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Five applicants selected to interview for open D20 school board spot

24 people applied for the open spot on the board for Colorado Springs' largest school district
Posted at 4:44 PM, Dec 14, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS — An opening on the school board for Colorado Springs' largest school district attracted 24 applicants, but only five of them are moving forward in the process for the seat.

Recently, two seats were up for election on Academy District 20's board. Four candidates ran for the two seats. Both Amy Shandy and Derrick Wilburn, who won the seats in November's election were sworn in last month. At the same meeting, then Board President Tom LaValley resigned.

The district was closed Thursday because of the weather, but the board still held a work session to narrow down the field of candidates from 24 to five.

The 24 applicants included former teachers, nearly all either currently or at some point have had kids attend D20 schools, and several touted their experience in business and the military as why they should be selected for the position. Three of the applicants were former members of the school board.

Current board members selected five people to be interviewed: Lauren Yanez, a former D20 teacher and parent of D20 graduates, Michael Sibley, a former D20 principal, teacher, and parent of district graduates, Catherine Bullock, a former D20 board member and parent of D20 graduates, Jon Ullmann, a former substitute teacher for the district and parent of D20 graduates, and Michael Riffle, a D20 parent who has also volunteered for the district.

Applications for the seat closed Monday, Dec. 11th. At Thursday's meeting, board members each announced three to five candidates they wanted to invite for an interview next week. Ultimately, any candidate recommended by more than one board member was named a finalist.

Interviews will take place on Monday with the new board member seated on Tuesday.

District leaders say it's been nearly 25 years since a seat was appointed on D20's board. All 24 applications have been posted on the district's website, you can find the applications here: D20 School Board.

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