Karen Fisher and Kelly Bates have been elected by acclamation to seats on the Cherry Creek School District Board of Education in unopposed campaigns.
Both Fisher, an incumbent CCSD board member first elected in 2013, and Bates, a longtime community volunteer and advocate for the district, mounted unopposed campaigns for the two open board director district posts. Because of the lack of opposition, the fall election has been canceled and both candidates have been confirmed. The CCSD Board of Education formally approved the action earlier this week, recognizing the petitions filed by Fisher and Bates and citing the absence of any other candidates.
Fisher came to the Cherry Creek board in 2013 with plenty of experience in the district, having volunteered at Belleview Elementary, Campus Middle School and Cherry Creek High School. She'd worked on accountability committees, served on the Community Asset Project Board, helped organize the first Family Wellness Summits and worked extensively with the district's Parents Council.
Since formally joining the board four years ago, Fisher has kept up her commitment to the district at several levels. As the Board of Education Treasurer, she has worked on the Audit Committee and served as the Board of Education liaison to the district Special Education Advisory Committee, the District Accountability Committee and the ESSA Implementation team. She's held posts on the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation Board and the Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee, and she led the 3A/3B Mill and Bond Election Committee in 2016 as Chair of Citizens for Cherry Creek Schools.
"As I begin my second term, I look forward to continuing to implement the district's comprehensive plan for the future, Cherry Creek 2021, and to support the Superintendent and the district leaders as they oversee and track programs that further the academic success of all students."
-- Karen Fisher
In addition, Fisher serves students and districts throughout Colorado through her position as a Director for the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB). In January, she was appointed by CASB to represent the state's 6th Congressional District on the NSBA Federal Relations Network. Fisher and her husband Bill have six children, two of whom are still enrolled in CCSD and four of whom are graduates.
"What a privilege it is to work alongside my colleagues on the Board of Education and the educational professionals in Cherry Creek Schools," Fisher said in a statement. "As I begin my second term, I look forward to continuing to implement the district's comprehensive plan for the future, Cherry Creek 2021, and to support the Superintendent and the district leaders as they oversee and track programs that further the academic success of all students."
Bates, who will begin her first term as a CCSD board member in the fall, brings a great deal of experience volunteering and serving in the district. Bates has served in leadership and volunteer roles at Creekside Elementary, Liberty Middle School and Cherokee Trail High School for more than a decade, serving as PTCO President and Vice President and chairing a wide variety of events and fundraisers. Bates earned the Wendy DeBell Exceptional Volunteer Award in 2012 and 2014, garnering recognition for her consummate work for students, teachers and the wider community.
"Education has always been my passion ... My children range from gifted and talented to learning disabled, and they all received the education they needed. I want to make sure that everyone else's children receive the same."
-- Kelly Bates
At the district level, Bates has been active in CCSD's bond and budget campaigns, as well as consistent participant in events and organizations ranging from Leadership Cherry Creek to the Parent Information Network and the Special Education Advisory Council. Bates boasts a background in education, having served as a child care director and preschool teacher at facilities in Michigan and Ohio.
"Education has always been my passion," Bates said, adding that her five children all attended Cherry Creek School District facilities and received a top-notch education. "My children range from gifted and talented to learning disabled, and they all received the education they needed. I want to make sure that everyone else's children receive the same."
Bates said her reason for running is rooted in the individuals that make the district special.
"I am actively involved for the sake of the kids as well as the teacher and the staff," Bates said. "I look forward to working with my colleagues."