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D51 Election Overview

2023 West Slope Youth Voice members. Photo provided by Mia De Villegas-Decker.

It’s that time of year again when ballots are being filled out and results are being counted. District 51’s School Board of Education Election has finally come to an end and the results have been counted. The election was held on Tuesday November 7. The D51 Board of Education Director position is a volunteer position which must agree to serve a four year term, very much similar to the presidential election. The Board of Education is exactly what their title is, they run District 51’s education all across the valley to make sure our schools and students get the best experience possible. They meet twice a month to make decisions regarding school students. All of these Directors have been voting on at large, meaning eligible voters vote for one candidate from each director district. Doug Levinson is the current School Board Member representing District A and Dr. Kari Sholtes is currently representing District B, and neither of them are running in the upcoming election. Mia De Villegas-Decker, a senior at Palisade, is a member of the West Slope Youth Voice (WSYV) organization. She shared how WSYV was involved within this year’s elections. “We weren’t necessarily advocating for any candidates specifically but we were involved by letting the public know what each candidate had in mind,” she says. “We asked these candidates questions that we surveyed from students at different high schools. All 5 of the school board candidates were asked these questions in order to make this information more accessible.” West Slope Youth Voice is a student organization led by students that aims to incorporate students in the Grand Valley in our Democratic system in our community. Mia has been involved with the organization since 2020 and is very happy they (WSYV) got to hear more from the candidates. Ultimately, the ballots decided the wins and losses: Chavez led for District A followed by Skalla taking 40% of the votes and Hearns with the remaining 17%. Jose Luis Chavez built his campaign around the idea that all students should be accepted regardless of their traits, and he was also the only candidate who was on board for a clinic at Grand Junction High School. District B only had 2 candidates with Barbara Evanson winning and Cindy Enos-Martinez with the remaining 49% of the votes. This was a close call. Evanson is a former Marine and security officer for D51 who has a strong history involved in politics in the Grand Valley. This concludes the District 51 school board elections with hopes to make our learning community even better and brighter. 

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About the Contributor
Brielle Sorensen
Brielle Sorensen, Features Editor
Hey, I’m Brielle Sorensen! I’m a junior and this is my second year working with the Palisade Paw Post. I am the Features editor and creator of the Paw Post Movie Insider. I love writing stories that other people enjoy reading. I also enjoy reading classic novels, watching and analyzing movies (horror is my favorite genre), hiking and being outdoors, running, listening to music, and hanging out with my friends and family. I’m involved in many things here at Palisade including STUCO, Cross Country, Track, NHS, and of course the Paw Post. Here’s to a great year!
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