ALAMOSA — Four open school board positions are now down to one after last week’s election. Dr. Thomas Miller, Erica Romero and Arlan Van Ry took their oaths of office at Alamosa School District Board of Education’s meeting on Monday, leaving Neil Hammer’s District 3 seat vacant again.
Miller, a pediatrician at San Luis Valley Health, won Charlie Sanchez’s vacated District 1 seat with 1,395 in his favor while Romero, both pictured above, ran for District 4 unopposed.
Sanchez had been with the board for one term since 2013 and decided to not run for reelection. At the meeting he and Van Ry were given plaques for their service to the district.
Though Van Ry served two terms and couldn’t run again, he was appointed to fill the District 6 vacancy with a shortened term due to lack of public interest. The vote to increase the board’s term limits from two to three terms was defeated last year.
“We had an election where there was opportunity for someone to run and unfortunately that didn’t happen,” Romero said. “There was an opportunity for us to seek out a write-in candidate and again that didn’t happen. We advertised, along with Neil’s seat, more than once...There are options about maybe restructuring...Maybe this will encourage more people to step up.”
In 2019 Van Ry’s, Christine Haslett’s, Mandy Jackson’s and Janet De Sautell’s district positions will be up for grabs. Whoever fills Van Ry’s position will serve two years to get the seat back on its regular four-year cycle.
“I’ve served our board for eight years,” Van Ry said. “Two more years isn’t going to hurt me. I do have a passion for it. I love what I’ve done with [Colorado Association of School Boards] at the state and national level. I think I have more to offer to the district.”
During the reorganization process everyone kept their current roles and titles on the board. Miller became the second vice president, replacing Hammer’s position, while Sanchez’s assistant treasury position is now vacant.
Miller is also the board’s new legislative representative and will join Van Ry, the CASB Board member for Region 9, at the state capitol for policy making. De Sautell took Sanchez’s position for the San Luis Valley Board of Cooperative Educational Services board.