The new faces of APS


Dennae Pigford, Review Staff

Feature Photo By: Vanessa Guereca- Civics teacher Stephanie Walsh helps a student understand the content being taught in her class. Though she voted for the Aurora city council, she was unable to vote for the school board as she does not live in the APS attendance area.

Last night marked a change in Aurora Public School (APS) board history: it was the election to fill four open board member spots. With only seven spots total, many within the APS community think that this will be a turning point for not only students, but teachers and families as well.

The four candidates that were elected into the board last night are Kyla Armstrong-Romero, Debra Gerkin, Kevin Cox and Marques Ivey. All four of these candidates together are referred to as ‘the A Team’, according to Chalkbeat, for they all share similar academic views.

“I want this position, because I know that I can make positive changes in my community,” said Armstrong-Romero in a previous interview. ” I am very passionate about education and serving the community.”

Though no big and imminent changes were announced Tuesday night, the previously stated positions of the ‘A

Debbie Gerkin, right, and others celebrating early returns for Aurora’s school board race Tuesday. The APS board election results were announced Tuesday, November 7th. (Photo by Yesenia Robles, Chalkbeat).

Team’ contradict with those of current Board Director Rico Munn and are likely to stir up controversy within the community.

“We want to make sure our traditional public schools are up to par first, but we’re not trying to close our charter schools either, or come in with an agenda,” Ivey said in an interview with Chalkbeat. “That’s my attitude about it.”

The school board addresses things such as charter schools within the community, budgeting and other community concerns.

“In five years, I would like to see less teacher turnover, higher graduation rates, and I also want to see teachers from multicultural backgrounds,” said Cox in an earlier interview with The Review. “All of the students need to see someone that looks like them. There should also be a working relationship with members of the blue collar community.”

The candidates will serve four year terms and will be able to run again in the year 2021. The APS district, according to many, will have new faces as possible changes to the direction Munn has led the district in the past few years.

“I think the most important thing about this election is that I feel we finally have board members that look like our students,” civics teacher Stephanie Walsh says. “Aurora is diverse and if you don’t have diversity in your school board, then you don’t understand what kids need in the classroom.”

To read the full candidate interviews conducted by The Raider Review, click here 

Click the following links to read a few of the winning candidates full candidate questionnaires: Kyla Armstrong-Romero, Debbie Gerkin, Kevin Cox