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Randy Mills describes himself as a cowboy. Complete with his signature hat, Mills says he has a fondness for the Western way of life and believes in the code of the West principle of taking pride in your work.Mills, of Castle Rockspent his early years outside of Munich, Germany, where his parents served as educators to the children of American service members stationed abroad. He learned to ski by riding the subway to the nearby Alps.As a young adult, he came back to America, choosing to come to Colorado, in part, because of his love of skiing.He is a small business owner and electrician who said he hopes to advocate for more vocational training in the school district.Both of his daughters were educated in the Douglas County School District, where they attended both neighborhood and online schools.As part of the four-person Elevate Douglas County slate, Mills, 56, is running for the District D seat, which includes portions of Castle Rock as well as the Franktown area. The seat is currently held by Judith Reynolds, who was first elected in 2013. Reynolds has not announced if she will seek re-election.Why did you decide to run?We had a great experience with both of our daughters (in Douglas County schools). If we look at the benchmarks, Douglas County is doing some things well, but that’s not to say there isn’t room to grow, that there isn’t room to pursue a higher bar. Our experience was very positive. At the very least, I would want that for anyone else that’s a young family in this county. Many are attracted here by our school system, as they should be. And we need to have a vibrant educational system. That’s reason number one. That’s why I’m in this race. I would be an ambassador. I would be a servant leader. I would want to be representative of the voices in the community.What are the most important issues facing the school district?I think we should always strive for excellence. That’s number one. We should keep the bar high. I understand there are certain accreditations and those kind of things, but we need to keep the bar high. We need to figure out the solutions and environments that make that happen. I understand there are other demands in the county. There are fiscal demands. That’s in the airwaves right now. They are complicated. Not that they can’t be comprehended, but they need to be well thought through. We need to understand what dynamics are going on and what the nuances are. My pledge is that I can be deliberative in that process.The board has been divided in recent years. How would you help bridge that divide?If you’re honored to be on that board, I think moms and dads, the community, want a certain level of decorum. I think that’s expected and I think that should be the example. I’m not going to speak to what the history is there. What I would bring to it is a certain level of respect and civility.Would you be supportive of a bond or mill levy to bring more funding to the district?I would be deliberative with it. Perhaps that’s the case, but we should look at it thoroughly and understand all of the mechanisms that come together. That’s not just a bond or a mill-levy override, but what other fiscal resources do we have? What other efficiencies do we have? It’s a big institution. And to the administration’s credit, they found 20-plus million (dollars) in the recent budget. That’s like 3 percent. That’s not to say we couldn’t review (if a bond or mill levy is needed), but I think we need to be thorough in our assessment and then make a judgment.What do you want people to know about you?I love Douglas County. I love life. I love liberty. I love the pursuit of happiness. This is the American dream, and an important component of that is a well-rounded education system. I believe I could help contribute to that.
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