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Woodland Park students protest potential hiring of interim superintendent


WOODLAND PARK, Colo. (KRDO) -- Wednesday morning, students at Woodland Park High School held a walk-in to protest the potential hire of Woodland Park School District's interim superintendent Ken Witt.

"It is important to show you have a voice in your community," said Jacob Desmidt, a junior at Woodland Park High School.

"We do not agree with that choice so we are taking a stand against it," said Luke Kettler, a senior at the high school.

Instead of getting to class on time, students participating in the protest walked in late to symbolize their disapproval of hiring Witt.

Earlier in December, the school board named Witt as the sole finalist for the interim superintendent position. If hired, he'll hold the position for six months before a new interview process is held.

In response to the protest, Witt told KRDO, "I'm proud of the significant accomplishments during my board tenure in Jeffco, where all efforts centered on improved student academic performance and quality of instruction."

Witt is currently the executive director of Education ReEnvisioned BOCES. The organization oversees brick-and-mortar, online, and homeschool programs.

According to the BOCES website, Witt's background is in technology development, business management, and policy and governance.

Witt previously served as president of the Jefferson County Board of Education from 2013-2015. In 2015, Witt was at the center of a controversy after asking for a review of the AP history curriculum to include more "patriotism" within lessons.

Voters successfully recalled Witt that same year.

"I just fear that my siblings won’t have the same amazing experience at this school district that I had," said Kettler.

In a statement from Woodland Park Board Member David Illingworth, he said:

"You’ve got adults instigating kids to disrupt everyone’s education, and they pretend that’s in our students’ interest?  As a father of four schoolchildren, people who manipulate children like that are beneath contempt.  For parents who want schools to get back to teaching, Ken Witt isn’t just a leader, he’s a lifeline.  I’m excited to work with him to improve the education of WPSD students for their own benefit, instead of being used by activists as weapons in a media campaign."

Woodland Park Board Member David Illingworth

Witt told KRDO he's honored to be considered for the job and appreciates the school board's efforts to focus on student education and academic success.

A school board meeting will be held Wednesday evening. There, an update on the interview process with Witt will be given.

The board will make its final vote on December 21.

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Jessica Gruenling


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