Former Steamboat school board member to run for state board of education |

Former Steamboat school board member to run for state board of education

Steamboat Springs resident Mayling Simpson spent her 40-year career traveling the world pursuing humanitarian work before settling in Steamboat Springs.
File photo

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A former member of the Steamboat Springs School Board has announced her candidacy for the Colorado Board of Education.

Mayling Simpson will be on the November election ballot to represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. The district includes much of Western Colorado, Steamboat Springs, Grand Junction, Durango and Pueblo.

Simpson, a Democrat, will run against Republican incumbent Joyce Rankin of Carbondale. Rankin has held the seat since being appointed in August 2015.

“There are many issues that I am passionate about, prompting me to run,” Simpson said.

Simpson said she will address inadequate funding for Colorado’s public schools and teacher salaries as a priority.

“Sixty-one percent of school districts have gone to a four-day school week largely to save money,” she said. “And most of our teachers do not receive a living wage.”

Simpson also said it is possible to raise the state’s high school graduation rate from 85% to 100% through more vocational training and alternative high schools.

“Last and most importantly, I will fight against any move to send taxpayer money to private schools,” she said.

According to Simpson, the voucher system is a major threat to the success of Colorado schools because it pulls funds away from public school districts.

“This is the opposite of what public schools have always stood for,” she said.

She also supports public charter schools, school-based health centers and increased funding for mental health and behavioral services for students.

A full-time Steamboat resident since 2010, Simpson holds a doctorate degree in anthropology from the University of North Carolina. She formerly taught both at the high school and college levels, served as an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and was senior environmental health advisor at the World Health Organization.

Simpson served on the Steamboat Springs School Board for one year, running unopposed in the 2017 election. She resigned from the board in 2018.

To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email

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