a second term in her District 4 seat. Barring any last-minute entries before today’s 4 p.m. filing deadline, there won’t be a contested election. However, district election official Deb Ginesta said another petition for District 5 was picked up last week and has not been returned.

Sharp, who has a son attending Steamboat Springs High School and another just starting college, said she has an extensive background in education. Formerly a data and records manager at the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services, she said running for school board has long crossed her mind.

“I’ve seen the educational process from many different directions,” she said. “Now is a time in my life to contribute. I have enough experience in business to work out a budget, and I think that will be especially useful as we potentially face more cuts.”

Sharp, 50, teaches English composition and developmental reading classes at CMC.

Lemley, who is finishing a book reflecting on his experience as a single parent, previously worked in the biomedical field and owned a financial information business.

“We have a great school district and I’m hoping to help out and help us get even better,” Lemley said.

Lemley, 48, has lived in Steamboat for eight years and has taught a weekly math lesson in his son’s Soda Creek Elementary School class. He also has a daughter starting kindergarten at Strawberry Park Elementary School.

“Filing for the school board seemed like a good opportunity for me,” he said.

In June, Lemley wrote an op-ed piece for the Steamboat Pilot & Today advocating for a mill levy to fund Steamboat’s public schools.

Meanwhile, the school board races in South Routt and Hayden are also nearly finalized.

In South Routt, District 4 remains the only contested seat. Oak Creek residents Byron Dean and Jules Palyo have announced their candidacies for the seat being vacated by longtime board member Linda Long.

Dean taught a variety of subjects at Soroco High School for more than 30 years. Palyo, who owns Flat Tops Ranch Supply, has been an active volunteer in the South Routt School District for 11 years.

In Hayden, incumbents Sharon Nereson, in District D, and Vance Fulton, in District B, are both seeking re-election. District election official Jnl Linsacum said Thursday there are no other petitions out for their seats.

Candidates for all of Routt County’s school board elections must return their signed petitions to their school district office by 4 p.m. today to be eligible for November’s ballot.

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