By Krista Kafer firstname.lastname@example.org This week Colorado said goodbye to one education reformer and hello (or welcome back) to another one replacing him. Clair Orr resigned from the Colorado State Board of Education after two terms of service representing the 4th Congressional District. The Republican Vacancy Committee of the 4th Congressional District chose former Congressman Bob Schaffer to be his replacement. Bob Schaffer represented the 4th District in the U.S. Congress from 1997 to 2003.
I met Bob in 1997 when I went to work for him as his staff assistant. The first thing I noticed about him was his down-to-earth demeanor. Bob treated everyone the same whether they were elected officials or staff or interns. His maverick inattention to rank delighted my peers. I wonder how well it went over with his.
As a boss, Bob was tough and demanding of everyone including himself. Routinely working into the a.m., Bob was one of few Members of Congress who actually read legislation and constituent mail.
As I moved up through the office, I learned a great deal from Bob. His attention to detail taught me to be a better writer. His dedication to education reform became mine. I marveled then as now at the quick strength of his mind and his fearlessness. Though he made me mad sometimes, as bosses do, I did not doubt the goodness of his heart. I was particularly proud to work for a man who was so obviously devoted to his wife and children. While working in Bob’s office I saw how lesser men – President Bill Clinton, Speaker Newt Gingrich, and others – chose to honor their vows.
For all of these reason I believe Bob Schaffer is truly one of Colorado’s brightest stars. He will be an excellent addition to the State Board of Education and continue to be a leader in education in Colorado.