2021 West Grand Board of Education candidates | SkyHiNews.com
YOUR AD HERE »

2021 West Grand Board of Education candidates

With nine candidates vying for five at-large spots on the West Grand School District’s Board of Education, all the seats are competitive.

Incumbents President Shawn Lechman, Vice President Mitch Lockhart and member Gordon Stuart Heller are running along with H. Lee Bruchez, Brad Probst, Ralph Graves, Jackie Roppel, Wes Howell and Bryan Klotz.

The five elected candidates will join school board directors Rebecca Guthrie and Rhonda Shearer. All five seats are up for four-year terms.



Candidates Gordon Stuart Heller, Brad Probst, Wes Howell and Ralph Graves didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Shawn Lechman

Shawn Lechman



Why are you running for West Grand’s board of education?

I am running for the West Grand school board to continue to give back to the community that continues to give so much. I wish to help and support our school system to continually improve. I have heard it many times from individuals in our community that people must be there for our community to help where they can. My family has a vested interest in our school system, and I want to ensure the best we can offer to our students and staff.

What background do you bring to the board?

I am currently finishing my fourth year on the school board in November. My wife, Sami, works for the school district and we have three children in the school district as well. Our oldest child is a junior in the high school. I have lived in Grand County for over 20 years and have a vested interest in the success of our students. I have had the opportunity to be involved in many aspects of the district’s operation and appreciate all that do get involved in the district’s activities.

I will continue to support district goals and visions: Excellence in Learning, Leadership, and Engagement. West Grand has implemented a “Profile of a Learner” along with other education strategies that I would like to be involved in completing.

What is your top goal for West Grand?

My top goal for West Grand is to continue to ensure we educate and develop the next generation of leaders. We have to continue to set West Grand up for the future, ensuring we are able to meet and exceed expectations for local and state requirements. Continuing and improving on recognizing early educational strategies to develop students to increase their potential.

Mitch Lockhart

Mitch Lockhart

Why are you running for West Grand’s board of education?

I am running in this election for my children. I truly believe there are many great things going on in West Grand. With that said I also believe there are many things that we need to continue to fight for. I want to see pride back in our community and I want my kids to have an educational experience that they treasure and value for the rest of their lives. I believe there are many pieces in place to make this happen but in the current political and fear based situation we are all living in, I believe it will take a strong board to fight to keep our kids in school.

What background do you bring to the board?

The background I bring to the board is primarily that of business. My wife and I are the owners of Middle Park Meat, Troublesome Meat and Bumgarner Ranches in Kremmling. I also have three of my own children in the district, 3rd grade, 4th grade and 7th grade. Lastly, I believe that the last 12 years of coaching our youth gives me a very good perspective into the culture and climate of West Grand. I have been blessed to coach our youth on both sides of the county from ages K-12 in baseball, football and wrestling and am honored to be able to be a part of their lives.

What is your top goal for West Grand?

My top goal for West Grand is to see West Grand not only as a school but as a community regain its sense of pride. I want my children to know everyday that they attend the best school in the state of Colorado and have pride in that. I want them to know that if they work hard toward any goal, academically, athletically or any activity that they can achieve it and know that West Grand taught them to do that. I want to see pride and accountability show through our students’ actions daily.

Jackie Roppel

Jackie Roppel

Why are you running for West Grand’s board of education?

I’m Jackie Roppel and I have two young boys attending West Grand Elementary. I’m running for the board as a way to ensure we have the very best education for all students of West Grand!

What background do you bring to the board?

My husband and I own and operate Summit Express and previously I taught Special Education for five years. With my background in education and business ownership, I can bring a wealth of knowledge and outside experiences to make the best decisions for all of West Grand.

What is your top goal for West Grand?

My top priority is collaborating as a community to ensure our children receive a great education in a safe learning environment.

Bryan Klotz

Bryan Klotz

Why are you running for West Grand’s board of education?

My Name Is Bryan Klotz and I am running for school board in West Grand to ensure that our district has the leadership in place to navigate our children through adolescents and beyond. Representation in education is a crucial foundation in rural communities and it is my humble desire to serve our kids in this manner. A voice that accurately reflects our community’s principles and values.

What background do you bring to the board?

I would bring to the board a background rich with family values and public service. My wife and I, both alumni of West Grand, raise four young men that attend school in our district. I am a veteran of the Colorado Army National Guard where I served proudly for six years. Training in organization, leadership, and action under pressure molded my values to represent the best qualities of our country. I am currently an electrical contractor in Kremmling and serve our community as a volunteer coach with the youth football club and the youth wrestling club.

What is your top goal for West Grand?

My goals for our district include, mental health awareness, educator retention and recruitment, and critical system maintenance and repair. It is my opinion that a Board be composed of dedicated individuals that bring a wealth of experience from different backgrounds. I am petitioning voters of our district to let my voice serve them in this capacity.

Lee Bruchez

H. Lee Bruchez

Why are you running for West Grand’s board of education?

Hello, I am Lee Bruchez, a fifth generation Colorado native involved in family agriculture business, and a proud father to three West Grand School District students spanning kindergarten, middle school and high school. I cherish our small-town lifestyle and family values. Supporting and enhancing the educational opportunities for students, and ensuring the faculty and staff have the resources for success are my primary objectives.

What background do you bring to the board?

Though I am a fifth-generation rancher, I began my professional fire service career over 21 years ago, and now serve as a Battalion Chief for the Eagle River Fire Protection District in neighboring Eagle County. Along with leadership and management experience, working for a Special District in Colorado has given me the opportunity to learn about this style of government and the challenge of complex budgeting. I will actively listen to the parents of West Grand students and ensure they are part of decision-making processes. Being a firefighter and rancher has taught me to seek efficiencies and partnerships while remaining effective in mission and goals.

What is your top goal for West Grand?

My top goal is to keep students in the classroom for in-person learning. We know that students being in school provides the greatest learning opportunity, social development, and academic, athletic, and artistic achievement. The West Grand School district can be a leader in our region by using common-sense and fact-based science as guiding principles, shifting the paradigm away from fear-based decision making, and this can be accomplished while keeping students and staff safe. This goal cannot be accomplished without simultaneously recruiting and retaining high-quality faculty and staff.

 


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.