Theresa Peña

Education Leader

Denver, Colorado

Theresa Peña is an accomplished education leader and is well known throughout Colorado as a strong voice for student-centered school improvements and as an outspoken advocate for educational equity. She was twice elected as an at-large representative on the Denver Board of Education. She served from 2003 to 2011 and was the Board President from 2005 to 2009.

Currently she is working as a Breakfast Partner with Hunger Free Colorado to assist the Denver Public Schools with the Breakfast After the Bell initiative. Prior to that, she was at the Colorado Children’s Campaign as a Senior Education Fellow, working with statewide education organizations on the Integration Project, which supports higher learning standards for Colorado. Theresa also served the City of Denver as the Executive Director of the Denver Education Compact, a cradle-to-career initiative launched by Mayor Michael Hancock to bring together many different agencies to focus on accelerating educational improvements—from preschool through college—for children in Denver. She is a board member of the Denver Preschool Program, the Denver Community Health Services and the Colorado Community College System.

A Denver native, Theresa has a B.A. in sociology from Pomona College in California and a master’s in business administration from Cornell University in New York state. She has two children, one who graduated from the Denver Public Schools and one who is still in DPS, and her husband is a veterinary ophthalmologist.

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Posted Aug. 15, 2017

Everyone Is Entitled to an Opinion on Charter Schools But Parents Deserve the Final Say

Over the last year we’ve seen the NAACP come out forcefully against charter schools. We’ve seen the Trump administration support choice in ways that have…

By Lane Wright

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Posted Aug. 15, 2017

Every Book You Teach Is a Political Choice. Make It a Step Towards Social Justice.

At NNSTOY’s (National Network of State Teachers of the Year) conference last July, civil rights educator Sharif El-Mekki delivered a moving presentation that ended with…

By Topher Kandik

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Posted Aug. 14, 2017

Sure, You Hate Trump, But Can You Tell Your Students That?

Is it OK to hate the president? Yes. Is it OK to hate the president from the front of the classroom? That’s harder. As teachers…

By Tom Rademacher

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