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New leadership takes helm at Denver Public Schools Board of Education

New Denver School Board members sworn in, make changes to positions
New Denver School Board members sworn in, make changes to positions 01:53

The Denver Public Schools Board of Education has new faces, and the promise of a new direction after three new members were ushered into office last month. They took the oath of office at the end of a tumultuous year - including the district's response to shootings at East High School.  One of the new members was a principal at East.


On Friday, the newest members took the oath and their new positions on the board.

Former East High School principal John Youngquist was elected secretary, northwest Denver parent Marlene De La Rosa elected vice president and educator Kimberlee Sia, who represents southeast Denver will serve as treasurer.

They are assuming leadership after strong criticism over student safety, a controversial discipline policy, and the outgoing board's frequent infighting.  The prior board was often called "dysfunctional" and a Resign DPS Board movement gained some traction. The new board will have a different relationship with Superintendent Alex Marrero, and he will likely face stronger oversight.

New DPS board as of December 1, 2023, with Superintendent Alex Marrero. Denver Public Schools

New member Youngquist said, "I'm proud of DPS and absolutely committed to the success of this board, our students and our schools. And I will work hard with this school board and in partnership to support efforts of our school staff in ways that matter most."           

Dr. Carrie A. Olson, a longtime teacher in DPS, will once again hold the role of board president.

Board members Scott Esserman, Michelle Quattlebaum, and Xochitl Gaytan face re-election bids in two years, and Olson will be term limited.

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