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"I will work tirelessly for kids–regardless of who they are, how they self-identify, their unique characteristics or the circumstances in which they live–so ALL kids have a voice in the district"

Why I am Running

My name is Neil Fishman (he/his/him) and I am running for the Boulder Valley School District’s Board of Education to Advocate for ALL kids! To ensure that everyone has a voice in our district, I will:
  • improve the climate in our schools,
  • solidify equity and inclusion,
  • protect the mental well-being of kids,
  • maintain our high educational standards,
  • protect strong curriculum, and
  • prevent hateful actions, like book banning and anti-inclusion/anti-transgender policies.
  Our district is a model for strong and effective public schools. Our goals set the highest educational standards in the state, but we must also ensure that school environments are safe and welcoming. After all, this is what promotes good learning and cultivates social and emotional well-being. BVSD policies “to create challenging, meaningful learning opportunities” for ALL kids need a watchful eye. We need someone to monitor and protect their successful implementation and evaluate their effectiveness. I will be that mainstay, fighting not only for strong policies but also for equitable implementation that engages all parents, all teachers and, most importantly, all kids.

I'm a Public School Kid

I am a second-generation Coloradan. Raised in Denver, my four siblings and I were all educated in the Denver Public Schools, as were our parents before us. They instilled in us the importance of education to  realize our dreams. So today we are all college graduates working in our chosen professions.

After graduating from high school, I received my BA and MS in Geology at CU Boulder and became an award-winning research geologist. I have lived in Boulder for decades. My husband and I raised our daughter here; she is a proud graduate of BVSD schools (K-12). I navigated the challenges of parenthood through my child’s experiences with bullying, harassment, and mental well-being; this is why I continue to fight to make BVSD the best it can be.  

I 'm Dedicated to Improving Lives

I have dedicated my life to improving lives through education, equity, and inclusion. That is why I am running for the Boulder Valley Schools Board of Education, District A.

In 2022 I helped to successfully guide the Colorado State Board of Education (CSBOE) to adopt
equitable and inclusive social studies standards in all Colorado public schools (K-12). The effort was significantly bolstered by the BVSD board’s adoption of Resolution 22-27, which called for equitable and inclusive standards. I assisted in the preparation of this resolution which served to spark similar action in municipalities that are in BVSD.

I have served BVSD as our elementary school representative to the BVSD District Parent Council (DPC). Through this role, I recognized that BVSD’s non-discrimination policy lacked inclusion of gender identity/expression. This initiated the board’s decision to update its policy.

Outside the BVSD community, I have served as a member of the University of Colorado’s President’s Blue-Ribbon Commission on Diversity, charged with evaluating and developing a plan to enhance
diversity on all four CU campuses. In collaboration with the Boulder County Health Department, I served on:

  • the “Only One” Project, which raised awareness for HIV transmission.
  • the Development and Implementation Committee for the City of Boulder’s Program “Valuing
    Diversity: Education on Homophobia and Heterosexism” which provided anti-bias training to persons and groups in Boulder.


I was also:


Whether as a professional, a volunteer, or as a parent, I have always tried to look inequity directly in the eye and engage in social justice efforts.

"I am the product of the public schools and I am a proud parent of a BVSD graduate. I am an ardent supporter of and believer in the public school system."

Neil's Priorities

Our district can’t just write policies “to create challenging, meaningful and engaging learning opportunities” for ALL kids—we must successfully implement them. I will be a watchful eye, sitting at the table to monitor and protect the successful implementation of our strong equitable BVSD policies.  

I will…

Promote Progressive Policies for ALL Kids

Through progressive policies, the Boulder Valley School District has led the nation in creating safe schools. Kids rights are protected in our classrooms regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, skin color or socioeconomic background. But a national climate of bigotry and violence threatens our schools with:

  • policies eradicating equity and inclusion (including anti-transgender policies),
  • legislation rewriting US history, and
  • book banning

Our BVSD Board of Education and our school administrators must actively support our educators and “have their backs” as they teach district endorsed curriculum.

I will:

  • work to protect and empower our teachers. 
  • promote and protect our progressive policies for ALL kids.

Ensure Equity For
ALL Kids

Throughout the US, Colorado and even Boulder County, anti-inclusive initiatives are taking root. These pressures run counter to the progressive values of BVSD and present challenges to kids, parents, and staff alike.  

We need a strong, integrated plan to prevent inequities from permeating our schools. As a member of the BVSD Board of Education I will work to ensure that such actions stay out of our schools. 

I will:

  • promote the implementation and awareness of BVSD’s comprehensive equity plan designed to protect ALL kids.
  • support initiatives like the  BVSD Youth Equity Council to give ALL kids a voice.
  • support efforts that reduce disproportionate discipline. 

Protect the Mental Health of ALL Kids

Our kids’ mental health is an ever-present worry. Bullying in our schools affects our kids’ mental well-being and of course the threat of violence and lock downs takes a toll on our youth, our families, and on our educators. It is critical that we bolster systems and programs to enhance the mental well-being of ALL kids. This is one of the primary reasons that I am running for the board. 

I want to create safe spaces. Our kids need permission to escape during their off period, especially when they “…need a safe, quiet place to reset,” (Greg McDonald, BVSD Counselor). But expanded programs are needed to truly protect our kid’s mental health.

Keep ALL Kids Safe From Bullying and Harassment

The Boulder Valley School District cares about our kids and our staff.  We have a responsibility to create a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment for ALL children.  But we must acknowledge that not all kids in our schools feel safe.

Bullying, harassment, sexual assault, antisemitism, and racial hostility have harmful and life-long effects on a kid’s psychological well-being. They affect learning and contribute to low self-esteem, even depression. Despite existing BVSD policies to address these interactions, negative interpersonal contacts persist in our schools. These offenses can lead to formal Title VI (federal law prohibiting discrimination based on race color, and national origin) or Title IX (federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sex, including sexual assault) violations or investigations. I will work to make our schools welcoming for ALL kids.

I will:

  • support complete implementation of BVSD policies that address bullying, harassment, assault, and other egregious acts to ensure consistency across the district.
  • timely, comprehensive reporting of offenses to empower ALL kids, parents, and staff. 
  • fight for thorough assessment of BVSD policies and procedures to ensure that they are appropriate and effective.

Keep ALL Kids
and Staff Safe From Violence

The threat of violence in our community follows kids into school. In BVSD we are committed to keeping ALL kids and staff safe. Unfortunately, school lockdowns, harassment, ‘swatting”—a false emergency call to authorities that requires police responseassault, and discrimination, persist in BVSD.

These actions, possibly caused by disparities of race, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, or other forms of discrimination, are all realities in our community. A committed BVSD must address them head on.

Strong policies exist to build an intentional, safe school climate but we need to improve their implementation.

I will:

  • improve our monitoring and use data to assess our climate and culture.
  • implement strong systems that make ALL children safe and eliminate fear.

Move Forward with Green Solutions for BVSD

The changing of Earth’s climate is an existential threat to us all. This reality is not just on the minds of adults, but it is also on the minds of our BVSD kids.  Students are interested and they are getting involved in grassroots efforts like those outlined in the BVSD Green Action Plan. Student groups around BVSD are using innovative approaches to raise awareness in their schools and their communities.

Students from Louisville Elementary School  are playing decisive role in the enactment of the City of Louisville’s disposable bag tax.  Kids from Fairview High School’s  Net Zero Environmental Club are hosting workshops for teachers regarding the climate crisis.  Partnerships with non-profit organizations like Classrooms for Climate Action are providing teachers with the tools to promote innovative learning.  Kids need hope, and working locally on climate action provide that voice for a better future. Action now is our key to success.

I call for:

  • increasing the number of electric buses in the BVSD fleet from 20 to 50 by 2025.
  • reducing water usage by an additional 10% through district-wide, water-wise landscape design.
  • re-invigorating the BVSD Sustainability Advisory Committee and increasing student involvement in this important group.

I take a stand to...

Set High Educational Standards

BVSD is a leader in its academic excellence and progressive policies and programs. Our district is typically ranked in the top three Front Range districts, commonly in the #1 position!  BVSD stands above the state average in on-time graduation rates. In addition, the district is taking an innovative approach to dealing with an important barrier to learning–dyslexia–which affects up to 20% of the population.  We should be proud of these accomplishments.

Nevertheless, work remains to be done.  A gap in achievement persists between kids of color and their white peers.  Although the gap has narrowed over the past few years, my goal is that in our district ALL BVSD kids succeed.

Addressing challenges like these serves ALL students well, not only academically but also by bolstering emotional well-being.

I will work to ensure that the district continues to support teachers with the resources they need to enhance student achievement. I will work hard to make sure that these resources are made available to all students.

Broaden Measures of Student Assessment

In general, I believe that high-stakes testing provides information to assess where students are in their learning and, as such, plays a role in evaluating how our schools are doing.

In addition, I believe this type of testing may also help to guide where additional resources might be needed to bolster the educators’ efforts. Testing  challenges students while also helping them to be fully engaged in their learning. 

Much of the evaluation in schools nationwide is geared to measure outcomes and very little research is geared to understanding the processes that allow teachers to teach well and students to learn optimally. Tests only give us part of the picture.

I support the assessment of things like school climate and its contribution to the success of our students. In addition, I will advocate for assessment of the pandemic and online learning impacts on our students. 

Oppose Vouchers and Other Tax Incentives

I am opposed to vouchers, education tax credits, and private school tax credits. As an ardent supporter of public schools, I feel that these three programs undermine the existence and maintenance of our public schools. Not only do they support private schools by siphoning tax dollars from the public school system, but they also promote the flight of students and resources from public to private schools. 

I am very concerned that these programs can exacerbate the divide of the student population based on socio-economic status. Furthermore, these programs aggravate some of the existing structural issues facing BVSD, particularly the very real issue of declining enrollment. Knowing that declining enrollment is not only underway in the BVSD but is projected to continue makes support of vouchers, education savings accounts, and private school tax credits a matter of real concern.

I will oppose vouchers and other tax incentives that drain BVSD funding.

Lend a hand to the cause

(or just send me a note)

Campaigns need dedicated supporters and money.
I would love for you to join me in our shared vision of safer, warmer, more empathetic schools. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out the form below. I need to meet you. 

More money than time?

If direct financial contribution is within your means and more your speed, you can donate to our campaign through Act Blue using the button below. Postcards don’t print themselves!

The Community Supporting Neil

Katixa Aboitiz

Taishya Adams

Peter Allen

Patty Angerer

Tom Angerer

Paola Garcia Barron

Ceal Barry

Sumi Bitner

Candace Bowie

Annette Brant

Curt Brown

Karen Brown

Carey Candrian

Isabelle Cohn

TJ Cole

Mary Dineen

Susan Ely

Dave Ensign

Tim Enwall

Lin Erhardt

Christina Fiflis

Audrey Fishman Franklin

Amy French

Liz Garfield

Stan Gelb

Carol Gerlitz

Marty Gorce

Peg Gorce

Ellen Greenhouse

Jo Harper

Michael Hart

James Hartman

Alysia Hayas

Jean Hodges

Camille Hook

Russell Hook

Janet Johnson

Lisa Lesniak

Gaby Lopez

Kathy Plomer, CO State Board of Education

Rhonda Solis, CO State Board of Education

Claire Levy, Boulder County Commissioner

Ashley Stolzmann, Boulder County Commissioner

Curtis Johnson, Boulder County Sheriff

Michael Dougherty, District Attorney

Sonya Jaquez Lewis, SD 15, State Senator

Judy Amabile, HD 49 State Representative

Junie Joseph, HD10, State Representative

Karen McCormick, HD11, State Representative

Kyle Brown, HD12, State Representative

Aaron Brockett, Mayor, City of Boulder

Guyleen Castriotta, Mayor, City & County of Broomfield

JD Mangat, Mayor, City of Lafayette

Austin Ward, Councilmember, City & County of Broomfield

Jean Dubofsky, Former CO Supreme Court Justice

Richard Garcia, BVSD School Board Director

Rollie Heath, Former State Senator

Dorothy Rupert, Former State Senator 

Edie Hooton, Former State Representative 

Susan Marine, Former BVSD Director

Josie Heath, Former County Commissioner 

 Hillary Hall, Former County Clerk

Leslie Durgin, Former Boulder Mayor 

Christine Berg, Former Lafayette Mayor

Robin Bohannan, Former Boulder City Councilperson

Jill Grano, Former Boulder City Councilperson


Rose Lupinacci 

Katie Malzbender

Pam Malzbender

Nikhil Mankekar

Sue Masterson

Lyra Mayfield

J. Gustavo Melara

Michael Miller

Mardi Moore

Kelly Mueller

Bob Morehouse

Max Nathanson

Stu Naegle

Alex Bethel Negron

Dani Newsum

Kenneth Nova

Libby Neumann

Dominique Olvera

Julie Piller

Karen Raforth

Margaret Riedel

Ned Riedel

Jack Rook 

Glenda Russell

Jackie Schwarz

Elaina Shively

Britta Singer

Joe Sleeper

Joel Smith

Caroline Stepanek

Joe Stepanek

Mitch Stahl

Chad Stamm

Jim Vacca

Les Wall

Karen Weber

Suzanne Whitman

Barbara Willis

Jaye Zola

John Zola

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