Susana Cordova currently serves as deputy superintendent of leading and learning at Dallas Independent School District, a system with nearly 154,000 students and 230 schools. Prior to Dallas, she was superintendent of Denver Public Schools (DPS). Cordova spent more than 20 years in DPS, serving as a teacher or school leader at the elementary, middle, and high school levels before being named superintendent.

She began her career as a bilingual teacher at Denver’s Horace Mann Middle School. From there, she moved to West High School, where she taught both English and English as a second language, and was recruited for the DPS 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. In 2002, Cordova was recruited to the district level to broaden her impact.

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.