Durango School District 9-R

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Board Elections

Please see 2017 School Board candidate information below:
District A

Nancy A. Stubbs

111 Crazy Horse Drive

Durango, CO  81301



Nancy Stubbs, representative of District A, was elected to the 9-R school board in 2013. She moved to Durango with her husband, Bill and two cats in 2009.

Nancy is a recently retired educator (elementary classroom teacher, Reading Specialist, Language Arts Coordinator, and Director of Curriculum and Assessment), and International Consultant, who lived, worked, and raised a family in the USA (California and Arizona); and various countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America.

Nancy grew up in San Diego, CA. She obtained her BA in Social Sciences and Education from San Diego State University, her MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Michigan State University, and her Ph.D. in Instructional Technology and Design from the University of Southern California. She holds California and Colorado Teaching licenses.

As curriculum director in international schools she has designed, implemented, and provided professional development for programs and curricula that cover the American style of Standards and Expected Learning Outcomes including the Common Core Standards.  She has trained and applied the PYP, MYP, and IB programs from Europe, and the Chinese and Vietnamese educational requirements for graduation.  She also designed online learning programs and courses for a private company, an international network of universities, and the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

Nancy has been married to Bill for, shall we say, a long time. Bill is also a retired international educator. They raised two children, Marisa (Italian born) and William (Iranian born) overseas. Nancy and Bill’s grandson, Steve, fell in love with Durango and chose to go to school here and now lives and works full time in Durango.

Nancy has found contentment in settling down in such a beautiful setting with family, cats and dogs. Being on the school board enables her to be able to continue to give to students after retirement -- the last piece of the puzzle to being happy in life.

District C
Mick Souder
266 River Birch Street
Durango, CO 81301

Mick Souder is a Senior Consulting Technical Solution Manager for IBM.


Mick has a diverse background in education having taught for 11 years, mainly on the Zuni Indian Reservation in Western New Mexico.  At the end of his teaching career, he coordinated development of a pioneering online education program for The College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota and helped Capella University get accredited.  He also was a state-wide Internet Curriculum Specialist for K-12 school districts in Minnesota.  He previously served on the Durango 9-R School Board (2013-15) and was on the district's Finance Advisory Committee after his first Board term.

He has been an advocate of using communication technology to empower people to affect their societies for the past 30 years. This has included helping start not-for-profit Internet services (Minneapolis Telecommunications Network River Project), training (Access Minnesota Main Street e-commerce project), teaching elementary school students to produce community radio (Zuni Public Schools), community access television (camera operator, board member and President for Durango Community Access Television) and helping write a book on applying the principles of e-commerce to state and local government. Mick was involved with the global civic engagement organization, E-Democracy.org, since its inception in 1994 and  served on its Board of Directors until 2015. He has also served on the Durango Nature Studies Board of Directors.


Mick holds a Master's degree in technical communication focused on computer-mediated communications. He is a successful grant writer and has managed costing, budget creation, and technology design on projects .  He and his wife Linda Schwinghammer have lived in Durango since 1999.  Both of his children, Lisa Schwinghammer and Gabrielle Souder, are graduates of the Durango 9-R School District.  Linda was a 9-R teacher and is currently directing the testing center at San Juan College.  Lisa is a teacher in the Denver Public Schools.  The family talks about education a lot.

District E
Shere Kuss Byrd
64 Oak Valley Drive
Durango, CO 81301
Shere Byrd

Dr. Shere (Kuss) Byrd is a second generation Durangoan who spent her K-12 years in School District 9-R. She attended Western State College in Gunnison, CO on a cross-country ski scholarship, and after attending graduate school at the University of Oregon and doing postdoctoral research at Washington State University, she had the opportunity to come home to Durango as a faculty member in the Biology department at Fort Lewis College, where she has taught cell and molecular biology for 25 years. 


While at Fort Lewis she has advocated for greater use of high impact pedagogies that focus on student-centered learning and problem solving in the classroom.   She introduced undergraduate research with faculty mentors into the biology curriculum and it is now being used as a model across the entire campus.  Dr. Byrd has hosted local teachers, and high school and community college students in her lab, enabling them to do hands-on research.  She was recognized with the Alice Admire Teaching award in 2008 for her commitment to engaging students in her classrooms. 


Dr. Byrd has also supported enhanced student learning opportunities by writing several successful multi-million dollar Department of Education grants.  These grants provided increased opportunities for underrepresented students, such as new digital media equipment for students producing the Native American newsletter, and funding for Farm to Table interns at the Environmental Center.  She is an active faculty partner of the Village Aid Project student organization, and has traveled to Ecuador and Myanmar with these students to help villages in these countries build water and sanitation projects.  For her continued involvement she has received the Fort Lewis College Achievement Award and was recently named the Roger Peters Distinguished Professor.


Dr. Byrd and her husband John have one daughter, Mallory, who recently graduated from Durango High School, and has numerous nieces and nephews attending different 9-R schools.  Shere is also on the Board of San Juan Basin Public Health, and was recently elected as Vice President of the Durango Cooperative, a partnership between Mancos and Durango School Districts.  The Byrd family are all outdoor enthusiasts, involved in hiking, scrambling peaks, biking, rafting, and all the other activities Durango has to offer.




Emily Newcomer
67 Aspen Drive
Durango, CO 81301

Emily chose to make Durango her home in 2005 with her husband, who is a faculty member in the School of Education at Fort Lewis College. They have two children and are very proud that they both attend Riverview Elementary in the Durango 9R School District. Emily is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Colorado with a Master's of Education in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah. She is the sole owner of Southwest Psychotherapy, LLC, and has been in private practice as a Licensed Psychotherapist for nine years. She works with older adolescents and adults who are dealing with trauma or other issues getting in the way of living life to its fullest. Emily is currently engaged in the community led suicide prevention efforts.


Emily served as the Community Education Coordinator for Sexual Assault Services Organization in Durango for five years. There, she taught students in kindergarten through 12th grade throughout the Durango School District how to prevent sexual violence or get help if needed. Emily also spent six summers as an Instructor and Course Director in the Colorado Outward Bound School’s Southwest Program teaching 14 to 18 year olds on multi-day river, rock and land expeditions. In addition to her degree in Educational Psychology, Emily attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA and obtained a degree in Commerce-Management in 1993. Emily believes in the full potential of every child, and as a school board member, she would focus on school policies that ensure an equitable education for ALL children and provide support for the WHOLE child, including their academic performance and mental health.


Candidate Withdrawn: October 10, 2017


Cara-Lyn Lappen
87 Sortais Road
Durango, CO 81301
Cara-Lyn Lappen