DENVER – A Douglas County School Board meeting on Thursday was surprisingly quiet, with no signs of resistance to the appointment of a a new school board member.
After holding public final interviews with the top six candidates, the board voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Carrie Mendoza to the District D seat, vacated by board Vice President Dan Gerken, who stepped down from his seat in January.
Mendoza has three children attending school in the district. In her opening comments, she reiterated support for districts’ groundbreaking voucher program and her deep appreciation for the educational choices parents are afforded in the district. She reflected on the parallels between choice in health care and choice options in education, and spoke of how quality instruction has a direct, tangible impact on the care she’s able to provide her patients. Her district will extend from Castle Pines to the southeast corner of the county.
Mendoza is an emergency medicine physician and works at the Castle Rock and Parker Adventist hospitals. Her background includes a B.A. in art history from Tufts University, a master of arts degree in art history from the University of Chicago as well as earning her medical doctorate from the University of Chicago.
Mendoza is no stranger to the district. In 2011, Mendoza and her husband hosted a reception with 75 bipartisan national education leaders from across the country who were there to recognize the Douglas County Board of Education for enacting the nation’s first-ever locally created school-voucher program.
In his nomination comments, board member Justin Williams said he believes Mendoza will bring a unique perspective to the current board and compliment its chemistry, adding that he supports her appointment in part because he believes in her electability in November.
Mendoza’s appointment will be until November, when she will have to seek re-election for a full four-year term.