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New School Board Members will Serve Montezuma County

By Mike Lynch

As a result of the November 2023 election, four new school board directors were elected to

the Montezuma-Cortez RE-1 school district Board of Education. Three of the directors ran

unopposed, Rafe O’Brien for District A for a term of 4 years, Leland Collins for District D for a

term of 2 years, and Mike Lynch for District G for a term of 4 years. The contested race for

District C was won by Rhonda Tracey for a term of 4 years. She beat her opponent J. J.

Lewis by an uncontested margin of 562 votes, or 14% of the total votes cast in that race.

Congratulations to all the new BOE Directors.

On November 28 they were sworn in by judge JenniLynn Lawrence near the end of that

regular Board meeting. Their first order of business was to elect a President and Vice

President. Sheri Noyes was elected the President and Ed Rice was elected Vice President.

They will provide continuity for the new Board composition. Rhonda Tracey was appointed

Treasurer and Rafe O’Brien was appointed Secretary. Thanks goes out to the outgoing Board

members for their service.

Earlier in the meeting, prior to the swearing in of new Board members, the resignation of

Director Jannette Hart was announced and accepted by the previous Board. The effective

date of her resignation is October 31, 2023. Thank you Jannette for your service on the


And then on Dec 13, 2023 the new Board held a special meeting to interview the only

candidate to submit an application to fill Director Hart’s vacancy. The candidate’s name is

Paul Beckler. After the interview the Board voted to approve the appointment of Paul Beckler

as Director of District B. He was then sworn in and the special meeting was adjourned.

Congratulations Mr. Beckler.

On behalf of myself and the other candidates I want to say thank you to the electors in the

respective districts who supported the candidates by signing their petitions for nomination and then voting for them after they got onto the November ballot.

Additionally, I personally want to ask the residents of Montezuma County, in whatever school

district you live, including Mancos and Dolores school districts, please consider offering

prayer to God on behalf of the school boards, that among other things they might be given

wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to use in their roles and duties as board members.

Please continue to remember the staff, the schools and the students of our county in your

prayers as well.

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