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May 2021 - Janet Estrada

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents


May 2021

May 2021 - Janet Estrada

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 Janet Estrada, Senior Team Transformational Leader, PREP Academy, Denver Public Schools.

Janet shares her professional preparation and current bio below. You can read the diverse experiences that have led to her leadership preparation and various leadership roles. One of our shining stars!

Career Highlights & Education

I am proud to say that I have been in the Denver Public Schools for 30 years :) a student (k-12), as a student teacher, bilingual teacher, Dean of Instruction, biliteracy specialist and have had many other leadership roles through the years. I am currently a Senior Team Lead at PREP Academy in DPS, a fellow in the 4 Corners Latinx Leadership Academy and I am a School Board Director for the Adams 14 School District.

My parents immigrated to Colorado in the 60’s from Zacatecas Mexico. They came here so that we would have more opportunities. I knew I needed to work hard so that my parents' journey would not be in vain.

As an undergrad, I attended UNM in Albuquerque GO LOBOS! and graduated from CU Boulder with a degree in Psychology and Education. As I reflected on my experiences as a student and leader of color I knew that barriers and systemic realities hindered our ability to thrive and succeed. I knew then that if I wanted to create the change our kids needed I had to continue my education and be a lifelong learner, advocate and leader. I decided to get my masters degree from the University of Colorado Denver and continued to pursue any learning opportunity available!

In 2015 I graduated from the Latino Leadership Institute and a year later went back to UCD to attend the Administration Leadership and Policy Studies Program and received my principals license. My goal is to one day lead a district where BIPOC students and educators thrive, succeed, and lead!

As a mother of 3 boys, 7, 4, and 8 months, it becomes very difficult to jungle all things, however, as of now I am ready to pursue my doctorate….

What is exciting about my job? I get to make strategic decisions that impact our whole school's culture, instruction, mission and vision AND get to coach and support teachers AND lead authentically while still being in the classroom as an adjunct Profe Estrada AND last but not least….. The thing that is most exciting about my job is working towards our mission which is “We will dismantle systems of power and privilege within our school and our community to ensure that each student participates in authentic learning experiences to prepare them for college, career, and life.” Words from a consejero/a: "when you lead with integrity, nothing can go wrong"

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader: Don't forget how you started your career or where you come from and never underestimate those around you.

If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . . Me hosting family at my house for menudo sundays, or taquito saturdays, walking the south Platte Trail and spending time with my sons... How does CO-ALAS add value? The connections, motivation, support, learning and overall sense of familia helps a leader so much especially when they are the first or only person in their family or circle of friends to be on an educational leadership path!


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