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Candidates Tackle Issues at TJ Forum

Posted 09/27/2011 by Becca Hansen

TJ Leadership Students collaborate with South Student Senate to host the DPS Board Candidate Forum.

Thomas Jefferson Senior Leadership Class and South High School Student Senate collaborate on the DPS School Board forum. Photo by Kendall Bundy

The Thomas Jefferson High School Senior Leadership class, South High Student Senate leaders, the Denver League of Women Voters, the Partnership for Southeast Denver Schools, South High PTA and TJ Partners, and INC (Denver Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation) are all sponsoring the 2011 Denver Public School Board Candidate Forum on Tuesday, September 27, at Thomas Jefferson HS in the auditorium from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The Partnership for the Southeast Denver Schools came to TJ and South High with the idea of hosting a forum for both the DPS School Board seat District One and the At-Large seat collaboratively, at TJ. The event was planned by TJ and South student leaders along with the sponsoring organizations. “Some representatives from my Senior Leadership class and I met several times with the League of Women Voters to plan and organize details of how the forum will take place. My students discussed and wrote questions that are to be asked to candidates at the debate,” said Leadership Teacher Jon Poole.

Two candidates for the DPS School Board seat are scheduled to attend the debate: Anne Rowe and Emily Sirota. An educational program will be shown during a brief intermission between the District 1 and the At-Large segments that will inform voters about the State Amendment proposal to eliminate Tabor and the Denver initiative to give paid family sick leave. After the short break, the forum for the At-Large seat will commence. Happy Haynes, Frank Deserino, Roger Kilgore, and Jackie Shumway will all participate in the debate.

Students from Poole’s Leadership class at TJHS as well as students from South High’s Student Senate will present a variety of questions to ask all the candidates at the forum. The forum is to be a discussion between the candidates rather than a debate format. Questions from the audience and one wild card question from each candidate to their opponents will also contribute to the conversation. Each candidate will have a specific amount of time to answer each question. Students will time answers and hold up signs to signify how much time is left and when time is up.

The event will be filmed and broadcast by Denver Channel 8. Refreshments will be provided by TJ Senior leadership and South’s Student Senate, with the money raised going towards both of the schools.