GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Candidates for this fall’s District 51 school board election are meeting with the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce to discuss their plans to impact D51 schools and thus the local economy positively.

GJACC invited Jose Luis Chavez, Jessica Hearns, and CynDee Skalla from District A and Cindy Enos Martinez and Barbara Evanson from District B.

Doug Levinson is the current School Board Member representing District A and Dr. Kari Sholtes is currently representing District B—neither of them are running in the upcoming election.

The GJACC gives their reason for hosting school board candidates on their website saying in part, “Public schools are the foundation upon which we build a skilled, diverse, and thriving workforce that drives our community’s progress and prosperity.”


Only three of the five invited candidates looking for your vote to win a seat on the District 51 school board this fall appeared at the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce’s candidate forum. The three candidates who attended the forum were Jose Luis Chavez and CynDee Skalla running for District A and Cindy Enos Martinez running for District B.

President and CEO of the GJACC told why they host school board candidate forums, “The connectivity between the quality of our school system and the career readiness is undeniable.” Essentially, good schooling leads to educated people which leads to good employees.

the forum covered a wide range of topics and issues impacting D51 schools, including:

  • Declining student enrollment
  • How to hire and retain good teachers
  • How to help more students prepare for the workforce
  • How to improve testing scores
  • How to support and educate homeless students, and more.

Enos Martinez said D51 needs more alternative pathways to help students reach the workforce, “all students don’t function well in the normal classroom.”

Luis Chavez emphasized the importance of a plan for homeless students, saying the school district can help feed them, clothe them, and give them a place to rest while modifying their education plan to match.

CynDee Skalla refused an interview, but during her forum time spoke about the importance of parental involvement.

Hear more from the candidates in attendance by watching the video story at the top of the page.