Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents
LA LUZ DE LIDERAZO - A MEMBERSHIP SPOTLIGHT
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 Jazmin Lopez, Dean of Students, Gateway High School, Aurora Public Schools.
Jazmin shares her professional career and current bio below. You can read the diverse experiences that have led to her various leadership roles. One of our shining stars!
Career Highlights & Education
I am a proud first-generation college student and graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Colorado State University. Go Rams! Recently, I completed my Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership from CSU Global with an emphasis in Change Management.
I began my career at Goodwill Industries-Youth Department as a College Advisor in Aurora Public Schools. I transitioned to a College and Career Center Coordinator position where I led the first college and career center in Aurora Public Schools. Through collaborative partnerships and creating a sustainable foundation for the program, we were able to increase post-secondary enrollment and college persistence. Additionally, the students were awarded over 11 million dollars in scholarships, which was the highest scholarship amount ever received at Hinkley High School. Then after five incredible years of serving the Hinkley High School community, I transitioned to Gateway High School to serve as the Dean of Students. Our mission was to create a culture of restorative practices. After the first year our school went from being the highest with out-of-school suspensions from the lowest, our severe chronic absent rate decreased and academic performance increased.
What is exciting about my job? I get to help students and their families overcome barriers that inhibit them from engaging in school. We have honest conversations about their challenges and struggles. I am able to connect them with community resources and people to help elevate their life. As a dean of students, I also work on behavior and discipline. At our school, we have adopted a restorative justice culture where we look at the whole student and consider what led them to this incident. We don’t focus on punitive practices, rather we focus on the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and how they will make better choices. By engaging in these practices we have reduced our out-of-school suspensions by over 300%, our attendance rate and engagement have increased and our relationships with students and the community have improved. Words from a consejero/a: One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Always work hard and give 100% to everything you do. You will make mistakes along the way, and that’s okay. The important thing is to learn from them and grow. Things don’t happen to you, they happen FOR you. Reflect on your mistakes, improve for the next time and move on.
Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader: Be authentically you.
If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . . I’m a foodie so I’m always looking for a restaurant with good food. In the summer I love hiking Colorado’s trails and taking a trip to the beach somewhere. I have a close-knit family, so you can always find me with them. My family is my rock and foundation. How does CO-ALAS add value? Being part of CO-ALAS has created tremendous value in my life. I have the privilege of being surrounded by other Latinx leaders. It’s inspiring to connect and network with Latinx AP’s, principals, directors, and superintendents. CO-ALAS is a supportive community and I am excited and honored to be connected with this team.