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DPS Leadership Team

Dr. Alex Marrero leads with a vision of supporting students the way educators supported him growing up and into his career. As the child of a Cuban refugee and an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, Alex prides himself on representing many of the Latinx students in the communities he has served as a school leader and in district leadership positions. He believes that every child can accomplish what he has, not only overcoming obstacles but being recognized as a leader in their chosen field.

Alex has been honored as an outstanding administrator by the Latino Caucus of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators and inducted into the New York Academy of Public Education. He received a Leadership and Excellence in Education Award from the Association of Dominican-American Supervisors and Administrators and was recognized as a Latino Administrator of the Year by the Association for Latino Administrators and Superintendents.

In January 2020, Alex joined the City School District of New Rochelle as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. In September, he became the first Latinx head of the city’s school system, serving as acting and then interim superintendent. Prior to that, as Assistant Superintendent at East Ramapo Central School District, Alex supported schools into Good Standing and increased graduation rates.

Alex’s doctoral dissertation—Dominican Parents’ Involvement in Children’s College Aspirations and Achievement Motivation—speaks to his dedication and commitment to engaging families. His life exemplifies a bit of wisdom he borrows from Nelson Mandela; “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Dr. Anthony Smith comes back to Denver Public Schools most recently serving as the Superintendent of KIPP Texas Dallas Ft. Worth over the past two plus years. Previously Dr. Smith served as an Instructional Superintendent of the Far Northeast region of Denver Public Schools. Prior to his role in Denver Public Schools, he served as the Executive Director of School Turnaround and Instruction for the Adams 14 Schools District, and Turnaround Principal in the Denver Public Schools. He has more than 20 years of experience in public education and began his career as Title 1 teacher for small schools and institutions with the Colorado Department of Youth Corrections. He has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, executive director, instructional superintendent, and Superintendent across both elementary and secondary schools during his career.

Dr. Smith received his bachelor’s degree from Adams State University, a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix, and a doctorate from the University of Denver. He and his wife Marcy, enjoy outdoor activities with the two sons Tyson, and Evan.

Cesar Cedillo was born in Cuernavaca, Morelos Mexico and came to the United States as a 2nd grade monolingual 8-year-old. He is a proud product of the Denver Public Schools where he attended DPS schools throughout his younger years culminating in graduating from West High School. After high school, he attended Metropolitan State University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in History with a teaching certificate. He immediately began his career as a classroom teacher, teaching ELA-S social studies at Kunsmiller Middle School. He earned his Master’s degree from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2002. After teaching, he became an assistant principal at both Morey and Bruce Randolph. While at Bruce Randolph, he was promoted as the principal and enjoyed a great and exciting 9-year run, changing the paradigm for students in the Swansea/Elyria neighborhood.

In 2018 he became an Operational Superintendent working with leaders in Pathway, SE, and SW networks/regions. In 2021 he was promoted to the Associate Chief of Schools. He leads with humility and prioritizes authentic, caring, positive relationships with all stakeholders. As a DPS grad, he understands DPS students deserve the best educational experience that will catapult them to become productive members of our society. He is happily married- 17 years and counting. He loves and cherishes watching his two kids, Roman and Anaya, grow up to become great young people. He is an avid Broncos, CU Buffs, Nuggets and Dodgers fan.

Jim Carpenter was appointed Deputy Superintendent of Operations in March 2021. Prior to that, he served in a number of roles in DPS, including Chief Financial Officer and previously as Executive Director of Choice and Planning. Before joining the District, Mr. Carpenter served as the Deputy Head of School and Chief Financial Officer for the American School of Doha in Doha, Qatar, and as a Resident Budget Advisor for the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Technical Assistance, providing technical support to government finance offices in Paraguay and Guatemala. He has also served as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for the New America School, a system of charter schools located in Colorado, and has led policy and economics research groups for the City and County of Denver and the consulting firm BBC Research & Consulting.

He holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a BS in History from the University of California at Berkeley.

He comes from a family of public school teachers, including his grandmother, mother, sisters and wife, in addition to a grandfather who retired from DPS after a career in Facilities. While he is a Colorado native, he lived in Paraguay, Guatemala and Qatar before returning to his home state in 2017. When not working, he spends his time raising his six children and spending as much time in the mountains as possible.

LeAnn Slama is returning to the home where her parents met, fell in love, had season tickets to the Broncos, and ultimately started their family – Denver. Family vacations were often taken over the years to Denver and Casa Bonita was always a must when visiting. She believes every child should have the same opportunity, no matter a student’s socioeconomic status, culture, or race. In fact, LeAnn strongly believes education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty and ensuring all students can pursue their academic and professional dreams.

A public education success story, LeAnn’s childhood love of learning propelled her to earn multiple academic degrees and bring her talents to the classroom. As a Sign Language Interpreter, she saw the impact a caring adult made on young people. She, therefore, went on to serve students and communities in roles such as the Chief of Staff, Project Manager, District School Coordinator, and Assistant Principal for more than 15 years.

But LeAnn’s professional background isn’t limited to the education sector. She also possesses a strong business acumen from working with CEOs and C-Suite executives to develop recruitment and retention strategies to diversify the workforce. LeAnn has extensive experience assisting leaders navigate organizational change, build leadership capacity, and create short and long-term strategic plans.

LeAnn is currently working on her doctorate in education and holds a master’s degree in education, a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and an associate degree in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Interpretation. She is also a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

In her spare time, LeAnn enjoys spending time with her dog Rudy, cheering on the Minnesota Vikings, and exploring new-to-her areas of Colorado.

A Denver native, Deborah graduated from our own Thomas Jefferson High School. She served as the principal of Contemporary Learning Academy from 2011-2013, was an instructional superintendent for the Pathways Network and most recently led our Student Equity and Opportunity team. Deborah’s depth of knowledge about DPS as a whole, and about what it takes to work toward Equity for all of our students, is an incredible asset to our leadership team. We look forward to her support in continuing to make a difference for all of our students.

Laney Shaler has been a proud member of Team DPS for more than twelve years. She began her career as a teacher with Denver Public Schools, and her commitment to public education is grounded in a strong belief that every child has the right to an incredible education so that they can thrive. In her role as Deputy Chief of Staff, Laney leads district-wide projects on behalf of the Superintendent. She partners as a strategic liaison with schools, community, the Board of Education, and supports coherence across the district’s priorities.

Prior to serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Laney served in a variety of leadership roles in the district, including leading district-wide efforts to establish and expand the continuum of preservice through early career teacher support, so that teachers can get better faster and stay longer. Increasing levels of support to deepen Denver’s homegrown teacher workforce – from student to paraprofessional to teacher – is work that Laney believes will have the greatest impact on our students and community. Outside of work, Laney enjoys cooking, being outdoors and active, and traveling with her partner, Mike, their dog, Biscuit.

Edwin has a long history in serving public organizations. He came to DPS after working as the Deputy Commissioner of Enterprise Human Capital Management for the State of Minnesota. Previously, he led Human Resources with the Kansas City Public School District, among other organizations. Edwin started with the district in November 2021 and has shared he’s excited to be making a difference each day with our amazing teams.

Edwin leads our Human Resources team, and drives their strategies around employment and labor relations, performance management, recruitment and selection, compensation and benefits, training and development, and efforts to attract and retain great educators across DPS.

Among his notable achievements, while with the State of Minnesota, Edwin increased the hiring of people of color 5 percentage points, with 19% of overall new hires being people of color in 2019. He was also able to increase hiring of individuals with disabilities by about 3 percentage points. As we strive toward becoming a true Equity district, we know this expertise Edwin brings will help continue to push this important work forward and support our efforts already in place to bring on more educators who look like the students they serve.

Dr. Darlene LeDoux is a Regional Assistant Instructional Superintendent and Senior Advisor to the Culturally Responsive Curriculum and Instruction team in the Denver Public Schools where she provides guidance, support and leadership for Coaching for Equity. Although Dr. LeDoux’s parents did not have the same academic opportunities as Dr. LeDoux and her siblings, it was their example of hard work, commitment to their community and love for their family that inspired Dr. LeDoux to dedicate her life advocating for education, children and families in Colorado.

As a young Latina, the lack of Latina/o educators was shocking to Dr. LeDoux. Her leadership began early when in 6th grade she became one of Denver’s youngest members of the Latin American Student Club and advocated to have more Latina/o teachers at her school and in the Denver Public Schools. She “walked out” of Rishel Junior High to show her continued frustration with the lack of role models in the school system and the need for more culturally and linguistically relevant books and materials for students in the Denver Public Schools.

She began her career as a bilingual first-grade teacher in rural Colorado. She rapidly achieved success and at the age of 30, became one of the youngest principals in the Denver Public Schools. Darlene was the first Latina principal of Denver North High School. Her leadership journey includes roles as the principal of Lena Lovato Archuleta Elementary where her efforts resulted in the school achieving the highest academic growth and academic standing in Far Northeast Denver where her leadership was instrumental in the creation of a model school for active and effective parental engagement designed to increase student achievement. In addition, Dr. LeDoux has been a central office leader in the Cherry Creek Schools and in the Denver Public Schools.

Dr. LeDoux earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education at the University of Northern Colorado, a Master of Arts degree in Bilingual/ESL Education, and a Ph.D. in Education Leadership, both, at the University of Colorado at Denver. She is a mentor/coach to school and central office leaders, was an Executive Board member of the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium, served as a Trustee at the University of Northern Colorado, Advisory Board member to the President – Community College of Denver, Chairperson of the Principals’ Leadership Council (PLC) in Far Northeast Denver, president of the Colorado Association of School Personnel Administrators, president of the Colorado Association of Elementary School Principals and Board of Directors, Latino Education Coalition.

Dr. LeDoux has received awards from the Colorado Association of Bilingual Bicultural Education, CoTESOL, Mason Columbine Lodge Award for Innovations in Biliteracy Education for the Colorado Seal of Biliteracy, Latinas First Foundation Trailblazer, Boy Scouts – Vale la Pena, La Rasa – Lena Archuleta Education Excellence Award and the EPIC School Best Practices Award. She and her husband, Rene have two daughters and are thrilled to be parents of the next generation of Latina leaders.

Richard Tagle is the President and CEO of the Denver Public Schools Foundation having joined the team in March 2022. In this role, Richard works collaboratively with the Board of Directors to execute a highly strategic vision and facilitate relationships with key stakeholders. Richard serves as a lead fundraiser to direct and execute a comprehensive and multi-faceted fundraising and community engagement operation to support both long-term vision and annual goals of the DPS Foundation.

Prior to DPS Foundation, Richard was the President and CEO of the Andy Roddick Foundation in Austin, Texas. Previous positions held include Managing Partner at High Think, Chief Executive Officer at Higher Achievement, Chief of Staff at Public Education Network (a network of local education funds and public school foundations), and Senior Program Officer at the United States Conference of Mayors.

Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Richard earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from American University and his Master of Arts in Applied Sociology/Social Policy from the same institution.

We know that when our students thrive, our city thrives. I believe in our mission because public education is one of the formative pillars of a civil and democratic society. Everything our community has become, and will ever be, stems from how our public education functions.