3-17-08 CSAP_BIO

Our CSAP Panel

Dwight D. Jones
Commissioner, Colorado Department of Education

Dwight Jones was appointed Colorado Commissioner of Education on June 1, 2007, by a unanimous vote of the Colorado State Board of Education. Before becoming commissioner, he was the superintendent of schools for the Fountain-Fort Carson School District for four years. He takes pride in being an educator for more than 20 years. Jones serves on the Education Commission of the States and the Closing the Achievement Gap Commission as well as many other organizations. He is an adjunct professor, speaker and writer. His previous educational experience includes serving as an assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Fountain-Fort Carson and Wichita, Kansas Public Schools. He was the principal of a large urban high school in Wichita after moving through the ranks of elementary and middle schools as teacher and principal in the Wichita Public Schools system. Jones was also an operational vice president of Edison Schools, Inc.

Michael Bennet
Superintendent, Denver Public Schools

In June 2005 the Denver Board of Education unanimously appointed Michael F. Bennet Superintendent of Denver Public Schools effective July 11, 2005. Prior to his superintendency Bennet served for two years as the Chief of Staff to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. He has spent half his career in the public sector and half in the private sector. Bennet worked for six years prior to his tenure at the City of Denver as Managing Director for the Anschutz Investment Company in Denver, where he had direct responsibility for the investment of over $500 million. He began his career in government, working as personal assistant to Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste (now president of Colorado College) and later as a law clerk for Judge Francis D. Murnaghan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Following a brief stint at the Washington law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, Bennet returned to the public sector as Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration. Bennet earned his bachelor's degree in history with honors from Wesleyan University and his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of The Yale Law Journal.

J. Wm. Covington
Superintendent, Pueblo City Schools

John Wm. Covington has been superintendent of Pueblo City Schools, a 2007 State of Colorado High Performing school district, since July, 2006.As superintendent, Dr. Covington oversees 37 schools, 17,500 students, approximately 2,500 employees and an annual budget of approximately $192 million.He is guiding the implementation of a community led strategic plan that will lead to the school district to be measured by international standards. Dr. Covington was named a distinguished alumni by Alabama State University, was selected as a Japan Fulbright Scholar in 2005 and received the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education Award in 2007.Dr. Covington was appointed by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter to the P3 Sub-committee of the P-20 Education Coordinating Council and the Online Advisory Board in 2007.Dr. Covington was selected to The Broad Foundation 2008 Class of Fellows, one of only 12 leaders nationwide.He serves on the National Board of Directors for Rural Schools and Communities Trust and the National Board of Directors for Magnet Schools of America where he coordinates Region VIII which includes Colorado, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Dr. Covington earned the B.S., M.S, AA Certification and Ed.S. degrees from Alabama State University. He also holds a M.Ed. Certification from Troy University and an AA Certification and Ed.D. degree from Auburn University. Before coming to Pueblo City Schools,Dr. Covington worked in various Alabama school districts, having served as teacher, counselor, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, executive assistant to the superintendent and superintendent. He has worked in both urban and rural settings where he dealt with many of the problems germane to urban and rural schools.

Mike Campbell
Principal, Fort Lupton High School

Mike Campbell is in his third year as Principal at Ft. Lupton H.S.Previously he was Principal at Brighton High School and has held administrative positions in Brighton and Jefferson County Public Schools.He has extensive experience in professional development and reform and restructure.He has extensive background in working with at-risk youth and developing interventions to elevate student learning.

Kristen Waters
Principal, Bruce Randolph School

Kristin Waters has worked in education for twenty years. She began teaching language arts and French at the middle school level in South Central Los Angeles and then moved to Glendale, California where she worked at both the middle and high school levels coordinating Title 1 and Gifted and Talented education programs. After moving to Colorado, she taught for a semester at Montbello High School and then served as assistant principal at South High School for three years. From 2001 – 2005 She served as principal at Morey Middle School and raised the state ranking of the school from Low to High. In the spring of 2005, Dr. Waters was appointed principal of Bruce Randolph School, the poorest performing middle school in the State of Colorado, and was charged with turning around student academic achievement. She continues in this position and is improving student achievement. Dr. Waters received her BA from the University of California, at Santa Barbara, her MS from Pepperdine University, and her Ph.D. at the University of Denver.

Elaine Grace
Teacher, Language Arts, Monarch High School in Louisville

Elaine Grace has been teaching kids in public schools for the past 23 years. She’s been a Language Arts teacher in Boulder Valley School District for the past eleven years, and at Monarch High School in Louisville, Colorado since it opened in 1998.She is currently the newspaper and yearbook adviser there. She is passionate about practicing soul in education, and teaching journalism and literacy. A graduate of CU Denver, Elaine has a M.A. in Education and is a returned Peace Corps volunteer.

Angela Engel
Parent, Project Director, Children's Action Agenda & outspoken critic of CSAP

Angela Engel is currently the project director for the “Children’s Action Agenda,” a collaborative initiative to address the comprehensive needs of Colorado’s children. Engel has been an advocate for children and families for the past fifteen years. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Business Administration from the University of Denver, and was awarded her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado at Denver. In 1991 she founded University Kids Club, a mentoring and tutoring program for at-risk youth in Denver Public Schools. As an educator, Angela taught elementary school in Douglas County and served as high school instructor and later the Academic Director for the “Denver Street School” – a privately funded, alternative Christian high school providing a “last chance” education to inner city students. Additionally, she created and implemented staff development trainings for 45 National Street Schools. In 2007 Engel ran for the Colorado House of Representatives. Over the past four years, Engel has worked directly with legislators to develop policies that improve learning and opportunities for Colorado’s children.She lectures regularly at Universities and conferences; her book titled, The Children’s Movement; Solutions for Educating America’s future is forthcoming.

Lorrie Shepard
Dean, School of Education, University of Colorado at Boulder

Dr. Lorrie Shepard is Dean of the School of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder.Her research focuses on the technical aspects of test development and the use of tests in educational settings. Technical topics include validity theory, standard setting, and statistical methods for detecting test bias. Her studies evaluating test use include identification of learning disabilities, readiness screening for kindergarten, grade retention, teacher testing, effects of high-stakes accountability testing, and classroom assessment. Dr. Shepard is past president of the American Educational Research Association and currently serves as president of the National Academy of Education.

Suzanne Williams
State Senator (Democrat – Aurora)

Senator Suzanne Williams is beginning her fourth year in the State Senate after serving eight years in the Colorado House of Representatives. Senator Williams is the only registered American Indian state legislator in Colorado. In 2007 Williams was elected Assistant Caucus Chair for the Senate Majority Caucus. Currently, she serves as the Vice Chair of the Transportation Committee, the Legislative Chair for the Early Childhood Commission, and is a member of the Education Committee. Senator Williams has lived in her district for over 30 years. She earned her B.S. from Baylor University and her Masters in Special Education from the University of Colorado. Senator Williams worked for 22 years as a special education teacher in the Cherry Creek School District.