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2024 CPAC: District-Proposed Projects

Learn more about the projects for committee consideration.

Community Planning & Advisory Committee

The 2024 Community Planning and Advisory Committee (CPAC) plays a critical role in creating a bond package proposal that, if approved by the Denver Board of Education, will be presented to Denver voters in November 2024. The committee members will examine the needs of schools across the district and work together to prepare recommendations on air conditioning, building maintenance, and improving safety and technology, among other essential investments.

Public Comment

Guidelines for Public Comment at a CPAC Subcommittee Meeting
  • To sign up for public comment, please go to the individual subcommittee page and click the button to sign up.

  • The link for the meeting will be live a week in advance and either closed when we hit capacity for the meeting or 24 hours before the meeting.

  • There will be 20 minutes available at the beginning of each subcommittee for public comment.

  • Individuals will have two minutes to speak; groups will have six minutes.

  • Letters and videos will also be accepted for the subcommittee to review. Please email CPAC@dpsk12.net

2024 CPAC Meetings

In the last week of January, DPS’ 2024 Community Planning and Advisory Committee (CPAC) met for their first full meeting hosted by Montbello High School! The CPAC are volunteer committee members who play a critical role in creating a bond package proposal that, if approved by the Denver Board of Education, will be presented to Denver voters in November 2024. We interviewed a few of our new members in this special recap video!

2024 Subcommittees

Enabling Conditions

Subcommittee

Pursuit of Passion
Subcommittee

Safe & Welcoming Environments Subcommittee

2024 Committee Co-Chairs

We looked for leaders who believe in the transformative power of education, who uphold the value of accountability in their own lives and careers, and those who have a proclivity towards acts of collaboration. We searched for community-centric leaders, people who thrive on contributing to successful outcomes for their communities.

Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero

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Albus Brooks

At the core of Albus Brooks’ identity is community development and servant leadership. Albus moved to Colorado in 1997 to study and play football for the University of Colorado. Sports illustrated named him one of the Top 10 Hardest Hitters, and the NFL took interest in him before injuries ultimately ended his football career. Albus Brooks pursued his calling for community development by working with young people in Denver’s Poor communities. He served as the Director of the Issachar Center for Urban leadership, and organization that invests in Denver’s emerging leaders. In 2010 Albus worked to elect then-Mayor John Hickenlooper as Governor of Colorado, acting as the statewide Outreach and Political Director. This exposure to political leadership led him to seek public office, and in 2011 Albus defeated 38 opponents to become the youngest African American ever elected to Denver City Council. Serving two terms on Denver City Council, including two terms as Council President, Albus accomplished, an ambitious range of progressive legislative victories with the goal of building a truly inclusive city. Albus Brooks received his M.B.A. from the University of Denver. He is now the Vice President of Business Development and Public Affairs for Milender White, a Development and Construction firm operating in Southern California and Colorado. Albus sits on multiple boards and commissions and has been a part of the following national and international fellowship programs: The Marshall Memorial Fellowship, the NewDeal Leaders, and the Aspen Institute - Rodel Fellowship. Although a rising global leader, it is in the heart of Denver where Albus feels most at home. He lives in Five Points/RiNo with his three young children, Makai, Kenya and Kaya.

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Mike Ferrufino

Mike currently serves as the President and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Colorado, the oldest and largest minority business organization in the state. He brings a strong understanding of the Hispanic community and the business issues of many Hispanic organizations to his work. He has often used this understanding to help shape regulatory and legislative strategy. Mike has significant experience developing complex business strategies and leading strategic partnerships while serving as the Vice President and General Manager of Latino Communications, a local, minority-owned Denver-based media company that owns and operates Spanish language radio stations in Colorado that reaches over 200,000 Hispanic listeners weekly. Mike has worked in numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Colorado Children’s Campaign, Robby’s Friends, Mi Casa, the Hispanic Chamber Education Foundation, Denver Health Foundation, Denver Public Schools Foundation, Visit Denver and Susan G. Komen Colorado. He is most passionate about empowering traditionally underserved populations to close educational achievement gaps, pediatric oncology, mental health awareness and the opportunities and challenges of the Hispanic business community as a whole.

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Kourtny Garrett

Education is integral to building a Great City, and with the Downtown Denver Partnership’s mission of building a great city for all, providing a variety of accessible, high quality schools at all levels of learning is imperative.  Furthermore, I am a DPS parent! The Downtown Denver Partnership announced Kourtny Garrett as its President and CEO in January 2022. Garrett joined the Partnership from Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI), where she served as President and CEO for nearly seven years. With 25 years of experience in the development of livable communities, Garrett is fueled by a passion for cities.  Her expertise is rooted in building social, cultural and economic vibrancy, creating places for people that provide access and opportunity for all.  The mantra of her life and her work follows the great Jane Jacobs’, “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” While in Dallas, Garrett steered the revitalization of Downtown through a period that included more than $11 billion of investment, public-private partnerships that brought more than 40 vacant buildings back to life, and a steady rise in residents from just a few hundred to more than 13,000. Included in that work was integration into dozens of transformative developments in a facilitating role between the public and private sectors, convening surrounding communities, and urban design, connectivity and use plans.  She also led the creation and implementation of the community-based Downtown area plan, Downtown Dallas 360, which was twice adopted unanimously by the Dallas City Council (2007 origination; 2011 update) and involved more than 40 neighborhood organizations. Some of her most proud achievements include a decade-long process to create Downtown Dallas’ first public elementary school and establishing partnerships that led to the development of 5 signature Downtown parks and subsequent management of the spaces.  Prior to her work in Downtown Dallas, Garrett led community relations work for Children’s Health, with particular focus on hospital network expansion. Her career started in community relations, government relations and retail development at a then-new lifestyle center in Southlake, Texas. Garrett is a Marshall Memorial Fellow and an honorary member of the Texas Society of Architects and AIA-Dallas. She is a several-time honoree of many Dallas-based media awards such as Forty Under 40 (2009), 78 Women Who Make Dallas Great (2021) and Dallas-Fort Worth’s 500 Most Influential Business Leaders (2016-2021). In addition, her long-standing commitment to the Dallas community included roles on Dallas ISD’s Business Advisory Board, and the Boards of Directors of Children’s Health, the Dallas Regional Chamber and a list that includes several more public, non-profit and community organizations. Garrett has expanded her work nationally and internationally through research and participation in the International Downtown Association, German Marshall Foundation, Brookings Institute and the International Business of Cities. She has published through many of these organizations, working toward the health and vitality of city centers across the globe. Garrett, originally from Colorado, was selected to lead the Downtown Denver Partnership from over 400 candidates through a national executive search. She took the helm of the organization in January 2022. In Denver, Garrett is proud to sit on the Board of Directors of Visit Denver and the Advisory Board of the CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning. Most recently, she had the honor of serving as a co-chair of newly elected Denver Mayor Mike Johnston’s transition organization, Vibrant Denver.  One of her most proud moments since joining the Downtown Denver Partnership team has been the launch of “Together We Will,” a public health and safety initiative that mobilizes over 50 business and neighborhood organizations, along with social service providers, the City and County of Denver, RTD, the Attorney General for the State of Colorado and the U.S. Attorney’s for the District of Colorado. Garrett graduated Manga Cum Laude and with Honors with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and pursued a masters in Urban Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington. She also attended the University of London while working at CNBC Europe.

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James Mejía

James Mejía is the Chief Strategy Officer in the Office of the President at Metropolitan State University of Denver. In that capacity, he is responsible for new campus infrastructure, data and analytics, and implementing the 2030 Strategic Plan. He finds himself at home in the highly mission-driven university with over 50% first generation students and over 50% students of color. Having spent his early career in City of Denver and State of Colorado government service, Mejía was recruited by former Denver Mayors John Hickenlooper and Wellington Webb to lead and manage some of the city’s most important, complex and challenging agencies and capital projects. He served as the founding president and CEO of the nationally recognized Denver Preschool Program as well as project manager for the $425 million bond project to build the Denver Justice Center. Mejía also served in Webb’s Cabinet as manager of the Department of Parks and Recreation; deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade; and executive director for the Agency for Human Rights and Community Relations; and was president and COO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. His 2011 mayoral run ended with Mejía in third place among the 10 candidates in what was Denver’s closest mayoral race in history. A lifelong volunteer and community servant, Mejía was the first Latino elected citywide to serve a four- year role as at-large member of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education. His contributions led to being named 2009 Community Leader of the Year by 9News and the Denver Chamber Leadership Foundation. Additionally, Mejía was named an American Marshall Memorial Fellow through the German Marshall Fund and was twice invited to participate in the International Career Advancement Program at the Aspen Institute. He was also a Gates Family Foundation Fellow at Harvard University’s program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. “James embodies so many of the values we encourage in our students,” said President Janine Davidson, Ph.D. “His tenacity and personal commitment to education and public service make him a wonderful fit for this role and for MSU Denver. His ideas, experience and ability to build strong and equitable relationships across organizations and sectors will help put MSU Denver at the forefront of important conversations and really showcase the institution as an anchor, partner and changemaker.” The ninth of 13 children born to educators David and Ophelia Mejía, Mejía is highly invested in his community. He graduated from Denver’s East High School before earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University (where he was a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma national honor society) and a master’s degree in Public Policy from Princeton University, where he studied policy issues at the municipal, state and federal levels. He has eagerly and passionately applied his education and experience to improving the city and state. In his free time, Mejía is an avid ice-hockey and tennis player, a 73-time marathon finisher and a self- described terrible skier. He is father to three daughters, two university sophomores and a ninth-grader who is “a beast on the soccer pitch.” “In our home, my three girls and I remind each other of our four household rules: First, always try your best; second, there is always an opportunity to learn something new; third, be a community player and bring something valuable to your team, work group or community; and finally, have fun,” Mejía said. “We apply those rules whether we are playing sports, going to school or working.”

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Simone D. Ross

Simone D. Ross, a Colorado native and influential leader from Denver's Park Hill neighborhood, is a trailblazer in fostering human thriving and organizational excellence. Her extensive experience in change management and community building underpins her commitment to creating inclusive and equitable systems within organizations. As the CEO of the Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce and the Executive Director of the Colorado Women's Chamber Foundation, Simone has been instrumental in driving initiatives to make Colorado the leading state for women entrepreneurs. She is also the founder of Simone D. Ross, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in change management, and the CEO of SDR Events. Additionally, Simone leads Youth United University, an innovative leadership program for middle school students focused on inclusive practices. Simone's extensive corporate background is marked by significant roles at Kaiser Permanente, Delta Dental of Colorado, SCL Health, and The Riveter. Her contributions in these positions have notably impacted business development, mergers and acquisitions, and market expansion. A respected academic, Simone holds an M.A. and M.B.A. from Colorado State University. Her professional excellence has garnered her several accolades including COBiz Gen XYZ Most Influential, Denver Business Journal's "Outstanding Women in Business" and "40 Under 40" honoree, and recognition as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Business by the Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce. An accomplished public speaker, Simone has shared her insights on various prestigious platforms, including TEDx. She is renowned for her engaging speeches that not only inspire but also provide practical strategies for implementing systems of equity in business environments. In the realm of curriculum development, Simone has created and facilitated numerous training programs aimed at equipping business leaders with the skills and knowledge to foster equitable and inclusive workplaces. These programs are tailored to guide leaders in understanding and implementing systemic changes that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Simone's commitment to her community is evident in her board service roles with Girls Inc. of Metro Denver, the Colorado Enterprise Fund, and the Economic Development Association for Black Communities. A devoted mother to her children, Gavin and Zoe, Simone continues to inspire through her dedication to creating a positive and lasting impact in both her professional and personal life.

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Mary Seawell

Mary Seawell is a long-time supporter and champion for Denver Public Schools.  Her three daughters all graduated from DPS and are now in college. In 2009, Mary was elected as an at-large member to the DPS Board of Education serving first as its treasurer and then its president. Mary campaigned throughout Denver to help pass the 2012 bond and mill levy which at the time was the largest in Denver history.  Mary has served on the boards of three charter schools: Compass Academy, the Odyssey School, and the Denver Language School. She also represented DPS as a member of the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning BOCES. Mary received a regional Emmy for her role as Executive Producer of “Standing in the Gap,” a documentary exploring the history of Denver Public Schools’ efforts to integrate and close achievement and opportunity gaps for students. Mary helped to create and launch Denver’s first autonomous innovation zone, the Luminary Learning Network (LLN), and RootED, Denver’s education quarterback.  Mary is the founder and CEO of Lyra Colorado, an education ecosystem builder. Lyra works directly with students, educators, school districts, and communities to create proof points that demonstrate how education innovation can work in practice. Lyra then builds policy, advocacy, communications, and funding strategies to make the initiatives financially and politically sustainable. Lyra’s two main initiatives are supporting DPS’ Innovation Zones and Climatarium which works with rural Colorado communities to create college and career pathways related to the impacts of climate change.   Mary has a JD from the University of Denver and a BA in Journalism and Philosophy from American University.

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2024 Committee Members

Ale Spray

Alex Agne

Alex Fleming

Alexia Mayhue

Allison Rankin

Anabell Hernandez

Anjelique Morine

April Martinez

Becca Norris

Becky Lauriha

Bre Donnelly Dovas

Brian Fun

Brian McPeek

Carol Boigon

Cary Weatherford

Chandi Aldena-Somerville

Chevy Lowe

Cody Ostenson

Damian Smith

Dan Culhane

Danicka Thomas

Dedrick Sims

Diana Adelina Silva Contreras

Dimpna Flores Guerra (Nina Flores)

Dr. John Henry Adams III

Dr. Maria Falcón

Ean Thomas Tafoya

Elisha Roberts

Emily Lockwood

Erica Carlson

Fran Coleman

Giselle Arroyo

Gladys Soto

Jodi Henni

John Albright

Jonell Pineda

Joy Delizo-Osborne

Justin Gilmore

Kourtney Johnson

Leonardo Ruiz

Lulu Lantzy

Marvin Earle

Matthew T. Carroll

Melissa Janiszewski

Michael Vigil

Miguel Gonzales

Nick Nelson

Nick Rising

Noah Shurz

Noah Stout

Pamela Kaspar

Pamela Stigall

Raghav Mathur

Ray Khan

Renae Bellew

Robyn Lopez

Roland Shaw

Russell Welch

Sean Camacho

Sean Powers

Shaneequa Wilson

Skye O'Toole

Steve Federico

Steve Smith

Taamiti Bankole

Thomas Wildman

Todd Nielsen

Tran Nguyen-Wills

Vernon Jones Jr.

Victoria Scott-Haynes

Virginia Delgado-Donis

Yesica Escalante

CPAC Members by the Numbers

  • 72 Members

  • 22 Latinx / Chicano / Hispanic (30.6%)

  • 14 Black / African-American (19.4%)

  • 25 White (34.7%)

  • 7 Asian (9.7%)

  • 1 Native American / American Indian / Indigenous (1.4%)

  • 3 Not Indicated (4.2%)

  • 9 Charter-Affiliated (12.5%)

  • 40 Parents (55.6%)

  • 2 Administrators (2.8%)

  • 6 Teachers (8.3%)

  • 2 Students (2.8%)

Board District Members

  • District 1: 9 Members

  • District 2: 10 Members

  • District 3: 12 Members

  • District 4: 19 Members

  • District 5: 10 Members

  • District At-large: 12 Members

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