Renewing Douglas County’s tradition of educational excellence, empowering parents to be partners in their children’s education, supporting and respecting educators, and expanding educational options for students.



The Elevate Douglas County slate is composed of Douglas County residents Randy Mills, Debora Scheffel, Grant Nelson, and Ryan Abresch, all of whom are running for director positions on the Douglas County School District Board of Education in the November 2017 election. The slate stands for renewing Douglas County’s tradition of educational excellence, empowering parents to be partners in their children’s education, supporting and respecting educators, and expanding educational options for students.



Randy Mills (District D) is a long-time resident of Douglas County who understands the benefits of a strong public education system. Both of his daughters have been blessed with an excellent public K-12 experience in Douglas County School District, where they attended both neighborhood and online schools. Randy is a small business owner and electrician who believes strongly in vocational and career training. Passionate about American founding history and the western way of life, Randy stands on the Code of The West principle to take pride in your work. He is actively involved in the community through various community organizations and has served in lay ministry, founded an educational nonprofit charity, volunteered with the Douglas County Fair and Rodeo, and serves as an elder for a community church. Randy believes parents have a right to select the best education platform for their child, and that they should be respected for those decisions. Having grown up with a father who enthusiastically taught for 30 years, he views teaching as a noble profession and believes in supporting and rewarding Douglas County’s talented educators.


Ryan Abresch (District B) and his wife moved to Douglas County from El Paso County in order to take advantage of the district’s excellent schools for their growing family. A lawyer by training, he currently works as a legal analyst for a national online legal research firm. Ryan previously served his community as a deputy district attorney in the 10thJudicial District in Pueblo. As a parent of a young daughter in a Douglas County public charter school, Ryan wants to ensure that parents and students across the county are empowered to craft the best possible educational experience for their families. He is an avid believer in educational variety and believes the district is best served when its leadership focuses on driving excellence in the classroom.


Debora Scheffel (District G) has deep roots in Douglas County. After graduating from the University of Denver with a master’s degree in special education, she served as a special education teacher at Northeast Elementary School in Parker. After completing her doctoral work at Northwestern University, she worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California San Diego, where she studied how language and learning influence each other. Debora has also worked in New York as a rehabilitation program coordinator and in rural schools in Kansas. She recently represented Colorado’s 6th Congressional District on the Colorado State Board of Education for six years, where she worked to shape education throughout Colorado for the better. Debora currently serves as the dean of Colorado Christian University’s School of Education, where she works every day to prepare teachers to enter school systems across the state. She is passionate about supporting and promoting educators, whom she views as having taken on one of life’s highest callings.


Grant Nelson (District E) is a second-generation native Coloradan who has lived in Douglas County since 1993. Grant is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder. He is the parent of three current students in Douglas County who have attended both neighborhood and public charter schools. He currently owns a successful commercial real estate business that operates throughout Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. He has served as the Colorado state director of the International Council of Shopping Centers as well as the government relations director for the council. Grant strongly believes in the Douglas County public education system and knows it can continue to serve students and parents well with the correct leadership. Grant is also a strong believer that parents know best what their children need from education.