Q&A: Vice President Tony May

This is the image for the news article titled In honor of National School Board Appreciation month, Garfield Re-2 is publishing a series of Q&A profile pieces on each member of our Board of Education. In a new year and with a newly elected Board, we hope that readers will learn something new about the outstanding people who represent and serve our district community.

1. What is your position on the Board? What district do you represent? When did your appointment begin, and when does it end?

Hi, my name is Tony May and I’m the current Vice President of the Re-2 School board. I was just elected and anticipating an exciting four year term ahead. I live in New Castle and represent District E. The ride never ends.

2. Can you tell me about your history in Garfield Re-2? (Ex. How long have you lived here? Do you have kids that go to school in the district? Are you married to an employee?)

Arriving to the valley 21 years ago, I still consider myself the new guy. I have one daughter and she absolutely enjoys her Re-2 teachers (me too!). My wife Chandelle has taught for the district at Riverside since 1992, she took four and a half years off to stay at home with our daughter after she was born.

3. Why did you want to join the Board, and what are the duties of your current role?

As I was exploring the daunting task of running for the Re-2 School Board, I asked a lot of questions to my acquaintances, teachers, board members, tax payers, Mom’s and Dad’s, and to a lot of our district kids. Of course, the overwhelming topics of health were foremost however I had unique feedback from a couple of smart cookies that wanted to have Garfield Re-2 to be known as the best school district in the valley. My bias is that Re-2 is the best. I got thinking of how to take the “Best School District” to the next level and work with other school districts to keep setting the bar even higher. My friends, that’s where the root of my passion lives.

4. What were your motivations for serving on the Garfield Re-2 Board of Education?

What caught my attention one morning at the start of the lockdown, I observed my wife delivering a Riverside Middle School online class from our kitchen table and to my surprise, I witnessed the lack of participation of online students. As I dove deeper into the topic, I automatically started to troubleshoot and quickly realized that a solution was not apparent. I decided to get involved and enthusiastically started attending Re-2 School Board meetings in 2020.

5. Who are your role models in terms of leadership and service?

My current favorite Colorado person to follow is Mike Peterson, he is newly elected to the Douglas County School District where e serves as President. He contributes to leadership through experience and professionalism with explicit vision to action. I’m also a follower of President Donald J. Trump and Making America Great Again. I enjoy Canadian Jordan Peterson’s conservative views on culture and political issues. I’ll listen to Joe Rogan sometimes and appreciate how he is evolving as he engages with the spectrum of views.

6. Do you have a favorite book, film or quote about education or leadership?

My favorite is the Declaration of Independence. As a family, we read or listen to it every July 4th. Set your calendar with a link, for starters I recommend JFK’s version. As for a favorite book, The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck. It’s about an invasion of enemy indoctrination and the simple, peaceful people realize their freedom has been taken away by force. There is a villain traitor amongst the town people that aids the enemy. The plot narrates along the enemies will to "to break man's spirit permanently", in contrast to the townspeople’s strong will to resolve the tyranny. I’m currently reading, Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies by Mary Shäffer and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.

7. If you're a veteran member, what has been the best part or the hardest part about serving on the board so far? If you're a new member, what are you most looking forward to?

My vision is to provide leadership that will shape our community into the next 25 years. I want to ensure that student achievement is the central focus. Through small steps, I think there is a lot of momentum with computer science with a mountain of resources available to perhaps develop an integrated curriculum path. My vision would create an advisory group to unify competing ideas on computer science instruction and investigate a delivery model. I am also interested in working with the Re-2 administration to further understand the Family Resource Center and liaise ideas from Garfield County Latino Committee, Roaring Fork Schools, D16, D51 and BOCES. I have already taken the initiative to introduce the Latino advocates from Re-1 and Re-2 and talked with D51 on methods they have in place to retain at risk students.

8. Did you have a teacher or an educator that made an impact on your life? If so, please tell us about them.

My wife, a sixth grade teacher, loves teaching your kids and it shows by the shear number of past students that constantly approach her to say that she was their favorite teacher. She hasn’t graduated me from sixth grade yet however she says I’m making progress. Mr. Judkins, Asssistant Principle at Miami HS and former Oakland Raider Defensive End, reminded me with three licks that still burn, to not misbehave. Suzanne Freehauf, an NRA instructor, gave me insight on teaching activities that require the utmost respect for safety and the 2nd Amendment. Coach Beggerly, thanks for getting kicked out of a junior varsity basketball game which we were losing, to allow me, as a student manager to step in as coach and lead the team to victory. Mr. Baumert, distinguished Naval Officer and Scoutmaster taught me to persevere and push hard to reach the pinnacle goal of Eagle Scout. My personal motto is: GO TO MECO (Main Engine Cut Off). My favorite day is Monday, see NOFX . Childhood fav was Evel Knievel. Favorite Presidents in order are 45, 16, 1, 25. The Earth is not flat. My most favorite person that I have ever met is my daughter Ellie.
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