Rep. Barbara McLachlan, Durango

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Barbara McLachlan represents House District 59, which includes La Plata, San Juan, Ouray, Hinsdale and Archuleta counties and part of Gunnison County. She sits on the Education and Transportation & Energy Committees.

In the 2017 legislative session, Rep. McLachlan’s first, she passed a creative solution to the rural teacher shortage by modifying pension rules so retired teachers and other school workers are allowed to return to work for the full 180-day school year. She also passed legislation to develop a strategic plan to address teacher shortages throughout the state, and to create a program to test for lead in public schools’ drinking water.

A fourth-generation Coloradan, Rep. McLachlan taught English and journalism at Durango High School for 20 years, was honored as the Durango School District’s Teacher of the Year in 2012 and received a lifetime achievement award from the national Journalism Educators Association in 2014.

Though she’s retired from being everybody’s favorite teacher at DHS, Rep. McLachlan still serves as a college consultant, helping high school students find the best college.

Before embarking on her teaching career, she was a reporter for the Durango Herald.

Rep. McLachlan has a master’s degree in teaching from Regis University in Denver and a certificate in college counseling from UCLA. She also has a bachelor’s degree in English from Fort Lewis College and a second bachelor’s, in journalism, from Colorado State University.

She lives in Durango with her husband, Mike, who represented House District 59 in 2013 and 2014. They have two grown children.