Through the year, the Colorado Times Recorder dedicated significant time to covering school board elections around the state. Here’s a look back at some of that coverage.

Cañon City

Cañon City RE-1 School Board Forum Offers Minimal Policy Depth, But Conservative Church’s Flyer Reveals Some Candidate Positions

A rigidly formatted forum offered a glimpse Wednesday evening of the six candidates running for the Cañon City School Board, but little depth into the issues they say they want to tackle.

Insurgent School Board Candidates in Cañon City Want To ‘Throw a Bomb into Our District and Disrupt Programs,’ Says Incumbent

Although the call for school board candidates in Cañon City went out this week, an effort to oust incumbents and take control of the board began months ago, and the amount of money raised is on pace to soon surpass previous elections.

Cherry Creek

Conservative Candidates Look To Shake Up Cherry Creek School Board

Whomever voters elect to Cherry Creek’s school board next month won’t change the majority opinion one way or the other. Still, two Republican-backed candidates, Steve McKenna and Scott Graves, hope to shake up the conversation around what’s taught in Cherry Creek schools and the district’s responsibilities to parents.

Colorado Parent Group Responsible for Turning Point USA Appearance at Cherry Creek Schools; Denies Book-Banning Agenda

Standing on a truck bed in a parking lot outside a recent Cherry Creek school board meeting, the so-called book-banning pastor John Amanchukwu shouted through a microphone to around 50 onlookers to vote out supporters of “drag queen story hour” and restore parent voice in education.

Local & Nat’l Anti-LGBT Groups Targeting of Cherry Creek Schools Leads to Threats

Earlier this month, the popular anti-LGBTQ Libs of TikTok social media account put out a call to its members asking them to email the Cherry Creek superintendent, school board, and district leadership team about the district providing what they called pornographic books to children.

Colorado Springs

Fire-Breathing Lesbians & Satan-Worshipping S.O.Bs: The Private Chat Logs of a Christian Conservative School District Group

The Colorado Times Recorder has obtained chat logs from the Discord server of the Colorado Springs activist group Advocates for D20 Kids, which has advocated against LGBTQ-inclusive policies and books in Academy School District 20. Members of the server, which functions as the group’s online chat platform, include two sitting D20 board members, Tom LaValley and Nicole Konz, as well the Cortney Salt, wife of Aaron Salt and organizer with education nonprofit Engage the Rockies. Other members include both conservative board candidates, Derrick Wilburn and Amy Shandy, former Moms for Liberty co-chair Darcy Schoening, D11 Achievement Alliance spokesman Joel Sorensen, Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR) activist Joseph Boyle, as well as D20 staff members.

Seducing the Bride of Christ

Messages from the Advocates for D20 Kids Discord server show that conservative candidates Derrick Wilburn and Amy Shandy were actively courting local churches for support in their campaigns.

Dark Money and the School Board Industrial Complex

Colorado Springs churches aren’t the only ones getting involved in the Academy School District 20 Board of Education race. According to independent expenditure reports, the Springs Opportunity Fund spent $48,214 for a direct mail campaign supporting conservative candidates Derrick Wilburn and Amy Shandy.

Colorado Springs Conservatives Host Town Halls For D11 Board Members Running For Reelection

Conservative members of Colorado Springs School District 11’s Board of Education, President Parth Melpakam and Vice President Jason Jorgenson, have participated in town hall events hosted by conservative activists and groups in advance of the Nov. 7 election.

Judge Denies D49 Board Member’s Bid for Ballot

An El Paso County judge on Wednesday denied Colorado Springs School District 49 Board member Ivy Liu’s petition for injunctive relief, filed after Liu was not allowed onto the ballot for the Nov. 7 election. 

Fact Check: D11’s Academic Performance

During a Sept. 16 town hall event, Colorado Springs School District 11 Board Vice President Jason Jorgenson touted the district’s academic improvement.

El Paso County Democrats Disavow School Board Candidate Over Voter Guide Response

The El Paso County Democratic Party has voted to remove Alvin Sexton, a Widefield District 3 Board of Education candidate, from his position as a precinct organizer by a “supermajority vote,” according to a statement released this morning. Sexton’s removal was a result of his responses to the Transform Colorado voter guide.

Douglas County

Campaign Violation Complaints Add Up for Douglas County School Board Candidate Andy Jones

Andy Jones, who is running for the Douglas County school board with a slate of conservative candidates, has received two campaign violation complaints in the span of four days.

Far-Right Gun Group Supports DougCo School Board Candidate Who Appears to Favor Arming Teachers

Douglas County school board candidate David DiCarlo gained support in late October from Taylor Rhodes, executive director at Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO). RMGO is Colorado’s largest state-based gun lobby, with more than 200,000 members. 

Douglas County School District’s Revised Policy Raises Concerns for Trans Students

The Douglas County school board adopted revisions to the Parent and Family Engagement Policy which focuses on the issue of “compelled” speech, raising concerns that the policy could be used to justify harassment against transgender students and staff in the district. 

DougCo Republicans Kick Reporters Out of School Board Candidate Forums

For the second time in less than a month, organizers of conservative school board candidate forums in Douglas County asked reporters to leave. In the most recent forum, an organizer for the “We the Women” candidate round-robin asked this reporter to leave shortly after arriving, saying she didn’t want the event reported. 


Elizabeth School Board Passes Resolution from Moms for Liberty Playbook

Three weeks after the far-right group Moms for Liberty posted a call to action for members to ask their districts to commit to full in-person learning, Elizabeth school board members passed a resolution that matches nearly word-for-word the language provided by what the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled an “anti-government extremist” group.

Elizabeth School Board Sued for Violating Open Meetings Laws

Elizabeth School Board has been sued for violating open meetings laws. At issue: The board members’ decision to adopt a resolution refusing to close schools or require children to wear masks during a future COVID-19 surge.

Estes Park

DAVIS: Something Strange is Happening in Estes Park

The process for founding a new charter school in Colorado is not exactly simple, but it is straightforward. Interested parents and community members come together, get some ducks in a row, and then file an application with the local school board, which has the legal authority to approve or deny charters. If a charter is granted, the process of opening the new charter school in the district begins. If the school board denies the charter, that’s the end of it.


DAVIS: This November’s School Board Elections Are More Important Than You Think

The most important school board races in Colorado this year are not on the Front Range, and are rarely in the press. They are tucked into high valleys beyond the curtains of peaks, attracting little notice and even less money. While school board races in Denver routinely attract tens of thousands of voters and millions of dollars in outside spending, the races carrying the real stakes of the November elections could be decided by dozens of votes, or a few thousand dollars. Rural school board races have never been as important as they are this year, and their ramifications could be felt statewide.

Grand Junction

School Board Candidate: Schools Should Teach Big Bang & Creationism & Let Kids Decide What’s True

“You should provide 100% of the information to someone, so that they have the ability to make the decision on their own,” said Grand Junction School Board candidate Evanson. “It’s just like I said: if we’re going to teach the Big Bang then we should teach creation and allow them to make the decision for themselves.”

School Board Candidate Responds: ‘Evidence For Creationism & Equality in Education’

This opinion column was sent in response to an article published by the Colorado Times Recorder on October 31, 2023, titled “School Board Candidate: Schools Should Teach Big Bang & Creationism & Let Kids Decide What’s True.“ The author co-wrote this column with her husband, Charles Evanson.

Earth to School Board Candidate: You’re Right, a Dog Never Turned Into a Lion, But That’s No Reason To Teach Genesis

On her campaign website Grand-Junction-area school board race, Barbara Evanson claims she wants to “ensure students learn to read, write, do math, and understand science and history.” But by “science” she apparently means religious dogma.

Gunnison County

CO Republicans To Auction Off Rifle at Fundraiser Featuring School Board Candidates

“The elections is the #1 thing we need to focus on! They are being stolen from us with these machines and we need to remove them,” a GOP-backed Gunnison School Board candidate stated on Facebook, referring to a podcast promoting conspiracy theories about Dominion Voting Machines. “Share this video with everyone you know.”

Jefferson Counties

Developer Who Lost His State Senate Race Funding Mailers for Conservative Jeffco School Board Candidates

Golden developer Tim Walsh, who poured over $1 million into his failed race for a state senate seat in Jefferson County last year, is investing in politics again, albeit on a smaller scale.

Mesa County

Mesa County School Board Members Attend Right-Wing Workshop Targeting ‘Equity’ & ‘Inclusivity’

Nineteen residents from around the Grand Valley, including Mesa County Valley District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz and fellow school board member Angela Lema – attended the “save our schools” workshop held Thursday, August 26 at a Grand Junction hotel. Schindler presented the workshop on behalf of Heritage Action for America. 


Far-Right Candidates Running Unopposed for Seats on Montezuma-Cortez School Board

A Cortez, Colorado, school board candidate says he might refuse to follow statewide education policies that go against his personal values. His Facebook page illuminates what moral values he might be referring to.


Conservative School Board Candidates Join Parents Rights Speakers for Forum in Northern Colorado

As candidates and voters mingled at the start of last Thursday’s School Board Candidate Meet & Greet in Loveland at Citipointe Church, conversations were interrupted as every cell phone in the room beeped simultaneously: the Colorado Bureau of Investigation had issued a ‘Blue Alert.’ These go out to media — and cell phones — when “a peace officer has been killed or received a life-threatening injury and the suspect(s) have fled,” says CBI, much like the better-known ‘Amber Alerts’ for missing children.

Woodland Park

DAVIS: Onward Christian Soldiers – A Woodland Park Investigation

If a germ touches me, it dies,” the faith healer proclaimed at the height of the pandemic. Not everyone was so lucky: though he personally claimed to be protected by faith-based immunity, Andrew Wommack’s constant flouting of local health ordinances, his desire to pack the sanctuary at Charis Bible College with hundreds of people at a time, led to multiple fatal outbreaks of the virus in Teller County. Now, three years later, Wommack’s ministry empire has infected Woodland Park with a new strain of contagion, this time through the ballot box.

DAVIS: Secret Audio Recording Reveals Inner-Workings of Woodland Park Takeover

The other thing we ask is no recording,” the Freedom Foundation moderator can be heard saying on the recording I recently obtained. The recording, which was provided by a source who wishes to remain anonymous, is of a panel discussion at a recent conference and prominently features Brad Miller, the controversial attorney for the Woodland Park school board. “If you guys want these guys to be frank, to be open with you guys, they don’t want to be on YouTube. I don’t want to be on YouTube. So if we can, just make sure that there is no recording.”

DAVIS: Buying the Birthright: A Woodland Park Investigation

The Woodland Park-based effort to fundamentally alter public education in America is being funded by the zombie fortunes of long-dead conservative industrialists, according to a review of hundreds of tax documents associated with the members of Civics Alliance, the coalition that produced the American Birthright social studies program.

DAVIS: American Birthright: A Woodland Park Investigation

While much has been reported about what is happening in the Woodland Park School District, little has been documented about why it is happening in Woodland Park specifically, or who is ultimately behind it. The Woodland Park school board’s first-in-the-nation decision to adopt the American Birthright standards brings us closer to answers to those questions.

DAVIS: The Specialists: A Woodland Park Investigation

What’s happening in Woodland Park looks like something new: an evolution of that old fight, where the goal is no longer to shrink and dissolve the public schooling system but to seize control of the system and use it to train up a new generation of conservative voters. 

DAVIS: The Small Colorado Town at the Center of Far-Right Plans for American Schools

Twenty miles northwest of Colorado Springs, nestled amongst the conifers behind the first upslopes of the Front Range, the vanguard of a shadowy, well-funded national movement has taken over a school district. Now, the district is being used as a base of operations from which to open a new front in the right wing’s decades-old war on public education.

DAVIS: Fear & Loathing in Woodland Park

This is the final installment in a 7-part series about the Woodland Park school board. This piece can stand alone without reading the other six pieces.