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Douglas County school board names sole finalist for superintendent

At Tuesday's meeting, the school board voted to choose Erin Kane as the sole finalist for superintendent.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — Seven weeks after removing Corey Wise as superintendent, the Douglas County school board named Erin Kane as the sole finalist for the position of superintendent of the Douglas County School District(DCSD) in a vote of 4-3. 

The four votes in favor were by the board directors that make up the conservative majority. Both Kane and the other finalist, Danny Winsor, were interviewed by the board earlier this month.

The vote to have Winsor as the sole finalist failed also in a vote of 4-3.

Kane is the executive director for American Academy, a charter school in the district. She also served as DCSD interim superintendent in 2016.

Winsor serves as DCSD's executive director for the Parker region and oversees the district's choice programming department. He has spent the past 13 years working for DCSD.

The board went into closed session for about two and a half hours after the meeting started at 5 p.m. That closed session was followed by several hours of public comment. 

Director Kaylee Winegar was the only one tuning in remotely from the hospital, where she announced over zoom that she had given birth to a baby girl. 

Director Elizabeth Hanson suggested moving up the board vote on offering the superintendent position, since Winegar had given birth that morning. Winegar responded saying it was important to listen to public comment first.

More than 100 people signed up for public comment, which board directors split by listening to people in-person first, then people over zoom. Many of those speaking on the topic of the superintendent job offer expressed support for Erin Kane, while several others shared support for Danny Winsor. 

Several people expressed their concern for how the board has worked together, as well as some commenting on the pending litigation the school board is facing due to a possible violation of Colorado's Open Meetings Law.

Tuesday's meeting was being held at 620 Wilcox St. in Castle Rock and was livestreamed on the Douglas County School District YouTube channel.

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Credit: Katie Baechler
Erin Kane

The board voted 4-3 to remove Wise as superintendent Feb. 4, which resulted in student protests, an online petition to recall school board members and a DougCo parent filing a lawsuit.

Robert Marshall's lawsuit asserted the board's four conservative board members violated Colorado's Open Meetings Law by deciding on and discussing Wise's termination amongst themselves, two people at a time, on multiple occasions.

Douglas County District Court Judge Jeffrey Holmes issued a preliminary injunction March 9 against the four board members, ordering them to conduct business publicly.

The board held a special meeting days afterward to discuss their response to the injunction but decided to postpone action.

A resolution on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting would direct the board's attorneys to request more time to file a motion for reconsideration of the judge's order and clarification of the order. The board also plans to discuss appointing additional legal counsel.

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