Andrew Graham wants to serve the Littleton Public Schools

BY FREDA MIKLIN
GOVERNMENTAL REPORTER

Andrew Graham is a small business owner and community volunteer who is seeking a seat on the Littleton Public Schools Board of Education. Courtesy photo

On November 2, residents of the Littleton Public Schools school district (LPS) will elect three new members to its board of education from among five candidates in the race. One of those candidates is Andrew Graham. The Villager sat down with Graham over lunch to find out why he wants the job at the suggestion of Kathy Turley, Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Centennial.

Owner of a health care management and operations business, Andrew Graham has served on the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, where he was board chair in 2019, completed two terms on the City of Littleton Planning Com-mission, been a member of the executive board of the Denver Area Council, Boy Scouts of America as well as the visioning committee for the Littleton Career Exploration Center, opening in 2023 to provide LPS students with an expanded array of pathways and technologies in several career categories. Graham was even recognized as an outstanding Eagle Scout last year “for service to our community 25 years after earning his Eagle Scout badge.”

He told The Villager that he never planned to run for the school board but, “We find ourselves knowing that leadership is necessary, knowing that fresh legs and open perspectives and open minds are necessary, and I tend to think I have some of those.” Graham and wife Megan’s four children have been in LPS for 15 years and counting (two are in middle school, one is in high school, and one is in college at Purdue University). He told us, “We have had some great days in LPS and some not-so-great days in LPS,” continuing, “It has some programs that work great some that don’t.”

One dynamic the candidate point-ed to that is important for school an board members to consider is the “ever-changing housing stock in the City of Littleton,” making it difficult for young families to move there because the houses are so expensive.

Focusing on the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Graham said, “I’m a huge advocate of keeping our schools open. If that means they wear masks, then they wear masks. We are open. My kids want that, too. They’re my cabinet. I review everything with them. When the issue of CRT (Critical Race Theory) came up, I asked my kids, “Do you guys learn CRT? No? OK, good.”

He also shared, “My family has benefitted directly from mental health resources,” describing the unending and sincere care and com-passion displayed by the LPS team several years ago when a high school student to whom he is related was lost to suicide. He believes that the after-effects of the pandemic will require continuing monitoring and treatment of the behavioral health needs of LPS students whose life and education were turned upside down by it. “More resources toward mental health support is a huge thing with me,” he told us, and “They need more programs and supports than they have right now,” adding that the problem is universal throughout the district, affecting students from all neighborhoods.

Graham talked about the importance of school safety and the relationship between LPS and the local police departments that provide its school resource officers as a key part of every school’s safety plan.

He also noted that the school board must always be cognizant of “balancing enrollments and the quality of schools,” noting that increased parental support equates to better performance.

Graham shared his excitement with the new upgraded Newton Middle School and the pending opening of the Littleton Career Exploration Center near Littleton High School, which will have “an entire wing dedicated to aerospace.” He noted that he will be able to draw from his chamber of commerce experience and relation-ships with key business leaders to get industry sponsorships to support the new school’s career-oriented pathways.

When he isn’t tending to his business or many volunteer activities, you can find Andrew Graham, who has been a musician since he was a teenager and started out to be a professional actor, playing his guitar and singing weekly on Facebook Live or at local eateries like Lost Coffee in Littleton or Rolling Smoke BBQ in Centennial.

fmiklin.villager@gmail.com