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School board race begins

August 11, 2018

Three candidates have filed for the Teton County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees race so far.

Trustees Janine Teske and Keith Gingery are running for re-election. Trustee Joe Larrow, who occupies the third seat that will be open, will not seek another term.

Mycah Miller has thrown her hat in the ring for the third seat instead.

The filing period began Wednesday and will close Aug. 27. Gingery, Miller and Teske all filed Wednesday.

Gingery is running for his second term on the school board, and previously represented Teton County for five terms in the Wyoming House of Representatives.

He’s proud of making sure meetings run efficiently and engaging the public, and said he has enjoyed creating a strategic plan and setting goals for the schools to increase student achievement scores. Gingery thinks continuity will help to move from goal-setting to reality.

“I want to see it through,” he said.

Additionally, Gingery wants to prioritize a robust capital improvement program and curriculum implementation. He graduated from Jackson Hole High School in 1988 and has a daughter in seventh grade.

“I went to these schools,” Gingery said. “I believe very strongly in these schools.”

Miller was also a Teton County student years ago. In 2002, she became the first person with Down syndrome to graduate with a real diploma and to be prom queen.

“The reason I’m running for the school board is for people with disabilities,” Miller said. “People with disabilities have a voice, and they are people, too.”

Miller would be the first school board trustee with a disability in at least two decades. She wants to focus on preventing bullying.

“I’m doing this for the kids,” she said. “I’m responsible, honest and I stand up for what I believe in.”

Miller works at Vertical Harvest and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort as an assistant ski instructor with Teton Adaptive Sports. She’s also an artist in residence and a model.

In December, Teske will have served on the school board for 16 years. She’s regarded as the liason between the school district and the state as it navigates tough financial times and budget shortfalls.

“I still feel like there is a lot of work to be done at the state level on school finance,” Teske said. “And I have the connections to do it. I really want to make sure that I protect our staff, and, consequently, our students, so that we get adequate funding and we are recognizing the regional cost differences that exist in Teton County.”

Last year, Teske went to Cheyenne every month and spent the full budget session advocating for the school district.

“It’s easier to be on the front end of the process,” she said. “It’s just easier to fix things before it becomes legislation than try to change state statute.”

In addition to being a watchdog on budget cuts, Teske said her priorities include addressing secondary school capacity problems and “making sure that we have good access to education for all” in a county where income inequality is astronomical.

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