OURAY COUNTY – Both Ridgway and Ouray school districts will see contested school board elections this November. Last Friday, Aug. 30, was the last day for candidates to turn in their nominating petitions. The signatures on those petitions have now been verified by county officials, revealing a field of candidates larger than available open seats in each jurisdiction.
In Ridgway, nine candidates are vying for four seats that are up for grabs. Seven of these candidates are running for three seats which have a four-year term. These include incumbent Bart Skalla, seeking a second four-year term, and new contenders Tim Taplin, Jason Gunning, Dawn Oliver, Greg Lawler, Heather Hart, and Heather Yeowell.
The remaining seat is for a two-year term. Incumbent Steve Larivee has filed paperwork to run for this seat after being appointed to the school board in 2011. Marjorie Stevenson also vying for a two-year term.
Depending on which way the elections go, current board president Roger Sagal could end up as the only member of the current board to move forward after the election.
In Ouray, four candidates will compete for three open seats in the upcoming election. Incumbent Don Mort, a retired Ouray High School social studies teacher, is vying for a second four-year term. He is joined by new candidates Ellen Kersen, Jane Ross and Jennifer Fedel. Ross is a former Ouray School Board member who served as president for some years before stepping down. Fedel is the wife of current school board president Mike Fedel, who is term limited along with the board’s other most senior member, Chris Hinkson. Both Kersen and Fedel have children who are students at Ouray School.
The remaining two incumbent Ouray School Board members, Kentee Pasek and Jerry Hellman, both have two years left in their current terms, after which Hellman will be term-limited.
The two school districts jointly hosted a candidate’s orientation night on Aug. 28.
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