Why I’m Running for School Board
Serving our community isn’t just my job, it is my calling. For the last seven years, I have worked alongside the people of north Denver to build a home where all belong. Together we have fed the hungry, housed the homeless, marched and rallied with our teachers, and built relationships that matter. Denver Public Schools has forgotten how to be a ‘community – up’ organization, and has succumbed to outside agendas that have made it a ‘top – down’ bureaucracy lacking oversight and accountability. Education is a community responsibility and a community benefit. It begins by listening to, being present with, and engaging the community, and that is what I hope to bring about by running for the Denver Board of Education in District 5.
There are as many statistics as there are stories of the rippling effects of the achievement gap, low reading levels, and underperforming schools. We have the 3rd largest achievement gap in the country- with alarming divides based on race and economic status. Establishing equity in education must be a part of everything we do. The district finances have been systematically hidden and are not efficiently spent or aligned with our values. The board’s role has been diminished to helping an out of touch institution preserve itself. The board’s best efforts to recruit and retain top quality educators over these last years has led to continued attrition and a strike. Student potential and opportunities for change are being squandered. As a non-profit leader for 12 years, I understand the challenges of limited resources, yet I see clear opportunities where better management at the top can have a direct impact in our classrooms for our teachers and our kids.
When I sit in my son’s classroom reading stories to 1st graders, I see a richness of identity. The children of Denver possess the capacity to lead with integrity, combat climate change, solve medical mysteries, and beyond; we have been entrusted to nurture this potential. I am running to be your voice on the school board, to bring about a vision worthy of our children – transparency in the finances, investment directly in our schools and teachers, and solutions that address the underlying causes of critical issues. The conversations are not easy, but we can do hard things together. The needs of the children in our community matter, they should be driving new policy and strategic response. Together we can provide a quality education for every child, investing in all they can become.
Rev. Bradley Laurvick serves northwest Denver as pastor of Highlands United Methodist Church. His leadership, in the congregation and community, has built relationships, cared for families in need, and advocated for progressive changes in society. During his 7 year tenure, the church has more than doubled the size of its congregation, opened a preschool, and completed a capital campaign to invest nearly one million dollars of work to create new community space (The Garage) while also preserving the neighborhood’s history and the church’s stained glass.
Brad was active in supporting Denver teachers during the strike as a speaker at the capitol rallies, a presence at bargaining sessions, and a partner to local teacher captains. He also worked with city and state officials to double the capacity of the church’s preschool to care for children DPS was unable to serve during the strike.
Brad believes in strong community partnerships and has served as the president of the West Highland Merchants Association; the board of directors for Denver Urban Matters; and the Centennial Elementary Diversity and Inclusivity Committee and Fundraising Committee. He has brought a plethora of community events to his neighborhood, from Taste of Highlands to Día de los Niños (in partnership with Latino Pride). As a community leader he has brought Child Assault Prevention Training, Bias Awareness Training, and community listening sessions to the neighborhood.
Brad and his wife Meghan have two children, their oldest is a DPS first grader. He enjoys yoga, cycling, and swimming as ways to care for himself.
His previous work experience includes community health education (CU, Boulder) and technology (Apple, Inc). He received his undergraduate degree in Religious Studies from the Univ. of Colorado, Boulder (BS, ‘03) and his masters degree from the Iliff School of Theology (MDiv, ‘07)
Excellence in Community Service, CO Democrats House District 4, 2019
PowerAward, LGBTQ+ Ally, OutFront CO, 2015
Outstanding Contribution to Parish Ministry, Iliff School of Theology, 2014
Paul/Paula Murphy Award, Center for the Church and Global AIDS, 2014
Links to Local News Coverage:
ECE emergency strike care:
– Church Opens Doors for Early Education Teachers & Students
– Denver Church to Help DPS Preschoolers During Teacher Strike
United in Orange Food Drive:
– Denver Pastor Creates Super Bowl Food Drive
“Life is for service”