Attorney and businessman Brad Rupert has lived in Arvada and Jefferson County for 34 years. He has served as board president for the Arvada Chamber of Commerce and Arvada Food Bank. The Arvada Chamber named named him its Man of the Year in 2011. He was elected to the Jeffco Board of Education in 2015.
Rupert earned an MBA and a law degree from the University of Colorado.
Campaign website: BradforJeffcoKids.com
Why do you want to serve on the school board?
I hope to continue to serve our children, our families and our community. We have returned civility to the School Board, even in disagreement. We have slowed the loss of educators to neighboring districts. We have started to address overcrowding in the growth areas of Jeffco. I want to build on these successes and return our attention to student achievement and preparing our children for further education and the careers of today and tomorrow.
Top three priorities if elected?
My three priorities will be to reduce the achievement gaps, particularly of those children living in poverty; work to make early childhood education available to all families, so children living in poverty don’t start first grade two years behind their classmates; and better prepare our graduates for the many alternative career pathways open to them in the many honorable and high-paying jobs and industries that don’t require college degrees. Achieving these would be a service to our children, our families, our employers and our economy.
What is one idea you have to improve student readiness/achievement?
We can further develop our successful vocational and technical training programs to prepare our graduates for the jobs available in our economy today and in the future. We must engage the business community to tell us what those job opportunities are, and to tell us what skills and certificates will be required. We can then design programs that prepare our graduates to effectively compete for those jobs directly, or to pursue higher education if that is required. We can prepare our graduates for honorable jobs that can support a family.
What can be done to allow the district to keep its best and most experienced teachers at a higher rate?
The most important factor in a child’s education is the teacher in the classroom. We must honor and respect the work they do with our children every day. We must work to pay them a competitive salary. We must provide effective professional development opportunities to keep their skills sharp and current. And we should evaluate their performance and provide feedback using relevant data and information, just as any enterprise seeks to evaluate and improve its most valuable resource — its people.
Would you support another ballot measure to help the district pay for capital improvements? Why or why not?
Yes. The need for additional capital funding is inevitable. Growth in west Arvada, west Lakewood and unincorporated Jeffco will require two and possibly three new schools. While we have excess capacity in older neighborhood schools, that capacity is not where the growth is. We pay for new construction with bonds that require voter approval. We will also need additional capital to pay for deferred maintenance and updates on older schools. A decade of budget cuts has left many schools in disrepair. When you fail to maintain any structure, you can expect higher repair costs later. Future generations deserve this investment.