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Two candidates vie for school board seat

Two candidates are vying for the District One seat on the Archuleta School District 50 Joint board of directors: incumbent Greg Schick and Pagosa Springs resident Bill Hudson.

Schick was appointed to the board in October 2009, filling a seat vacated by Sandy Caves. Schick is currently the board’s representative on the District Accountability Committee.

Born and raised in Pagosa Springs and a graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, Schick owns and operates a veterinary business in Pagosa Springs as well as serving as proprietor (with his wife, Dena) of vacation cabins and a bed and breakfast — a business owned and operated by the Schick family for about 50 years.

Drawing on his experience as a basketball player for Colorado State University (where he received a B.A. in zoology and became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine), Schick served as a coach for the Pagosa Springs High School girls basketball team from 2004-2007, following a stint as assistant basketball coach at Western State College.

Schick has served on the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association’s board as president, the Colorado State University’s alumni board as president and is currently board president of the Colorado State Board of Veterinary Medicine.

Regarding Schick’s opponent, Hudson declined to be interviewed for this profile and so details of his experience is limited to previous news stories published in The SUN.

A town resident since 1993, Hudson operates an Internet business in the area. Although Hudson has served on several ad hoc committees in the area throughout the years, including a workgroup associated with Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, he has never held an elected office.

In 2010, Hudson unsuccessfully attempted to unseat Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon. Hudson’s earlier bid to fill an empty seat on the Town Tourism Committee was rejected by the Pagosa Springs Town Council.

Although Hudson refused to comment for this article, Schick made himself available for an interview by SUN staff.

Stating that he’s a strong supporter of public education, Schick added, “I believe strongly in the value of education. I strongly believe that we need to educate our students to be successful in college, trade schools or be work force-ready after finishing school.”

Expressing support for 3B (a proposed school bond for building new schools in the district) and Proposition 103 (see related article), Schick said, “We need to provide a safe learning environment for our students.

“We also need to explore all modalities of education and adjust with the changing landscape of education,” Schick said, adding that “Online schools, charter schools and private schools can all be helpful in educating our students.”

Schick pointed to the recent eSchool developed by the San Juan Board of Cooperative Education Services (which provides online supplemental course offerings for district students) as well as a recent agreement between the district and Pueblo Community College offering local students post-secondary curriculum as examples of how the district has adjusted to that changing educational landscape.

When asked what he brings to the district’s board for another term as director, Schick brought up his experience on and off the board as well as, “My willingness to listen to staff, teachers, students, parents and the general public.”

Registered voters residing within the school district’s boundaries can vote for school board members. The election is by mail-in ballot only and those ballots will be sent out by the Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder’s Office Tuesday, Oct. 11. Ballots can be mailed back to the county or hand delivered to the Elections Office. All ballots are due back by 7 p.m. Nov. 1.

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