Under the logo of “We the Parents” Tom Wenzl, Matt Alexander and GraceAnn Pittner announced their plans to run for the RE-1 School Board in November during a meeting on April 25.

“What I want to bring to the table with is not what I actually come to the table with, but I want to bring you to the table,” Wenzl said. “Your values, your permission to say what your kids and grandkids are educated and presented with, your character, your voice to the table.”

He earned two master's degrees, one in electrical engineering and the other degree in seminary.

“I'm a Christian,” he said. “I'm a pastor. My heart goes out to the kids and what they're going through. I want to help them get a standard education without all of the distractions.”

In addition, he helped his church as treasurer with a building campaign and has climbed all 14,000 mountain tops in Colorado.

“My wife and I spent seven years as cooks at Loaves & Fishes,” he said. “My wife and I are foster parents (and) had 31 kids come into our home. We kept two of them permanently. They have special needs so my wife and I are very well educated on appropriate mental health. There's a difference in appropriateness and just bringing it in.”

Then it was Matt Alexander's turn to speak.

Born in Alamosa, he moved to Cañon City in 2006. He started his landscaping business with $68 in his pocket, living in his parents' home. Today, he has multiple trucks and employs 12 people. He currently volunteers as the co-president of the Cañon City High School Band Booster program, volunteers as a coach with Little League and has coached baseball and soccer.

“I watched as this great little wonderful conservative (community) slowly getting engaged, baby step by baby step,” Alexander said. “I watched the Leftists begin to take ground. They started in the schools and we're going to keep it there by taking it back this fall. With your help, we're going to help these kids get their education. We're going to help our kids because that's what this is all about. There are 3,000 some odd students in our community that desperately needs us. What we don't need is 12 and 13-year-olds go to The Pulse clinic in this city and get medical care without parental consent. They're attempting their own care for sexual assault, for STD testing, for pregnancy testing and they do not have to notify parents. Your tax dollars are paying for this. We spent $60 million a year. We are slightly higher than the state rating, yet we're rated as a D minus grading system.”

He talked to a teacher this week, who was so frustrated because she had no curriculum or any books so she has to spend $300 a month from her own pocket for books.

“I remember when I was in high school, there were three different history teachers,” Alexander said. “We all had the same history textbooks in different classes, just different teachers to handle the caseload. Here we have no standards of what the education system is founded on. We as parents don't know what's going on. We have teachers who are able to teach their own philosophy and with so many tied into the NEA, (the Leftists) and Democrats, they're indoctrinating our children with low level ideology. They go through college with only a progressive agenda and wind up with 80 plus percent of them voting Democrat. We have a huge issue that we need to fix. If we can fix it with our kids then we can fix the Republic of the United States.”

Pittner said she invited a number of people to the school board meetings last November if they were even thinking about running for the school board. Wenzl and Alexander were two of the people who showed up.

“This is not an easy job. People think oh, they go to a meeting a month,” she said. “But no, it gets 40 to 50 hours a month to do what they need to do.”

But kids are worth it.

“That's the sad thing. I know the principals and administrators,” Pittner said. “These people were my colleagues when I taught in the district and I don't understand why they are making these decisions. They're being fed information saying 'you have to do this. It's the law. This is the best way to do it' and they're saying 'OK.' It's destructive to the children. That's why we're running. We got to take it back.”

She said the group had worked and worked, bringing in numerous people to talk to them. Some of the prospective candidates, who looked to be conservative, said they don't like what's going on. But when asked to step up, they said they couldn't do it because they didn't want to disappoint or hurt their relationships with their friends who were on the school board or the administration.

“They are actively recruiting the opposition, the admin in the school, the NEA, the teachers' union to run for three spots,” Pittner said. “This is a crucial year. There's three spots open. If we take all three, we control the board. We can make the changes that need to be made. When we said some changes had to be made, (some of the prospective candidates) couldn't commit to doing that, but they are thinking about running and they will have more name recognition than some of us will. Their hope is they'll get in there. If all three of us don't make it, (we won't be able) to make the changes.”

She said the three are campaigning together, saying they are the conservative patriotic people under the logo of “We the Parents.”

But of course, the candidates need people to help them by talking to their friends, fundraising and other things as they come up.

Articles about each candidate and their photos will be on the website in the near future.