Douglas County Schools

Q&A with Kevin Leung

Candidate for Douglas County Board of Education in District E

Posted 6/20/17

Kevin Leung came to the United States from Hong Kong in 1988.

He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Utah and then his master’s degree in computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Leung has lived in Douglas …

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Douglas County Schools

Q&A with Kevin Leung

Candidate for Douglas County Board of Education in District E

Posted

Kevin Leung came to the United States from Hong Kong in 1988.

He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Utah and then his master’s degree in computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Leung has lived in Douglas County since 1991. He is married with three daughters. Two have graduated from Douglas County schools and his youngest is a student at Rocky Heights Middle School in Lone Tree.

In the early 1990s, Leung, 51worked as a U.S. Army civilian contractor who developed deployment-related software for the first Gulf War. Then he worked for aviation company Jeppesen as one of its global IT managers from 1997-2005.

In 2005, he and his wife Shirley decided to start their own business.They bought Magic Rabbit Car Wash in Highlands Ranch in 2005 and have since added two more locations, one in Parker and one in Aurora.

Leung previously ran for the Douglas County School District Board of Education in 2009, but was defeated by Dan Gerken.

Leung will be running for the District E seat, which encompasses Lone Tree, Acres Green, Castle Pines and eastern Highlands Ranch. The seat is currently occupied by Steven Peck, who was selected by the board to replace Doug Benevento, who decided not to complete his term.

Why did you decide to run?

I’ve always been passionate about education. I ran in 2009, but after that I continued my involvement in the district, serving on the district advisory committee. I want to make sure that students in Colorado, especially in the place where I have lived for 26 years, get a good education. I came to this country as a very poor student. I lived in a very poor environment, (but) because of the opportunity this country gave me, because of the education I got from this country, it made me what I am. My children and my family have been well taken care of and I think I need to give back to the community.

What are the most important issues facing the school district?

The reason I moved to Douglas County in 1991 was because of the schools. It was my number one priority. We used to have the top CDE (Colorado Department of Education) rating, Accredited with Distinction. We lost that. We used to be much higher than Cherry Creek and now Cherry Creek is catching up. We are only average now. Douglas County should not be average. We should always be in the top five, top 10 at the minimum. If not, I feel like we are doing the students a disservice.

The second thing I want to focus on is the retention of the best teachers and principals. Some people will tell you that our teacher drop-off isn’t as bad as the state average. But that is a fallacy. We should never compare ourselves to the average… We used to be fairly stable in terms of the people who work here, but the level of turnover is a big issue.

The board has been divided in recent years. How would you help bridge that divide?

The constant fighting, the constant bickering, that hurts us. It hurts our ability to rally the community to support our schools. People look at and say these people are constantly fighting and talking bad about each other. They say, “Why would I want to support someone I don’t believe in?”

Would you be supportive of a bond or mill levy to bring more funding to the district?

I will be supportive of a mill levy and bond. To get from here to there, the most important thing is to get the community on board. The devil is always in the details. How we can come up with a ballot initiative that can pass is something that we need to work on. We need the community to come together as a team.

What do you want people to know about you?

In the past few elections, everyone who is not affiliated with the incumbents is automatically branded as union. I want people to vote based on the credentials of the person, not labeling, and I want people to know that I am not affiliated with one side or the other. I am running in District E because I think I’m the best person to represent this district on the school board.

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