Get to Know the Board

There are seven members on the Denver Board of Education. Five members are elected by voters within five districts; two members are elected at-large by voters across the entire city. Board members’ terms are four years and are staggered so no more than four board members are selected in any one election.

Contact the Board:

Board of Education
Emily Griffith Campus
1860 Lincoln Street
Denver, CO 80203

Email the Board:

Anne Rowe

Anne Rowe
District 1
Board President
Term: 2015-2019

Learn More About Anne

Elected in 2011 and re-elected in 2015, Anne Rowe is honored to represent southeast Denver on the Denver School Board. She held the position of Vice President from 2013-2015 and also served as Treasurer.

Over the past 25 years, Anne has served on a number of nonprofit community boards that address the needs of Denver’s kids, including leadership positions with the Colorado Children’s Campaign, Girls Inc. and the Children’s Museum of Denver. Currently, she serves on the board of Summer Scholars.

Anne’s involvement at the school level began 16 years ago when she became part of the group of neighborhood parents who worked to re-open Slavens School. At Slavens, she served as PTA president, MSPA president and as a member of the CSC. Additionally, Anne was a founder and co-chair of Patriot Partners at George Washington High School.

In DPS, Anne has served as founding co-chair and executive board member of A+ Denver, co-chair of the DPS Advisory Committee on Immigration and Integration, and as a member of the Superintendent’s Parent Forum.

A Denver native, Anne is a small-business owner, with 20+ years in publishing and 10 years in the legal placement and concierge business. She is a graduate of Stanford University and earned her MBA at the University of Denver.

The Rowe Family lives in southeast Denver and includes Anne, her husband Frank and their daughters Kate, Tory and Biz. All three girls are graduates of Slavens K-8 and George Washington High School.


Barbara O’Brien
At Large
Vice President
Term: 2013 – 2017

Learn More About Barbara

Barbara O’Brien is vice president of the Denver School Board.  She is also Senior Fellow for the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, a national initiative to increase the number of third-graders who are reading at grade level. Prior to this, she was Lieutenant Governor of Colorado from 2007-2011, and president of the Colorado Children’s Campaign for sixteen years.

As a member of the school board, O’Brien helped develop the Early Literacy Plan 2020, co-chaired the committee that created the Early Literacy Roadmap that will link city and school district services for literacy and language development, co-sponsored a new district policy to​ ​reduce suspensions and expulsions in early education through third grade, and has worked to expand funding for social and emotional supports for students.

Happy Haynes

Allegra “Happy” Haynes
Term: 2015-2019

Learn More About Happy

A native Denverite, Allegra attended Denver Public Schools and received a BA degree with honors from Barnard College at Columbia University in New York City. Her nickname, Happy, is derived from the Spanish translation of her first name, Allegra.

Happy was elected to the Board of Education in November 2011 and served as President from 2013-2015. Before that, she served as the Chief Community Engagement Officer for five and a half years for two superintendents. In her role at DPS, she was responsible for leading the district’s parent and community engagement efforts, creating collaborative partnerships and managing legislative and governmental affairs. Happy was recently appointed the Executive Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Denver.

Happy was the first African-American woman elected to the Denver City Council in 1990 where she served for 13 years, including two years as President of the Council from 1998 – 2000. Happy’s experience in state and local government also includes 17 years in the executive branches of government. She served as an administrative aide for two Denver mayors, a former councilman and a former Lt. Governor. Happy worked for several years as a facilitator with the National Civic League serving various communities in Colorado and throughout the United States.

Her civic involvement includes serving on the boards of the Colorado Children’s Campaign, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, City Park Jazz and the Stapleton Development Corporation. She was a founding board member of the Mile High Youth Corps and the Foundation for Educational Excellence and has served on numerous other non-profit boards. Happy completed two years of law school at the University of Denver and received a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Colorado at Denver. She is also a graduate of Leadership Denver, the Denver Community Leadership Forum, the Rocky Mountain Program and the State and Local Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Mike Johnson

Mike Johnson
District 3
Term: 2013 – 2017

Learn More About Mike

Mike Johnson is in his fourth year on the Denver School Board.  He is the Treasurer the district, chairs the Finance and Audit Committee and serves as a member of the board of the Colorado Association of School Boards, the Luminary Learning Network Innovation Zone and the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning.  Mike has served on the boards of the Denver After-School Alliance and the City’s Be Healthy Denver initiative and on DPS’s Arts Strategic Planning Committee, Whole Child Task Force and Mill Levy Oversight Committee.

Mike is the first in his family to go to college.  He worked his way through college and Georgetown Law School with the support of dedicated teachers, need-based scholarships and loans.  Mike has practiced law for over 40 years and is one of Colorado’s best known and respected public finance lawyers, representing states, school districts and other local governments and businesses throughout the United States.  His clients include the State of Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado’s Building Excellent Schools Today state-wide school capital construction program and more than 20 Colorado school districts.  Mike served as DPS’s finance lawyer for more than 15 years until he resigned to run for the school board in 2013.

Mike’s three daughters attended DPS schools from kindergarten through 12th grade.  Sarah graduated in 2011, attended Bryn Mawr College and is a second year elementary school teacher in Boston.  Abby graduated in 2015 and just finished her freshman year at Reed College.  Corley graduated this May and in the fall will begin a five year dual degree program in music performance and history at Oberlin College and Conservatory.

Mike got involved in the schools in his neighborhood when Sarah started kindergarten at Steck Elementary in 1998 to make sure his children received the quality education that was his pathway to success.  In the 19 years since, Mike has volunteered in his daughters’ schools as a classroom assistant, field trip chaperone, chair of the school governance committee (CSC) and member of two principal selection committees and various fundraising committees.  At the district level, Mike has served on the district’s School Improvement and Accountability Committee, the design committee for a new school, a regional planning committee, the Mill Levy Oversight Committee and the committees that designed and campaigned for the 2005 ProComp ballot question, the 2012 bond and mill levy ballot questions and the 2016 bond and mill levy ballot questions.

In the community, Mike has served as the president of his neighborhood association, on the boards of Mile High Early Learning Centers, Allied Jewish Apartments and the Colorado NARAL Foundation and as a member of Mayor Hancock’s Transition Committee.

Mike lives near Cheesman Park with his wife, Carol Friesen, his three daughters (when they are home) and the family’s small, but fierce, dog, Mickey.

Rosemary Rodriguez

Rosemary Rodriguez
District 2
Term: 2013 – 2017

Learn More About Rosemary

Rosemary Rodriguez is a Colorado native, a proud mother and a long-time civil servant and staunch advocate for Southwest Denver families.

From 1997 to 2002, Rosemary served as Denver’s clerk and recorder. During her time in this position, Rosemary fought to create a more transparent, accessible and equitable process for all of Denver’s voters regardless of race, gender or socio-economic status. Her passion for improving Denver through democracy led to many positive changes and to the implementation of new procedures that protected every voter’s right to cast a ballot.

Rosemary served on Denver’s city council from 2003-2007, including serving as city council president from 2005-2006.  At the urging of former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, President George W. Bush nominated Rosemary to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. After unanimous confirmation by the Senate, she served as a commissioner for two years before returning to Colorado to act as U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s State Director.

Rosemary is known for promoting educational opportunity for Denver’s children and has been active in Denver’s public schools for years. She is eager to represent Southwest Denver and encourages you to contact her with ideas, concerns and suggestions.

Rachele Espiritu

Rachele C. Espiritu, Ph.D.
District 4
Term: 2016-2017

Learn More About Rachele

Rachele C. Espiritu, Ph.D is a Founding Partner of Change Matrix, LLC, a minority- and women-owned designated small business that motivates, manages and measures change to support systems that improve lives. She provides tools, processes and content expertise for individuals, organizations and systems as they define, create, measure and sustain change. Dr. Espiritu brings substantive experience in the areas of children’s behavioral health, disparities and equity, cultural and linguistic competence, program evaluation, a public health approach to mental health, change management, workforce development and systems collaboration. As a skilled facilitator, trainer and evaluator, she has supported federal, state and community representatives to build capacity for children’s behavioral health care services and collaborating systems.

Dr. Espiritu currently serves as the Project Director for the National Network to Eliminate Disparities (NNED) in Behavioral Health, a national network of diverse racial, ethnic, cultural and sexual minority communities and organizations to promote policies, practices, standards and research to eliminate behavioral health disparities. She is on the Leadership Team for the Now is the Time Technical Assistance Center that provides assistance and training for 37 federally-funded state educational agencies to increase awareness about mental health issues and build capacity to improve access to care. As a previous faculty member of the Georgetown University, she co-authored the monograph “A Public Health Approach to Children’s Mental Health: A Conceptual Framework.”

Appointed in May 2016, Dr. Espiritu is honored to represent northeast Denver until fall of 2017 to finish the remaining term of former board member Landri Taylor, who resigned in February 2016. She is active in her children’s schools and in our community. She was appointed to serve as a commissioner on the Asian-American Pacific Islander Commission by Mayor Michael Hancock in 2015.

Dr. Espiritu received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California at San Diego and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She currently lives in Northeast Denver with her husband Alexander Vo, PhD. Their son Andrew attends DSST Stapleton Middle School and Jeremy attends Bill Roberts K-8 School.

Lisa Flores

Lisa Flores
District 5
Term: 2015-2019

Learn More About Lisa

Elected in 2015, Lisa Flores represents Denver Public Schools’ Region 5, which encompasses West, North, Downtown and part of Near Northeast Denver.

The granddaughter of migrant laborers, Lisa is a proud graduate of Denver East High School and the first in her family to graduate from college. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz in American Studies and a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University. A former Peace Corps volunteer (Ecuador 1994-96), Lisa has continued her commitment to volunteer community service by participating on numerous community boards, including the DPS Bond/Mill Community Advisory Committee and later the Mill Oversight Committee, Denver’s Road Home – Resource Allocation Committee, the Latina Initiative, NARAL Colorado, the Children’s Museum of Denver and the Denver Housing Authority.  Currently, she is an appointed commissioner for the Denver Public Library.

For the past 25 years, Lisa has worked in the nonprofit, local government and philanthropic sectors. She spent nine years as a senior program officer for the Gates Family Foundation, leading the capital grants program and later an education initiative. Lisa began her career at Mi Casa Resource Center for Women and the Girl Scouts Mile Hi Council. From 1998-2003, she served as executive director of Denver Inner City Parish – a multi-generational, nonprofit community center that provides a variety of services and programs, including operation of a school in Near West Denver. She also served as senior staff for former Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. While working for the City and County of Denver, from 2003-2006, Lisa was engaged in a wide variety of community development, social service and civic projects.

Lisa is married to Rick Tallman, a Gulf War-era veteran, who works in renewable energy. Together, they are helping to raise their nephew, Nahum, a student at Brown Elementary. Lisa’s stepdaughter, Emily, is a graduate of Denver School of the Arts.