By Kelly Werthmann
DENVER (CBS4)– With the New Year will come a new superintendent for Denver Public Schools. Susana Cordova, now the former deputy superintendent, will replace Tom Boasberg, who spent a decade as DPS Superintendent.
“I can’t even tell you how excited I am,” Cordova told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann, while walking the halls of her elementary schools. “When I was a student here I couldn’t have imagined getting to the point where I would become the superintendent of Denver Public Schools.”
Cordova is a proud DPS graduate – attending Barnum Elementary, Kepner Legacy Middle School, and Abraham Lincoln High — and has deep roots in her hometown district.
“It’s really been my home away from home,” she said.
She began her teaching career in 1989 as a bilingual secondary teacher then became a principal before moving on to district leadership.
“I’m a DPS parent, I live in this city and I know the school district in Denver really matters to our city,” she said. “Our city has improved because our school have improved. What happens in Denver really matters to me.”
Cordova said reflecting on her past will help her create a better future for DPS students.
“I had a great education in the Denver Public Schools,” she said. “I had terrific teachers and wonderful opportunities, but it really was not the norm for everyone.
One of her top goals as superintendent, she said, is really embracing the diversity of Colorado’s largest school district.
“The vast majority of our kids in Denver come from very diverse homes,” Cordova said. “We have over 135 languages spoken in DPS. Every single classroom needs to welcome all of our kids in and nurture them with the belief that they can excel. That warm and welcoming environment needs to be coupled with strong instructional excellence.”
Knowing there will be challenges ahead – such as the district’s budget and greater compensation for teachers, Cordova said – she is ready to lead her district down a path of success.
“I am where I am because of the opportunities that I’ve had and the education that I’ve had,” she said. “I know that what we can do for our kids.”
Cordova will begin her new role in January 2019, after the terms of her contract are completed.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.