“As I look at the next 100 days or so, my hope is that we can revisit our identified priorities as a district, to renew the energy around them and continue to hit the gas pedal forward.”
Dear DPS Community,
I’m Ron Cabrera, and I have the privilege of serving as DPS’ interim superintendent over the next few weeks until we have a new permanent leader. I’m humbled by the opportunity to once again serve Denver’s kids — bringing me full circle back to the district in which I started my career 40 years ago.
(Read more about Dr. Ron Cabrera’s history and background in education.)
My first teaching job was at North High School in 1979, and I continued as a teacher at Morey Middle School, and later as an assistant principal at Centennial Elementary and then principal at Stedman Elementary. While my journey in education has taken me throughout Colorado, I’ve always admired DPS for the vitality and richness of its students. I look forward to once again supporting the lives of these kids, as well as those of my new colleagues, including teachers, school leaders and school-support staff.
Since rejoining DPS, things look much different than a few decades ago, as our new fast-paced society has added to the complexity of our students’ lives. Yet I’m impressed to see how much progress has been made in the district to keep up with 21st-century learning, as well as intentional efforts to close the opportunity gap so that all students can achieve their potential.
DPS has shown an openness to try new things, including building its leaders from within. We know the best pathway to student success is to invest in employees and build leaders; no matter your role, there are opportunities in DPS to grow. Teachers can pursue a Teacher Leadership opportunity to both teach students and coach their peers; paraprofessionals have supports to grow into teachers; and any employee can create community with others of similar backgrounds, beliefs and experiences through the DPS Belong groups. I am impressed at the efforts to implement district values and create an inclusive culture.
As I look at the next 100 days or so, my hope is that we can revisit our identified priorities as a district, to renew the energy around them and continue to hit the gas pedal forward. I hope to lower anxieties around the transition between leaders. And to the extent possible, I hope to use my 40 years of experience in education to provide new perspectives and ideas.
I plan to be a good listener, to be open, and to bring these qualities to my role as interim superintendent — whether it’s in important negotiations around teacher compensation to visiting our family of schools, hearing from our educators, and everything in between. I’m optimistic about all that’s ahead for DPS as an organization and, most importantly, for our kids’ bright futures.
Ron Cabrera, PhD
Pictured above: Interim Superintendent Dr. Ron Cabrera visiting students during class.
In its search for a new district superintendent, the DPS Board of Education conducted an intensive community visioning and engagement process. This was the first of the three-stage process, which is slated to conclude Dec. 10 when an appointment is made.
The engagement stage, conducted from early September until mid-October, gathered feedback from more than 2,000 people in large- and small-group meetings, and netted nearly 3,000 responses to an online survey. Dimension Strategies was hired as an external facilitator for the meetings and to produce the online survey. They also led the data collection and analysis process for both of these endeavors. Dimension Strategies produced a report that is the product of their analysis. In it, you will find the community’s hopes and dreams for our next district leader, common themes from both the survey and the meetings and desired qualifications.
If you have questions or comments regarding this report, please email SuperSearch@dpsk12.org.
Although the Fair Campaign Practices Act prohibits public employees from spending taxpayer dollars to advocate for ballot initiatives or candidates, there are lots of options for team members to support Amendment 73 and other initiatives if they choose to do so outside of work. A few options include:
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For the second time this calendar year, DPS organized a summit bringing young African-American women together from across the city for a day of community.
The African-American Young Ladies Summit began in spring 2018 after Dr. Plashan McCune, DPS’ associate director of Student Equity and Opportunity, recognized a lack of mentorship, growth and mental health gatherings specifically for African-American female students.
The summit — originally organized as an annual event — is now a more frequent meeting throughout the school year to better support these students as they pursue their dreams. At this gathering, students had the opportunity to weigh in on attributes and share with Denver Board of Education President Anne Rowe and member Lisa Flores what they would like to see in DPS’s next superintendent.
Oct. 27: Colorado Association of Black Journalists Youth Multi-Media Development Day
Nov. 19-23: Thanksgiving Break
Now-Dec. 19-23: Get discounted tickets to shows at the DCPA