CCEA’s 2015 School Board Candidate Comparison


CCEA members interviewed all six candidates for the November 3 School Board election, asking candidates to submit written questionnaires on public education issues and participate in personal interviews.  Eric Parish is running unopposed in District A.  Dave Willman, incumbent, is the sole candidate in District C.  Four people are running in District B:  David Aarestad, Matt Batcho, Vince Chowdhury, Janice McDonald.

We hope you will take the time to read about all the candidates and their positions on public education.


Major Questions

David Aarestad,
District B

Matt Batcho,
District B

Vince Chowdhury,
District B

Janice McDonald,
District B

are you a candidate?

To keep the CC brand as top school district in Colorado

To take care of the kids; ensure instruction, not just testing

Well-being of school community, prudent financial management

Believe in the mission and vision of the district

Your major priorities

Maintaining district’s excellent reputation

District’s excellent reputation, keeping it intact

Maintain district’s reputation and student achievement

Ensure all students have excellent, equitable academic experiences

Most pressing district problems?

Bussing distances, school start times, state funding, specifically the negative factor

School year calendar, school

Did not have specifics; wants teachers to customize curriculum, educate the whole child

Closing the achievement gap, eradicating the predictability of achievement by race

student achievement

Testing at school year’s end;  too much time on assessments

Likes MAPS testing in elementary; too much testing now

All stakeholders work to find an effective system

Standardized testing fairly measures student performance

Test scores to measure teacher effectiveness

Does not believe this is appropriate

Need accountability, but using a test is not the answer

Open to teachers’ views on this

Consider factors other than test scores for evaluating teachers

Collective bargaining


Okay as long as give-and-take on both sides

Is old-fashioned, but supports

Wants discussion about what each wants, what is financially possible

School vouchers and private school tax credits


Does not want to privatize public education

Colorado voters and Supreme Court have spoken on vouchers

Believe in parents’ right to educate their children as they choose

Charter school expansion

Not “a fan” of charter schools

Looks at both sides; if it works for the district, it is okay

If students’ needs are met, do not need charter schools

Yes, if necessary and district has the money

Drastic changes by other Colorado school boards

Does not support

District focus needs to be students and teaching

When something is working, improve it, don’t change it

Does not support


Major Questions

Eric Parish,
District A

Dave Willman,
District C Incumbent

Why are you
a candidate?

Continue CC’s excellence; wants to give back to the district

To protect CCSD’s mission, “Dedicated to Excellence”

Your major priorities

Understanding the issues, applying top-level knowledge, ensuring school board does not micro-manage

Student achievement, neighborhood schools, continual improvement across the district, student safety

Most pressing district problems

Funding, school safety legislation, student assessments

Too many mandates; fair funding across the state

Measuring student achievement


Out of balance now on testing vs instructional time

Test scores to measure teacher effectiveness


Not effective

Collective bargaining

Neutral, would not stand in the way of bargaining


School vouchers and private school tax credits



Charter school expansion

Open to charters, but first use district resources to address neighborhood schools’ needs before new charter schools

Doesn’t support expansion; charters are not needed if all schools have adequate financial resources

Drastic changes by other Colorado school boards

Opposes changes in Jefferson and Douglas Counties; does not want board to be politicized

Opposes market-based pay, stipend pay

Cherry Creek Education Association – September 11, 2015