Candidate-Community Q&A: Central Denver District 3

All school board elections are important, but this November’s Denver election is more pivotal than most. As Denver Public Schools works to recover from the pandemic’s disruptions, onboard a new superintendent, and cope with a widespread mental health crisis among its students, the new board will confront a host of crucial policy decisions.

Boardhawk is committed to following this fall’s election closely. We recognize the importance of public engagement in pushing for equitable outcomes for students and families. We also recognize that public engagement in school board contests tends to be low, and we hope to do our part to address that challenge.

We are launching our board election coverage with these video interviews of board candidates. We encouraged community members to come up with questions on relevant issues, and to ask them on video. We also invited all candidates to be recorded offering their responses, and allowed them to answer at the length they felt was appropriate.

Please note: The videos here are unedited. What you see on these videos is exactly what was recorded; nothing more, nothing less.

All candidates were given the opportunity to participate; some chose not to accept the invitation and in some cases said their schedules would not allow it.

In the coming weeks, we look forward to connecting or reconnecting with all Denver school board candidates. Look for more in-depth written interviews with the candidates, as well as coverage of candidate forums, debates, and other events.

What questions would you like to ask the candidates, and what issues would like to see addressed? Please contact us at [email protected] with your questions and comments.

This week we feature candidates for the central Denver board seat currently held by board President Carrie Olson. She is being opposed by Mike DeGuire, a long-time Denver and metro area educator and administrator.

Carrie Olson won election to the DPS Board of Education 2017, and served as its president for the past two years. Prior to that she was a DPS middle schoolteacher for more than three decades. Olson is also the mother of a DPS graduate.

Key quote: “I am running again to bring my experience not just in our classrooms and in our schools but also my experience on the Board to this next era of DPS.  In the midst of our transition out of the pandemic and with a new superintendent, DPS needs a board director with an unparalleled commitment to the students who is relentless in her dedication to DPS.”

Campaign website:

Mike DeGuire served for 28 years as a principal in DPS and three other Denver metro area school districts. DeGuire has coached DPS principals since 2012, and he works part-time as a Denver realtor and an Educator Effectiveness Specialist with the Colorado Department of Education.

Key quote: “The current system of measuring student achievement and school quality is ineffective. It relies too heavily on standardized test scores that are narrow in scope and misleading. This test prep culture undermines the hard work educators do every day.”

Campaign website: