Christine Balderston most likely will be filling one of the open seats on the Moffat County School Board. Balderston has two children, 18-year-old Stephanie, who graduated from Moffat County High School, and 14-year-old Matthew, who is attending MCHS, both of whom are pictured behind her on the wall. Balderston said her children were a driving factor in her interest in joining the School Board.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Christine Balderston most likely will be filling one of the open seats on the Moffat County School Board. Balderston has two children, 18-year-old Stephanie, who graduated from Moffat County High School, and 14-year-old Matthew, who is attending MCHS, both of whom are pictured behind her on the wall. Balderston said her children were a driving factor in her interest in joining the School Board.

Christine Balderston a potential new School Board member

The walls of Christine Balderston's Craig home are lined with pictures of her two children.

Matthew, 14, and Stephanie, 18, have had their picture taken at every birthday since they were born.

"From the minute (my children) were born, I wanted them to have that option to go to college," Balderston said. "Not everyone needs to, but to have that choice is so important."

Balderston knows firsthand what it means to have that choice: She was the first in her family to go to college.

A degree in microbiology from Colorado State University and two college-bound children later, however, Balderston hasn't let up on her dedication to quality education for children.

Balderston, 48, originally from Denver, most likely will be the newest member of the Moffat County School Board, representing District 6.

Currently, the seat is uncontested. She will officially be elected if there are no write-in candidates by Tuesday.

For the 10 years she has lived in Craig, she has been involved with her children's education. She attended Parent Advisory Council meetings for her children's schools.

"I very much believe in the need for good education," she said.

She sat in on meetings to help find the new Moffat County High School principal, knowing it would affect the education of both of her children.

She said her friends always urged her to sit on the School Board, and the thought always was in the back of her mind.

"I've been thinking about it," she said. "Then we just got so busy and had to move Stephanie into college at the University of Northern Colorado. When I got back, I saw that still no one had stepped forward. I took that as a sign that I needed to do something."

Two other seats are up for election this year.

Incumbents Sandie Johns and Karen Stillion both are on the ballot for their respective districts.

Those seats are uncontested as well.

Johns said she is looking forward to the next four years with a board that she said has terrific potential.

"We have energy and understanding," Johns said. "We're going to move forward but continue to work on student assessment."

Still, Johns said it takes years to grasp complex issues such as school funding and student testing.

But Balderston, whose other interest is teaching scrapbooking out of her home, said she is up to the challenge.

"I know we've been fighting the (Colorado Student Assessment Program) and low funding," she said. "I'm really interested in learning about why."

Balderston is looking forward to volunteering her time, something she is able to do because her husband, a petroleum engineer, works in Rifle during the week, making it difficult for her to have a full-time job.

"I really do care about the kids," she said. "They need all our help and support. Everyone has the chance to nurture their own children, but I want to do something for someone else's kids."

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