School board candidate steps forward

Palisade attorney Rose Femia Pugliese on Monday became the first candidate for District E in this year’s District 51 School Board race.

As of today, there is one candidate for each of the three seats available in this November’s election. Incumbents Harry Butler and Leslie Kiesler are running uncontested in districts C and D, respectively.

If elected, Pugliese, 31, would become the youngest member of the five-person board.

She said she’s looking forward to raising children in the Grand Valley and wants to do her part for local schools.

Pugliese has organized business and legal panels to talk to young girls about career opportunities as district alumnae director for Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She said she has encouraged college women to dream big in their career goals, and she’d like to do the same at the K-12 level.

“I’d like to see more programming for girls, like Girls on the Run,” she said, referring to a girls’ running group. “It’s also important for middle school and high school students to learn fiscal responsibility. I’d like to instill more of what our parents and grandparents did to spend within their means.”

Pugliese operates her own law firm on East Orchard Mesa, serves as a eucharistic minister at St. Ann Mission Catholic Church in Palisade and is a member of the Western Colorado Alumnae Panhellenic Association and Mesa County Republican Women boards.

Pugliese and her husband, John, moved to the Grand Valley from Florida two-and-a-half years ago. She was born in New York. If elected, she would replace Ron Rowley, who is term-limited, on the school board.

Applications for school board candidates, which require 50 petition signatures of eligible voters within District 51, are still available. The petition and the application must be turned in by 4 p.m. Friday to the superintendent’s office in the school district administration building at 2115 Grand Ave.

Applicants must live in the district they would represent in order to be eligible. District E encompasses Clifton, Palisade, eastern Orchard Mesa and northeastern Grand Junction.

Central Orchard Mesa, Pear Park and Fruitvale are in District D, and District C consists of the east half and part of central Grand Junction from Interstate 70-B to the Bookcliffs.


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