CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Following a tumultuous 20 months in Douglas County surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and decisions on how to handle protocols in schools, voters chose to elect some candidates who say they plan to bring changes.
Mike Peterson was one of four people running for Douglas County School Board who called themselves the "Kids First" candidates.
"I feel like it was a good night for the parents at Douglas County last night," Peterson said.
He says on topics like the mask mandate, choice is crucial.
"The mask thing's been going on so long, and it's been so divisive. We don't know what it's going to look like when we get seated. There's an ongoing lawsuit, so we'll have to see where that is, but our intention is to bring back choice for parents relative to their students and choice to teachers to make their own decisions, and that goes for masking and for vaccinations," Peterson said.
The shift in candidates on the school board highlights a divide that’s been seen throughout the last year between Douglas County and the Tri-County Health Department on COVID-19 protocols.
Becky Myers, who was also elected alongside Peterson, says she isn't in favor of future mandates.
"Masking, you know, we overstepped, we overcompensated for our infectious disease. Now, it's time to get back to normalcy. I will always be in favor of personal choice. I want to choose if I want to wear a mask, if I want to be vaccinated. I want other families to choose if they want to mask, if they want to have vaccinations. That's part of being an American. That's freedom," Myers said.
As far as current superintendent, Corey Wise, they’re confident he can do the job.
"We want to give him the chance. It's a grace period. Our district in three, four years, it has had three superintendents. It wouldn't be healthy to go in and turn over tables, fire people and get rid. That's not how we work," Myers said.
In a statement, Wise welcomed the new board members and thanked the outgoing board members for dedicating their time to the district.
"Over the coming weeks, we will be working with our new Board members to help orient them and welcome them to their new roles. I am confident that our new Board of Education, staff, families, and community will be able to come together to continue the great mission of this school district," Wise said.
The Douglas County School Board president tells Denver7, the current board’s last meeting will be next week and the board will be sworn in on Nov. 30. The board president also pointed to a challenging campaign on both sides partly because of polarized views.
"We're doing a lot of listening, listening to the staff, listening to our teachers, see what's working for them, what's not working for them and then advocate for things that they want to see," said Peterson.
Unofficial election results for Douglas County can be viewed here.