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. 7, 2020

James Baldwin’s ‘Talk to Teachers’ Is Just as Relevant Today

As I sit here, processing my thoughts on the severity of events that are currently grappling our nation, I reflect on the historical circumstances that…

By Jorge Santos

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Posted Aug. 10, 2020
African Girl reading text book

If You Want Justice, Teach Kids How to Read

In 1990, I was a brand-new teacher in an unusual environment: a Chicago alternative high school where teens and young adults could earn their diplomas…

By Maureen Kelleher

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Posted Aug. 10, 2020
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America, I Know You’re Tired: A Letter From a Virtual Teacher

Dear America, Let me get this out of the way first thing: I am a public school teacher, and I wish I were in the…

By Jay Wamsted

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