We are parents & community members of all professions and political affiliations who are concerned about the policies that the Douglas County (Colorado) reform-minded Board of Education and district administration have forced upon the families of our community.
Formed in 2013, and with over 1,500 members, Douglas County Parents aims to inform the community on the issues facing our schools and how the destructive policies of the DCSD (Douglas County School District) Board of Education are affecting our children.
The Douglas County Parents Board:
MARIA LAUER (email)
Maria was born and raised in the Chicago area, where she attended public schools kindergarten through high school graduation. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Elementary Education from Rockford University, and a Master’s in Special Education from University of Colorado Denver. Maria has over 20 years of teaching experience, in both elementary classrooms, and as an elementary Learning Specialist.
Maria and her husband bought their Highlands Ranch home in 1991, after Maria had worked as a DCSD teacher for 3 years. Access to outstanding schools was an important factor in their choice to make their home in Douglas County. They have since raised 3 kids who all attended DCSD neighborhood schools.
Public education is a passion both professionally and personally for Maria. She believes that a strong public education system is a key pillar of a democratic society.
JEN VIRDIN (email)
Jen was born and raised in Eastern Pennsylvania where she received her education in public schools. Just after high school, she moved to Southern California where she earned a degree in communications and public relations. In 2005, she and her husband moved to Colorado to be more centrally located for her husband’s job.
When choosing where to live in Colorado, the school district played a large role in their decision. Jen and her husband moved to Castle Rock partly because of its small town charm, but largely because of the exceptional reputation of DCSD. As a stay-at-home mom, Jen is very involved in her children’s education, volunteering regularly at their school. After her kids had attended school for a couple years, Jen noticed that something was amiss. As she researched more, she realized that it was not only her children’s school, but the entire district that was affected and was the result of district initiatives.
Jen had always advocated for public education, but wanted to do more. She has served as a parent representative on the School Accountability Committee (SAC) and as a secretary on the PTO at Flagstone Elementary School. Since 2013, Jen has volunteered with Douglas County Parents, working to improve the educational experiences of all kids in Douglas County.
JASON VIRDIN (email)
Jason was born in California and moved to Colorado in 2005. He and his wife, Jen, live in Castle Rock. Growing up in California, he attended public neighborhood schools. It was in middle and high school that he learned to play the trumpet and French horn in marching and concert bands, played the guitar in jazz band, and developed the appreciation for music that he still has today. In high school, he took advanced automotive and automotive electrical classes that fostered an interest in diagnosing and repairing late model vehicles and helped him develop the skills that would later become useful in his career. Currently, Jason works as a vocational instructor and technical writer, specializing in electrical and powertrain diagnostics. He also plays guitar and trumpet in bands on the weekends for fun. Jason’s indebtedness for the experiences he had in public schools and the desire for his children and others to experience similar opportunities drives his efforts to support public education and to move Douglas County School District in a positive direction.