Benway, McQueeney, Benderly win seats
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY ” One incumbent fell and another survived Tuesday’s school board election.
Keith Thompson, a former principal, in District C will not be serving another term. He was defeated by challenger Carrie Benway by 569 votes.
Jason Benderly, however, will serve another two year term. He beat Judd Babcock in District G by 627 votes.
Then there’s district D, the seat being left by Mary Ann Stavney, who decided not to seek reelection. Jeanne McQueeney defeated Margaret Olle by 646 votes.
This was the first school board election since 2003
Benway said she’s excited to begin her new job. She attended Monday’s school board meeting and said she was inspired by listening to Interim Superintendent John Pacheco talk about the challenges Colorado is facing with school funding.
“I just want to work hard to support all of our schools and provide positive solutions for the school district,” Benway said.
Benway has two children in the dual-language program at Edwards Elementary, where she’s been volunteering every week for five years. A big issue for here is communication, She said she wants to see more dialogue between the school board and the community and said she sees the series of home meetings being scheduled by the district as a great start.
Jeanne McQuenney said she learned a lot about the school district during her campaign.
“I spoke to just about every principal in the district and learned about the needs up and down the valley,” McQueeney said. “It got me involved, and it made me want to win even more.”
McQueeney was a pre-school director for the school district when the program first began. She now teaches a variety of early-childhood classes at Colorado Mountain College and trains teachers for the school district’s Head Start program.
One big challenge McQueeney said she sees for the district is staying competitive with the private schools in the valley.
“I think parents should have choices, but I want to see them choosing public education,” McQueeney said in a previous interview. “We need to see what are other schools doing that other parents are choosing.”
Benderly said he was “delighted to continue working on the school board.”
“I’m looking forward to continuing to develop the school district knowledge of how we evaluate teachers and using it to further the compensation process we’ve started,” Benderly said.
Benderly, an economist by profession, said he brings an analytical voice to the school board. The controversial Teacher Advancement Program ” also called TAP ” despite its flaws, is very innovative, and the district should continue finding creative ways to improve the growth of every kid, Benderly said.
About 23 percent of the voters eligible cast ballots.
Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or email@example.com.