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.

Trena Marsal was appointed Deputy Superintendent of Operations on Feb. 1, 2023. Her career has spanned more than 23 years with Denver Public Schools, including serving as Executive Director of Facility Management for the last 15 years. In her new role, she will lead our Operations teams, including Facilities, Enterprise Management and Warehouse, Technology Services, Planning, Design and Construction, Climate and Safety, and Transportation.

After a successful career at a Denver-based environmental agency and performing her own subcontractor environmental work, she joined DPS as an Environmental Specialist. Trena then rose through the ranks, earning the positions of Chief of Maintenance Engineering, Deputy Director of Maintenance, Director of Operations and Maintenance and Executive Director of Facility Management. In these roles, she has managed more than 16 million square feet of facilities, more than 900 employees and a portfolio valued at over $8 billion dollars.

Marsal has a focus on continuous improvement and equity-based programs. She helped develop the DPS Sustainability Program, implemented smart building technology, planned and managed bond programs and was also instrumental in the development, design and vision for the Learning Landscape Program and in establishing the DPS “Guiding Principles” for School Building Design.

Marsal served on the district’s African American Equity Task Force, participated as part of a Strategic Team with the Council of Great City Schools and was part of the Superintendent’s Transition Team. Outside of DPS, she was part of the Mayor’s Developers Advisory Council and currently serves on the Denver Parks and Recreation Board. In addition, Marsal serves her community as a distinguished member of the community-service-focused nonprofit, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Marsal received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Safety and Health, a Master of Management, and a Master of Business Administration with a focus on Human Resources.

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.

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.