ARCHIVE - 2017 Board of Directors Election - Candidate Biographies

The candidates profiled on this page are running for 2 open parent seats on the Stargate Board of Directors. One of these seats will be for a one-year term and one will be for a three-year term. 

All information was provided by the candidates running for election.

Among its key responsibilities, the Stargate School Board of Directors is responsible for the Stargate budget, review of the annual audit, evaluation of the school's Executive Director and compensation, policy approval and corporate level sponsorships. The Governance Board focus is longer term and “big picture”. For more information about the work this group does, visit the Board of Directors page.

Stargate community members will receive voting instructions the week of May 1 - either in their Monday folders (grades K-5) or via the U.S. mail (grades 6-9). Eligible voters may cast ballots between May 1 (midnight) and May 8 (4pm MT). If you have any questions about the election process or about the voting instructions provided to eligible voters, contact

 Candidate Biography
Paul Darrah
I have been a Colorado resident for nine years. I have more than 25 years of experience in operations and project management, a BA in Operations Management and PMP certification. I have been a department manager, general manager, and director in independent and corporate environments. The thing I have enjoyed the most has been managing engineering projects and working with experts in a wide variety of disciplines. I own and operate a business with my wife publishing educational materials for observational astronomy.

I have developed budgets at the project, program, department, and facility level. I have training and experience in recruiting, training, and professional development of a diverse staff. As director of an EPA certified laboratory I ran multiple businesses and for maintained regulatory compliance with the US C.F.R. for laboratory facilities and testing practices. I believe all of these skills and experience have relevant analogues in the operation of our school.
Taylor Johnson
 I’ve had the honor of serving as Stargate’s Community Relations Committee Chairperson for the past four years. In that time I’ve worked with a dedicated team of volunteers, community members, and school administrators planning events that promote school unity, community education, and volunteerism. For three years I was an active member of Stargate’s Fundraising Committee and over the past four years I’ve made an effort to attend every School Board Meeting.

 I’m passionate about special needs advocacy and have experience with 504 Plans and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Professionally, I’m an Integrated Branding Manager with over 25 years of Marketing experience, specializing in project management, strategic planning, franchising, on-line marketing, and reputation management. As Stargate continues to rapidly expand I want to help optimize our momentum while remaining committed to our mission to support gifted children.
Rob Kauffman

I am a proud parent of a 3rd and 6th grader at Stargate. I work as a Systems Engineer for VMware, Inc and support global accounts. When not working, I serve as the chairman for my church's stewardship committee, a member of the Stargate Governance Board, lead the architectural review committee of my home owner’s association, and coach my youngest son's soccer team. My children are my greatest joy and highest priority.

I bring a desire to help Stargate become the best charter school in Colorado for intellectually gifted learners. My project management skills, capacity to find compromise, positive outlook, and skills at solution building will allow me to assist Stargate on its journey to excellence.
Amanda Szymanski 

My name is Dr. Amanda Szymanski, my son is a 3rd grader & my daughter is entering kindergarten. I was a YMCA Director responsible for hiring/training staff, planning activities/field trips as well as maintaining the safety of 500+ kids. I moved to Colorado & helped start a company before going back to school & obtaining my Doctorate. While there, I completed some doctoral education classes which facilitated my understanding of our education system. After graduation I have been successfully running my own business. In addition, I'm actively involved in our school community by volunteering in the classroom, joining the Fundraising Committee and was appointed to The Bond Advisory Committee. I'm also the Director of Volunteers for the Adams 12 GT Super Saturday Program & I'm the parent liaison to the Adams 12 GT Program. I'm interested in serving on the Board because I'm passionate about continuing to ensure our mission and vision are maintained throughout the full expansion of our school.

Election - Quick Links

Q&A Responses
Candidates' views on school issues and why they're running for a seat on the board, click

Skills Profiles
Candidates' areas of expertise and professional skills, click

Cast Your Vote
1. Go to the Simply Voting site between May 1-8
2. Enter the information provided in the election letter you received in your Monday folder or via the USPS
3. Follow the on-screen instructions to make your selections and cast your vote

Elections at Stargate
Overview page, click