August 2019 - Dr. Scarlet Chopin

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents

August 2019

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. Scarlet Chopin, Assistant Principal of Evergreen High School, Jefferson County Public Schools.

Career Highlights & Education

My education career began after completing two B.A. degrees from Texas A&M University.  Early in my teaching career, I pursued my passion for Spanish and Dance, serving as a high school teacher and coach.  Highlights from my time teaching include completing my National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification (NBCT), receiving an Outstanding Young Educator Award from my community, and making countless treasured memories with my former students and colleagues.  Additionally, I coached and mentored pre-service teachers, new teachers, and NBCT teacher candidates.

After completing my Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction and Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Louisiana Tech University, I served on the faculty at Northern Arizona University (NAU) for eight years in both a full time and part-time capacity.  I was a member of the NAU Task Force to develop standards for the evaluation and promotion of nontenured faculty, the Diversity Committee (an elected position), the Hispanic Committee, and the College of Education Goal 5 Setting Latino(a) Students Committee.  I was honored to receive the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award in the Educational Leadership Department for 2014-2015.

My work with NAU led me to the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) where I served as an Education Research Analyst for five years.  During my time with DoDEA, I supported and coached schools through accreditation with AdvancED, continuous school improvement, professional development, and program evaluation.  Our collaborative work culminated in a U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School Award (2013). 

A move to Colorado led me to three years with Denver Public Schools (DPS) as an Assistant Principal at Denver East High School, the oldest high school in Denver. In the DPS, I loved being the Co-Chair of LAUNCH (Latino Advocates United for Children), a Superintendent’s Advisory group and I was empowered to advocate for World Language, diversity, and equity, especially as part of the district Seal of Biliteracy Committee.  During my time with East, my World Language Department Chair was honored as the CCFLT Teacher of the Year and our department achieved a 3-Star CLEAR AWARD.  Additionally, I collaborated with colleagues, parents, teachers, and students to support best practices for Diverse Advanced Learners, which were highlighted as Promising Partnership Practices (2017) by the Colorado Department of Education.  Currently, I’m privileged to serve in Jeffco Public Schools as an Assistant Principal for Evergreen High School, one of the best high schools in the nation.  I’m committed to continually learning and growing as a person, an educator, and a leader.  I’m thrilled to continue my efforts promoting the Seal of Biliteracy, serving on the Jeffco GT Advisory Council, and passionately promoting and serving CO-ALAS.

What is exciting about my job?
I serve in one of the best and highest performing high schools in the nation, which is demanding, but very rewarding. I am privileged to be part of a school community that really cares about its kids and each other. What I enjoy most about my job are my relationships with students, teachers, families, and colleagues. I love being part of the teams that provide students with the supports, programs, and relationships they deserve to thrive. My job is exciting because each day brings unique and interesting challenges!

Words from a consejero/a:
Keep students first.  Know who you are and what you value, align your leadership with that.  If possible, take advantage of every growth opportunity made available to you, even though it means you may have to make sacrifices in your personal life.  The capacity you build will be worth it.  “When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get them, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.” –Leo Burnett

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader:
Do not Wait! Lead!  However, you have to go slow to go fast.  Take the time to listen, learn, and deeply understand the community, students, teachers, and families you serve.  Check in with trusted mentors frequently.  Do not be afraid to ask too many questions.  Live by the Four Agreements:  1) Be impeccable with your word, 2) Don’t take anything personally, 3) Don’t make assumptions, and 4) Always do your best.

If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . .

You will find me enjoying the arts, film, music, bookstores, coffee shops, museums, hiking, running, dining, or dancing with family and friends.  I love spending time with my daughter, Katie, my son, Alex, and my shih tzu, Edward!

How does CO-ALAS add value?
I moved to Colorado alone in 2015.  I had no family or friends here.  The greatest value that CO-ALAS has added to my life is providing me with “familia.”  Beginning with the first CO-ALAS meeting I attended, I have been embraced by a caring, accomplished, supportive group of Latino/a leaders.  Within CO-ALAS, I have formed strong connections with mentors, colleagues, and inspiring leaders.  Being a part of CO-ALAS, I am never alone because I have formed meaningful relationships with my CO-ALAS network who share my values and passion for providing effective educational experiences, career and professional development opportunities and mentoring for our Latinx community.  The past couple of years I have served as part of the annual spring conference planning committee and this year, I have joined the CO-ALAS leadership team and the Latina Leadership Conference planning committee.  “ALAS” means wings in Spanish.  Thank you to CO-ALAS for challenging me to grow and for giving me wings to aspire to greater heights both personally and professionally.

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