JeffCo Schools superintendent resigns at explosive board meeting

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- An explosive school board meeting in Jefferson County Saturday began with the resignation of a long-time superintendent before ending in a chorus of boos directed at conservative members of the board.

There was a shift in board politics following the November election, which brought in a new conservative majority. Following the election, Dr. Cindy Stevenson announced her plans to retire on June 30, but, Saturday, she said she’s leaving in two weeks because of problems with the new board members.

Amateur video captured Saturday morning’s contentious school board meeting as Stevenson said she could no longer lead the district.

“You must have trust and respect,” she said. “They do not trust me and they do not respect me.”

And so, despite a standing ovation from a room full of her supporters, Stevenson announced her resignation.

“My issue is serving you, serving our community and, most importantly, our kids,” she continued. “So I did approach the board, we will be reaching  an agreement, I will be gone by the end of the month, and I just want you to know.”

Newly elected board president Ken Witt didn’t answer questions directed at him during the contentious meeting, but he did speak to FOX31 Denver’s Kent Erdahl later in the day.

"It was disappointing that the meeting was disrupted," Witt said. "I think there was some organized attendance there that made it difficult to conduct business, and that's unfortunate."

Witt also answered Stevenson’s accusation that the board doesn’t trust or respect her.

"I was disappointed with that comment, but trust is a two-way street and we're going to move forward,” Witt said.

During the meeting, fellow board member Lesley Dahlkemper attempted to ask the new members how the decision is good for 85,000 students in the district.

Though Witt didn’t answer before the meeting adjourned, FOX31 Denver’s Kent Erdahl asked Witt whether JeffCo Schools was better off with or without Stevenson.

"You know, Dr. Stevenson has already announced her resignation, so we're focused on the future and we're focused on finding the right and best superintendent that we can attract to this district, and we're going to move forward with our academic goals."

Amateur footage from Saturday's board meeting:



  • D.R. Commish

    Another Democrat Quits when someone disagreed with them. Gutsy.

    The Board was elected fairly… My guess is that the majority of the “supporters” were teachers who care more for their precious union contracts, than they do the education of our children.

    40+ years of Democrat control over the education system has gotten us to where we are today…. Lets let those danged Conservatives have a fair shot at 40 years, and then we’ll compare… Deal?

    • Dena Goldberg

      Have you spoken to the teachers in Jeffco about what they care about and their political affiliations? As a Jeffco teacher, I can assure you that my ‘precious union contract’ isn’t so precious given that my salary has been frozen for years while my out of pocket benefit costs rise yearly. Also, teachers actually favored salary freezes over cutting music programs and librarians when they were in danger. This is all in the public record. Further, many school-based union representatives are Republicans. School board elections are supposedly non-partisan.
      I’ve not heard anyone question the validity of the school board election at this time nor am I aware of the person prior to Cindy quitting. Who is this other gutless person you refer to?
      When you mention Democratic control over the education system, do you mean at the national, state, or local levels? I mention this due to the fact that unless there have been 40 years of democrats controlling Jeffco schools (I have no idea), I can assure you that both democrats and republicans have enjoyed power concerning education in both the state and national arenas.
      Also to note, if you were to use what you wrote as an argument in an academic setting, you would do quite poorly.

      • Codswallop Hogwash

        Dena, like so many Democrats, you live in a fantasy world. The Left has controlled K-12 Nationally, Regionally, and in many cases locally for the past 60 years. In that time, the standards have dropped dramatically, as shown by the 6th grade test discovered in Kansas a few years ago, that could not be answered by most High School grads. There is no discipline, and insufficient effort to get parents involved – less of a problem in Jeffco than in Denver. As a teacher, you should be fighting to get rid of the ridiculous overhead, and over paid principal system that eats into your salaries and accomplishes little. I have attended and studied the European system which spends 10% on overhead as compared to your 40 %.
        Without discipline, including controlled use of the cane, America will never accomplish what the Europeans and many Asians achieve.

      • T Adrs

        Wah wah wah dena…… Hearing another teacher Whine and Cry

        Teachers should be required to put in +40 hrs a week and show up 52 weeks a year – and they can do repair projects on the school in the summer and prep courses.

        Teachers are so disconnected from the real world. They should have to work like the rest of us if they want higher pay. You work 3/4 of the year, that is all you should be paid for. Its a hard job, but is easy compared to real jobs in the private sector. No wonder they are all mostly liberals.

    • Codswallop Hogwash

      I totally agree, Dr. Commish.
      They have destroyed education in this country. We now graduate High School students with a 6th grade education. Our kids are brain-washed and their heads filled with fake liberal ideas about the way the World does NOT work. 40% of the budget goes to overhead. It is going to be a long hard road to get the education system straightened out.

    • MSG Chuck

      Yep it is them “Democrats” that ruined the school system………NOT!!

      Have you considered that the long term Republican control of state finances has rendered Colorado basically dead last on education spending.

      I will watch in amusement as the Jeffco schools now continue the downhill decline that will result in electing Wackos to the school board.

      With over 40 years in education, I am also retiring this year (five pensions…three from education…one from the military). Luckily, I taught most years out east where they actually value educating their kids. I made six figures back there so, my 11 years in PERA will be my minor slush fund for SCUBA trips etc.

      Enjoy your conservative “Tea Baggers” and watch test scores go ever lower………you deserve what you get.

      Giggle, Giggle

      • T Adrs

        “I’m a liberal techur and I got five pensions…..

        one from the Military and three from edumication??”

        Stupid liberal, that is 4….

        No wonder you’re a liberal, you can’t add it all up,

        I hope someday to vote to end pensions for people like you, I don’t want to pay them and I don’t think my children want to pay for them when they grow up and get real jobs..


  • T Adrs

    Glad to see her go and she will not be missed! The Jeffco Schools have been unorganized and disrespectful to parents during her tenure. If she worked in the private sector she would have been dismissed long ago.

    Whenever I got one of Cindy’s “Coffee with the Superintendent” invitations, it was insulting to a working single parent. Who can take off work at 11AM on a Wednesday to have a cup of coffee in Evergreen, especially single parents? Under Cindy’s direction, the school will swap up the calendar without even a weeks notice. I could keep going….

    I hope for real professional change now that she is gone! I hear the old board saying “Why is this a good choice for the children?” It is a great choice because Cindy wasn’t performing as superintendent!

  • gmattson (@gmattson)

    To all of you sitting here saying that teachers need to put in more hours and are paid ‘well’ based on hours they put in…you are f-ing ignorant on this topic. Teachers easily put in five 12 hour days a week, get plans put together on weekends, and spend LOTS of money out of pocket to get their students what they need. It’s a disgrace you all are so ignorant; the only thing our education system did wrong was educate the bunch of you! Turn off fox news and open your eyes, do some bi-partisan research!

    • T Adrs

      Most people on salary like teachers, have to put these kinds of hours in for their pay and the don’t get to write off their student loans or take the summer off. Nor do they get pensions and educators expenses have always been a tax write-off for as long as I’ve been doing taxes.

      You ‘aspire” your students to be great and do things like start businesses and grow the world – ever think what it really takes to make those wheels go round?

      A teachers job is work, but you don’t have it as bad as you wish us all to think!

      We ain’t much different at all!

      I shed no tears for your pain and I want your pensions to end! It’s only equal and fair.

    • Codswallop Hogwash

      Do try to avoid stupid statements, Mattson. The evidence is OVERWHELMING. Liberals like you, i.e. Left Wingers, have destroyed what was a very good education system with your fat salaries, exploding retirements after very little time on the job, and constant Left Wing bias.
      A lot of these teachers, not all, but a lot could not hold down a sophisticated job in the real world. !2 hour days – common practice. And how exactly do you come with 12 hour days when the kids are only in school for about 5 hours? And look at the vacation time – Christmas, Easter and Summer. Oh, sorry, you lefties don’t believe in saying Christmas and Easter do you?

  • MSG Chuck

    I figured that you would understand that I also get social security for number 5…..but I was wrong ….you did not get it.

    Thanks for the money….keep on giving

  • Tom Sanders

    BOTTOM LINE:…I can’t say I know what the conflict is about…..I do know this….Democrats have destroyed this country and the media lies to it’s citizen…TV and the film industry has destroyed your ethics and morals…this is apparently another example of extremist democrats and their supporters losing it because they can’t have their way….it’s always the same way with democrats…steal your money…promise to give to poor people…then spend it on their jobs and buying votes…then start screaming little kids are starving when they can’t get your way. Kick out all these people and have their supporters jailed,,,then executed.

  • Fast45

    Accountability for job performance? NO!
    Accountability for students’ academic progress? NO!
    Living up to your initial job interview; you said you can do the job … NO!
    Taking responsibility? NO! … Ongoing professional development? NO!

    Tenure for even the most worthless? Wage increases irregardless of performance? Union protection from accountability? YES, of course!

    Bye-bye Stevenson. Don’t let the door hit your hiney on the way out.

  • Brittany Michaels

    Please do not stereotype all teachers. Many of us teachers have a second job and do not have summers off. It is sad how much politics are involved when the bottom line is that we should be worrying about the students. I love teaching my 130 12 year old students. It is because of them I chose the profession of teaching, not because of summers off. Also please do not think for one second we work 40 hours a week; 130 essays one day and other assignments the next. Please have respect because a lot of us do have a positive impact in this world. Visit a classroom and see the behind the scenes before the judgement is based; we don’t all have time for union politics.

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