Candidate Information

Occupation: Executive Officer

Age: 47

Education: A.S. Engineering Science
B.S. General Studies
M.S. Management
United States Marine Corps

Endorsements: Falcon Teacher's Education Association

Experience: Although I have never been on a School District Board of Education, I am a parent of five children, that attend/have attended D49 Schools and I have followed many of our local issues. I have 28 years leadership, operations management, facilitation, and instructional experience in the United States Marine Corps and Department of Defense. I have experience in building successful teams that work well together to accomplish our mission.

Contact Information






John Graham

Race / District Information

District Falcon School District 49
Term / Board Seat 4 years
# of Available Seats 3

What major challenges face your school district and how would you solve them, aside from additional funding?

I believe the School Board should represent the educational needs and values of our community. I want to empower our teachers, parents, and community to reach positive and innovative local solutions. The Board needs to focus on goals and policies that provide all our children a safe, encouraging, and positive learning environment while performing in a transparent, inclusive, and civil manner. I believe I have the leadership skills to encourage the Board to work in a cohesive manner. I will work to encourage involvement from our stakeholders and be the crucial link between the public and schools. The District is also faced with an increasing student population and limited facilities/resources that we can address together as a team.

With budget constraints in place, what areas would you concentrate on?

I believe the School Board needs to provide the resources required by teachers and staff to achieve the highest quality education for our students while also being good stewards of the community’s tax dollars. We need to focus on the strategic vision and priorities developed by D49 stakeholders, engage stakeholders to better determine programs and policies that support these priorities, promote empowerment and innovation, and keep in mind the taxpayer “foots” the bills. Areas we should focus on are the educational needs of students, facilities, training (especially in the area of special education), and competitive compensation to retain the best qualified teachers and staff.

This year, voters will decide whether to pass Amendment 66, which would raise $950 million in additional taxes for education. If the amendment passes, how should the money be allocated in your district?

I do not support Amendment 66. This ballot measure will effectively take more tax payer money out of D49 to be redistributed to other districts then we will get back. The ballot measure is not a local solution and I do not believe it is by D49 voters. If the ballot does pass, I will engage the public and other District stakeholders to discuss the best way to allocate the resources and come up with a team solution.

Why don't most districts get beyond 70 percent student proficiency on state assessments?

This is a very complex question. There are many metrics that affect student achievement. It boils down to if we are and how we are addressing the educational needs of each student. If 70 percent of the children are proficient, this means that 30 percent are not. Those who are not proficient need more individual attention, educator time, and resources to lift their achievement levels. The Board can work with the community, teachers, students, and staff to set policies in place and attitudes that can positively affect this achievement.

The Gazette Voter Guide is a chance for candidates to use their own words to tell voters in El Paso and Teller counties about themselves. The candidates answered questions relating to their biographical information as well as issues facing their school districts and cities. Answers have not been edited by Gazette staff.

For the guide, the Gazette reached out to every candidate running for political office for the Nov. 5 El Paso County and Teller County elections. Most, but not all, candidates chose to participate.