AURORA | Cherry Creek School District canceled its November school board election due to a lack of competition for the two open seats on the panel.
Current board member Karen Fisher from District E and newcomer Kelly Bates from District D were named the winners after neither ended up with challengers. Bates had faced an opponent in the race to replace current board president Randy Perlis but Matt Snider, her opponent, dropped out of the race.
Fisher is a 27-year resident in the district and a mother of six children who have all gone to schools in the district. Her youngest two children are still in Cherry Creek schools.
Her resume on the board since being elected in 2013 includes being in charge of the district’s most recent bond measure, approved by voters in 2016. She said the work on the campaign and coordinating the effort of volunteers provided her with invaluable experience.
“It was my first time leading it, and it was a big job. Ii was really honored to lead it,” Fisher said when she announced her run for re-election this April. “I love Cherry Creek Schools and doing that election. Everybody you talk to says, ‘Oh I bought my house because of Cherry Creek schools. I told my Realtor I’d only look at homes in the district.’ That legacy is something I am so proud of and if I can do anything to help maintain that, then I’m going to do it.”
Bates said she decided to run as a way to continue to serve the school district that has helped teach her five children. And she has no intention of this being a jumping point for a new career.
“I’m not a politician. I’ve never run for office. I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom for 25 years, but I’ve been doing volunteering with the schools. This is the next step in my service,” Bates said during an interview earlier this year. “Even though it is an elected position, it is not something that should be politicized. It isn’t something that helps you step to next level. It’s something you should do to help the kids and teachers and everyone in our district.”
Bates said her volunteering with CCSD didn’t consist of spending some time in her children’s classroom and helping with field trips. She has served several terms as president of parent teacher organizations for her children schools, did work fundraising for the schools and was recognized twice as Exceptional Volunteer by CCSD.