Name: Mark Leach

Race: Weld RE-4 School District Board of Education District D

Q: Why are you interested in running for a seat on the Board of Education and what are your qualifications?

A: My son attends the district, and I want to positively influence the education that he and the rest of the children in our district receive. My qualifications: Veteran – U.S. Army; clinical lead – NASA; director – cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation; director – cardiovascular health and wellness; senior practice manager – cardiology, clinical research and program coordinator; teacher and volunteer in the district.  

Q: What is the biggest issue facing the school district, and, if elected, how would you address it?

A: During the pandemic our children were negatively impacted by federal, state and local policies that have created gaps in academic success and a mental health crisis through polarizing policies. We now have students who underperform and have higher rates of mental and physical health issues than we have ever had in previous generations. I will promote policy that gives parents ultimate control over the education their child receives and promote strong partnerships with teachers and parents.  

Q: How do you define parental rights as it pertains to public education? What level of input should parents/guardians have in curriculum selection and content?

A: Parents, you are the authority in your child's education. It is the pleasure of the district to serve you, and if we are not meeting your expectations, I absolutely support you doing what you believe is best for your child. It is the responsibility of the district to provide the absolute best education; If that service is lacking, parents should absolutely be able to voice their displeasure and look to options that suit their needs. 

Q: Learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, when schools switched to remote and hybrid instruction, is significant across the nation. What should the school district be doing to close that gap?

A: We should encourage and challenge our children academically to meet appropriate milestones. Teaching resilience and perseverance will help them in life beyond school. We should also recognize the children who have been left behind because of the policies of the pandemic and support them through learning resources available in our district.  

Q: We are in a high-growth area that will continue to require the building of new schools. What steps should the school district take to ensure equity among students in both old and new facilities?

A: We have a new bond and mill levy that will address the need for new buildings and teacher salaries. The district is also voting on a rezoning, which will control overcrowding.  

Q: Given the rising cost of living in Northern Colorado, what steps should be taken to ensure the district is able to attract and retain the best teachers, administrators and district leaders?

A: Pay competitive salaries and train effective leaders who people want to work for. Then, vote people into office that will prioritize controlling costs for the citizens of this beautiful state. 

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