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 Apr. 23, 2018

Why Is Oklahoma City Blocking This School for Native American Kids?

Having grown up on a reservation in Reno, Nevada, Phil Gover of Oklahoma is committed to improving education for Native American students. In the summer…

By Erika Sanzi

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Posted Apr. 20, 2018

Everyone Keeps Talking About Implicit Racial Bias But What Is It?

Over the last few days, I’ve been tackling implicit bias with my eighth-graders. I mean, if Starbucks can shut down for a day to learn…

By Tom Rademacher

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Posted Apr. 24, 2018

Why Are White People So Afraid of Immigrant Kids?

Not long ago I was in Wilmington, Delaware—reporting another story—and I visited Academia Antonia Alonso, a two-way dual immersion charter school where over half the…

By Conor P. Williams

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