December 2017 - Jorge Robles

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents

December 2017

Welcome to the CO ALAS “Membership Spotlight.”  Each month we want to introduce you to one of our many CO ALAS members. Let’s see what they are doing and what’s on their mind.

This month we are featuring Jorge Robles, Executive Director of the English Language Acquisition Department in the Denver Public Schools.

Career Highlights & Education
I was born in beautiful Santiago, Chile and first came to the US through a scholarship exchange program during High School. Growing up in Chile during a time when public schools where not a viable option for quality education, my experience attending an urban public school in the US had a lasting and defining impact on my life, as I was able to witness the positive influence that an outstanding public school can have in a community.

After attaining a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, my professional career started in the private sector working on developing credit products and services for Latino immigrants in the US, so they could access opportunities while they worked on starting their new life in our country. It was an incredible opportunity that also allowed me to connect with multiple Hispanic communities across the United Stated.

My passion has always been in education, and I wanted to pursue an opportunity that would allow me to give back to the community in a way that is meaningful and that represents my values. After spending time working in financial services and retail, both nationally and internationally, I earned a Masters in Educational Leadership and joined Denver Public Schools where I currently lead the English Language Acquisition Department servicing all speakers of other languages to ensure that every single child can realize their potential. Last year, my team was able to implement exciting initiatives such as the Seal of Biliteracy, adopt a new high quality English Language Development (ELD) curriculum and professional development, and implement an expansion of supports for newcomer students in DPS.

What is so exciting about my job?
Like many of the students who I am privileged to support through my current role, I am an English Language Learner and minority Hispanic who has been fortunate to have access to great opportunities thanks to a good education. My job is exciting because it inspires me every to pay it forward and help our English learners, our minority students, and students in poverty realize their potential, as I believe this is an issue of equity, of civil rights and a strategic priority for this country.

Words from a consejero.
A leadership coach with whom I had the privilege to work with early in my career advised me to approach every day and every interaction “open, present and connected”. His words have helped me establish a mindset and attitude in my work and personal life that allows me to see new opportunities, connect with different people, always listen, and be a lifelong learner.

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader?
Set a clear vision that is centered on your students and engage families in being part of the process to set the vision and to do the work. It is my conviction that a great public school creates a sense of pride among families, builds trust and a sense of belonging, which leads to active engagement and a prosperous environment for everyone. As a leader of a school or school system, you are uniquely positioned to have a positive and transformative impact on communities.

If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . .
Spending time with my family, most likely in the back yard grilling and having fun. I also enjoy going out on bike rides or jogging on any of the awesome trails around Denver.  

How does CO ALAS add value?
It brings together, supports and promotes Latino leaders in our schools and school systems across Colorado, which is imperative and critical to successfully realize the potential of our growing population of Latino students in the State. Additionally, CO-ALAS provides a unique opportunity to connect with, and learn from, talented Latino educators across the State. There is a lot we can learn from each other, and together we can overcome any obstacle to ensure that our students succeed in school, and in life. If you are not yet a member of this great organization, I strongly encourage you to join.

CO-ALAS is a professional education association that advocates for the continued development and placement of Latino/Latina administrators who are committed to quality public education for all students.


PO Box 13109
Denver, CO 80201