Commissioner of Education, Colorado

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Susana Cordova is commissioner of education for the Colorado Department of Education. She was previously superintendent of Denver Public Schools, and deputy superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District in Texas.

Córdova spent more than 20 years with Denver Public Schools and began her career as a bilingual teacher at Horace Mann Middle School in Denver. From there, she moved to West High School, where she taught both English and English as a second language, and was recruited for the Denver Public Schools Leadership Academy. She served as assistant principal at Bryant-Webster Elementary for a year before becoming principal of Remington Elementary, a school with a 95 percent poverty rate.

While at Remington, Cordova helped the school develop a comprehensive Title I plan and led the implementation of a visionary program of integrated literacy instruction. During her tenure as principal, Remington improved by more than 33 percent over four years on the state reading assessment.

A member of the second cohort of the Future Chiefs leadership development program, Cordova earned her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Denver and a master’s in curriculum and instruction/education administration from the University of Colorado. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in education by the University of Denver.