The Loveland woman has served four years on the board, representing District F, and hopes for another term to continue projects the district has started, including an expansion of High Plains School, upcoming consolidation of three schools into one, and implementation of an equity policy.
“There’s so many things I want to see through, to see keep growing,” Kruse said on Saturday after officially announcing she will run for election in November.
“We have so many projects we’re still working on for the bond. I want to see those through. The equity policy, I want to continue to see that through, and professional development for the teachers.”
Kruse was first elected in November of 2017. Since then, the district successfully pitched a bond and mill levy override to voters, allowing for facilities upgrades and salary increases for staff. The district has worked to improve student achievement and became the first in the state to pass an equity policy.
She said she is eager to help the district implement that policy, to see it in action, helping each and every student within the district.
“It’s so deep and has so much to offer all kids, each and every kid, not just branches of kids,” Kruse said.
“I want us to make sure it’s impacting the kids, that we’re meeting the needs of the kids with that policy.”
During her term, the district was looking for ways to handle overcrowding at High Plains School, and one of the solutions offered was to change it from a PK-8 to an elementary school and route the middle school students elsewhere. Kruse said she is proud of how the district listened to parents who felt strongly about keeping the PK-8 and found another solution, an expansion of High Plains.
Also, with the bond, the district has been able to build a new PK-8 school in Johnstown, just east of Interstate 25 and south of U.S. 34, to meet the needs of a growing section of the district, Kruse said. Riverview School will open its doors this August with a capacity of 1,000 students.
In June, the school board officially approved a plan to remodel Conrad Ball Middle School into a PK-8 and consolidate Mary Blair and Monroe elementary schools into the new campus. With a state grant and other funds available, the district will spend about $18 million on the project.
“We have an opportunity to offer a really fine structure, building, for that neighborhood and enhance education for so many kids,” Kruse said.
Kruse has lived in Loveland since 1976, working for 35 years as a classroom teacher and literacy specialist within the Thompson School District, as a consultant for Scholastic Educational Services and as an adjunct professor at the University of Northern Colorado, working with future educators on skills to teach reading. She is now fully retired with time to devote to the Thompson School District.
She said she wants to build on growth that the district has made in the past four years and also to be a part of helping students and teachers in the coming years as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19.
“I’m anxious to follow through and see how we can bridge that gap with this last year,” said Kruse, who holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in reading.
Kruse’s seat is one of four that will be up for grabs in November. Also on the ballot will be: District B, which is currently held by Paul Bankes; District C, which is held by Jarrett Roberts; and District E, which is held by Lori Hvizda Ward.
Like Kruse, Bankes has served one full term. He has not publicly announced if he will run again.
Hvizda Ward, the board president, has served eight years and is prevented from running again by term limits.
Roberts was appointed in May to fill the seat vacated by Marc Seter; the last year of Seter’s term will be on the ballot with the other director districts.
Petitions to run for school board will be available in August, and Kruse announced her intention to run on Saturday.
“I have the flexibility and time to continue to give and be a voice for the district,” Kruse said, noting that her first term in office went by quickly.
She added, “It’s gone so fast, and there’s so much more to do.”