I am absolutely elated and honored to be given this incredible opportunity to lead a school that was designed with such intention, vision, and heart. It is clear from my visits and interactions with the staff, students, and parents that Isabella Bird is on the forefront of innovation and school reform. Our school's founding leader, Sonny Zinn, has already become my unofficial mentor as I've reached out to her throughout this selection process. Someone told me at the Community Forum that I had the "Sonny Juju." I embrace this as a HUGE compliment. It is hard to believe, but I will be entering my 29th year in elementary education this fall. My first principal position was in Durango, CO where I served for seven years and was one of the longest sitting principals. During this time, I was awarded "Rookie Principal of the Year" by the Colorado Association of Elementary School Principals. Currently, I am completing my third year as principal of an elementary school in Boulder Valley School District.
My diverse experience in elementary education has confirmed for me that each school culture is unique and complex-- this is what makes educational leadership intriguing and most gratifying. Schools are exciting places. They are thoughtful, reflective, engaging, and engaged. They are where meaning is made through a spirit of shared inquiry, and where both adults and children are encouraged to take risks and grow. My motivation for shifting into leadership after 18 wonderful years of teaching is rooted in these ideals.
The transition stage of our journey will be focused on getting to know each other. I'm here to listen, observe, ask questions, and be visible. My commitment to servant leadership and my passion for improving schools shine through in my energy and enthusiasm. You will find my non-negotiables are equity, safety, collaboration, growth, and student achievement.
I am so excited and honored to join the Isabella Bird community! The opportunity to join and help lead a school committed to innovation, student success and a mission to create global citizens could not be more exciting or more aligned with my own beliefs about the purpose of education. I simply cannot wait to get started and to get to know the entire Izzi B community!
I am a native of Colorado, born in Boulder and raised in the woods outside Nederland. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree, Teaching Certificate, and Master’s Degree all at the University of Colorado in Boulder (I spent 10 years as a student at CU!). I began my teaching career (13 years ago!) at Lafayette Elementary in Lafayette, Colo., where I spent five years teaching 4th grade.
The 2018-19 school year will be my ninth year in Denver Public Schools (DPS). In DPS, I spent two years teaching 4th grade at Fairmont ECE-8, two years teaching 4th grade at Denver Green School, and the past four years teaching 4th and 5th grade at Cory Elementary. While at Cory, I also worked as a Senior Team Lead, spending half of my workday teaching and the other half coaching and evaluating teachers and serving on the school leadership team. This work inspired me to pursue school leadership. Accordingly, in the summer of 2017, I enrolled in the University of Denver Ritchie Program for School Leaders: Executive Leadership for Successful Schools program.
Outside of teaching and education, I love spending time with my wife, Sierra, and my 4-year-old son, Odin. Being a Colorado native, I also love skiing, hiking, running, fly-fishing and any other activity that involves spending time in the mountains.
Again, I am so honored and excited to become part of the Izzi B community. I look forward to meeting many of you at our upcoming meet and greets, as well as throughout the upcoming school year.