Historic Firsts for DPS Board of Education

Denver Board of Education members, from left to right, Barbara O’Brien, Lisa Flores, Jennifer Bacon, Happy Haynes, Carrie Olson, Anne Rowe and Angela Cobián.

For the first time in the school district’s 114-year history, women completely comprise the Board of Education for Denver Public Schools. Denver voters recently elected Angela Cobián (Southwest Denver), Carrie Olson(Central/East Denver) and Jennifer Bacon (Northeast Denver), as well as returning Board Member Barbara O’Brien (at-large citywide).

The governing body for Colorado’s largest school district also includes the following already seated board members: President Anne Rowe representing District 1: Southeast, board member Lisa Flores representing District 5: Northwest and board member Happy Haynes representing the city at-large.

“I am deeply honored to work with this amazing group of people who are stepping up to guide the district and serve the community,” said President Anne Rowe. “Together, we are all committed to ensuring Every Child Succeeds while being role models to our young girls who aspire to lead.”

Board member Angela Cobián, who is 28, is Denver Public Schools’ youngest board member ever. She taught second- and third-grade literacy for English Language Learners (ELA-S) in Denver Public Schools.

“My goal is to ensure that all of our more than 92,000 children receive the best educational opportunities from start to finish,” said Cobián. “I am honored to do the important work of continuing to raise student achievement as students prepare for college and a career, improving social and economic mobility for themselves and their families.”

In 2013, Cobián was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to consult with the NGO Enseña Por Mexico on program development for student-led social change initiatives, as well as teach English at the National Pedagogical University in Mexico City. She is also a former trustee of the Colorado College, and served on the Community Planning and Advisory Committee (CPAC) for the 2016 Bond and Mill Levy. In 2013, she returned to the school where she previously taught to serve as a bilingual community organizer for Together Colorado. She continues her advocacy work as the manager of organizing strategy for Leadership for Educational Equity for Denver and Memphis.