Denver School Board Primer

The Denver Public Schools Board of Education is the policy making body for Denver Public Schools.  There are seven members; five of these represent specific districts, and there are two at-large members, representing the entire city.

The five districts are:

District One: Southeast Denver

Represented By Anne Rowe, Board President, Term: 2015-2019

District Two: Southwest Denver

Represented By Rosemary Rodriguez, Term: 2013 – 2017

District Three: Central Denver

Represented By Mike Johnson, Board Treasurer, Term: 2013 – 2017

District Four: Northeast Denver

Represented By Rachele C. Espiritu, Ph.D., Term: 2016-2017

District Five: Northwest Denver, Lisa Flores, Term: 2015-2019

At Large, Vice President, Barbara O’Brien, Term: 2013 – 2017

At Large, Board Secretary, Allegra “Happy” Haynes, Term: 2015-2019

Elections are held in November of odd years.  Terms are four years, and elections are staggered so that some years there are three elections, and other years there are four elections.  For example, there were three elections in 2015: district one, five, and one at-large seat.  In 2017, there will be four elections: district two, three, four, and the other at-large seat.  Board members are limited to two terms.  Elections are governed by the secretary of state.  Unlike most other elections in Colorado, there are no contribution limits to Denver school board candidates.  Individuals or groups may contribute tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to a single candidate.

The board of education is responsible for making policy for Denver Public Schools.  Example policy decisions that the board makes are: hiring of the superintendent, budgeting decisions, school closures, approval of new schools, facility placements, curriculum, testing, and school and teacher evaluation criteria.

The superintendent is not part of the board of education, and does not have any voting power.  He/she is the only person the board of education hires.

If a member of the board of education resigns, the remaining board members appoint a new member.  If a majority of board members cannot agree on a candidate, the board president may appoint a new member.

DPS employees cannot be members of the school board. This prevents active teachers from being school board members.

School board positions are unpaid.

Contact the Board:
Board of Education
Emily Griffith Campus
1860 Lincoln Street
Denver, CO 80203


This article is a good source for the history of the school board through the Reform movement.