Four Aurora school board candidates win union endorsement

The Aurora teachers union on Tuesday announced endorsements of four candidates in this fall’s school board election, calling it a “pivotal moment” for the school district.

The Aurora Education Association statement said it would support Kyla Armstrong-Romero, Kevin Cox, Debbie Gerkin and Marques Ivey.

All four have expressed some opposition to charter schools.

Ivey, an attorney who handles several juvenile cases, is a member of the national PTA and is married to a teacher. Gerkin is the former principal of Crawford Elementary School. Armstrong-Romero is a program director for a juvenile justice program in Denver. Cox ran for city council in Aurora last year and lost.

“Their experiences as parents, educators, administrators, and as members of the Aurora community make them best equipped to address the rising challenges facing public education such as insufficient funding and an impending teacher shortage,” the union said in a statement.

The union called for increased transparency and accountability from the school board. The association is opening a new chapter itself, with a new president looking to focus on rebuilding a relationship with district leaders.

Friday was the deadline for candidates to turn in their signatures to get on the ballot. The school district has certified the names of eight candidates who would be new to the board, and one incumbent, Barbara Yamrick. Voters will pick four of the nine names and the four with the most votes will get a seat on Aurora’s seven-member board.

The endorsement recommendation for the association was made by a committee of educators following surveys and interviews of school board candidates, according to the union.