Summit School Board candidate: Barrie Stimson |

Summit School Board candidate: Barrie Stimson

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Barrie Stimson

SUMMIT COUNTY – Barrie Stimson, a Breckenridge father of two and a business owner, is running for the Summit School Board because he said it’s his responsibility as a parent, and he’s passionate to help local kids advance in life.

“I’m not doing this because I think something’s broken in the school district,” Stimson said. “The number one reason I’m doing this is because I feel a responsibility to do whatever I can within my ability for my children within their formative years, to give them the best tools possible to go on to adulthood.”

Stimson has attended one school board meeting in the last six months and said his high level of involvement within Breckenridge Elementary School makes him qualified for the position.

“I’ve had a chance to meet and work with administrators within the school district because of my kids,” Stimson said. He also said he’s involved with both his kids’ academics and extracurricular activities, and the PTSA at Breckenridge Elementary School.

Stimson said he has owned Colorado West Real Estate Group for 10 years, and this experience has honed his problem-solving skills to aid him in both budget and policy decisions.

“Although I’m outspoken, I think I’m very good at discussing differences with people and coming up with a common solution,” Stimson said. “Which I think is important in this job because it’s a board of seven people. … Like team sports, the school board is a team effort.”

When asked what he thought the school superintendent’s role was, and how the board should interact and oversee the superintendent, Stimson said: “I believe that the super’s responsibility is to oversee the entire school system, the day-to-day operations of the whole district. Her job is to report to the school board and the school board’s responsibility is to establish policy and budget.”

Stimson said he hopes to be a “conduit” for his peers to voice their concerns, so he can relay those messages to the superintendent at regular board meetings – “I’d like parents to feel that I’m approachable and that I can carry their voice to the school board on a daily basis,” he said.

Though he likes the path the school district is already on, Stimson’s vision for Summit School District includes challenging academics, strong parent involvement and meeting budget needs in 2010.

“The good news is that the school district has already been dealing with budget issues, so this challenge won’t be completely foreign,” Stimson said.

He also voiced strong support for both the International Baccalaureate program and the dual-language program at Dillon Valley Elementary School.

“In these times, I believe very strongly that a student’s ability to deal on a global level is very valuable in their future,” Stimson said. “My objective is to continue with current goals that have been established – to have an efficient and fiscally responsible budget, to adopt meaningful and effective policies – like continuing with the IB program and maximizing the efficiency of the dual-language program so that non-English-speaking children can have a seamless transition” as they develop.

When asked what he considered to be the district’s responsibility to English-language learners, Stimson said children need to be held accountable and fully challenged both academically and in extra-curricular activities.

In terms of gifted and talented students, Stimson said he wishes for all children’s need to be taken care of fully.

“However, we are a public school system and the amount of money allowed from the state of Colorado dictates how much we can do,” he said. “If we could levy additional money without the state’s involvement, we could explore more programs for gifted students.”

Stimson said he had a responsibility to encourage students pursuing non-academic areas, like culinary skills and various trades.

“As far as education in general, I’d love to see a bigger emphasis on goal setting and achievement, and a bigger focus on managing money, credit cards and investments,” he said.

Caitlin Row can be reached at

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