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Anthony Graziano, 51, of Castle Rock, is a 13-year resident of Douglas County. He and his wife, Amy, have two daughters that have gone through Douglas County schools.Graziano has worked in the software and information technology industries since 1995. He has a master of education in human resource development from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University of New York at Albany.Graziano is a longtime volunteer basketball coach for the Castle Rock rec league. He and his family have hosted three foreign exchange students in the last three years following an eight-month sabbatical they took as a family traveling to 15 countries in Europe and Asia.Graziano is running for the District B seat, which is occupied by James Geddes, who has not yet announced whether he will run again.Why did you decide to run?As a 13-year resident of Douglas County, I appreciate and enjoy all there is to offer in our community. To live here is to experience an exceptional quality of life, strong local businesses, an abundance of parks, trails and outdoor activities and an involved and educated community. As a father I think it’s important to set an example for my daughters by serving the community we love so much. I’d like to give back, and this is an area where I could make a positive impact. I am running for school board with the promise to listen closely, understand issues and seek solutions through responsible service.What are the most important issues facing the school district?Despite all the positive aspects of life here in Douglas County, I’ve witnessed some changes in our public schools over the past eight years that concern me. DCSD needs to create and follow a fiscally responsible budget, placing the needs of students first, while being transparent to taxpayers. The school board needs to act as a stable and functioning unit, providing a positive example and strong leadership for the community. Substantial turnover in any high-performing organization is not sustainable. We must create a culture so that we retain and hire the best educators. The board has been divided in recent years. How would you help bridge that divide?While the school board is several layers away from the real work that’s going on in the classroom between teachers and students, there’s a trickle-down effect the board has on the overall function and culture of the school district. Making decisions behind closed doors, putting dissenting voices on a time clock and not following standard procedures are no way for a high-performing school board to operate. I am all for healthy debate and differing opinion. What has been lacking though, and I will work to insert, is respectful dialogue, compromise and serving the interests of our community.Would you be supportive of a bond or mill levy to bring more funding to the district?Whether it’s a leaky faucet or your furnace not working in the winter, what homeowner wants to let their home to fall into disrepair? I’m all for improving efficiency with the funding we’ve been allocated, but there is a growing backlog of structural needs that require attention now or later. If improved efficiency is not enough, I’m for a bond and mill levy. Our 67,000 students and 8,700 employees deserve a safe and healthy learning environment.What do you want people to know about you?I am an IT sales professional and I enjoy traveling, golfing, music and walking my dogs. Pretty simple. My wife, Amy, and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. We have two daughters, Celeste and Nina, who have attended our neighborhood schools in Castle Rock from kindergarten through high school. A few years ago, my wife and I homeschooled our girls for eight months while we traveled to 15 countries, experiencing time together and countless great adventures. I’ve been very involved in my girls’ schools and running for DCSD Board of Education is a great step to take my involvement in our community to another level.
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