Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Dean Vlachos
District E 

Boulder Valley School District Board of Education


October 6, 2017

Editor’s note: The next few weeks we will have profiles of candidates for the November Boulder Valley School District election. Responses are printed as submitted to the Courier without edits.

I grew up in Fort Collins, CO and attended K-12 public schools in the Poudre School District.  For BVSD, I have been a parent volunteer (field trip chaperone, science fair, fundraisers, athletics, etc.) and currently support performing arts programs as a percussion accompanist for several student choirs and theater productions.  Overall, I am a lifelong supporter of public education and neighborhood schools. 

Professionally, I am an environmental engineering consultant with Ramboll Environ (Denver, CO) and have over 28 years of experience in water resource management and water quality control.  I am a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado and serve as a project manager for industrial/municipal wastewater permitting and regulatory compliance.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University and Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Vanderbilt University.  Other professional experience includes leading the Drinking Water Excellence Program for the CO Department of Public Health and Environment.

How long have you lived in the district?

12 years consisting of 7 in Erie and 5 in Boulder

Do you currently have children attending school in the district?

No, my two children recently graduated from BVSD high schools in 2016 and 2017.

Why are you running for the BVSD board?

As part of the BVSD community, I wish to serve the district to promote and further educational progress.  As a parent of BVSD students and spouse of a BVSD teacher, I have received many benefits of the district’s efforts and commitments.  It is now time for me to give back for future students, teachers, and community supporters.  I will be committed to investing the time and effort to learn and understand the issues that are important to the BVSD community.

I have other personal reasons for wanting to serve on the school board.  In particular, I have been exposed to the importance of education all my life by those who surround me.  My father was a sociology professor at CSU, my sister is currently a senior lecturer at Indiana University, my wife is in her 25th year as a high school teacher, and my son just began his college studies at UNC in education.  These important people in my life inspire me to contribute to furthering education in the district.

What makes you qualified for this position?

I believe my professional experience, background, and abilities in engineering project management can translate well into the traits necessary for a successful school board member.  Specifically, my strengths and talents include:

• thinking and solving problems analytically using complex data and information

• working in a collaborative project team environment with people of various backgrounds and experience levels

• understanding personnel issues and logistics by serving as an employee supervisor

• understanding project scope and budget estimation and tracking

• clearly communicating project needs and results both orally and in writing

• experience with regulatory and legal aspects of project objectives, including policy creation and revision

• making supported decisions in a timely manner

What goals do you have for the district and/or what would you like to see change?

My major goal as a school board member is to reflect the community’s diverse values toward providing students with a quality education and teachers and staff with a fulfilling work environment.  I am not focused on a single ideological issue or interest, but will promote a balanced approach for the district’s priorities as they evolve. More specific goals include:

1. A safe, stable leaning environment.

2. District-wide comprehensive curriculum providing multiple opportunities in academics and arts

3. Consensus among board members in reaching board decisions

The most immediate, as well as the most public, issue facing the board this fall is the selection and hiring of a new superintendent.  Given the challenges faced by the board last spring with the termination of the previous superintendent, I believe there will be an increased interest from parents, teachers, staff, and community members regarding the qualifications of the applicants and the process utilized for final selection.  Therefore, I would like to see the board to proceed in a collaborative, transparent manner in determining the leadership of the district. 

Please state anything else you would like voters to know.

Three quick facts about my style as a board member:

1. I like to listen and ask questions for multiple perspectives

2. I believe the board should govern and not micro-manage

3. I value the inclusion of education resources and experts in the field.


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