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November 2021 - Thomas Velazquez, Ed.D.

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents

LA LUZ DE LIDERAZO - A MEMBERSHIP SPOTLIGHT

November 2021

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 Thomas Velazquez, Ed.D., Principal Resident, North High School in Denver Public Schools.

Thomas 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

Dr. Velazquez is a bilingual educator with 20 years of professional experience in education. He has a Bachelor's degree in Spanish Language with a minor in Secondary Education and a Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business and Marketing from Colorado State University Pueblo. Dr. Velazquez completed an Educational Leadership and Policy Studies for his administrator's licensure and an Educational Doctorate in Leadership for Educational Equity: Challenges to Opportunities to Achieve in Latin@ School Communities at CU Denver. Dr. Velazquez taught Spanish for 13 years in the classroom, before moving into school leadership. In Aurora Public Schools, as a TOSA, he worked on creating equitable outcomes for students of color, supported in implementing a Culture of Care and increased the 7 year graduation rate by 21% at a majority Latinx school. At CEC Early College, a 95% Latino High School, with 83% FRL and over 70% of students being MLL during their schooling experience, Dr. Velazquez created systems that increased the graduation rate to 100% in 2018 and 2019 and 99% in 2020 and 2021. In 2020, CEC students achieved 95% college readiness in Math under his leadership and increased student access to college level English and Math courses by 87.6%. At CEC, Dr. Velazquez cast a vision for a future center and whole school restorative practices. He is currently a principal resident at North High School in Denver and is seeking a principal or leadership position for the 2023 school year.


What is exciting about my job? Working in high school education, you never experience the same day twice. There are always new challenges and opportunities, while I work with other like-minded educators to create equitable opportunities and choices for our students, especially our Latinx, Indigenous and Black students. I get really excited about student college readiness, providing them with opportunities to take college level courses in High School and about graduating 100% of students. Graduation is my favorite day of the year. It is the cumulation of all of our collective work and successes with students, families and our staff. Words from a consejero/a: Talk is good, action is better, results matter most. Don't just talk about it, do it.


Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader: Set bold goals, hire the right people to help you achieve your goals, never, ever give up and make student achievement your personal mission.


If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . . me spending time with my wife and kids. gardening and working in the yard. I enjoy watching Football and Boxing. I like to travel to Mexico to the beaches and also to visit my family. How does CO-ALAS add value? CO-ALAS adds value by building my network of familia and allows me to meet and work with like minded Latinx educators that are working to provide educational equity for Latinx students. CO-ALAS brings me happiness. It is part of my purpose to help other Latino leaders succeed. My advise is get involved and make a difference for our community. It brings meaning to my work.

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