November 2018 - Dr. Karla Loria

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents

November 2018

Welcome to the CO ALAS Membership Spotlight.  Each month we 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 Dr. Karla Loria, Student Support Officer for the Harrison School District #2 in Colorado Springs.

Career Highlights & Education
Karla began her teaching career 29 years ago and has served children and communities as a Teacher Assistant, Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Area Superintendent and Regional Superintendent in Houston, Texas, where she was responsible for overseeing the instructional programs and the operational management of 63 schools with more than 46,000 students and a budget of over 340 million dollars. During her tenure there, Dr. Loría led 17 schools out of the State’s Improvement Required status in only one year. During her time in Texas, she received recognition each year for having the highest student performance growth and effective teacher retention rates among her peers. 

She moved to Colorado in 2016 as the Human Resources Officer for Harrison School District #2, and a few months later, she was also given the Student Support Office to oversee. Under her leadership, both department teams refined the internal processes to better support new teachers and administrators, improve student registration processes, reduce teacher turnover, refine the Induction Program for new teachers and administrators, among others. As the Student Support Officer, Dr. Loría brought a group of school administrators together and collaborated to develop a Student Success Plan for at-risk students, resulting in a decrease of 66% of the District’s expulsion rate in only one year.

Dr. Loría earned her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood-Primary Grades and her master's degree in School Administration in Costa Rica, her native country. She later earned her doctorate in K-12 Executive Leadership from the University of Houston, Texas. As a life-long learner, Dr. Loría had received several certifications including Universal Design for Learning from Harvard University, in ESL from NC State University,  and also in Leadership, Organizational Development, Change Management and Coaching Skills, and Strategic Marketing for Schools from RICE University, Texas, where she was also a field advisor for master’s students for several years. Dr. Loría is a National Trainer for the Haberman Foundation and has recently been accepted in the prestigious ALAS Superintendent Leadership Program.

As a Latina leader, Dr. Loría thrives to become a mentor for other administrators and be a strong role model for Latino/a students and families.

What is exciting about my job?
The most exciting part about my job is to know that as educators, we can make a difference in a child’s life, and such difference can be the turning point for that child’s generations to come. Working with students and adults who care about students is the most rewarding job of all; each day and each challenge are different, but the satisfaction of giving back to the community and investing in our youth will never change.

Words from a consejero/a.
Stand for something! Never compromise your values or beliefs about what is right and about education. At the end of the day, make sure you look at the mirror and tell yourself, “You did what was right for children”. When you are in a leadership position, it can get tough and lonely. Your values and beliefs system will hold you.

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader? 
Have fun, bring some humor to the office, and cultivate friends but most importantly, take care of your family first.  

If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . .
Painting. My heart is shared by two strong passions of mine: teaching & learning and painting. I have enjoyed painting since my high-school years. I focused until recently in watercolour and pastels, but recently picked up the palette knife and started playing with acrylic and oils. I recently went live with a website to feature my art pieces, and although the webpage still needs a lot of time and work, it makes me very proud to model to my own children –now adults!- to follow your own dreams. Make sure you visit it and leave me a review!

How does CO-ALAS add value?
Being part of CO-ALAS ensures opportunities to network and learn from other great leaders who share a passion for education. With high accountability on student learning, comes the opportunity of collaborating, sharing ideas, networking and learning from each other. The great value of these opportunities is that you make friends along the way. What an honor.

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