Election 2017 - Meet the Candidates

Englewood Schools has 3 out of 5 positions on its Board of Education up for election this election day - November 7, 2017. This election is a mail-only election and ballots will be mailed to active registered voters beginning Oct. 16. Please visit GoVoteColorado.com in advance to confirm that you are registered to vote and that your address is current.

Use this page to get to know each candidate before you vote.

Voters will vote for three out of the five candidates.

The candidates are (click on a name to jump to their profile):

Todd Fahnestock
Jennifer Hubbard
Caty Husbands
Carl Montegna, Jr.
Tena Prange

 

Todd Fahnestock

3020 S. Sherman St.
Englewood, CO 80113
todd.fahnestock@gmail.com
720-261-2598
www.toddfahnestock.com
Notice of Intent to be a Candidate

What is your background?

I've lived in Englewood since 2001. My son and daughter attended elementary school at Charles Hay and are now at Englewood Leadership Academy in 6th and 8th Grade, respectively. My wife, Lara, is the Director of Community Gardens at Denver Urban Gardens. Before making the shift to being a full time author, I worked at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the American Diabetes Association for thirteen years, beginning as an Administrative Assistant and ending as Director of Development. During the transition from my nonprofit career to my writing career, I served as the Executive Assistant to Sheila Bugdanowitz, CEO of Rose Community Foundation. I currently spend my days volunteering, assisting my kids with homework/activities, and writing fantasy and science fiction stories for kids, adults and those in-between. My latest middle grade novel, The Wishing World II: Loremaster, will hit the shelves on November 28, 2017.

Why are you running for school board?

Public schools are vitally important to our youth. Given the opportunity, our children can realize their potential, setting goals for themselves and creating a vision for their lives. But having access to the proper resources and expertise is critical. The reason I'm passionate about public schools is that they provide these resources not just for some, but for all. As a Board member, I intend to further the tremendous momentum that has been built within our school district and continue fostering the environment where all children can thrive.

What makes you a good candidate?

I have a lifelong passion for learning. It's vitally important to instill this in our youth. As an author, I have a deep love of creative writing, the arts and self-expression. I believe in fostering imagination, personal responsibility, and a strong work ethic. You never know who is going to become our next great leader, our next spark of significant change in our culture, and it all starts right here in school. No matter where we are bound in life, the experiences we create in elementary, middle school and high school influence us forever.

What are your hopes or goals for Englewood Schools? How do you plan to achieve them if you are elected?

Because of the many years of dedication of our Englewood Schools staff, faculty, administration and Board, I believe our school district is poised at the edge of an educational renaissance. Our community benefits from a staunch commitment among our longstanding Englewood residents and a fresh vitality among our new Englewood residents. There is more avid interest in improving our schools than ever before. As a Board member, I intend to gather input from our community members, teachers and administration, add to our already strong momentum, and look for ways to continuously improve how we serve our students. We have many strengths in the Englewood School district. I hope to ensure that we support those strengths while addressing areas that need more attention or different attention. Whatever a student's expression, I want to connect them with the resources needed to succeed.

 

Jennifer Hubbard

390 E. Bellewood Drive
Englewood, CO 80113
jenhubbard19@gmail.com
303-324-4162
Notice of Intent to Be a Candidate

What is your background?

I am a Colorado native and grew up in Littleton. I attended the University of Northern Colorado and graduated with a BA in English. I am married with 2 children. My children have attended multiple Englewood schools over the course of their school careers. My daughter attended Englewood Leadership Academy and Englewood High School before graduating a full year early from Colorado’s Finest in May. My son attended Charles Hay, Englewood Leadership Academy, Englewood Middle School, and just started high school at Colorado’s Finest this year. I have been an Englewood resident for over 15 years and love where I live! I have worked in the education field in different capacities over the last 17 years, and am very familiar with the challenges Englewood schools face. I am passionate about making education for kids the best it can be, and feel that Englewood Schools is a hidden gem among so many larger districts.

Why are you running for school board?

I am running for the Englewood School Board because I would like to be more involved in the decisions that are being made for students and to try and make Englewood Schools even better.

What makes you a good candidate?

I feel that by working in the field of education, as well as having children go through Englewood Public schools, I am in a unique position of understanding both the struggles of the district and the concerns of parents and the community. I will hold the district accountable for providing a twenty-first century education to all students and ensuring that every student is prepared for the future of their choice.

What are your hopes or goals for Englewood Schools? How do you plan to achieve them if you are elected?

I would like to involve the community more so that they have the opportunity to see the great work that is being done in the schools and have a chance to be a part of what is happening. Another priority of mine is to keep teachers in Englewood and slow down the amount of teacher turnover. If I am elected, I hope to start a community mentor/tutoring program in order to tap into the knowledge and skills we have in our community members to help students and bring the schools and community closer. I would like to see exit interviews conducted with staff who choose to leave the district and the information from those exit interviews reflected upon to determine why staff is leaving Englewood, and what could be done to prevent additional staff from resigning.

 

Catherine (Caty) Husbands

3901 S. Acoma St.
Englewood, CO 80110
clillyg@gmail.com
303-328-7929
Notice of Intent to be a Candidate

What is your background?

I have been in education for the last twenty years in a variety of roles. I taught World History at the university level for ten years before transitioning to elementary and secondary education. I currently work with first-generation high school students to help them access post-secondary educational and career opportunities. My husband is a Project Manager for the National Park Service. We have two daughters, one at Charles Hay in 4th grade and the other at Englewood Leadership Academy in 8th grade. Our elementary school daughter loves writing, reading and plays soccer for Englewood. Our middle schooler is also a writer and artist, and she is very active in theater at TEC. We also have two cats, two parakeets, and two geckos. We recently acquired a white water raft and spent some time this summer negotiating rivers and rapids. We also love to camp and travel, and my vegetable garden is one of my happiest places.

Why are you running for school board?

As an educator and a mother of two Englewood students, I am interested in the direction of education in Englewood. I believe there is great work being done in classrooms across Englewood, and there is a great more to be done. As was made clear by our Bond Levy success in the last two elections, the Englewood community is invested in building our district to effectively serve all students. I would like to bring my experience as both educator and parent to help support the continued growth.

What makes you a good candidate?

I made the transition from post-secondary teaching to secondary/primary teaching five years ago. My inspiration for this change began as a parent at Charles Hay World School. It was during my time as a parent in the classroom that I began to notice the range of ability and access in the classrooms, and I was fascinated with educators that were able to successfully bridge gaps and provide access to all of their students. I became intrigued with the connections between early access to literacy and ultimately to how this related to success in high school, college, and career. I have worked as a substitute teacher, a special education para-educator, a high school teacher, college advisor, and an administrator. I believe these multiple roles provide me with unique perspective on education that could contribute positively to the Englewood School Board.

I have lived all over the world and worked in diverse settings with students young and old. Throughout all of these experiences, I have established strong relationships wherever I find myself. I assume the best of people and genuinely enjoy learning about different perspectives. I fundamentally believe that all children deserve an excellent education and that Englewood Schools are more than capable of accomplishing that goal. I am passionate in that belief, but I most certainly do not believe that I somehow have an answer that is better than anyone else's. It is through collaboration and compromise that we together can contribute to an Englewood that best serves our youth.

What are your hopes or goals for Englewood Schools? How do you plan to achieve them if you are elected?

There are many studies out there that indicate there is a clear correlation between students that leave third grade reading at grade level and later graduating from high school. Those that leave third grade not reading at grade level are less likely to ultimately graduate from high school. Over the last several years, Denver Public Schools put resources into intensive literacy training for educators teaching grades K-3. Just last month, DPS published findings that indicated that these trainings had a dramatic impact on the number of third graders reading at grade level. Aware of the work already being done in Englewood Schools, I believe there is the potential to do even more in cooperation with our exceptional educators.

This third grade data point is directly related to the other things I believe are priorities for the Board of Education, which include student and teacher retention and increasing high school graduation rates. If elementary teachers have the time to focus on implementing new strategies for literacy and students are leaving third grade reading at grade level, this has an overflow effect on teacher/student retention and graduation rates. I know there is already a great deal of energy being put into teaching literacy in Englewood, and I think it is a valuable place to continue to focus in order to further strengthen Englewood Schools.

 

Carl Montegna, Jr.

4755 S. Inca St.
Englewood, CO 80110
cctpmontegna@gmail.com
303-762-1730
Notice of Intent to be a Candidate

What is your background?

I am a two time Colorado transplant. My family moved here in 1980 and I graduated Arapahoe High School in 1985. Then I moved to Lubbock, Texas to attend Texas Tech University earning my Master’s degree in 1996 and moved to Englewood in 1997. I am married and have two sons, the youngest is a junior at EHS. I am the Landscape and Irrigation Division Manager for Consolidated Divisions Incorporated (CDI). Over the years I have volunteered to coach baseball for both of my sons including the EHS Elite summer team.

Why are you running for school board?

Two main items drew my attention and prompted me to run for the school board. First, seeing all of the recent construction and new facilities being built with the bonds the Englewood voters so graciously approved, I wanted to get more involved with seeing how the money is being spent. Second is the retention of students and staff in the Englewood school system.

What makes you a good candidate?

If elected I think my strongest contribution will stem from the fact I am almost a complete outsider to the educational system. Not being within the system I will bring a fresh perspective and will not be hesitant to make suggestions that won’t be tainted by previous results and expectations.

What are your hopes or goals for Englewood Schools? How do you plan to achieve them if you are elected?

My hopes are that over the time I serve on the Board, Englewood schools continue to move in the positive direction I see the District going. As a parent that moved a child into the district during middle school I have seen the positive turn-around in his education and know that Englewood provides a great environment for students to thrive. I am not sure how to achieve this goal and I truly don’t think any one person does. I believe the future of the schools’ success rests on the collective efforts of everyone involved in the schools from the administration, staff, faculty, students and parents equally and the more unified effort the Board can promote, the solutions will emerge, evolve and make Englewood schools great.

 

Tena Prange

4082 S. Pearl St.
Englewood, CO 80113
tenaroserose@msn.com
720-384-3626
https://www.facebook.com/Tena-Prange-For-Englewood-School-Board-1650727671612957/
Notice of Intent to be a Candidate

What is your background?

I am a Michigan native and have lived in Englewood for the past nineteen years. I am the proud mother of three beautiful girls who have all attended or currently attend Englewood Schools. My oldest is a sophomore at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. I also have a daughter in seventh grade at Englewood Leadership Academy and a second grader at Cherrelyn Elementary. We enjoy spending time with our dog, cats and chickens, gardening, hiking and cooking.

I have a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and a Master of Non-Profit Management from Regis University.

I currently work as an Accountant for the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) within the Colorado Department of Human Services; I've been with OBH for nine years. During the first eight years I worked as a Specialist creating contracts, managing budgets and performing fiscal management for programs totaling 33 million dollars annually. My current position focuses solely on the accounting functions of OBH for state and federally funded programs that support the community behavioral health system of Colorado.

Outside of work hours, my time is dedicated to being the best mother I can be and to serving the Englewood Schools community. Through my position on the Englewood School Board, I am a regular participant in the Colorado Association of School Boards regional meetings, annual conference and Delegate Assembly. I also sit as the Englewood Schools liaison on the Englewood Library Board.

Why are you running for school board?

I am running for a second term on the Englewood School Board because I believe a successful organization is continuously improving. I also have a deep passion and commitment to our wonderful gem of a school district. We’ve had a series of great successes during my tenure on the Board; however, constant changes internal to our system as well as from the state and federal levels means that we need to continue to stabilize and work toward the meaning behind our tagline “Belong and Thrive”. I believe it is time to assess, make commitments to the work before us, and implement with fidelity. This will require a deeper implementation of the Strategic Plan 2016-2020. I believe it is time to measure how we are performing against the ends in our strategic plan so that the Board of Education and Englewood Schools administration can identify challenges and opportunities. While turn over and fresh voices are important to any system, consistency and stability are equally important. I believe we are on the right path and with thoughtful actions, we will continue to see positive results.

What makes you a good candidate?

Before running for my first-term on the Board of Education, I volunteered in various capacities within the District. I sat on and eventually co-chaired the PTSO at Clayton Elementary, while my oldest attended the school. This also allowed me to sit on the School Accountability Committee for several years. I then joined the District Accountability Committee, on which I served for four years. Thereafter, I co-chaired the successful Citizens for Englewood Schools bond and mill campaign that allowed for renovations to the current Colorado’s Finest High School of Choice building and to build The Englewood Campus. I believe these experiences helped build the skills necessary to be a well-rounded Board of Education Director.

Serving for four years on the Board of Education has given me a much deeper understanding of what it takes to serve students to the best of our ability, while keeping in mind the needs of our teachers and classified staff. We are fortunate to have an incredible team of district leaders who keep students at the forefront of decision-making. Serving our students and teachers well requires a strong rapport between the Board of Education and the staff who are on the front lines each and every day. I believe the current Board has a strong working relationship with staff, and I'd like to believe that most staff would say they can rely on me to be present, prepared and open to suggestions. Great results require self-growth and pushing one another ; I want to help our school district be a safe place where we push each other to new heights for the ultimate benefit of the students.

What are your hopes or goals for Englewood Schools? How do you plan to achieve them if you are elected?

My hope is for the Englewood School District to be a destination district for both students AND teachers. My first priority is to continue to work on the culture and climate of the school district as a whole, as well as those of each individual school building. I hope to continue to work to cultivate an environment wherein students and teachers are heard by their administrators and the Board and where they have a direct contribution to decisions made. I believe we can retain students already enrolled by providing choice of programming, rigor and high expectations, and rich opportunities to participate. I believe we attract and retain teachers by creating fulfilling work environments, providing attractive compensation and benefits packages to the best of our ability, and inserting the teachers voice of direct classroom experience into the decision making that occurs.

My second priority is to make and keep the strategic plan a living document. I believe the only way we can accomplish this is to measure our success in each of the “ends” within the plan. In recent months, I’ve begun to ask presenters at Board meetings, “What are we measuring? How does the Board know whether we’ve made success from one year to the next in each of these areas?” I plan to continue to ask these questions as I believe the goal of high expectations applies to the administration as well as the Board. We are not doing the best job we can for the students and teachers if we are not pushing ourselves to a higher standard of functioning.

Last but not least, marketing and advertising of what Englewood Schools has to offer is a necessity. We hear much about school choice these days. Englewood Schools offers an array of choice from unique school cultures to diverse programming and enrichment opportunities. In no other urban district can a student successfully take rigorous courses, play on a varsity level sports team (not sit on a bench), and enjoy a lead role in a school play. We are small town America with the blessings of an urban environment. I believe if we tell these stories well and consistently, we will maintain our current students, attract young families, and create interest outside of our District boundaries. Taking this step is a must in order assure the long-term viability of the school district.

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