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Audience in Lecture

FELLOW

SUSANA CORDOVA

DIRECTORY |  FELLOW PROFILE

SUSANA CORDOVA

TITLE 

Commissioner

ORGANIZATION

Colorado Department of Education

BIOGRAPHY

Susana Cordova serves as the 18th Commissioner of Education for the Colorado Department of Education and is the first Latina to hold this position. She has worked in K-12 education for over 34 years, serving as a superintendent, deputy superintendent, systems leader, principal and teacher. She started her career as a bilingual teacher in Denver, Colorado where she grew up and went to school. As superintendent in Denver, Susana led significant improvements in student outcomes, including an 8% increase in graduation rates for African American Students and a 10% improvement in Latino/a student graduation rates. In 2020, under her leadership, students completed more than 31,000 rigorous courses with a passing rate of 89%, and elementary multilingual students outperformed their peers across the state in reading.

Susana also worked at Transcend, a national education nonprofit, leading their work to support systems leaders who are dedicated to creating innovative schools that provide equitable and exceptional learning experiences and outcomes. She led the Learner-Centered Leadership Lab, a year long experience for superintendents and senior leaders.

Susana was the first in her family to graduate from college, earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Denver and a master’s degree from the University of Colorado. She anticipates earning her Doctorate in Education from Southern Methodist University in May 2024. Susana has been married for 29 years to her husband Eric. Her son is a high school teacher in Denver and her daughter is a recent graduate of Stanford.

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