What drove a 29-year-old Colorado social studies teacher to jump from the classroom to the state Capitol

The Steamboat Springs Democrat brings recent classroom experience to the Capitol as she hopes to improve teacher shortages, mental health support and school safety

Erica Breunlin
Colorado Sun
Meghan Lukens, a Democrat, grew up in Steamboat Springs. Lukens, 29, who assumed office on Jan. 9, 2023, taught social studies for nearly eight years.
Olivia Sun/The Colorado Sun via Report for America

Last fall, about 25 Steamboat Springs high schoolers received an unexpected knock at the door. Standing in front of them upon opening it?

Their social studies teacher.

Meghan Lukens wasn’t there to confront her students about poor grades or attendance but instead to campaign for their families’ support in the race to represent Colorado House District 26.

“The students would open the door and be shocked,” said Lukens, who won the November election and in January began representing Routt, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Eagle counties at the statehouse.

Now, the 29-year-old teacher-turned-lawmaker has stepped outside her classroom to practice what she previously taught: how to write a bill and turn it into a law, how to find consensus amid controversy and how to represent constituents effectively at home and under the gold dome.


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