Kory Nelson: Douglas County School Board candidate, District F


City or town of residence: Parker

Occupation: Attorney

Campaign website/contact information: koryforschoolboard.com; koryforschoolboard@gmail.com

Why are you seeking this office?

My daughter and wife live in these school buildings. My school safety expertise and my pre-existing relationships with law enforcement agencies and government leaders will allow me to effectively implement school safety as priority No.1 in our district — as the current board has failed to do. We must do better.

What makes you the best person for the job?

The board should reflect our community and its values. My skills from my 30-year legal career allows me to listen to staff and parents, rendering objective decisions. We don’t need another educational bureaucrat — we already have a superintendent. I will prioritize school safety and work better with teachers and parents.

What can be done to enhance security at district schools?

Elect me. The Douglas County Board of Commissioners appointed me to the Physical School Security Committee, so I know the extensive gaps that need to be fixed, and the voters can secure this expertise to keep our schools safe. My 30-year career as a prosecutor will allow me to work with local law enforcement agencies to implement a fully staffed and robust school resource officer program and other aspects of my detailed safety plan I have posted on my website, including developing an enhanced unarmed safety volunteer program.

What can be done to better address the mental health needs of district students?

I supported 5A to increase the number of school counselors to national standards. The same should be done to increase the number of SROs to national standards, as they also help in referring resources for struggling kids. SROs are much more than armed sentinels, as they also build positive relationships with kids and teach classes, like the Youth Education and Safety in School (Y.E.S.S.) Program — a national program created in Douglas County. A major focus of the Y.E.S.S. classes is resiliency and anti-bullying programs. By increasing SRO-led Y.E.S.S. programs to all schools, we can strengthen our kids to prevent problems.

How has the proliferation of charter schools impacted the district?

Both charter and neighborhood schools have a valuable place in our community. Parents are entitled to their freedom of choice to best meet the needs of their child. The anticipated future growth in our area will provide capital funding challenges, and charter schools may provide additional viable options for parents.

What is your assessment of Thomas Tucker’s job performance since becoming superintendent last year?

Dr. Tucker is the sole employee of the school board, so President David Ray is responsible for the directions given to Dr. Tucker. Dr. Tucker and Ray failed in creating conflict with the county commissioners on school safety, violating First Amendment principles by ejecting Aaron Johnson from a public hearing, mistreating the families of the STEM School Highlands Ranch, harassing Ascent Classical Academy charter school and mishandling the Regan Byrd scandal through Dr. Tucker’s secret “Equity Committee” (a political correctness group with a suspicious hidden agenda).

Dr. Tucker may be able to improve with a more reasonable board and oversight.

Would you be in favor of the reinstatement of a collective bargaining agreement between the district and the teachers’ union?

The current board’s decision to deny the request for a collective bargaining agreement is their decision, and the decision of previous boards as well. I am not looking backward but looking forward to the future opportunity to improve relationships with the faculty and staff and stop micro-managing from the board.

What issue or issues must the school board make a bigger priority next year than it has in recent years?

School safety: Fix security gaps and increase the number of SROs.

Improve relations with faculty and staff: Teachers received an average of only 2.67% pay raise after board implemented Proposition 5A.

Respect parents: Stop ejecting parents from meetings in violation of the First Amendment. Stop harassing charter parents like STEM and Ascent.


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