2016-17 Board Priorities, Mission, & Vision
To achieve academic excellence and intercultural competence through language immersion education.
The vision of the school is to become a model of students acquiring superior second language skills as the basis for high overall academic achievement; develop the knowledge and skills in students necessary to be productive and valued citizens in a culturally diverse, global economy; prepare all students to be academically successful in their choice of secondary and post-secondary education options; and to create an innovative school that can be replicated in Colorado and nationally.
The Board of Directors meets on the third Tuesday of each month from 6:00 – 8:30PM at the DLS East Campus at 451 Newport Street, Denver, CO 80220. Should the third Tuesday fall on the 15th of the month, the meeting will be moved to the 4th Tuesday of that month. Click here for more information.
Carter Davidson, Board Chair
Carter's interest in international education was sparked during a summer in Spain in high school. That experience led her to obtain a BA in Spanish and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. After graduating, she worked in the International Education Office at Virginia Commonwealth University where she was able to travel through Latin America as an international student recruiter.
Carter and her husband then moved to Denver for her to pursue an International MBA and Master's in International and Intercultural Communication at the University of Denver. Since graduating from DU, she has spent the last 10 years working in the language services industry as a business development executive helping corporations manage their global expansion efforts.
She is very excited to join the Denver Language School community both as a board member and parent now that her son is a 1st grade student in the Spanish program.
Kate Blanas, Board Vice Chair
Kate Blanas is a veteran world language teacher having taught French, German Spanish and ESL at the middle school and high school levels in the Adams 12 Five Star School district from 1975-2005. After leaving the classroom she served as the Foreign Language District Coordinator from 1995-2004, hiring and mentoring new teachers, leading staff development, training and support as well as curriculum development, implementation and revision. During that period, Kate introduced the district’s Foreign Language in the Elementary School (FLES) program.
Kate served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers (CCFLT) and was the 2003-2004 President of that organization. In addition to leading teachers in our state, Kate represented Colorado at the regional and national levels. She was awarded the highest recognition from CCFLT, the Genevieve Overman Memorial Award.
Later in her career Kate worked in Human Resources as the Coordinator of Alternative Licensure Programs and Educator Licensing in Adams 12. Upon leaving the district Kate spent the next three years working as World Language Coordinator of Douglas County Schools and another year as World Language Coordinator at the Global Village Academy language immersion school in Aurora Public Schools. Her most recent work was a position as Special Programs Coordinator and ESL instructor at Language Consultants International giving private English lessons with international executives.
Kate’s brings a wealth of experience at all levels of world language education to the Denver Language School board and she is ready to go to work.
Rebecca N. Rogers, Treasurer
Rebecca is very excited to be joining the Denver Language School board. She has two children in the Spanish program and really enjoys seeing them grow as part of the DLS community.
Rebecca is a certified public accountant with over 20 years of public accounting experience. She works closely with her clients and provides a wide array of services, including tax compliance and planning for multi-national corporations and individuals, as well as assisting with complex ASC 740 calculations and footnote disclosures.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of Minnesota and her Master of Taxation degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is currently employed by Hein and Associates LLP.
Rebecca is a room parent for both of her children’s classrooms and is active on a number of non-profit boards. She is the former President of the Denver Chapter of the American Wine Society and is currently serving on the Board of Trustees of Historic Denver, and on the finance committee for Project PAVE.
Facilities- East and West
Kenneth is an American-born Chinese person who speaks more French than Chinese. He is currently co-managing the Jeppesen Terminal redevelopment project at Denver International Airport. Kenneth has held a number of management and executive positions with real estate investment, development and consulting companies, including the Trammell Crow Company (TCC) and Cherokee Investment Partners, LLC, a private equity firm with more than $2 billion under management specializing in brownfield redevelopment. He graduated from Stanford University with a degree in urban studies and has a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning and an M.B.A. in real estate finance from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. He lives in Denver with his wife and two sons. Kenneth is active on a number of non-profit boards - he is a former Chair of the Denver Planning Board and is currently on the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation Board.
Lisa Peloso is a mother of twins in the Mandarin program at the Denver Language School. Lisa graduated from Connecticut College in New London, CT, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Social Welfare. During her undergraduate studies, Lisa spent a semester in Bogota, Colombia, where she lived with a Colombian family and studied at La Universidad de los Andes. Lisa went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Following graduate school, Lisa worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 10 years as a social worker in both direct services and program management.
Since her kids started at the Denver Language School in 2011, Lisa has been a very active volunteer in the school’s community. She has served as the PTA president, volunteer coordinator and room parent, and has helped with numerous school programs such as Penny Harvest, the English, Spanish and Mandarin libraries and the school’s green initiatives.
Matt Wagner brings 17 years of diverse issues, business, policy, consumer and integrated marketing communications experience to Ogilvy Public Relations. During his career, Matt’s written Congressional testimony, facilitated local, national and international policy strategy sessions, organized events across Colorado, shot short films and placed stories in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Financial Times, Denver Post, National Public Radio and many, many others.
Currently, Matt oversees a six state effort to help the Federal Emergency Management Agency work with homeowners and state and national policy makers. In that role, Matt serves as the intermediary between highly technical and complex issues and messages and the right messages that will resonate with the target audiences. Matt also co-designed a outreach training curriculum which is being scaled and rolled out nationally.
Matt joined Ogilvy from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) where he was the director of conservation outreach.
Before WWF, Matt worked for award-winning public relations agencies such as Weber Shandwick, Carmichael Lynch Spong and Hill+Knowlton Strategies. During that tenure he worked with member-based organizations such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to rebuild investor confidence in the capital markets and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. This work included outlining the communications strategy among the largest accounting agencies and helping define policy and outreach programs to some of the country’s largest pension and retirement plans.
Matt’s called Denver home for more than 10 years. During that time he’s worked for the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office and represented local clients names such as Clifton Gunderson LLP, AG Edwards, Harley-Davidson and American Humane. His work for American Humane earned the client PR Week’s 2008 Non-Profit Team of the Year. Also, Matt was a founding member of the Alzheimer’s Association, Colorado Chapter’s Young Professionals board.
Matt is an associate fellow at the University of Nebraska’s Center for Great Plains Studies. He earned a double major from Indiana University and a Master’s degree from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, where he finished first in his class
Josh Lin is the English Pastor of Chinese Evangelical Church of Denver, a Chinese immigrant church in the Denver metro area. As a pastor, Josh has been immersed in the Asian community of Denver working with families and individuals, offering the best he can as a cultural exegete.
Josh grew up in Houston, TX and attended the University of Texas at Austin for undergrad, studying Speech Communications. After graduation, he worked for a few years as a stock broker in Austin. He went on to spend 4 years on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship working with a large Asian-American campus ministry. Josh then moved to Chicago to work at a Chinese immigrant church, first as the youth director, and later the English pastor for 5 years. Afterwards he studied at North Park Seminary pursuing his Masters of Divinity. Josh came to the call of being the English Pastor at Chinese Evangelical Church of Denver in Nov 2010.
Doug is a principal of Trailbreak Partners, an independent alternative investment and advisory firm that focuses on niche investing and acquiring control positions in smaller profitable companies and investing in and developing real estate in Colorado. Doug is an expert in urban redevelopment having managed the origination, structuring, and execution of urban infill and environmentally complex real estate developments across the United States for nearly two decades. In Denver, Doug oversaw redevelopment of the former St. Anthony Central Hospital, a 19 acre TOD urban mixed use development and redevelopment of the ASARCO Globe Smelter; a challenging public private partnership and one of Denver area’s most significant remediation and urban redevelopment projects. He is an expert in public finance having originated more than $30 million in financings including negotiation of urban renewal areas, tax increment financing agreements, metropolitan districts, HUD Section 108 loans, and federal and local grants. Currently Doug is overseeing development of a 10-acre Transit Oriented Development (TOD) project in Lakewood, Colorado, a mixed-use and a mixed-income development in Denver, and serves as Owners Representative to the Master Developer of the Clear Creek Transit Village, a 21-acre mixed-use TOD site in Unincorporated Adams County, Colorado.
Doug holds a B.S. in Environmental Health from the University of Georgia and an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado. He is a member of the ULI Urban and Mixed Use Development Council, the Denver Public Schools Bond and Mil Levy Oversight Committee, is a Real Estate Diversity Initiative (REDI) Mentor, and is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Denver. Doug is married with a son and daughter and lives in Denver.
Barbara M. Medina, Ph.D
Dr. Barbara M. Medina has served K-12 students and educators throughout her career. She holds a doctorate in Educational Policy from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
From her first position as a educator serving students in a rural migrant summer program to her leadership at the Colorado Department of Education as Assistant Commissioner she has been actively involved at the district, state and national levels in the areas of language and literacy for diverse populations, cultural and linguistic diversity, qualitative research methods, and school reform.
Grounded in K-12 practice, Dr. Medina began her career as a social studies classroom teacher she served as Coordinator of Secondary Second Language Programs in Boulder Valley Schools. As Professor and Chair of the Department of Teacher Education at Adams State University, Alamosa, Colorado, she accessed federal grants to serve rural districts through graduate programs in Literacy, Special Education, and English Language Development. In 2006 Dr. Medina was appointed as Director of the Office of Language, Culture, and Equity at the Colorado Department of Education.
Dr. Medina’s most recent administrative position was as Director of English Language Acquisition, Denver Public Schools. Dr. Medina worked to re-negotiate the modified consent decree with the Office of Civil Rights. In the spring of 2013, Dr. Medina began work as an Educational Consultant. Her consulting is known as 3milagrosconsulting, appointed as an adjunct faculty she has worked with the University of Denver, University of Colorado at Boulder, Regis University, Aurora Public Schools, DELTA schools a charter school incubator firm. Beginning in 2013 to the present she consults with IMEC, the Interstate Migrant Education Council on issues and policy development for Migrant students on several projects including reauthorization of ESEA and “Promising Practices in Migrant Education”. She is also currently affiliated with MPI, (Migration Policy Institute, Washington DC) as an MPI Associate on migration policy issues, the education of immigrant and refugee students, teacher professional development for students learning English as a second Language.
Dr. Medina has served on several boards including CASE (Colorado Association of School Executives and Education Specialists), Diversity and CAES, CABE (Colorado Association of Bilingual Education). Dr. Medina recently completed two terms on the City of Denver’s Denver Human Rights Council, Appointed by Denver Mayor’s Hickenlooper and Hancock to the Latino Commission.
After being involved in numerous children’s nonprofit organizations throughout his professional career, such as United Way, Boys & Girls Clubs, HALO Worldwide, Heart and Hand Center, and Denver Children’s Advocacy Center, Randy agreed to pursue a volunteer opportunity with DLS after being approached by one his clients. Randy is passionate about giving disadvantaged children a hand-up. Although he doesn’t have any children of his own, he has always been committed to helping children grow up as strong and healthy as they possibly can – both mentally and physically.
Randy received his Bachelors of Science degree in Marketing from Regis University graduating Magna Cum Laude. He also received a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Regis University graduating with honors.
Randy has spent his professional career in various senior and executive level marketing positions for companies such as Comcast, Charter Communications, Travelocity and Sabre Holdings. Currently, Randy is a full-time professional real estate agent specializing in helping his clients navigate Denver’s real estate market. He loves what he does and doesn’t ever picture himself in any other career.
Randy’s greatest pleasure is spending time with his friends and family. A Colorado Native that was raised in a small farming community on the eastern plains, Randy currently lives in central Denver with his family.
Corelle M. Spettigue
Corelle is an attorney in Denver, working as a Senior Assistant Attorney General within the Health Care Unit of the Office of the Colorado Attorney General. In that role, she represents the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing on a full range of health-related enforcement, regulatory, procurement and compliance matters. Outside of her professional endeavors, Corelle is also an active community member who contributes her time to organizations such as the Denver Women’s Commission, the Colorado Supreme Court Character and Fitness Committee, Law School Yes We Can Mentorship Program, the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance, and the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, to name a few. Although she was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and lived there until she was 5 years old, Corelle considers Colorado to be home. She received her B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2002, and then went on to law school and received her J.D. from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers School of Law in 2007. She is a mother of twins in the Denver Language School’s Spanish program and is delighted to see their progress. From her own personal experience, Corelle places a high value on bilingual education and the benefits that will inevitably follow anyone who is fortunate enough to have learned multiple languages at an early age.