Kremmling " West Grand School Board ready to interview board candidate finalists |

Kremmling " West Grand School Board ready to interview board candidate finalists

Grand County, Colorado

Kremmling, Colorado ” Chris Brown, Brendan Gale, Susan Ritschard and Dave Skinner are the leading candidates to fill a West Grand Board of Education seat.

The position opened when former member Jenny Uren accepted a full-time kindergarten paraprofessional position.

Board members will interview the candidates at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 13, before a regular board meeting, said school board President Larry Banman.

The applicants will be asked about why they want to be a board member, their strengths, and what they would bring to the district during the interview process. The board will make its recommendation and the new board member will be appointed that day. He or she and will serve until November 2010, Banman said.

Chris Brown

Brown is West Grand High’s football coach, assistant track coach, and a substitute teacher. He also is a former weightlifting and social studies teacher.

Brown, 56, retired in 2003 and has three children who graduated from the district.

The Oregon native said enrollment is a concern, and the students should be the district’s priority. “Everything and anything to do with kids,” he added.

Brendan Gale

Brendan Gale is the manager of Spur Development and a West Grand alumnus.

“I want to have an impact on the education system here in Kremmling,” he said.” “I have one child in the school district now, and another one on the way.”

Gale, 34, moved to Kremmling from northern New York in 1990.

“I have a well-rounded perspective from attending various schools throughout my youth,” he said.

He has developed good communication skills through his job in business, he said. If elected, he plans to listen to the opinions of others while balancing them with his own before making decisions, he said.

He is interested in ensuring quality education, hiring and retaining quality educators and fiscal responsibility during the recession.

“Enrollment is a concern,” he said. “I’m very interested in addressing the need for a gifted and talented focused program … I’m very interested in ensuring that our graduating students are prepared for the future.”

Susan Ritschard

Ritschard is a rancher and part-time Grand County Combined Court collections investigator.

“I think we have a good school system and I want to keep it positive,” she said. “Make it better.”

The Littleton native has three children enrolled in the district and cares about all aspects of education with no agenda, she said.

Ritschard, 45, also is past president of Kremmling Preschool, former middle school District Action Team member, and part of the District Accountability Committee, and an Elementary School Improvement Committee member, as well as a Kremmling recreation team member.

Operating the district within the budget is challenging, she said. She also is interested in improving the quality of education and Colorado Student Assessment Program scores.

“The major issue right now is the hiring of a new superintendent,” she said. “I just want to make sure we get someone who is open-minded and a team worker.”

Dave Skinner

Skinner is a former district vocational education teacher.

The “Air force kid” settled in Colorado after he was out of the Navy.

Skinner, 61, worked for a Denver phone company for 30 years, and left as director of engineering and construction training. He will benefit the board during the superintendent search because he has a lot of interviewing and hiring experience, he said.

Skinner has two grandsons attending the elementary school who he is helping to care for while his son, David Jr., serves in the Navy.

“I’m kind of an educational nut,” he said. “Most of all I just want to help out.”

He is interested in hiring a “well-qualified” superintendent and increasing the level of academic growth at the elementary school. In order for the students to obtain the highest level of education, they must have first-rate teachers, he said.

“We just got a brand new school, and we have to work on the kids now,” he said.

” Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or

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