A Voice of Colorado No. 238 Version 5.0:

Three candidates have announced their intention to run for the Thompson School Board in Loveland, CO.: Barb Kruse, Paul Bankes, and Lori Hvizda Ward.

In November 2017 voters will decide whether or not they should be elected, to represent District B, E, and F. Qualifications for the positions include residency in the district intended for representation, although voters will cast ballots for the elected positions at large.

Currently the representative for District B is Bryce Carlson, but he has not announced his intention to run for re-election. His competition is Paul Bankes, who previously worked for the school district for fourteen years until he pursued a career in financial advisement. During his employment with the district Mr. Bankes taught elementary school, served as a school principal, was a director of assessment, and an executive director of elementary education. Despite changing careers he continues to teach online and serves as an educational consultant. His experience is a reason for running – Mr. Bankes has been quoted as saying he knows the district from the inside and the outside.

In District E current board president Lori Hvizda Ward has announced her intention to run for second term. As a board member she has and may decide whether to keep a specific school open or to close it, to change boundaries, and to cut positions as finances dictate. A board member also participates in planning for growth, advancing student achievement, and ensuring teachers have proper training. Ward has three children, one of whom graduated from the Thompson School District, one who will be a senior at Loveland High School, and one who will attend seventh grade at Bill Reed Middle School. Her family has resided in Loveland for more than three decades.

The candidate in District F is longtime Loveland resident Barb Kruse, who announced she will seek the school board seat currently held by Carl Langner, who has made it known that he will not seek re-election in order to spend time with family and pursue travel.

Kruse taught at Namaqua, Stansberry, Cottonwoon Plains, and Berthoud Elementary Schools during a career that spanned thirty years. Following that she worked for almost a decade as a literacy coach and served as a consultant in staff development for school districts and publishing companies focused on education. Her credentials include being a member of the Colorado Council of the International Reading Association and serving on the Loveland Library Board.

Presently she teaches in the reading department of the University of Northern Colorado as an adjunct professor.

Some voters in the Thompson School District have expressed reservations and concerns about these candidates because of their support of unions.

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