Boulder Valley School District

Get to know Board Member Beth Niznik

Niznik
Jodie Carroll

En Español

A Colorado native with a passion for education and community, Beth Niznik embodies the spirit of constructive engagement and intentional governance. She brings a deep commitment to facilitating dialogue and fostering understanding, particularly in moments of conflict.

Her professional journey took her to Seattle for a decade, where she delved into the intricacies of education, transitioning from a school psychologist to an administrative role as a special education director. Her experiences in Seattle laid the foundation for her eventual return to Boulder in 2019, just before the onset of the pandemic. She found herself drawn to conflict resolution and landed a part-time role with the Colorado Department of Education in alternative dispute resolution, where she assists parents and schools in navigating conflicts regarding special education services. Her passion for conflict resolution stems from her belief in the  power of dialogue, where amidst contention, lies the potential for innovative solutions and collaborative growth.

“Nobody likes conflict, but I kind of like it,” expressed Niznik. “When you are willing to move through conflict, you can find some really novel and exciting solutions, and creativity often comes from being in conflict. For my job, I go all over the state to work through conversations with parents of kids with special needs and the school team that serves that kid. I serve as a neutral facilitator when they are having a conflict. I love the opportunity to bring people together.”

Niznik’s decision to run for the school board two years ago was motivated by her passion for bringing people together and a desire to contribute to her community, particularly in the wake of the educational challenges faced during the pandemic.

“My daughter started her academic career online in kindergarten,” said Niznik. “I felt like education was such an important place to make a difference, and I had the background and the skills. As a community member and as a mom, I really just wanted to step up. That's what prompted me to want to run for the school board.”

With deep roots in Colorado and a daughter in the district, Niznik is committed to addressing pressing issues such as declining enrollment and school funding. 

“We need to bring everyone along on how we're going to respond to declining enrollment because it's happening whether we want to acknowledge it or not,” expressed Niznik. “It has some really big implications and threats to providing rigorous, equitable education across the district. We are also in a bit of an education funding crisis in the state of Colorado. I think that that's something we need to continue to really focus on. We need to leverage the resources that we have in this district to really ensure that we have sustainable funding for the future. You can’t talk about education without talking about finance.”  

Drawing from her background in special education, Niznik also advocates for the inclusion and support of marginalized student populations, including gifted and twice-exceptional learners.

“I think we've got some real work to do around twice exceptional students, students who have learning disabilities and who are gifted,” shared Niznik. “I think that we have some work to do as well on our acceleration pathways in math and language arts and providing those opportunities across the board for students. I feel like there's some inequities. There are a lot of subpopulations that I feel we have neglected and we need to work towards better supporting them.”

Niznik expressed the importance of maintaining board priorities and fostering intentionality in decision-making. She believes in the importance of asking questions and bringing conversations to the public. She is steadfast in her commitment to listening to all voices and uplifting the diversity in the community.

“I want to make sure that people know that I'm grateful for this amazing opportunity and I thank the people who put me in office,” Niznik shared. “I have a lot of gratitude for that and my door is always open. I love opportunities to hear from people.” 

Outside of her civic duties, Niznik is a travel enthusiast. She embraces broadening her perspective by being in new environments and the discomfort that sometimes comes with that as avenues for personal growth. So far she has been to 47 countries and is always planning her next trip. She also loves hitting the slopes with her husband and daughter, even though she is just learning how to ski for the first time along with her daughter. 

Have a question or feedback for Beth? You can reach her via email at beth.niznik@bvsd.org. To contact all seven board members (as well as the superintendent and the board secretary), email bvs.board@bvsd.org. Contact information for all members of the BVSD Board of Education can be found on the BVSD Board webpage.


 

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