moving on

Metro State chief who welcomed undocumented students to retire

PHOTO: Denver Post file
Metropolitan State University of Denver President Stephen Jordan poses for a portrait in 2015.

Metropolitan State University of Denver president Stephen Jordan, who prioritized making the institution more diverse and opening doors to undocumented students, announced Thursday that he plans to retire in June after more than a decade in the position.

“I truly believe that after many years of working to advance the university, and overseeing tremendous growth and change, it is time for someone else to come in with new energy and an expanded vision,” Jordan said in a news release.

Jordan, 68, took the top job at Metro State in 2005. In a resignation letter to the school’s board of trustees, he said he had several charges, including recruiting more Latino students.

Under Jordan’s leadership, Metro State in 2012 took the bold move of reducing tuition for undocumented Colorado high school students. A year later, state lawmakers followed that lead, passing a bill allowing undocumented students to pay in-state rates at Colorado colleges and universities.

There are currently 341 Metro State students taking advantage of that state law, known as ASSET, according to spokesman Tim Carroll. Over the past three years, Carroll said, the school has enrolled 37 percent of all ASSET students in the state.

Last year, 22 percent of Metro State students identified as Latino, which is shy of the 25 percent needed to designate the university an official Hispanic Serving Institution, qualifying it for federal grant money aimed at improving programs, services and facilities for those students and others.

(ASSET students don’t count toward the total. What’s more, Carroll said the federal government calculates the percentage of Latino students not by headcount but by credit hour. By that measure, only 20 percent of Metro State students last year were Latino.)

Even so, that’s more than in the past. In 2007, just 12.5 percent of students were Latino. In his resignation letter, Jordan said he plans to focus this year on reaching that 25 percent goal.

Overall, the number of students of color has grown during Jordan’s tenure from 24 percent in 2005 to 37 percent last year. The number of first-generation college students attending Metro State has also increased, from 25 percent in 2005 to 32 percent last year.

Among Jordan’s other accomplishments: launching five master’s degree programs and ushering the school from a college to a university; increasing freshman retention rates from 55 percent a decade ago to an overall rate of 67 percent last year; adding more than 200 full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members; opening three new buildings; and launching public-private partnerships, such as an on-campus restaurant and hotel that employ hospitality students.

Jordan’s retirement will become effective June 30.

Here are links to some of our previous Metro State coverage:

It’s ‘Metropolitan State University,’” Feb. 2, 2012

Metro cuts cost for undocumented,” June 7, 2012

Undocumented students take up Metro offer,” Sept. 5, 2012

ASSET bill headed to governor,” March 8, 2013

Metro State’s new education dean: Fund ed schools on quality, not quantity, of teachers,” Nov. 11, 2014

principal pipeline

Here are 26 assistant principals being groomed to lead Tennessee schools

Assistant principals engage with Gov. Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen as part of the Governor's Academy for School Leadership.

Twenty-six assistant principals will participate in a one-year fellowship program as part of Tennessee’s drive to cultivate school leaders for the future.

Gov. Bill Haslam on Friday announced educators chosen for his 2018 Governor’s Academy for School Leadership, as well as the 26 principals who will mentor them.

The initiative is in response to the growing body of research showing the significance of principals in developing effective teachers — and therefore improving student outcomes.

“You can walk into a school and tell right away if there is a great principal who is leading effectively,” Haslam said in his announcement. “Great principals attract and keep great teachers, and great teachers lead to student success.”

This will be the third class of the Governor’s Academy, which launched in 2016 as a partnership of the state, local school districts, and Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development.

Fellows were nominated by their superintendents and selected by the partnership through an application and interview process.

Each fellow is paired with an experienced principal mentor, must attend monthly group training sessions and a week-long summer institute at Vanderbilt, and intern three days a month at his or her mentor’s school. Upon completion, they are expected to pursue placement as a school principal in their districts or regions. (At least 18 have been promoted so far.)

Chosen for the 2018 academy are:

Merissa Baldwin Aspire Hanley Elementary School Achievement School District
Jeni Irwin Anderson County High School Anderson County
Heather Byrd Eagleton Elementary School Blount County
Melissa Brock H Y Livesay Middle School Claiborne County
Milton Nettles Cumberland Elementary School Davidson County
Noelle Taylor West End Middle School Davidson County
Andrea Beaubien Dickson Elementary School Dickson County
Josh Rogers Dyersburg Intermediate School Dyersburg
Noelle Smith Greeneville High School Greeneville
Travis Miller Orchard Knob Middle School Hamilton County
Heather Harris Middleton Middle-High School Hardeman County
Jacob Bellissimo Jefferson Middle School Jefferson County
Beth Cohen Dobyns-Bennett High School Kingsport
Jamey Romeg Halls Elementary School Knox County
Sharonda Rose Lakeland Elementary School Lakeland
Vanessa Spoon Ripley Middle School Lauderdale County
Rachel Wasserman Loudon Elementary School Loudon County
Amanda Brabham Thelma Barker Elementary School Madison County
Chris Winningham Algood Middle School Putnam County
Larry Staggs Springfield High School Robertson County
Chris George Christiana Middle School Rutherford County
Clint Dowda Bluff City Elementary School Sullivan County
Stephen Walker Rucker Stewart Middle School Sumner County
Latoya Avery Drummonds Elementary School Tipton County
Jordan Hughes Boones Creek Elementary School Washington County
Joshua Johnston Mt. Juliet High School Wilson County

Here are this year’s principal mentors:

Monique Cincore Aspire East Academy Achievement School District
Andrea Russell Central office Anderson County
April Herron Middlesettlements Elementary School Blount County
Suzanne Anders Tazewell-New Tazewell Primary School Claiborne County
Renita Perkins Stratton Elementary School Davidson County
Kevin Armstrong Dupont-Hadley Middle School Davidson County
Malissa Johnson Charlotte Elementary School Dickson County
Cal Johnson Dyersburg Middle School Dyersburg
Pat Donaldson Central office Greeneville
Chrissy Easterly Ooltewah Middle School Hamilton County
Chris Cranford Toone Elementary School Hardeman County
Scott Walker Jefferson County High School Jefferson County
Holly Flora John Sevier Middle School Kingsport
Keith Cotrell Cedar Bluff Elementary School Knox County
Kasandra Berry Bon Lin Elementary School Lakeland
Susan Farris Central office Lauderdale County
Christie Amburn Fort Loudoun Middle School Loudon County
Melinda Harris Community Montessori School Madison County
Trey Upchurch Prescott South Middle School Putnam County
Katie Osborne Greenbrier High School Robertson County
Kim Stoecker Siegel Middle School Rutherford County
Robin McClellan Central office Sullivan County
Brian Smith Station Camp Middle School Sumner County
Brooke Shipley Brighton Elementary School Tipton County
Kelley Harrell Ridgeview Elementary School Washington County
Travis Mayfield Wilson Central High School Wilson County


Movers and shakers

Denver Scholarship Foundation hires new CEO

PHOTO: Seth McConnell, The Denver Post

The Denver Scholarship Foundation has named a new CEO: Lorii Rabinowitz, who currently heads a startup venture in the city that counts among its goals improving high school graduation rates by engaging at-risk students in arts education.

The nonprofit Denver Scholarship Foundation provides needs-based college scholarships to Denver Public Schools graduates. Over the past 11 years, it’s given $36 million to more than 6,300 low-income graduates. It also runs “Future Centers” for 21 Denver high schools, where advisers help students apply to college and figure out how to pay for it.

Former CEO Nate Easley left the organization to serve as the inaugural leader of a new education-focused philanthropic collaborative called Blue School Partners.

Rabinowitz previously worked at Denver-based consulting firm Rebound Solutions and for 9News, where she helped develop strategic partnerships and new initiatives. Her most recent position was as executive director for the startup Denver Center for Arts and Technology, which is projected to open to the public in 2018, according to its website.

“I am grateful for this amazing opportunity to lead an organization I have long admired,” Rabinowitz said in a statement. “The Denver Scholarship Foundation has engineered tremendous gains in access to education and sustainable careers for thousands of Denver’s students. It will be my great honor to work alongside the board, professional staff, and community partners to build on this important legacy for Denver’s future.”

Rabinowitz is scheduled to start as CEO on Dec. 1.