Chris Guarino: I’ll prioritize trust, recruitment and equity
Summit School District board candidate
Greetings! My name is Chris Guarino, and I thank you for taking the time to learn about all the candidates in this race. My wife, son and I are Frisco residents and are extremely proud to have been a part of the Summit County community for many years. Originally a resident of Breckenridge, I moved from New York City in October 2002 to be an instructor at the Breckenridge Ski & Ride School. Like so many of you, I came for the winters but stayed for the summers.
Ultimately, I worked for ski school teaching group and private snowboard lessons out of the village for three seasons. During that same time, I ran heavy equipment for a local family-owned excavation business located in Breckenridge from 2003 to 2005. My most notable project during that time was being on the crew that cleared the land, dug the foundations and graded the site for St. Anthony Summit Hospital in Frisco. I will always be proud of the fact that I personally finish-graded the helipad for our heroic Flight for Life helicopter and crew just prior to it being paved.
Looking back to 2003, approaching the end of my first year in Summit, I met an incredible person on Main Street Breckenridge. My wife, Kimberly, and I were married two years later, also in Breckenridge, and I am proud to say we just celebrated our 16th anniversary on Sept. 17. Kimberly now serves as the early childhood registrar for Summit School District, and our son is in second grade at Frisco Elementary.
Prior to moving to Summit County, I was a graduate of Loyola University Chicago and spent several years working as an asset manager for a development company in downtown Chicago. In 2005, when I realized I had zero desire to leave our amazing county, I brushed off my professional resume and started my career as an owner’s representative and project manager overseeing the design and construction of school projects all over Colorado.
In early 2006, I began consulting with Summit School District, and for 15-plus years (other than when we briefly moved away) I have helped facilitate the district’s Facilities Committee, spanning the legacy of two facilities directors, three superintendents and multiple Board of Education members. I frequently report to the board and am very familiar with the environment that I now hope to serve you from within.
I have helped execute multiple projects on every single Summit School District facility including Summit High School, Summit Middle School, Snowy Peaks, all six elementary schools, the central administration building, the bus barn, the facilities building and the new professional development building adjacent to central administration. Other notable local projects on my resume are the Colorado Mountain College Breckenridge campus, the CMC Dillon addition, the major remodel of the Village at Breckenridge in 2010 and the Big Dig at the Frisco Marina in 2019.
If I am given the honor of serving our community as one of the next board members, I plan to come to the table without my own specific agenda and to be a voice for our community.
However I do believe as a board we need to focus on some priorities. These are as follows:
Occupation: Owner’s representative and construction project management consultant
Years in Summit County: 19
Family: Wife, Kimberly; 7-year-old son at Frisco Elementary
Civic involvement: Former U.S. Green Building Council Colorado Chapter Green School’s Initiative chair, Breckenridge Montessori School board, community organizer, Green School construction policy advocate at state Capitol and Frisco Elementary tee ball coach
Priority No. 1: Build trust via active listening and proactive communication
I believe if we all actively listen to one another, we will find there is often common ground that we can build off of and find effective ways to collaborate and compromise all in the best interests of our students.
Priority No. 2: Recruit and retain excellent teachers
I believe if we focus on competitive salaries and get into the affordable housing game, we can ensure more continuity for our amazing teachers, avoid turnover and ensure stability in the learning environment that we send our children into every day.
Priority No. 3: Equitable opportunities
We must ensure every single student has equitable opportunities to be the best student, and ultimately graduate, they can be as we prepare them for lifelong learning in order to be a productive, fulfilled member of society.
And finally, I believe in being honest and transparent. You won’t find any catchy slogans here as a distraction. If you vote for me, you are voting for a passionate parent, a longtime local who cares about the future of every single child in Summit County and someone who, while always being an outside consultant, has an inside familiarity with how our district works and is ready to start on Day 1.
Chris Guarino is a candidate for a four-year seat on the Summit School District Board of Education. Learn more at Facebook.com/chrisguarinoforSSDBoE.
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