School board candidate: Jason Benderly |

School board candidate: Jason Benderly

Matt Terrell
Vail, CO Colorado
Daily file photoSchool board member Jason Benderly says he studies how the district evaluates teachers and how it determines if they're doing a good job.

EAGLE COUNTY ” Open communication and the controversial way we pay teachers are some of the big problems on the minds of school board candidates running for election.

District G includes Edwards south of Highway 6, Avon west of Beaver Creek Road and south of I-70, the area west of Beaver Creek Road and east of Lake Creek Road.

Incumbent Jason Benderly faces a challenge from Judd Babcock for the seat.

Benderly moved here in 1990 with his wife and son because they loved the people, and of course, the slopes. He grew up skiing in Vermont, convinced it was the best in the world, until he started coming to Vail.

“I said, ‘You can’t beat Vermont skiing,’ and she said, ‘Yes you can,'” Benderly said.

Benderly’s day job is operating Benderly Economics, which specializes in statistical analysis of the economy for all sorts of financial groups, and his input helps them make big decisions.

How he describes his work ” careful analysis of complex relationships” is similar to how he describes his job on the school board. He’s very interested in studying how we evaluate teachers, and how we determine if they’re doing a good job.

“We need to understand what we can know, and what we can’t know, about how well the job is being done so we can gauge the quality of teachers, administrators, whole buildings and the district,” Benderly said.

That process of testing and evaluation is at the heart of the Teacher Advancement Program. Benderly said there are good teachers and bad teachers, and it’s important to find the best way to determine who’s effective. And at the same time, TAP needs to be flexible and made more transparent and understandable, he said.

“I do believe it’s a very difficult issue, but the fact that it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s not possible, the fact that it’s difficult doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be tried,” Benderly said.

TAP, despite its flaws, is very innovative, and the district should continue finding creative ways to improve the growth of every kid, he said.

“Education is the most important issue for the long-run well being of the community, and for the well being of individual people,” Benderly said.

Staff writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or

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