By Mary Willson
On Friday, Nov. 13, it was announced that Susana Cordova, Superintendent at Denver Public Schools, is resigning from her position after two years to work at the Dallas Independent School District as the Deputy Superintendent of Leading and Learning.
A+ Colorado wants to publicly thank Susana for her service and leadership to Denver’s students over the last 31 years – and especially in 2020 – leading the district of ~93,000 students during the pandemic.
Susana has been a remarkable leader and has been recognized as such by many nationally for her great work in Denver. Susana is the first Latina superintendent at DPS, this representation is especially important as 53% of Denver’s students are Hispanic (as identified by the districts’ demographics). Susana is the child of Mexican-American parents and a first-generation college graduate, Cordova was educated in Denver Public Schools and spent 31 years working in the district. She has been a classroom teacher, a principal, chief academic officer, and chief schools officer.
Susana has done incredible work at DPS under extraordinary circumstances. Here are just a few examples of many:
- Leading the largest school district in Colorado through the unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic.
- Leading an initiative for district-wide pay increases in 2019 (see our report on how Denver Public Schools has tried different strategies to support educators including the evolution of Denver’s compensation structure, developments in teacher evaluations, diversity initiative, and other professional development supports and programs).
- Led remarkable district efforts to improve achievement, with DPS moving from one of the lowest-performing school districts to now out-performing the state of Colorado.
- Increased funding by the millions through the passage of the 2020 bond/mill levy which passed earlier this month.
A+ Colorado has been impressed with Susana’s ability to navigate challenging politics, school board pressure, and an educational crisis during COVID-19. We are committed to educating the public on ways to become engaged with the DPS school board and sharing voices of organizers, students, families, and more during the search for the next superintendent.
There is lots of work to do in the coming days, weeks, and months. But firstly, we communicate our public support to the leadership that Susana has brought to Denver. She will be missed.
Do you want to engage with A+ Colorado about Susana’s tenure and engaging in next steps? Reply to this email, or email A+ President, Van Schoales at Van@apluscolorado.org. Interested in speaking about A+’s research over the past years about DPS? Email Director of Communication at Mary@apluscolorado.org.