Educator supported, pro-public education school board candidates win in Jeffco

Posted on: November 8, 2023
Posted By: Christine Wiggins
Posted in: Press

November 8, 2023
Contact: Christine Wiggins,
For Immediate Release

Jefferson County – Educators in Jefferson County volunteered their time this fall to help Erin Kenworthy and Michelle Applegate in their campaigns for school board directors for Jeffco Public Schools, and this election voters showed up to help them win.

“Jeffco voters have shown their support for our public schools via the ballot box, and clearly share our vision for strong neighborhood schools, the recruitment and retention of highly qualified educators, and a path for all students to find success in adulthood, even if they choose not to go to college,” said Kari Gray, Social Emotional Learning Specialist at Manning Middle School and Chair of JCEA’s Political Action Team. “As a mental health professional, this election shows me that our community continues to value educators like me that provide our students with the support they need to learn.”

In August, members of Jefferson County Education Association’s (JCEA) small donor committee, made of multi-partisan, educator union members, recommended Erin Kenworthy and Michelle Applegate for Jeffco school board. Educators are hopeful that with Michelle Applegate and Erin Kenworthy on the Jeffco school board, they will be able to work with existing members, Danielle Varda, Paula Reed, and Mary Parker, to collaborate with educators on solutions to help us retain experienced employees in Jeffco and expand learning options to ensure Jeffco students are prepared for college or careers after graduation.

“We are looking forward to having collaborative conversations with our new school board members as we move Jeffco public schools forward,” said Brooke Williams, Art Educator and JCEA President. “Our voters in Jeffco have spoken and it’s clear that they value retaining the best educators. We are excited to work with them to ensure all students regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs, ability, and socio-economic status have safe and supported learning environments.”

It is anticipated that the new members of the Board of Education will be sworn in at a special meeting at the beginning of December.


The Jefferson County Education Association is the union for over 5,000 educators in Jeffco Schools, working together to ensure all students in Jeffco have safe, equitable, and thriving public schools. JCEA works collectively with our entire community to advocate for fully funded schools to ensure education is a profession that allows educators to work and live in the communities they serve. Follow JCEA on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


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