Former member applies for District 51 board spot


District C boundaries:

■ North boundary: Bookcliffs desert

■ South boundary: Center lines of Pitkin Avenue and Interstate 70 Business Loop after Ute and Pitkin merge

■ East boundary: Center line of 29 Road

■ West boundary: 25 Road from the desert to G Road, Seventh Street from G Road to North Avenue, Eighth Street from North Avenue to Gunnison Avenue, Ninth Street from Gunnison Avenue to Pitkin Avenue, all on center lines

The sole applicant a week and a half into the search for a new District 51 School Board member served on the board once before.

Grand Junction resident Pat Kanda, 58, was a District 51 School Board member from 1993 to 1997. Kanda told The Daily Sentinel on Friday he already had decided to run for another term on the board this November when board member Harry Butler died June 2. Butler’s unexpected death created a vacancy that needed to be filled by someone who resides in the District C area of the school district, where Kanda lives. 

The board decided to start taking applications for Butler’s seat June 18 and Kanda turned in his paperwork June 19. Candidates interested in the seat can turn in a letter of intent, resume and an affidavit that states they have not been convicted of a sex offense against a child, have lived in the school district for at least a year and currently live in the northeast and central Grand Junction boundaries of District C through July 23 to ATTN: Mrs. Terri N. Wells, 2115 Grand Ave., Grand Junction 81501.

Kanda, who tutors math students at Central High School and works as an accountant at Grand Valley Power, said his reasons for considering a school board run are the same this time as they were in 1993: to help shape modern education to produce an intelligent workforce.

“I’m not pleased with the direction public education is going in the United States,” Kanda said. “I’m not saying we don’t turn out good students, because we do, but we could be turning out a lot more of those.”

Kanda said he was younger, quieter and “more naive” during his first stint on the board. Now, he said he wants to be more direct about his hopes to tackle social promotion between grades, see if high schools are offering more class options than may be necessary and encourage replacing Transitional Colorado Assessment Program testing with exit exams.

Kanda said he knows board Vice President Leslie Kiesler from childhood but is not familiar with other board members Ann Tisue and Jeff Leany or board President Greg Mikolai. The four board members will interview Kanda and any other candidates for District C on July 30 and vote to appoint a new board member at that meeting. Mikolai will make the appointment if board members reach a tie.

State statute requires the board vote on a new board member by the end of the day July 31. The appointment will last through November, when Butler’s term would have been up. Kanda said he plans to run for the District C seat in November as well.


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