Ex-councilor Luke to run for school board

Laura Luke



The number of applicants seeking a seat on the District 51 school board has increased to two.

Former Grand Junction City Council member Laura Luke has turned in her paperwork to be considered for an appointment to the board’s District C seat, left vacant by the death of former school board member Harry Butler on June 2. District 51 School Board member from 1993 to 1997 Pat Kanda has applied for the seat as well. The four remaining District 51 School Board members will interview candidates July 30 and vote at that meeting to appoint one of the applicants.

Although he was elected to the city council in April, Butler planned to finish his term on the school board this November and was serving on both panels when he died. A few weeks before his death, Luke said Butler encouraged her to seek his seat on the school board when his term ended. Luke was appointed to the council in 2011 to fill a vacancy after Bonnie Beckstein resigned from the board but lost a city council election April 2 to Marty Chazen.

Luke said she was skeptical about running for school board at first, but the thought stayed on her mind.

“I went to his (Butler’s funeral) service and I kept thinking he was such a blessing to me when I was going through the campaign. It kept weighing on me; he must have trusted me to ask me to consider running for his spot,” Luke said.

Luke attended school in District 51, has a daughter who graduated from Palisade High School and a son who is two years from graduating from Grand Junction High School. She said those connections to the district heightened her interest in the school board seat. If appointed, she said she plans to focus on budget issues and the implementation of Senate Bill 191, which alters educator evaluations and tenure in Colorado schools.

The district will accept candidates for the District C seat in north, central and eastern Grand Junction through July 23. Those interested in a possible appointment should send a letter of intent, a resume, and an affidavit proving the person has lived in District 51 for at least one year, currently lives in District C, and has not been convicted of a sex offense against a child to ATTN: Mrs. Terri N. Wells, 2115 Grand Ave., Grand Junction, CO 81501. The appointment will last through November, when an election for the District C, D, and E seats on the school board will take place.


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