Our DPS Weekly: A Message from Dr. Ron Cabrera

Oct. 26, 2018
Interim Superintendent Dr. Ron Cabrera visiting students during class.

“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.”

Interim Superintendent Dr. Ron Cabrera

Interim Superintendent Dr. Ron Cabrera

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.

Dr. Ron Cabrera

Watch this video greeting to Team DPS from DPS’ Interim Superintendent Dr. Ron Cabrera.

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. 

Superintendent Search Update: The Community Engagement Report is Now Available

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

Read the Full Report Here

Reminder: Cast Your Ballot on Nov. 6

Teachers marched on the State Capitol last spring in support of increased funding for education.

Teachers marched on the State Capitol last spring in support of increased funding for education.

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:

  • Canvas and knock on doors.
  • Attend and advocate at rallies and marches.
  • Share information on social media.
  • Write letters to your local newspapers and online media.
  • Fundraise for campaigns.
Please refer to this Election Guidance Memo for more information about the legal do’s and don’ts of election activity as a DPS employee. Learn more about Amendment 73 in this Board of Education resolution and this FAQ about 2018 ballot initiatives. Above all else, we encourage those who are eligible to register to vote to cast ballots and participate in our democratic process.

We are DPS!

teacher leading classroom

As DPS transitions into the next chapter, we know it’s never been more important to remember what brought us all here in the first place and to look forward to all the possibilities we have ahead.
Over the next six weeks, we’ll be sharing ideas, resources and shout-out opportunities to support DPS team members and the DPS community in feeling valued, unified and excited for the future. Any strong organization is built on the foundation of a strong culture, and there has never been a better time to reconnect to our values and our vision, to lean on each other, to put our energy into supporting our students, and to envision all the possibilities ahead.
To start, watch this quick video to see how We are DPS, and stay tuned for more video profiles in the coming weeks. Also, check out this week’s ¡Somos DPS! about the technology class at Joe Shoemaker School.

Share your DPS celebrations and stories using #WeAreDPS. And be sure to follow along on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Watch the We are DPS Video

Keeping Promises: African-American Young Ladies Summit Expands

African-American Young Ladies Summit

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.

Watch this DPS Features Video


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