(Site Assessment Leader and Multi-Tiered Student Supports Coordinator)
Gayla has been an educator and information technology specialist for over 30 years, over 15 of which have been dedicated to Denver Public Schools.
After 50 plus years on the front range, I am considered practically a Colorado native.
Growing up in Boulder immersed in my educational community with a love for the Skip-Its, life, singing, learning and challenging myself to persevere, I did just that. Continuing on, I earned my double major from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Information Systems and Organizational Management at a time when our technology immersed world was just barely getting started and cradle modems and punch card computers were only beginning to become obsolete.
For the next 30 years, Denver was my home and human resources, payroll and benefits software analysis, design, development and implementation were my game with a large focus as a system’s analyst and software educator. Tired of lining the pockets of the well to do and not making a difference in the world, my direction shifted toward family and community.
Still living in Denver, my husband and I started our family of four. Both of our children were privileged to go through and graduate from DPS schools where I found my second wave of passion. As I watched a child glowing at their accomplishment of reading for the first time, I lit up with a need to educate others. I volunteered in classrooms and as a jump rope team coach. I earned my Masters in Elementary Education from the University at Denver, and submerged myself in the ins and outs of the ever changing world of urban education to become a classroom teacher.
A few years later, my areas of expertise in technology and education joined to evolve the DPS world into one more suitable for educating students for a life and career engrossed in technology. For the next 8 years I used my information technology and educator background as the Product Manager to build the Principal and Teacher Portals for Denver Public Schools. Little did I know then the absolute necessity of that work enabling remote learning to be a possibility at DPS during a global pandemic.
Once large data and resource inefficiencies were replaced with now second nature District wide tools, my dreams again led me back to schools to work with teachers and students. Realizing my eight-year hiatus from the classroom would yet again leave me out-of-date, I applied and completed DPS and the University of Denver’s principal licensure platform, the Ritchie Program. Through Ritchie I found my forte in schools:
The resulting 15 year plus DPS veteran I am today engages my head, hand and heart for the students at John F Kennedy High School and loves it every step of the way.