Board Candidates

Candidate Statements

Three candidates have indicated their intent to run for the open board seat this May of 2023:  Tracy Coons, D. Scott Hartman, and Tiffany Wherry. 

Tracy Coons

I have been a proud member of the Vanguard family since 2012 when our first child, Sydney, started kindergarten.  My husband Ben and I also have a son, Nolan in 7th grade, who started kindergarten at Vanguard.  I was a practicing registered nurse for 15 years in the Intensive Care Unit.  I still maintain my license but spent 10 years running a children’s music education business, and in 2020, my husband and I started a property investment and management company.  As President, I enjoy the flexibility this job provides with extra free time to devote as a mother, wife, and helpful member of our community.  I have held a board position with the National Charity League, a committee seat with Newborn Hope for

over 10 years, and have served as a liaison for Operation Homefront serving many military families both locally and nationally.  Over the past 11 years at Vanguard, I have enjoyed assisting with nurse duties and health screenings, coaching Landsharks Track & Field and Cross-Country, and supported the choir and theater programs, as needed.  I miss the days of volunteering for the Knowledge Bowls and Field Days and suggest you enjoy them while you have them. Time flies by!

I would be truly honored to serve as one of the members of The Vanguard School Board.  I have always been passionate about the benefits of a classical education as I believe it provides our children with a work ethic and tools to be productive and helpful members of our society.  I am convinced the pursuit of good character development is imperative for our children’s futures, and I am thankful that our children can attend a school that holds virtue so highly.  I know that I can serve this board humbly and with gratitude.  As a member of the Board, I can help unite our diverse Vanguard community.  I’m thrilled that my schedule has freed me up to be able to pursue serving in a capacity to support our children’s school.  I have looked forward to this opportunity for many years.

I am convinced that the number one challenge our school faces in the years ahead is the attack on our curriculum, classical education.  I strongly believe in the importance of a classical education, which is why we chose this school for our family.  I will support this curriculum and will be diligent in spreading the good word for those looking for a similar school.

I also think that unity as a school body is an ongoing challenge.  I strongly believe that everyone should be loved, wanted, supported, and accepted.  I know that we are all different, but everyone should be included and welcome.  Differences are what make us individually distinctive.  We are all uniquely and wonderfully made!  As a caregiver and teacher for much of my life, I know that I have a heart for all and am naturally approachable, empathic, a good listener, and a natural leader.  I promise to support all people in our community and help spread that camaraderie.

Finally, I believe that state and federal mandates will continue to be a challenge our school will face.  I agree to seek the wishes of the parental population and school policy, and I intend to support the predominant sentiment.

D. Scott Hartman

I am pleased to announce that I am running to be a member of The Vanguard School Board of Directors. I am a retired 911 Dispatch Supervisor, having worked for over 25 years in public safety. I hold a BS degree in Public Safety Administration and currently own a public safety dispatch consulting business. In my “free time”, I like to travel, cycle, fly, and participate in local theatre.

As a parent of a first-grade student, my first priority is school safety and security. Nothing else matters if our children are not safe. As of today, we have had over 146 mass shootings in the U.S. this year! It is naïve to think that something like this could never happen to us. The school has taken steps in the right direction, but it’s not enough. With my background and education in public safety, I can help to make the school safer.

Secondly, everything the board does must be piloted by the vision, mission, and culture of The Vanguard School. These are the guiding principles that made this school the great school that it is today. My decisions will always be based on whether they uphold these principles.

Transparency and openness are key to the board’s (and the school’s) success. I will work diligently to always have open meetings, increase communications to the parents, and involve parents in sub-committees and volunteer opportunities. We need everyone’s help to keep this great school going, and I am committed to involving as many people as possible.

Money is always an issue, and I will work to help secure donations and grants to supplement the school’s other income sources.

Safe school. Stick to the vision. Be open and transparent. These are my first priorities. I humbly ask for your support and vote for me for school board.

Tiffany Wherry

I grew up in Sugarland, Texas.  I’ve been in Colorado Springs for the last 16 years.  I served as a Reservist for the Air Force for a short while.  I have a degree in Education and have spent time volunteering, tutoring, coaching and assisting in both public and charter school settings.  I have 4 daughters in Vanguard grades 6-9.  My dad is a first generation American-Mexican (first to be born in America) and I am a first-generation female college graduate. My dad raised me to believe impossible has the word “possible” which means it’s possible with a little work.

Why I want to run for board: I believe in equality and am vocal about what is right and what is wrong. I am a problem solver and have worked as a patient advocate and community liaison for many years. I have spent time listening to many parents over the last 3 years we have been at Vanguard and pushing to resolve issues when able. After working to advocate for a PTO, I decided I wanted to be a voice for parents which leads me to…

The 3 challenges I see facing The Vanguard School and how I would address them:

1. Parent Involvement and Communication. I believe every parent should have a voice and be confident in the relationship with the school that we have entrusted our children to. This is why I advocated so much for the re-establishment of a PTO. I want to advocate for parents who feel they aren’t heard or can’t speak. I also believe a perpetual board would hinder parent’s voices even further. I bring with me some ideas on how we could improve the communication between The Board, Parents and Staff.

2. Policies on Bullying and Conflict. While I haven’t experienced too many issues with behavioral conflict in the school, my children have experienced bullying and I have taken the time to listen to other parents when there is a conflict so that I can expand on my knowledge of how things are handled. I would love to work with administrative staff to implement better disciplinary actions and conflict resolutions and ensure they are the same from Kindergarten through High School. These would include strengthening and expanding on Student Behavior Intervention and Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports. I would also push for a ladder structure for disciplinary actions- behavior intervention, detention, in-school suspension, suspension and expulsion. It starts young and grows from there. I believe by utilizing better and more consistent strategies, we would see a major improvement in both bullying and poor behaviors.

3. Consistency in Study Tools and Expectations. In the Dome, my children had the utilization of Quizlet and sometimes Kahoot. In Elementary and High School, I don’t see the information for these study tools available. I also realized the tool isn’t available for every class. I believe the expansion of these study tool and a more organized access points could be crucial to student’s study habits, grades and confidence in materials. Websites like Quizlet are vital in college so this should be a normal part of the study tools in Elementary, Middle and High School.

All 3 of these boils down to a major issue facing the school and that is School Presence in the Community. I chose this school when my children were in 3rd grade because of the articles written in the Gazette that consistently stated how amazing the school is. We were on a waitlist for several years before Covid blessed us with a spot. The community and many parents no longer carry that same view they did when I first sought to enroll my children. By strengthening and improving on some of these areas, I know we can become the best in the eyes of the public and internally once again!

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