Rob Applegate, Jefferson County School Board District 3 candidate


Profession: Research and Analysis Associate Director

City/neighborhood: Applewood

Contact: and

MORE: Meeting Rob Applegate

Why are you seeking this office?

I was raised by a single mom who worked two jobs to support us. I started working at 14, and went to Mines where I earned a PhD in Applied Physics. I have two kids in Jeffco schools; middle school and preschool. Similar to the Pleasant View parents in that community, my mom would not have been able to attend “save our school” meetings. PV was the only school closed, because it didn’t have the same resources.

What makes you the best person for the job?

My background in education, nonprofit board experience, and involvement in the community. I am the board chair for Think 360 Arts for Learning, sit on the steering committee for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the board treasurer for the Colorado Military Academy. Previously, I served on the Colorado Commission on Higher Education Advisory Board, the Golden Schools Foundation, and as the Watch D.O.G.S coordinator for an elementary school. I look at things with an analytical, open, and science based approach.

What are your top three priorities if elected?

Academic excellence is always the top priority — ensuring students are prepared for the world, no matter how different it is from the day they start school.

Balanced governance is also a priority. We need to hear from not only the loudest voices, but also the parents working two jobs who can’t always make meetings.

Focusing on children and the community as a whole is the third. I’ll listen to students, teachers, administrators, and the 70% of households who have no kids in school.

How do you feel the district could better achieve equal access to opportunities for low-income students?

The district needs to work for better equity in access for low-income students. Jeffco is a school choice district, but not all students have equal choices. I’m open to creative solutions in increasing access for low-income students. If a child can’t physically get to a school that best suits their needs, the district should work to give that student equals access, whether through specialists and support staff, greater training for staff, or even virtual access to programs.

How can the district better ensure student learning meets state standards?

The district must strive to identify best practices and incorporate them district-wide. Each school has their own culture and community, but they can learn from other’s successes. Some schools are very high growth schools. The district needs to find out what they are doing and how to pass that knowledge along.


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