Affective Needs Advisory Committee


African-American Young Ladies SummitAs we begin to develop and implement strategies to meet the goals outlined in DPS Thrives: A Strategic Roadmap to the Denver Public Schools Experience, we envision a new DPS experience. An experience that centers our students, with an intentional commitment to our marginalized students, while also elevating the experience of our adults. One that recognizes the role of systems in creating equity in education and justice in society. One that will turn our vision that Every Learner Thrives into a reality.

As part of the 2022 state complaint surrounding special education affective needs (AN) center programs, the Exceptional Student Services (ESS) team created an AN Advisory Committee starting in April 2023.

The purpose of the AN Advisory Committee is to provide community and staff input on the direction and actions for DPS central and school teams to take in each subsequent school year as a result of the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) and findings that there is a disproportionate identification, placement and student experience, especially for Black boys in AN centers.

The AN Advisory Committee will run April 2023 – May 2024. The group will meet once a month during the school year for two to three hours per session and will comprise of DPS employees, parents/guardians/family members of students enrolled in AN Centers, community members and advocacy organizations.

In order to have a diverse and representative AN Advisory Committee, we first organized a selection committee. The AN Selection Committee had representatives from the ESS team, other central office teams, members from our community groups including Advocacy Denver, DAC, BFAC, and DPS parents/guardians. The selection committee created the application, reviewed applications, and made final recommendations of who will sit on the AN Advisory Council.

Agendas »

Committee Roles

Executive Sponsors

  • Dr. Alex Marrero, Superintendent Denver Public Schools
  • Dr. Tony Smith, Deputy Superintendent Denver Public Schools

Committee Facilitators

  • Julie Rottier-Lukens, Executive Director of Exceptional Student Services
  • Meredith Fatseas, Senior Manager of Mental Health

Committee Members

  • Dr. Moira Coogan, DPS Principal
  • Stephen Wertz, DPS Assistant Principal
  • Jessica Lujan, DPS Assistant Principal
  • Pamela Stigall, DPS Assistant Principal
  • Ellen Petrila, DPS Special Education Teacher
  • Ron Ringenbach, DPS School Psychologist
  • Brittany Johnson, DPS Special Education Teacher
  • Rosario DeHerrera, DPS Special Education Teacher
  • Taylor Tellez, DPS Special Education Teacher
  • Leslie Ford, DPS Special Education Teacher
  • Lorelei Jackson, DPS Behavior Specialist
  • Savannah Mcclinton, DPS Paraprofessional
  • Yolanda Ortega, DPS Operational Service Director
  • Sydney Price, DPS Senior Manager of Extended Learning and Community Schools
  • Pam Bisceglai, Executive Director of Advocacy Denver
  • Mary Ellen Cammilleri, Community and Family Representative
  • Jordan Glist, Community and Family Representative
  • Christine Smith Olsey, Community and Family Representative
  • Keith Michael, Community and Family Representative
  • Brenda Richardson, Community and Family Representative
  • Two current DPS Students