Denver School Board member Brad Laurvick plans to step down this summer.
Laurvick has served as pastor of the Highlands United Methodist Church in Denver for the past 10 years. He announced in church on Sunday morning that he had been appointed to a new position in Fort Collins which begins July 1. Soon after, he sent a letter to members of the Denver school board informing them that he would no longer be eligible to serve on the school. board as of June 30.
“An unusually large wave of retirements has strained our system this year, leading the bishop to request that I take this new appointment despite our shared hope that I would not budge during my service on the council,” wrote Laurvick. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve Denver in this way and hope that my colleagues on the board find a community-focused, student-focused appointee to fill this seat.”
Laurvick was elected in 2019 as part of a slate of union-backed candidates who “toppled” the Denver School Board, which had previously been controlled by education reform supporters. Laurvick played an active role in the Denver teachers’ strike earlier that year.
The November 2021 elections further cemented the change in board control. Union-backed members now have a 7-0 majority.
Just months after Laurvick took office, Denver public schools, like districts across the state, closed their school buildings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In his letter, Laurvick said he was grateful to be part of the district’s COVID response, as well as recognizing the district’s first directors’ union and hiring Superintendent Alex Marrero.
“I will deeply miss the relationship work with my board colleagues, the superintendent, the DPS staff, and the students and educators of this great district,” Laurvick wrote.
Laurvick’s tenure also saw the board reverse many policies favored by previous reform councils, scrapping the district’s controversial school grading system, reuniting Montbello and West high schools, and reconsidering the degree of autonomy schools should have. to have. The council is currently debating whether comprehensive union protections should be extended to teachers in innovation schools.
In the United Methodist system, bishops appoint pastors to serve congregations. In a letter to his congregants, Laurvick said Bishop Karen Oliveto determined he was the best person to lead First United Methodist Church, Fort Collins at this time.
“Didn’t expect to leave Highlands this year,” he wrote. “My family and I are caught between the grief of leaving and the excitement of this new invitation – both feelings are overwhelming. I ask for your prayers for this whole process.
The Laurvick school board’s term would have ended in 2023. The Denver school board will need to appoint a replacement.
News of Laurvick’s resignation was first reported in the Denver North Star.