Opinion | School board candidate Julie Shapiro: Rigorous, engaging public education is what I’ll strive for

Julie Shapiro
School board candidate
Julie Shapiro/Courtesy photo
Summit Board of Education member Julie Shapiro.
Julie Shapiro/Courtesy photo

I believe in the positive power of public education to foster thriving kids and thriving communities. I’m solution-oriented and a strategic systems thinker. I believe in working together toward shared goals and staying focused on our students through the following priorities:

Occupation: Collaborative strategist, facilitator and mediator as director of the Center for Natural Resources at Keystone Policy Center, a local non-profit bringing together diverse perspectives to solve complex local, state, and national policy problems (2008-present).

Years in Summit County: 13 years in Frisco; a Colorado mountain dweller since 2003 when I arrived in Eagle County to teach science outside to K-12 students.

Family: I live in Frisco with my husband, dog, and Frisco Elementary third grader.

Civic involvement: Summit Board of Education Director (June 2022-present); Board representative to District Accountability Committee (2023-present); Frisco Elementary School Accountability Committee (2021-present), Continental Divide Land Trust Board Member/Emeritus (2014-2019).

Priority No. 1

Academic and personal success for every student.

I’m an advocate for public education that is rigorous, engaging and supports academic and personal success for every student. Every student deserves high-quality education in the fundamentals of reading, writing and math. Every student also deserves learning opportunities to challenge themselves, dive deeper and develop critical thinking skills. I want our district to honor and foster the potential and talent of every student in our system — including those whose needs are not currently being met. I want every Summit student reading by third grade and graduating ready to thrive in and strengthen our communities.

To these ends, in the past year serving on the Board of Education, I have supported our district-wide implementation of new K-5 reading and math curricula as well as new efforts to strengthen classroom instruction for all students; identify and support students struggling with reading and math; improve student attendance; and enhance our offerings for post-secondary college and career pathways.

We have much work ahead of us. We also have many successes to build upon. These include the diverse accomplishments of recent graduates; this year’s improvements in student academic growth as well as district and school performance ratings; and exciting dual language, STEM, dual college-credit enrollment, pre-collegiate mentorship, and career technical education programming.

Priority No. 2

Safety, inclusivity, and belonging for students, staff, and families.

Academic excellence starts with learning environments that are physically, socially and emotionally safe, inclusive and welcoming. I’ve supported investments in improving school and classroom safety. I’ve supported curricula that help every student see and value themselves and others in what they are learning. I also support our efforts in social emotional learning and our investments in mental health.

This emphasis on safety, inclusivity and belonging should extend to all our staff and include meaningful involvement of our diverse families. I value the experiences and perspectives of our teachers, staff and leaders. I am excited to support and strengthen our work with the District Accountability Committee, Hispanic Families Council, Student Advisory Committee to the Superintendent, and numerous other engagement efforts.

Priority No. 3

Strategic and sustainable investment in teachers, staff, and partnerships.

Public education is powered by its people. Our students deserve great schools, teachers, and staff that support them every day. I’m committed to fiscal responsibility and a champion for sustainable public education funding that provides stability today and flexibility to invest in our future. I support investments in professional development, competitive pay, and housing solutions for our great teachers and staff. I also support strategic community partnerships such as Project Thrive, which is helping us increase opportunities for after school and summer programming. I value and am excited to expand upon our numerous partnerships supporting academic programs, career and technical training and internships, health and wellness, and solutions for staff housing.  

To learn more about me and my priorities for high-quality public education, please visit

Julie Shapiro is a candidate for Summit School District’s board of education. For more election coverage, visit

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