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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.”

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.

Michael was previously Cadre Director for the Office of School Performance and Accountability with Broward County Public Schools in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the nation’s sixth-largest school district serving 271,000 students. He supervised high schools providing support, coaching and evaluation. His primary responsibilities in Broward included increasing academic achievement, graduation rates, college/career life readiness and overall school culture.

Michael is entering his 25th year in education. He has served as a high school principal, assistant principal and teacher. He has served as an adjunct college professor and as President of the Florida Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (FL-ALAS). Michael is a graduate of two Superintendent Academies that have fueled his beliefs in equity leadership.

She previously served for five years as the Lead Instructional Superintendent for Denver Public Schools in Network 1 – Northwest Collaborative. Tamara initiated the creation of breakthrough networks, an innovative learning structure focused on specific school needs and lead by principal leaders. Tamara holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Disorders and Speech Science from the University of Colorado and a Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Denver University.

She has participated in instructional and organizational leadership programs including the EdLead and Leverage Leadership Institute fellowships and The University of Virginia Turnaround Partnership for Leaders in Education. Tamara has worked in Denver Public Schools over the past twenty-two years as a teacher/literacy lead teacher, Mathematics Content Specialist, Mathematics Curriculum Coordinator, assistant principal, principal and instructional superintendent.

She has had diverse teaching and leadership experiences at Swansea, Bromwell, Gilpin and Carson elementary schools. As a Denver native who as a child attended Denver Public Schools, Tamara has a strong commitment to the city and the education of its children.

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.

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.

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.

Michelle Berge, a DPS parent and longtime member of Team DPS, leads our legal team. In this capacity, she helps advise the elected school board, superintendent and senior leaders of the state’s largest school district on all legal matters.

Michelle was a law clerk for former DPS General Counsel and Colorado Supreme Court Justice Alex Martinez, as well as law clerk for former Gov. Bill Ritter. For the past seven years Michelle, who is bilingual, has led a pro bono legal clinic for Spanish-speaking families in Greeley to connect them with legal services.

Mike has more than 20 years of experience working in school district communications. He worked for the Chicago Public Schools for 13 years, serving as press secretary and director of communications, and then came to Denver to lead the DPS communications office from 2009-2014. Before returning to DPS, Mike spent five years as director of communications for Education Post, a national nonprofit organization.

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.