Get to Know Your SCSD No. 2 Board of Trustee Candidates

Get to Know Your SCSD No. 2 Board of Trustee Candidates

In an effort to help better inform you about the people running for Board of Trustee seats in Sweetwater County School Districts No. 2, SweetwaterNOW has invited the candidates to share their profiles with local constituents.

The candidates were asked to share information about themselves and why they’ve decided to seek a position on their respective boards. All candidates were invited to participate in the profile sharing prior to the election. [If you are a current candidate and don’t see yourself below, please check your email for the questions or email dave@sweetwaternow.com]

Debra Barton

I appreciate the opportunity to respond concerning my qualifications and experience while running for the SWCSD #2 Board of Trustees.  I will have to admit that I have never positioned myself to serve on a board, but I truly believe that certain policies, currently in place, within our district need to be changed and in some cases enforced, in support of students and staff.  

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I believe that “The Board” is a panel elected by our constituents to not only support our Superintendent, vote on policy, funding, etc, but should also serve as a form of “checks and balances” to ensure that students and staff are treated equally and fairly.

This community means the world to me. I have had three children go through this district with my youngest being a Junior at GRHS.  I served as the GRHS Cheer Coach from fall 2012- Spring 2015, ultimately resulting in a Triple-Crown State Title.

I am a hard working mother, employee, and business owner who believes in fair and equal treatment for all of the students and staff that are blessed to be a part of our great community, and education system.  I am a team player, a quick learner, and would faithfully serve on this board should my constituents believe that I will add a new perspective, and value to SWCSD #2.

Steve Core – Current Board Member and Board Chairman

First, I want thank Sweetwater Now for giving all of us the opportunity to give more information to the voters.

I have served the Green River community for 35 years. I learned early on when my wife Nancy and I moved here, that in order to make your community better, you must volunteer your time. I have been involved with the school district since 1985. I was the voice of the Green River Wolves from 1985-2020.

I have served on the school board for 20 years, having been elected 5 different times. While serving on the board, my fellow board members elected me 7 times to serve as board chair. I take pride in that, showing my leadership skills.

There is no doubt that the district went through some tough times in the past two years. I was very vocal about needing a change, and we made that change. I believe the current leadership in the district is headed in the right direction and I would like to see that through.

We have some very difficult decisions to be made, financially, in the next several years and I believe my experience will help guide those decisions. I take pride in my steadfast support of our kids and our employees. I ask myself on all votes, is this good for kids and is this good for our employees. If the answer is yes, I vote in favor. If its no, I vote no.

I take pride in representing the taxpayers of the district and take that part of the job very serious. Both my children, Heather and Patrick, graduated from Green River High School and both are very successful because of that education. Two of my four grandchildren are currently attending schools in Green River so I’m invested in this district.

I appreciate the voters support in the past, and would appreciate your support on November 3rd . If you have any questions, feel free to email me at stevescore@hotmail.com or call me. Thank you.

Robbie de Leur

My name is Robbie de Leur and I’m proud to be running for our District Board of Trustees. I have 34 years of experience and a doctorate in Education Leadership. I was formerly the Director of Financial Aid at Western Wyoming Community College and increased financial aid resources by over 400%, as well as expanded services to the College’s outreach centers. I also instituted a High School visitation program here in Wyoming, traveling to 23 high schools in the College’s service area to provide information to families needing assistance to fund their student’s post-secondary education. I even created a video that was distributed to those high schools, along with a workbook, to help promote the availability of financial assistance.

I am currently the vice president of a national technology services firm and lead our higher education practice. In addition to my education experience, my responsibilities there include business development, operational management, personnel development and retention, client management, strategic and tactical planning, and attainment of practice and company financial goals and metrics. We’ve instituted two different kinds of internships, one for high school students and another for college students. These programs introduce students to the workforce or to a position associated with their major based on skills they are learning. Participants in these internships have shared how they have benefited from the programs. These kinds of internships closely align with the goals and objectives of the Ignite Wyoming program.

Given the environment we are living in, between economic challenges and the influence of the COVID-19, our district will have to contend with fiscal uncertainties as well as resulting student achievement outcomes. While the Wyoming constitution ensures our schools will have funding to provide an adequate education, the district will need to identify additional sources of revenue to maintain our higher standards of academic achievement. In addition, we need to understand that student achievement in our district has been affected by the changes in the mode of education delivery. Not all learners are suited for “online” modes of learning or the lower knowledge retention from the shutdowns carrying through the summer, and their social development is also being affected. Our board will need to pay close attention to this in the coming months and years, work with the Superintendent and school administrators, and always keep the student’s best interest at the forefront.

I believe my education, experience, vision, and commitment to education will benefit the board in the next four years. There are many challenges and difficult decisions that will need to be made. I’ve been attending the board meetings, reading the board documents, studying state regulations, and getting engaged. I’ve been talking to members of our community, going door to door, listening to your comments – hearing both your accolades and paying attention to your concerns. I’m grateful for the opportunity to get to know many of you through this campaign. I promise I will not stop listening after the election!

Jennifer Figenser

I have three primary reasons for seeking election to the Sweetwater School District No. 2 Board of Trustees.

First, I feel the need to give back to the community and schools that helped me raise my own children; Teagan, Sandra and Elizabeth Figenser. All who attended Lincoln and Green River High School.  My daughter Elizabeth also attended Truman where my husband, Greg Figenser (Mr. Fig) served as principal for 4 years.

Second, I have children who call me ‘Tia’ who are just starting their school careers.  I feel it is important to be part of the system that will educate them.

Third, a group of teacher and administrator friends asked me to run.  They explained to me the need for my compassionate, thoughtful leadership as one who has been a teacher, administrator and parent.

The next four years will be a challenge due to budget cuts.  As an administrator in Colorado, I’ve been through these cuts.  I bring insight to navigate these hard financial times.  There are creative and calculated ways to keep and improve SWCSD2 during budget shortfalls. I believe in seeking input from community, business members and teachers.  The people the board serves most likely have the answer.

The biggest success of the district has been perseverance during major leadership changes and Covid 19. The biggest failure may be not paying attention to student, teacher and administrator mental health and burn out.  Stress will need to be recognized and addressed. I appreciate voter support and am happy to answer questions.

Cristy Pelham

My name is Dr. Cristy Pelham and I am trying to return to the Sweetwater School District #2 School Board and would like your support. Six years ago I left after serving eight years and I truly miss the experience. I believe that during these tough times both financially and with safety due to Covid-19 experience will be important.   

I have lived in Green River for the past 15 years and prior to that I lived in McKinnon for 3 years. I was born and raised in Rock Springs and have always been in Sweetwater County and was a graduate of RSHS and WWCC. I am married to David Pelham (Southwest Counseling) and have three sons: Mikey McBee (graduate of GRHS with the class of 2011); Cristopher McBee (7th grade at Lincoln Middle School); and Davey Pelham (Kindergarten at Monroe ES).   

I have worked for the City of Rock Springs teaching swimming lessons and other safety courses. Next, I went to work for Sweetwater County School District #2 as a Title One Teacher at Monroe Middle School and then K-2 at McKinnon Elementary School. Then I worked for School District #1 as a Substitute Teacher, a Kindergarten Teacher, a 5th grade Teacher, a Typing/Computer Teacher, an Instructional Facilitator, the Sweetwater Education Association President, and Rural Summer School Principal. During my time at SD#1, I also taught a variety of BOCES summer courses and worked as an education instructor for WWCC. Currently I am the Executive Director of the SCCDC.   

My most recent education is my work on an early childhood special education certification and a Superintendent Leadership certification, both with the University of Wyoming. I am also currently working with three other Superintendents to write and seek publication of a professional journal article on Covid-19 and education in small rural areas.    

During my tenure in education, birth through higher education, I have served on a variety of committees, published, and presented at conferences. I am well versed on grant writing, fundraising, budgets and finances, human resource, curriculum and instruction, technology, policy, crisis management, professional learning communities, evaluations, and school safety.

It is all of this experience and education that make me a viable candidate to return to the school board and serve the students and their families, the staff, and the community as we navigate through the 10% budget cut, the Covid-19 Pandemic, legal issues facing the district, and ensuring all of our students are prepared for the future.   

Brenda Roosa Current Board Member

I’ve been a lifelong resident of Green River and have enjoyed serving our community. Derek and I have been married for 30 years and have three grown children here in Green River as well as two grandchildren that fill our lives with joy and happiness.

I enjoy serving our community and have been on several boards, coached youth sports and am seeking re-election to continue this service. 
Our district is facing some difficult decisions, along with our state, in regards to funding and covid.

I believe as a school board trustee I can help us navigate through these difficult times. As a leader I value our people and organization. It has always been my goal to work to benefit others and not my personal gain; to inspire and motivate others; to know the problems and live by a moral compass to guide me in making the right decisions. 

I am seeking re-election to Sweetwater County School District #2 to continue to serve my community and I would appreciate your vote on November 3rd. Thank you.

Danielle Salas

I want all Green River citizens to know that I can promise I will always do anything and everything in my power to protect the educational rights and dignity of every single student in our district.

I will strive to make sure our educators have every available tool at their disposal not only to afford your children the best education possible but to make sure they themselves are taken care of in this time of uncertainty.

As someone who has and extensive background in early childhood education and now as a parent to a teenager and even more recently as someone who has been working with a high school athletic team, I felt strongly that it was a perfect time to “throw my hat in the ring”.

I hope to be someone who can help with the transition to a “new normal” in our district while being a liaison between families, teachers and administrators.

David Young

My name is David Young. I have lived in Green River for most of my life. I attended grade school, middle school, junior high and high school here. I graduated from Green River High School in 1990. I participated in athletics growing up and am grateful for the lessons learned throughout my life from teachers, administrators, and coaches in this District.

They have helped shape my life. I attended Western Wyoming Community College and received an Associates degree there. I also graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wyoming, and just received my MBA from the University of Wyoming this past July.

Education has always been important to me. I currently work at Tata Chemicals as the Program Manager, and enjoy the opportunity to work and live in Sweetwater County.

My wife Jeanna and I have four children. Garrrett and Tyler have both graduated from GRHS. Garrett is currently attending Law School at Penn State, and Tyler works at Tata Chemicals. Our daughter Madison is currently a senior at GRHS and participates in swimming and cheerleading. Our youngest son Brady is a sophomore and competes on the swim team.

This District has done so much for my family. I want to than my family for their support, and for my mom always supporting me as well. The reason that I have chosen to run for the School Board is to continue to give back to this community. I do not come in with a specific agenda, other that to provide the best educational opportunities for the students and the best culture for our teachers and administrators. All of us need to work together to make this happen, especially in the challenging circumstances we face.

I appreciate the work that the current School Board members have put forth. They have done a great job and if elected, I hope to build on what they have done and continue to make our School District one of the best! Thank you for those that have expressed support for me as a candidate.