Community Members Welcome new DPS Superintendent

Published: August 17, 2021

Community members welcome new DPS superintendent with open arms, watchful eyes

Sports. The English language. Mental healthcare. Lunch.

These were among the concerns more than 50 parents of Denver Public Schools students and other education advocates brought to the district’s new superintendent, Alex Marrero, when he met and greeted them at the campus of Kepner Beacon Middle School on Tuesday.

Once Marrero sat down with the parents, DPS faculty and staff, and members of Denver education advocacy groups, TeRay Esquibel, co-founder and director of the DPS alumni organization Ednium, facilitated the conversation.

The first question Esquibel asked the superintendent: “What assumptions have you held that you had to let go in order to get to where you’re at, and how is that going to help you in this job?”

The Bronx-born-and-raised former interim superintendent of the City School District of New Rochelle, N.Y. admitted he at first had doubts about his new environment. He spoke candidly about those doubts and how they’ve been alleviated as he grew more familiar with the Denver community.

“My preconceived notions were, ‘Is this just another gig?’ ‘Is it something to wipe the slate clean?’ ‘Am I going to be seen as the token Latino? A token replacement?’ I had those doubts,” Marrero said. “I can erase that from my mind, because as much as I interact with you all, I realize what you want is stability — someone who’s going to stay the course, not someone who’s going to fly in and fly out.”

Read more from T. Michael Boddie in Boardhawk here.