Monarch graduate runs for Trustee

Valette ’14 aims to give back to town that raised him


Estella Barrett

Dalton Valette ’14 chats with reporter Samantha Sarmiento about his plans if elected Trustee. The election is on Nov. 6.

He sits at a table in Starbucks, holding his hot drink as he talks over the musical ambience of the crowded coffee shop that is currently warming up a multitude of cold strangers from the light snow that’s falling from the sky outside.

At the age of 23, most people would be in college deciding what they want to do with their lives, but not Dalton Valette. He’s running for Superior Trustee. Valette is also a 2014 Monarch high school graduate, with a lifelong passion for politics and a youthful spirit eager to give back to the community he grew up in.

“I love people of Superior,” Valette said. “I think that we’re a positive thinking people, and it’s really interesting to see the different issues come up for Superior residents. People get so active on so many different topics, which is really fascinating to me. We really want to have a good place to call home.”

A trustee is similar to a city council member. Elected to four year terms, the four Superior trustees work with the mayor and the mayor pro-tem to make decisions for the town.

“It’s very important. I go to town hall meetings that last until one in the morning, and it’s people debating for hours and hours on end about a the placement of a traffic light. It’s really interesting to see what people get impassioned about,” he said.

For Valette, the people of Superior are what make it all worthwhile. However, it’s not only limited to the people.

“I think, when I was a kid, I loved animals and going outdoors,” he said. “There was so much open space all around me. I would go out and look for coyotes and bald eagles and great horned owls.”

He believes that being a former student of the BVSD system, he could open up communication between the town of Superior and its public schools, especially to provide resources for LGBTQ students.

“I faced bullying when I was a kid there. So I think it’s important to address that and make sure that all kids feel comfortable going to school,” Valette said.

Not having been elected yet hasn’t stopped Valette from being involved in municipal issues. Because of the recent Brett Kavanaugh hearing, he brought forward a pre-ordinance many towns have signed that addresses issues like discrimination and gender violence.

“One thing I’m already really happy to see, already in the process of being implemented, is this United Nations Convention called CEDAW, which is the the convention to end discrimination against women,” he said. “And there are many towns that have signed on to this and do pre-ordinances for it, such as Boulder, Denver, Louisville, and Erie. They’ve all signed it and Superior hadn’t. The town has already moved on to try to implement it and create an ordinance, which is fantastic.”

His passion for politics is something that has been there throughout a great majority of his life. While working in New York at the United Nations and at Washington D.C. at C-SPAN, he realized that the best way to have a positive impact would be in his own community.

“I thought running for office would be a fantastic opportunity, and it will hopefully benefit the town in which I grew up in a unique way because none of the trustee candidates have gone to our public schools or lived here as long as I have,” said Valette.

Besides having the support of his family, best friends, and boyfriend, Valette is also grateful for a few of the teachers he had at Monarch. A retired teacher, Mrs. Newton, was the highlight of many of Valette’s mornings as they talked about books and writing before class started.

“I had a freshman English class with another teacher, and he was kinda crazy, and I would get to school very early because that’s when my parents would drop me off. I’d just sit down in the hallway and read. Her classroom was right next to mine, and she was always there very early so we’d chat and talk about books, reading, writing, and things like that before class. I was really lucky to have her junior year. She was a fantastic teacher to have,” Valette said.

Another teacher who had a big impact on him is social studies teacher Ms. Kristen Kerr Gannon, who taught him at Monarch K-8.

“I was such a huge nerd with presidents as a kid. I started collecting all these presidential action figure. I brought them to class one day and gave her one of them as a parting gift,” said Valette.