Dr. Darlene LeDoux, Trailblazer 2013

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First Latina Principal of North High School, Denver Public Schools

Dr. Darlene LeDoux’s current position as an Instructional Superintendent of Network 1 in the Denver Public Schools is the latest in a long list of leadership positions held by this distinguished Denver Native leader. Although Dr. LeDoux’s parents did not have the same academic opportunities as Dr. LeDoux and her siblings, it was their example of hard work, commitment to their community and love for their family that inspired Dr. LeDoux to spend her life advocating for education, children and families in Colorado.

As a young Latina, the lack of Latina/o educators was shocking to Dr. LeDoux. Her leadership began early when in 6th grade she became one of Denver’s youngest members of the Latin American Student Club and advocated to have more Latina/o teachers at her school and in the Denver Public Schools. She “walked out” of Rishel Junior High to demonstrate her continued frustration with the lack of role models in the school system and the need for more culturally and linguistically relevant books and materials for students in the Denver Public Schools.

She began her career as a bilingual first-grade teacher in rural Colorado. She rapidly achieved success and at the age of 30, became one of the youngest principals in the Denver Public Schools. Darlene was the first Latina principal of Denver North High School. Her leadership journey includes roles as the principal of Lena Lovato Archuleta Elementary where her efforts resulted in the school achieving the highest academic growth and academic standing in Far Northeast Denver where her leadership was instrumental in the creation of a model school for active and effective parental engagement designed to increase student achievement. In addition, Dr. LeDoux has been a central office leader in the Cherry Creek Schools and in the Denver Public Schools.

Dr. LeDoux earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education at the University of Northern Colorado, a Master of Arts degree in Bilingual/ESL Education, and a Ph.D. in Education Leadership, both, at the University of Colorado at Denver. She is an Executive Board member of the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium, a mentor/coach to school leaders, has served as a Trustee at the University of Northern Colorado, Advisory Board member to the President – Community College of Denver, Chairperson of the Principals’ Leadership Council (PLC) in Far Northeast Denver, president of the Colorado Association of School Personnel Administrators, president of the Colorado Association of Elementary School Principals and Board of Directors, Latino Education Coalition.

Dr. LeDoux has received awards from the Colorado Association of Bilingual Bicultural Education, the Boy Scouts – Vale la Pena Award, LaRasa – Lena Archuleta Education Excellence Award and the EPIC – Best Practices Principal award. She has two daughters and is thrilled to be raising the next generation of Latina leaders.