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May 2024 - Michael Claudio

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents LA LUZ DE LIDERAZGO - A MEMBERSHIP SPOTLIGHT May 2024

Nathan Cabrera

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 Michael Claudio, Assistant Superintendent of Support Services, Harrision School District 2. Michael shares his professional career and current bio below. You can read the diverse experiences that have led to his various leadership roles. One of our shining stars!
Career Highlights & Education

Over the past 22 years, I’ve been selected as Troops to Teachers, Teacher of the year. I received the Compass Award from the D2 Board of Education for excellence in education. I received that award because I was able to increase 3rd grade reading scores from 27% to 82% proficiency. I was also the first principal in the district to have a school jump two performance ratings in the Colorado School Performance Frameworks. As the Student Support Officer, I worked with schools to reduce the expulsion rates by over 80% just by putting in a process and resources for students and families. As the Assistant Superintendent of Support Services, the focus has been on recruiting and retaining highly effective staff. With the national shortage of teachers, our Superintendent, Dr. Birhanzel, granted us permission to go to the Philippines and recruit teachers. We welcomed 32 teachers from the Philippines that had a wealth of experience in elementary, math, science, and special education. The biggest project that I am involved in right now is working with We Fortify and the City of Colorado Springs to build Wendy’s Village. Wendy’s Village is named after our current Superintendent to combat the lack of affordable housing in Colorado Springs. Wendy’s Village will comprise forty 352-square-foot homes for new staff that make less than a beginning teacher salary. Last year, my work in the district was recognized by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and was named the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year.

What is exciting about my job?

I love the fact that everyday is never the same and that I continually pivot to support staff, students, and families because without them, I would not have a job.

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader

Hire the right people and get out of their way.  

At the end of every tough conversation, make sure the person leaves your office with their dignity in place.  

Finally, nunca olvides de donde viniste and if you do, get back there as quickly as possible.  

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

Running in the morning and having a cafecito with my wife Carla.  I just picked up paddle boarding, but right now, it’s more like paddle floating.

How does CO-ALAS add value?

CO-ALAS has meant the world to me because I can be me; a Boricua, from the South Bronx, New York being around mi gente. CO-ALAS brings people who have common experiences, common language, and a rich heritage together which gives us a place to call home.  More importantly, it provides Latinos who want to move up in the educational system mentors who will guide and provide them opportunities to excel.  Having been a part of the incredible leadership sessions, 4 Corners Leadership Academy, and job fairs, I can tell you that CO-ALAS is an organization that all Latinos should be part of.


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