Larkspur man seeks school board post

Boyd says he sees both sides of education issues

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When Stephen Boyd and his family left California in search of a new home more than two decades ago, he had no idea where they’d land. Larkspur caught his eye from the driver’s seat of his car, and 22 years later, he and his wife still live in the country outside Larkspur.

Boyd believes he’ll bring that same open-minded approach to the Douglas County School Board. The District D candidate seeks the seat now held by Carrie Mendoza. Mendoza has not yet said whether she will run for the post.

“I see the two sides of the story and I understand what’s going on,” said the 65-year-old Republican, who taught in El Paso County’s Lewis-Palmer School District 38. “It would be foolish to take sides. My feeling is that maybe a school board could use somebody who is just steeped in education as a teacher, as an administrator.”

His wife, Kristin, also is a District 38 teacher.

“We’re just concerned about education in general in the U.S.,” Boyd said.

Boyd was a businessman for 33 years who retired and then earned his master’s degree in education. He worked as a District 38 high school teacher in Monument for seven years before retiring a second time. He now is pursuing a doctoral degree in education.

“I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing with it, but something political,” he said. “I’ve been a very political person my whole life.”

Boyd spent most of his life in the San Francisco Bay area. Growth and an earthquake prompted the family to seek a new home.

“To tell you the truth, we just packed up all the kids, put everything in the biggest van I could rent and started heading east,” Boyd said. “Neither of us had jobs. We were just headed down south (of Denver) looking around. I pulled over on the side of the road and said, ‘This looks nice. This is where we’ll live.’”

“This” was Larkspur. The couple’s four sons, who attended District 38 schools because they were closer to their home than any Douglas County schools, are grown and gone from the family home. Boyd now is hoping to tie his interests in politics and education together.

Boyd said he has no connection to the Douglas County Republicans, who will in August endorse a slate of candidates.

Nevertheless, Boyd thinks he has a handle on the issues facing the DCSD board, including controversy surrounding the voucher program and changes to teachers’ pay and evaluations.

“You’ve got one side that I think the Republican Party helped get in,” he said, “and there’s another outside group of parents and political folks who don’t like the changes that they’ve made. I understand the fight back and forth because it’s supposedly a nonpartisan position.”

Though Boyd said he doesn’t know the process that led the board to make some of its controversial changes, “I think I have enough knowledge base that I could help with how these decisions are made.”

Kevin Leung, who ran unsuccessfully for the school board in 2009, also is running for the District D board spot.