Amanda Stevens

Amanda for Jeffco Schools Half Marathon Fundraiser

Amanda is running 13.1 miles in honor of the 13-year journey all Jeffco students make, kindergarten to senior year. Pledge in honor of your most treasured year–perhaps because you have a special person or memory that matters to you. Please click here to donate, and include in the space provided information on the year and person or memory you want mentioned in the post-race video. To make a bigger impact, become a race sponsor and donate a chosen amount X 13–for every mile she travels!

Amanda is donating in honor of kindergarten, since her daughter just became a reader this year as a kindergartener. She is also donating in honor of 5th grade, the year of instrumental music and “Growing and Changing”–and all the growing up her son will do next year as a 5th grader. Finally, she is including a 4th grade donation in honor of Mrs. O’Day who made a difference 30 years ago in Amanda’s life that sticks with her today.

The Importance of Listening

Below are the public comments I made at the school board meeting last night (June 11, 2015) as a concerned Jeffco parent.

Strong leadership knows how to listen.

I want to tell you a story about when I learned the importance of listening. Years ago, I scolded a student (I was a high school teacher in Chicago then) who was fiddling with a slinky in the middle of class. He had an essay to write! He wouldn’t listen when I asked him to put it away, not even when I told him to hand it over. “Is this slinky worth a trip to the dean’s office?” I asked. He wouldn’t relent, so I sent him out of class. Later that day, with a school counselor by his side, he apologized to me for the slinky incident. Then he explained the counselor gave it to him at the beginning of the day to carry with him–to handle and hold onto–because it was gonna be a tough day. Over the weekend, his cousin had died in his arms, a victim of neighborhood violence. Suffice it to say I overwhelmed his apology with an apology of my own. “I’m so sorry. I had no idea. Why didn’t you tell me?” But that’s just it. I didn’t ask. I didn’t start by listening.

I thought my agenda was the most important one that day. I was wrong. Other stakeholders always bring essential insights we cannot access on our own.

We can’t afford assumptions or agendas to trump what Jeffco students need, which is their schools and their teachers.

Today you have the opportunity to listen–to your district leadership, your community, your Financial Oversight and Capital Asset Committees, and your educators. Please listen to their recommendations.

And as you move into the next year, please renew your relationship with the Colorado Association of School Boards–a supportive network and a community of peers–committed to the same work you do for public education and all of your district’s students–where you can listen, learn, dialogue, and contribute.

Isolation doesn’t serve; listening and engaging does, and we are all life-long learners.

Additionally, here are the links to the Financial Oversight Committee and Capital Asset Advisory Committee recommendations.

Board Docs: CAAC Support Letter (January 5, 2015)

Board Docs: FOC Facility Planning Support Letter (January 14, 2015)

Jeffco Schools Budget Direction 2015-16

When constituents and expert advice speak with strong clarity and unity, leaders listen. I believe now is the time for the Jeffco school board to move forward with investments in teacher compensation and COPs.

Colorado’s economy is booming, but our schools’ budgets are still bleeding. My children, and many others, have never known a fully funded school.

Jeffco’s Board of Education did not create this problem, but it is their responsibility to act to address it in the best interests of all Jeffco students. When I win a seat on the Jeffco school board, I will

  • value the voice of educators, expert advice, and community members in decisions
  • protect a role for JCEA in solving the challenges Jeffco faces
  • prioritize first and highest all students’ best interests

There is strong support that the necessary way forward is for the board to approve the issuance of COPs to address immediate facilities needs, then use available budget to further buttress reserves and address the $27 million a year debt the district owes its teachers, who sacrificed through years of voluntary pay cuts and pay freezes during the Great Recession.

At a recent school board meeting, the Superintendent, the Chief Operations Officer, Cabinet Leadership, the Financial Oversight Committee, the Capital Asset Advisory Committee, and the community’s budget input all expressed support of this action.

Now is not the time to make any political issue or personal preference take precedence over the needs of Jeffco students. Jeffco doesn’t need stubbornness from its board members but stamina and courage–to listen, learn, then invest in our schools, our educators, and our future.

You can make a difference for all Jeffco students. Please donate to my campaign today, and sign up to stay connected to my efforts.

You can also read my public comments from last night here.

Amanda Covered in the Canyon Courier

Amanda Stevens, candidate for the Jeffco Schools Board of Education has been covered in the Canyon Courier by Gabrielle Porter. Gabrielle writes, “Jeffco parent Amanda Stevens, a former teacher and now a candidate for the school board, says she would bring a dedication to excellence, transparency and cooperation to the deeply divided board.”

Please read the entire Canyon Courier article here:

School board candidate brings teacher’s perspective: Stevens calls for more collaboration on divided board

Amanda, born and raised in Jefferson County, has taught in impoverished schools in Chicago, Illinois as well as Sheridan, Colorado and brings years of direct investment in our shared public education.

Colby Hansen Endorses Amanda Stevens

Colby Hansen, a Jeffco graduate, resident and educator, endorses Amanda Stevens for Jeffco Schools Board of Education.  Watch this video below, created by Colby himself, in which he relays a passion for literature, and life, and beauty, and truth.  Education is a profession and also so much more.

Thank you, Colby.

Amanda Highlighted in Arvada Press

Amanda Stevens, candidate for the Jeffco Schools Board of Education has been covered in Arvada Press by Crystal Anderson.  Crystal writes, “Former teacher and Jeffco mom Amanda Stevens is running for the District 4 school board seat, and said she is looking to bring a neutral voice and collaboration to the board table.”

Please read the entire Arvada Press article here:

Amanda Stevens: Jeffco mom announces run for school board

Amanda, born and raised in Jefferson County, has taught in impoverished schools in Chicago, Illinois as well as Sheridan, Colorado and brings years of direct investment in our shared public education.

Campaign Kick-off Video

Watch some selected clips from our Campaign Kick-off held at 240 Union Restaurant.  It was a packed venue with standing room only.  What a fantastic turn-out!

Press Release – May 13, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Amanda Stevens
720.962.5204
Amanda@AmandaforJeffcoSchools.com
www.AmandaforJeffcoSchools.com

Jeffco Mom Amanda Stevens Announces Campaign
 for Jeffco Schools Board of Education

Lakewood, CO, May 13, 2015 – The Jeffco Schools Board of Education may soon have a new face. Amanda Stevens, a Jeffco mom and former language arts and literacy intervention teacher who grew up in Jeffco, has launched her bid for the District 4 seat currently held by Lesley Dahlkemper. Last week, Dahlkemper revealed she will not be seeking a second term.
Surrounded by supporters, Stevens told the crowd, “I’m running for the Jeffco School Board because every student deserves the united efforts of all of us – families, teachers, district and community leaders. It’s time for politics to take a backseat to student success.”

Stevens, who is married and has two children attending Kendrick Lakes Elementary, also attended Jeffco Schools, including Bear Creek Elementary, Carmody Middle School and Bear Creek High School. “When I was in high school,” she shared, “my grades were strong, but I felt alone and disconnected. I left school and got my GED instead. That experience motivated me to become a teacher myself. And as a School Board Member, I will work to make sure none of Jeffco’s students slip through the cracks.”

After getting her undergraduate degree at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Stevens earned her Master’s in Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago. As a language arts teacher and reading interventionist, Stevens spent eight years teaching in highly impacted/high poverty middle and high schools.

“I’m proud to be a part of a community united to support schools, to listen to stakeholders, and to unconditionally serve kids,” said Colby Hansen, who has taught Stevens’ oldest child. “I’m proud to be a member of the Amanda Stevens for Jeffco Schools community.”

Stevens currently serves on the Jeffco School’s Strategic Planning & Advisory Council (SPAC) and is active on the accountability committee, PTA and as a classroom volunteer in her children’s school.

“I know Amanda Stevens believes in our schools, our teachers and our students,” said fellow Kendrick Lakes parent Molly Snyder. “And that’s why I will vote for Amanda to be on the Jeffco school board.”

This year, two of the five seats – Districts 3 & 4 – on the Jeffco Schools Board of
Education are up for election. While Board candidates run in specific districts, all registered voters in Jeffco can vote for a candidate in each district. Once elected, School Board members represent the entire 775-square-mile county, including nearly 86,000 students and their families, plus 14,000 employees.

Early supporters of Stevens’ campaign include: Lauren Ambrozic, Jeffco Parent, Healthcare Consultant, Kurt & Val Braginetz, Anne & Steve Burkholder, Gordon Calahan, Liz Carroll, Ron Castagna, Ann Cowie-Bozner, Lesley Dahlkemper, Monica Duran, Jim Earley, Mike Feeley, Jane Goff, Tina & Bob Gurdikian, Nicole Head, Lorie Hirose, Evie Hudak, Chris & Kelly Johnson, Marv Kay, Chris Kennedy, Sue King, Jeff Kirk, Jeff Lamontagne, Sue Marinelli, Lori McGregor, Tom & Marta Murray, Hereford Percy, Cynthia Perry, Bret Poole, Al Rodriguez, Shakti, Michael Snow, Kathleen Stapleton, Tammy Story, Kristian Teegardin, Casey Tighe, Bob West and Bob Zachman.

Paid for by Amanda Stevens for Jeffco Schools