Tonda has many years of experience in the field of education. She led Park Hill Elementary for eight years before formally retiring from DPS. She was subsequently recruited by Advancement Via Individual Determination to provide professional development for elementary principals and teachers across the country in a set of strategies to close opportunity gaps, so that more of our children can participate in traditionally tracked classes. Most recently, Tonda served as Interim Principal at Hill Campus of Arts and Sciences; she was there at the end of the year through the conversion to all remote teaching/learning, which helped prepare her to now assume a collaborative leadership role at Izzi B. She grew up in rural Ohio in a family of educators (her parents served as teachers, coaches, principals, Knox County Elementary Principal Supervisor, director of a vocational school, and superintendents). Her daughter teaches first grade in Boulder, and her husband, Ken Howe, recently retired as a professor in the School of Education at University of Colorado in Boulder. Tonda has lived in Colorado since 1972, so she's almost a native.
Rebecca is excited for the opportunity to serve the Isabella Bird Community in a new leadership role. This is her seventh year with Denver Public Schools and at IBCS school. She began her teaching career in 2002 in Tampa, Fla., as a special education teacher and later returned to graduate school to earn her Master’s Degree in education with a focus on gifted and talented. Her husband’s career moved her family to Colorado and led her to our community at Isabella Bird. Our community’s values of empathy, engaging and meaningful learning, innovative practices, distributive and shared teacher leadership, academic excellence and social justice, deeply align with her own values. She is humbled by the opportunity to serve our teachers, students and the community by empowering and uplifting others. Her beliefs lie in ensuring the academic success of all of our children - elevating the learning capacity of our students by developing their habits of mind and cognitive skills to become lifelong independent learners. Outside of school, her passions include playing the piano, listening to music, reading, jigsaw puzzles and anything outdoors with her family, including her two children, Zachary (13) and Zoey (11), who inspire her each and every day.