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With Conservative Jeffco School Board Members Gone, What Happens Now?

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) - Voters recalled three Jefferson County School Board members Tuesday night. Ken Witt, Julie Williams and John Newkirk are out. All board members were conservative.

Ken Witt, Julie Williams and John Newkirk jefferson county school board recall
Ken Witt, Julie Williams and John Newkirk (credit: CBS)

The entire board turned over -- all five positions. But now that the dust is settled, the question is, what changes in Jefferson County schools and classrooms?

"My hope is that the representation of larger percentages of stakeholders is brought to table," newly-elected board member Susan Harmon said.

Harmon believes some of the backlash was brought on, not by the policies of the board, but the personalities. She says many people support pay for performance, for example, but it's how teachers are evaluated that needs work.

Susan Harmon
Susan Harmon (credit: CBS)

"In terms of the problems with it and why this may not be an accurate indicator of teachers' success, teachers' rating," Harmon said.

Equal funding for charter schools is also good policy, according to Harmon, but those schools need to be vetted.

"How they fit under the model of public schools, whether there is a need basis in that population that can be served and sustained," Harmon said.

"That's what that board is elected to do, is make decisions about policies," said Superintendent Dan McMinimee.

McMinimee was hired by the previous board.

Superintendent Dan McMinimee is interviewed by CBS4's Shaun Boyd (credit: CBS)

"I do think the things that were put into place helped instruction in our classrooms and helped equalize funding for all kids in our district," he said. "But at the end of day if the Board of Education says, as a group, 'This is the policy we're going to implement,' my job is to make sure that's what happens in our schools."

CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd asked McMinimee if he has any plans to leave with the new board in place.

Recall backers celebrate the victory Tuesday night (credit: CBS)

"I love this job and I've invested a lot of time and effort into getting where we are right now, been here for a year and four months, and I have no plans to leave," he responded.

The recalled members hold their seats through the end of the month.

In Douglas County three conservative board members up for re-election also lost to union supported candidates.

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