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School of Education Advisory Board

The School of Education Advisory Board includes education and community leaders who will help shape and guide the MSU Denver School of Education. The main purpose of the Board is to help the School of Education become a pre-eminent urban School of Education and achieve its mission of preparing people who will Teach, Lead, and Transform.

Members:

Amie Baca-Oehlert
Nathan Cadena
Marge Fisch
Anna Jo Garcia Haynes
Elizabeth Hinde, Ph.D.
Esther Rodriguez

Sue Sava

Expand the content below for bios of the board members. 


Amie Baca-Oehlert is a high school English teacher and counselor. She was named the Adams City High School Teacher of the Year in 2000-2001. Amie is currently on leave from her teaching duties in the Adams 12 Five Star Schools District. She earned her undergraduate degree from Clemson University and a Master's degree in school counseling from the University of Northern Colorado.

Amie started serving a three-year term as CEA Vice President in July 2012 and is currently serving her second term. She previously served as President of the District Twelve Educators' Association and as the Ethnic Minority At Large member on the CEA Board of Directors.

Amie was selected by Governor Bill Ritter to serve as one of three teacher representatives on the P-20 Council, serving from 2008-2010.  Beginning in 2010, she was appointed by Governor Ritter as one of four teachers to serve on the State Council of Educator Effectiveness.  

Amie is passionate about advocating for the rights of public school educators. She resides in the Thornton area with her husband, who is also a public school administrator and licensed teacher, and her three children.

SOE Advisory Board member Nathan CadenaNathan Cadena currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF), overseeing all operations of the college access, scholarship and college success programs. Prior to DSF, Nathan worked in education for over fifteen years within community colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations. He has served professionally as a career counselor, professional trainer, advisor/instructor, financial aid administrator, and director of both college access and success programs. He has served with Community College of Denver, Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), Daniels Fund, and Colorado State University. Nathan is a proud TRIO Upward Bound Alum, holds a certificate in Global Career Development Facilitation, a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from Colorado State University, and a Master of Education from Regis University. Nathan is a native Coloradoan, is an avid Broncos fan, and supports all other Colorado sports teams. 

Growing up in Detroit, Michigan led Marge to completing her education at Wayne State University.  Marriage brought her to Lawrence, Kansas where she began her teaching career in a rural community. Grades 1-8 were all in one school with the 7th and 8th grade Junior High consisting of three teachers sharing teaching duties. In a move to Wichita, Kansas during the early 60’s, Marge became an activist in the civil rights and women’s issue movements. Serving on the boards of the Wichita Urban League and the Wichita Early Education Foundation, she found a platform to use to follow her passions. Marge maintained connections with young people as a leader of an inner city Girl Scout troop and in one of the first Head Start programs.

Denver was Marge's next destination, where she has lived for 46 years. She taught in Jefferson County schools for 20 years and volunteered for all of the new and innovative programs that Jeffco offered, including year round schools and team teaching. Marge served as chair of the Language Arts Department, received outstanding teacher awards, and served on many North Central school evaluation teams.

Following retirement, Marge volunteered in the Denver Public Schools and presently, she is in an Aurora classroom. This has kept her up-to-date on the continually changing educational system.

Throughout the years, Marge has been active in a variety of non-profit organizations. She took on leadership roles in the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Women International, National Council of Jewish Women, the Denver Urban Debate League, and the League of Women Voters.

Marge Fisch has always felt that education is the key to social change and social justice and she is most proud that she has been and continues to be a role model and mentor to women in the community.

Anna Jo Haynes is the President Emeritus of Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers, which operate eight centers in Denver’s inner city for children from families with limited resources. Anna Jo is a long time advocate for children and their families and in that capacity served as the chair for Denver Public Schools/City of Denver Early Childhood Council, appointed by the Superintendent and the Mayor. Anna Jo was also the founding chairperson of the Colorado Children’s Campaign and past president of the Woman’s Foundation of Colorado, Current Co-Chair of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission for Colorado appointed by Gov. Hickenlooper and Board Member for Mayor Hancock’s Education Compact.

Additional Board Service has included: Past Board Chair, Clayton Foundation, Denver Foundation Board of Trustees, Founding Co-Chair Qualistar Colorado, Hunt Alternatives Fund, Future Black Women Leadership Institute, Circle of Latina Leadership.

Esther M. Rodriguez is Special Assistant to the President for HSI and oversees Metropolitan State University of Denver’s efforts to achieve federal designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Previously, she served as Director for the Center for Urban Education and Principal Investigator and Director for the 21st Century College Readiness Center supporting out-of-school partnership programs in high-need urban schools and communities.

At MSU Denver, Rodriguez has directed two significant programs in collaboration with the Denver Public Schools (DPS) aimed at enhancing the preparation of effective teachers for urban schools under a U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Enhancement grant, and increasing the achievement and college and career readiness of the city’s underserved students through out-of-school programs under two state 21st Century Community Learning Center grants. These grant-funded programs strategically link the university and its resources to urban schools and the students and communities they serve.

Prior to joining MSU Denver in August 2007, she headed an education consulting practice where her areas of expertise and policy interests include P-16 policy initiatives, enhancing equity of opportunity and diversity in postsecondary education, high school reform, teacher quality reform, adult learning and workforce development, conference planning and fundraising support. Her clients included the Education Commission of the States (ECS), Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), University of the Pacific/McGeorge College of Law, Pathways to College Network, Biological Studies Curriculum Study (BSCS), California GEAR-UP, and California ARCHES (Alliance for Regional Collaboration to Heighten Educational Success), among others.

From 2001-2005, she served as Vice President for Development at the Education Commission of the States (ECS) where she was responsible for developing and managing a comprehensive national development program to secure financial resources for the ECS portfolio of projects and services, including early learning, teacher quality, assessment, service learning, and postsecondary education.  She cultivated professional relationships with senior officers of major national foundations, federal government agencies, and corporate giving programs; developed and solicited proposals for funding and managed all development and fundraising operations.  

Before ECS, she served as Associate Executive Director of the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) from 1988 to 2001. Her portfolio of initiatives included public policy issues facing the states, most notably PreK-12/postsecondary collaboration or P-16 alignment, teacher effectiveness, postsecondary diversity and minority student achievement, college and career readiness initiatives.  She has directed numerous projects on these issues funded by foundations and federal grants, including Building Statewide K-16 Systems for Student Success funded by the U.S. Department of Education and Enhancing the Teaching Profession: The Importance of Mobility to Recruitment and Retention supported by the Ford Foundation.  Ms. Rodriguez led several college readiness initiatives in partnership with ACT, Inc., The College Board, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and others, She is the author of several reports and papers including State-level Education Reform: Collaborative Roles for Postsecondary Education (1994), College Admission Requirements: A New Role for States (1995), Postsecondary Education and the New Workforce (co-author, 1996), Preparing Quality Teachers: Issues and Trends in the States (1998), and Diversity in Higher Education: An Action Agenda for the States (1999).  

Ms. Rodriguez is a licensed attorney and former high school teacher.  She completed her Juris Doctor at Hastings College of the Law, University of California, and her bachelor's degree (cum laude) and graduate work in Spanish literature and secondary instruction at Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado.

Sue Sava is the Policy Director for the Public Education & Business Coalition. Sue also leads the vision and executive level work for Stanley Teacher Prep. Stanley Teacher Prep is merging with Boettcher Teacher Residency to become the largest residency model in Colorado. She participates on the Colorado Education Preparation Innovation Coalition, state and national ESSA convenings including the CO Spoke for Effective Instruction and Leadership, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Community of Practice on Early Teacher Initiatives.

Sue has worked in the education field for 24 years in a range of roles including 12 years teaching 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at Stanley British Primary School. Beginning her career as a resident for Stanley Teacher Prep, Sue has served roles in mentoring, advising, coaching novice teachers, seminar design and admissions.  Sue has instructed child development courses for the residency component of University of Colorado Denver, Masters of Administration, Education and Human Development program.

Sava serves on several metro Denver school boards, is a founding design team member of Joe Shoemaker School and is the current President of the Board for SOAR charter school in DPS.  Sava earned a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from UCD and a Bachelor’s degree in History from Princeton University.