These local community members and organizations know the importance of education in a thriving community. Read why they support the Bond and Mill Levy for District 51.
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Dan Thurlow, State Representative House District 55
"Momentum counts! In sports. In business. And in community building.
After a long dry spell, we have momentum in Mesa County. Sales taxes are up. Building permits are up. Unemployment is down. Businesses are moving in and expanding.
Part of momentum is a thriving educational atmosphere. We have that in higher education. We can create
it in our K-12 schools. Ballot issues 3A and 3B will help move our public schools forward in a big way.
I urge your support of 3A and 3B."
Kelly is currently the Area Manager for Xcel Energy and formerly the Executive Director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.
"The bond and mill levy override for D51 schools is critical. These initiatives will result in capital projects at each of our 44 schools, will add days to our academic calendar, will put more computers in the hands of students, will provide for increased safety and security at our schools, and ultimately will better prepare our kids for their future. A strong, locally supported K-12 education system is foundational for a strong economy. Our community’s future goals become more attainable when the foundation is solid. Truly, it all starts with kids. Join me, vote YES on 3A and 3B. Vote yes for our kids."
"The District isn't asking for extra money, they're asking for the money they lost. If you don't believe me look up the Negative Factor"
Kevin R. Fitzgerald, M.D.
Kevin is the Chief Medical Officer of Rocky Mountain Health Plans. He is a former student that graduated from 24th grade (if you add residency) and a concerned parent and grandparent. He also works part-time in a local after hours clinic.
"I believe we all need to support formal education. We rely on our community for its knowledge on a daily basis; whether it is the doctor who helped bring us into this world when we were born, the teacher we leave our children with each day, or the nurse (or other skilled care workers) we rely on to help usthrough our day as we age. Education profoundly impacts a person’s overall health and life expectancy, data shows this! We all love this community but the reading and math skills and the graduation rates for our students lag behind many other districts in our state. This keeps business from relocating here and bringing jobs. We all know communities suffer economically because of a lack of an educated work force. We need to reinvest in the infrastructure of our community schools so the environment for our students does not hold back their learning. This is a pretty small step we can take that supports our students. Let’s give our kids a chance. Vote yes on the Bond and Mill Levy for our school district."
Phyllis is a Grand Junction native and current Grand Junction City Council Member. She has served on numerous boards during her 40-year career with City Market, where she started as a checker and worked her way up to President of the company. Phyllis also is the proud mother of 3, and grandmother to 12 grandchildren who attended D51 schools.
"As a native of Grand Junction I've seen many economic ups and downs. In 2008 we had a downturn that resulted in cutbacks in many businesses as well as the government entities. District 51 made cutbacks that were away from the classroom... one area was maintenance.
Today we are seeing the results, our schools are in desperate need of "basic" repairs to the cost of $55 million! The repairs they are asking for will just take care of top priority needs only.
We can't continue to send our kids to schools needing these repairs that are becoming safety issues. As a citizen in D51 I feel responsible for the children living here, even though I have raised my children, I can't turn my back on the needs of all our kids.
I'm voting yes on the November Bond question to catch up with the priority maintenance needs. I'm also voting yes for the Mill levy increase so we will have ongoing funding to keep up basic maintenance.
Please join me in supporting our kids!"
Carol is the retired VP of Business Banking with Wells Fargo. She is currently an active board member of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, Chair of the Mind Springs Health Board, and former member and chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee for the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce.
"Supporting our kids and our schools is absolutely critical for our valley. We have put our schools on the back burner for too long and now our buildings are in desperate need to be repaired and brought up to code. There is no fluff in this request - just supporting basic needs. I support this initiative and encourage everyone to vote Yes not only for the future of our kids but for the long-term viability of our communities and the place we love and call home."
Thomas M. Parrish
Tom is currently the Vice-President of the Mesa County School District Board of Education. He is also an Adjunct Faculty and LPE Supervisor at Colorado Christian University in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies. Tom has previously worked within D51 in multiple capacities and schools from a teacher and Assistant Principal to Principal and Executive Director.
“When it comes to our children there is no greater contribution the citizens of Mesa County can make than supporting public education. This support will prepare our children to meet the challenges of the 21st century and positively impact the well-being and economic vitality of our Grand Valley.”
PAMELA L. BLYTHE
Pamela is currently an Interior Designer, RID, and CCS Principal with Blythe Group.
“As a local business owner, I can’t emphasize enough the need for quality education to ensure a capable workforce, which then leads to a strong local economy, and a thriving community in Mesa County.”
Blaine is the Vice President for Bighorn Consulting Engineers in Colorado. Bighorn has been a long time supporter of the school districts in western Colorado.
"We believe that an investment in our educational system is always a good one and a necessity for continued success in the community. We depend on educated citizens for a good community as well as future employees of our technical business."
Mesa Valley Education Association
"The Mesa Valley Education Association is committed to supporting 3A & 3B. Teachers, counselors and all education professionals know how demanding and rewarding working in public education is. While the rewards remain high, the demands of working in one of the lowest funded districts in our state are increased exponentially. Ask an educator to tell their stories of both the rewards and the challenges. Listen to the people in the classrooms as they tell you what it is they need. MVEA is educators working together with our community to build a better future for our students. We’ll do our part; will you do yours by supporting 3A & 3B!"
Mesa Valley Education Association Retired
"As retired teachers, we understand the impact these additional funds would have on our valley's students and fully support both of these measures."
Black Lives Matter
Our Mission: Black Lives Matter Grand Junction has a mission to hear and protect black voices, empower people of color, and educate the community on racial hardships through empathy, a sharing of stories, and an expression of love.
“It goes without saying that children are our future. It is important that the environment that we provide to cultivate these young minds is well maintained and safe. If we, as a community, cannot put a strong emphasis into our educational system, then how can we possibly say we’ve contributed to the betterment of society. It’s time we better the standard for educational opportunities. It’s time we, as a community, give back to our youth. It’s time. . .”
Paul has been working in school systems since he graduated in 1979! His primary focus has been as a math educator, but he has also taught Media Productions, football, and track. He is currently a Board Member for School District 51.
"We are 15 years behind in updating our school facilities, curriculum, security, and staff. Now is the time to get moving on getting our schools back up to par. Support of our schools will directly impact the future of the Grand Valley; our economy, our health care, our government and our safety. Our students are the most significant investment we can make."
Primary Care Partners
“Primary Care Partners is a proud supporter of School District 51. Healthy communities start with healthy kids. A good education is a critical ingredient to that health. Primary Care Partners supports the bond and mill levy increase on this fall’s ballot and we encourage community wide support of this effort.”
Lori is the current Mayor of Fruita, Colorado. She has been an integral part of economic development efforts the community has made in recent years. Lori understands the importance a strong school district makes in the decision making of companies when they look to start or relocate a business.
"Successful schools are an integral part of successful communities."
Doug's history in education is vast. He was a teacher for ten years before becoming principal of Scenic Elementary School. He retired his post after 23 years. Wanting to stay involved in our community's education system, Doug now serves as a school board member for District 51 in Fruita's District "A."
"I support strongly our District's Bond and Mill levy proposals because we desperately need to address the MANY needs our District faces - crumbling infrastructure as well as woeful lack of resources for our students - technology, books,etc. The bottom line is money makes a difference if used strategically. Our Board's intent it to be relentless in advocating for the needs of our School District - our students, teachers, parents and our community. Our valley should be thriving and is not. I believe the first step in turning our community around and moving towards prosperity begins with a well funded and accountable school district."
Will is the Chief Operating Officer at Hilltop Community Resources.
"Although my wife and I don't have children, I'm voting yes on 3A and 3B. We have lived and worked in Mesa County since 1992. During these 25 years, I have watched this county slowly lose its ability to compete economically with the rest of Colorado. The single most effective and important economic driver for any community is high quality schools. I'm voting yes for the Valley's kids and our economic future. Join me in voting yes for 3A and 3B this November."
Tim is President/CEO of Mountain Racing Products. He is also the current Board Chair of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership and the current Chair of the Mesa County Workforce Center Board.
“The health of our schools is indicative of the health of our community. Great schools drive the economy and more importantly create opportunities for our students to excel in life. The proposed bond and mill levy is a necessary investment for our community to ensure we have a high quality education system as a foundation for our community. I ask you to please join me in voting yes for 3A and 3B.”
Angela is the Foundation Coordinator for School District 51 and also an Adjunct Professor at Colorado Mesa University. She has years of experience with Mesa County School District 51 as a High School Teacher at Palisade, Wingate Elementary PTA President, and a Board Member for the District 51 Foundation.
"I regularly hear that our students aren’t in school enough. I agree. The national average of school days is 180. D51 is at 165 days. As a community, we must make schools a priority. My son, Jake will be a senior at FMHS in another year. He’ll be graduating with other kids across the nation who have literally had one more year of school than he has had. I see the hard work teachers are doing every day to teach our children. If you have kids in school, you know what I’m talking about. PTAs, PTOs, and Booster Clubs volunteer unbelievably amounts of time to help out, but they can only do so much to try to supplement our lack of funding. Unfortunately, bake sales and BINGO only go so far. At some point, more money makes a difference in education."
Heather has been teaching English Language Arts in District 51 since 2003. She is a graduate of Grand Junction High School and also attended Orchard Mesa Junior High (now Middle School) which has hardly changed since she went there in the early ‘80s. Heather is currently on hiatus from the classroom and serving as the President of the Mesa Valley Education Association.
“When we, as a community, invest in public education, we are sending a message to our children that they matter, that their education matters. They need quality facilities to learn in, up-to-date technology and curriculum to learn with, and high-quality teachers to learn from. Teachers have been “making do” for many years now on outdated materials, a shortened calendar, and, in some cases, dilapidated buildings. Please support our students and our future by voting yes on 3A & 3B.”
Outdoor Recreation Coalition
"As business owners, we are continually investing in our employees with updated training materials, new technology and equipment. As a community, we must do the same for our children. Our schools have seen more than $40 million in local budget cuts and even more massive cuts from the state over the past decade on top of that. We have an opportunity in November to change that. It’s up to us to give our kids a chance to compete in the real world and succeed. Vote Yes for the bond and mill levy. Vote Yes for our future."
Christi is a Realtor and Team Leader at the Christi Reece Group at Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties in Grand Junction. She's also a mom to a fifth grader and a seventh grader in District 51 schools.
"Our kids and our community. Two things I'm passionate about and concerned about! Without this critical funding I believe that our schools will fall further behind national and state trends for the best practices in education. This not only puts our kids at risk but our economy also, as we will not be able to attract as many families to our valley. Please vote yes on both measures this fall. Grand Junction deserves improved schools!"
Rick is the current Mayor of the City of Grand Junction.
“Educating our youth is one of the critical pillars of a great community. We have an absolute responsibility to give all of our children the very best in education to prepare them for success in their adult lives. To do this District 51 has to have the financial resources to fulfill this responsibility. I totally support the Bond and Mill Levy proposals as a step forward to generate the necessary resources for our youth. I hope the community we join me in my support”
Sam is the Vice President at Shaw Construction.
"K-12 education is one of the most important factors for a healthy and vibrant community. Without a strong education system in place for our community we will continue to fall behind our peers which is why we need to invest in our kids and the future of the Grand Valley now."
The factory is a community hub and co-working space in Grand Junction.They focus on freelancers, entrepreneurs, start-ups, "laptop hobos", and "lone wolves".
"Young minds need access to technology, tools, resources and a top-notch education to keep pace in a fast-changing world and to become the entrepreneurs who will grow and expand our economy. We believe that an investment into our youth is an investment into our community and our economy, and is pivotal to our region’s long-term success. This is why we wholeheartedly endorse the District 51 Bond and Mil Levy Override."
Robin is owner of Brownhouse PR, which provides unique public relations and event production services to promote Colorado's Grand Valley as an incredible place to live, work, and play.
"Schools are the foundation to a vibrant community and our economy is a reflection of how we've neglected our schools. I support the Citizens for School District 51 campaign in order to jumpstart our economy. It's about our kids, but it's also about a thriving economy."
Aaron has worked in the GPS and GIS industry for over 10 years. He currently owns and operates Kaart which employees over 20 people in the new technology sector of Grand Junction. He is also involved in the redevelopment of downtown to provide high quality office space for businesses to thrive in through the 750 Main project.
"As a business owner in the technology sector, it is critical that our children develop the skills to enter either higher education or the workforce directly after K-12 years. This bond and mill levy on the ballot in November will enable the Grand Valley to better compete for jobs in a more diversified economy bringing higher standards and growth to our children and demonstrating that employers and employees should choose to live and grow in the valley."
Thaddeus and Sarah shrader
Thadd and Sarah are co-owners of Bonsai Design. Sarah is a staunch supporter of improvement in our public schools and an advocate for the Outdoor industry. She founded the Outdoor Recreation Coalition to promote the Outdoor Industry in the Grand Valley.
"It is vital for the health of our business to have properly funded K-12 education in our community. We need well-funded schools to provide an exceptional education to our up-and-coming workforce, as well as to recruit executives and businesses to relocate here in the Grand Valley. Our school district is the foundation of a thriving and vibrant economy. Thaddeus and I are committed to making the Grand Valley one of the best places in the US to work, live, and play. Because of this, we are happy to support the bond and mill levy on the ballot this November.”
Amy Davis, M.D. MPH
Amy is a candidate for School Board District E and. She is currently on the faculty of the St. Mary’s Family Medicine Residency and has been a Family Physician and public health advocate in the valley for 21 years. She is also the proud mother of three children who all attended D51 schools, Kindergarten through Grade 12.
“Public Education offers the promise of opportunity to the children of our community. Our children deserve the opportunity to meet their potential. This promise depends on passionate and engaged teachers, safe buildings, appropriate tools, current technology, and a supportive community. Please join me in voting for 3A & 3B because I believe that we are honoring a promise to the children of our community. And if our children thrive and are well, then our families, our businesses and our community will be well.”
"Education is the pathway to future success in life"
Tom is currently running for Mesa County School Board in District E.
"I support the bond issue and the mill levy override. I have confidence that in my role as a member of the school board working in concert with Dr. Haptonstall we can maximize this investment by the taxpayers and make measurable improvements in student learning."
City of Fruita
"School District 51 has demonstrated a significant need in additional funding for specific capital and operational needs to benefit the students throughout all of District 51, including all Fruita schools and throughout all of District 51, including all Fruita schools and students."
Downtown Grand Junction
"Downtown Grand Junction believes a robust K-12 education system is a core component of a strong local economy and is a key component of making our region economically competitive. An investment in our schools is one of the most effective things we can do to move our community forward. Downtown Grand Junction fully supports the bond issue and mill levy override and urge citizens to vote yes on 3A and 3B."
City of Grand Junction
"On September 6, 2017, the Grand Junction City Council unanimously adopted Resolution No. 53-17 declaring support for Mesa County Valley School District 51 ballot issues 3A and 3B. City Council understands the importance of a healthy education system to quality of life in our community, as well as the role it plays in economic development for the future of Grand Junction."
Grand Junction Economic Partnership
"When we recruit businesses to Mesa County, two key factors executives consider are whether we can supply them with a qualified workforce and whether their employees will want to move their families into our neighborhoods. If our school buildings do not look safe and our K-12 education is not up to par, we cannot begin to compete with other communities. GJEP supports the bond and mill levy, because they address critical issues that form the foundation for a stronger economy and better quality of life for our community."
Fruita Chamber of Commerce
"The Fruita Area Chamber of Commerce overwhelmingly supports the bond issue and mill levy override. The number one question asked during talks with businesses looking to relocate to our area concerns our schools. If our educational system is sub-par their employees aren’t willing to move here. Passing 3A and 3B will send a strong message to those employers that we do care and are willing to invest in our future!"
Wingate Elementary PTA
"We support 3A and 3B because we want our children to thrive in public education. We love our school district and our school - we want to bridge the gap that is the budget shortfall for technology, maintenance and safety."
Grand Junction Imagination Library is a local 501(c)(3) affiliate of the international book program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. We provide a free, brand new, age-appropriate book every month for registered children from birth to five years of age residing in Grand Junction ZIP Codes 81501, 81503, 81504, 81505, 81506, and 81507. Since 2008, we’ve delivered over 130,000 books to Grand Junction children.
“As a supporter of early childhood literacy in Grand Junction, we believe that EVERY child deserves to get started on the right page! We are honored to support the Bond and Mill Levy for District 51, which will provide much needed capital improvements, curriculum updates and put more resources in classrooms. Please join us in voting yes for 3A and 3B this November. All of our futures really do “Start With Kids”.
Duffy Zach Beamon
Caleb Stepan M.D.
Emily Pool Lintott
Bridget Kobe Clayton
Nicole Bernal Ruiz
Dr. Michael Pramenko
Gretchen Reist Henderson
Cassie & Darin Retherford
Dr. Mark Griffin
Terry and Marty McDaneld
Nickki Del Pizzo-Schreiner
Lindsay and Richard Keller
Jane Fine Foster
Leonard and Phyllis Little
Kathryn Hart DDS
Jennifer and Matthew Rossman
Kristi Bennett Adams
Lynne Quintana Autobee
Allison Conlon Perry
Morgan Gresser MacGregor
Deb and Bill Bailey
Karen and Kevin Kiefer
Sabrina Mitchell D.O.
Jodi and Josh Niernberg
Kristin C Lynch
Laura Perkins Campbell
Laura Campbell M.D.
Jennifer Langford Osborn
Connie Ballard Mack
Joan Slocum Bernal
Dana C Weber
Nicole May Miller
Jackie A English
Natalie Doman Gehl
Earon Beesley Maneotis
Rachel M Smith
Jennifer Dillon Bromwell
April Le Vay-Durnez
Rachel Sorter Cochran
Jason C Smith
Brena Knisley Chesney
Angela Flom Rice
Joy O’Connor Hudak
Benjamin J Hayes
Peggy Smith Wrich
Amy Shippy Gilowski
Susan Anderson Smith
Amy Rzyrkowski Czarnecki
Jolie Gardner Griffin
Katie DeBever Formicola
Nickki Del Pizzo
Cori Lynn Sturgeon
Lisa Rattan Smith
Mariana York Burke
Denise M Hoctor
Nancy Williams Rizzo
Katherine Sams Hammitt
Doug Van Etten
Reva Dann Duran Haskin
Amy Day Agapito
Anna Marie Gorman
Sarah Lawler Keen
Allyson Snell Kenargy
Shannon Sites Wytulka
Shelley Cruse Grattan
Mary Lou Pierce
Shawn Fletcher Foley
Nancy Fetterman Fricke
Ruth Porter Warner
Michelle Hamn Long
Christina Glendenning Irwin
Rachelle Yutzy Kreie
Kelly A. Weeks
Elizabeth A. Egghart
Cheryl Downey Tenant
Kara Bracken Monger
Ashely Costello Dennis
Janis S Millett
Amy Strong Rice
Betsy Greco Bair
Michele Russo Steen
Shaunalee Miller Kronkright
Grace Maier Walker
JoEllen Turley Foutz
Megan E Weaver Goodhart
Jody George Tate
Candace A Towner
Tara Fleming Suplizio
Erica Rasmussen Gardner
Francesa Flamigni Shiekh
Jen Dowell Foster
Monica Borchert Olson
Kimberly Otzenberger Connor
Debbie Martinez Kadel
Shari Vander Velde
Sarah K Fischer
Rita M. Paronto
Dave and Kathy Parmley
Mary Linspehada Jost
Andy and Amy Mohler
Clee and Mary Sealing
Journey for Wellness Center for Natural Health
Dr. Annette Rosling
Lisa A David
Misty Lyn Grim
Jonathan S Meer
Allison Conlon Perry
Legacy Funeral Home
Laura Elliott Noble
Jane Dougherty Lake