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Denver Families Action Endorses Three Change-Focused Candidates for Denver Public Schools Board of Education

Contact: Lela Johnston
Resources: Candidate Photos

DENVER, August 24, 2023 -  Denver Families Action, a community organization dedicated to empowering public school families, educators, and community members in Denver, is proud to announce their endorsement of Kimberlee Sia for District 1, Marlene De La Rosa for District 5, and John Youngquist for the At-Large seat in the upcoming November Denver Public Schools (DPS) Board of Education election. All three candidates possess the vision and qualifications to transform board leadership and shape a better future for DPS families.

The extensive endorsement process was designed to be transparent, inclusive, and fair, aligning with Denver Families Action’s mission and values. In total, seven candidates accepted and completed a comprehensive questionnaire and interview with a panel of DFA staff and advocacy leaders, which included DPS families, graduates, educators, and school leaders.

“Denver Families Action is proud to endorse a fantastic slate of candidates who are eminently qualified to sit on the DPS Board of Education, committed to authentically engaging the community and dedicated to centering the experiences of students, families, and educators in their leadership,” said Clarence Burton Jr, CEO of Denver Families Action.

District 1: Kimberlee Sia

With a 25-year career in non-profit and educational leadership, Kimberlee Sia has served as a teacher, a principal, and a teachers union leader. As a parent of two current DPS students and as an educator, Kimberlee is committed to enhancing school safety and mental health support; ensuring access for every student to an equitable, high-quality education; and collaborating with families and the community to prioritize student success. She believes in the importance of transparency on the board, and she’s dedicated to working with families to collectively make DPS a high-achieving school district.

“I am honored to be endorsed by Denver Families Action,” said Sia. “This endorsement comes from families and educators who are part of our DPS community and are directly impacted by the decisions made by the DPS Board of Education. I am excited to work with this group of individuals who are passionate about advocating for the needs of students across our district.”

District 5: Marlene De La Rosa

Marlene De La Rosa, a parent of two DPS graduates, has been a lifelong advocate for children, education, and the Northwest Denver community. Marlene spent over three decades at the Department of Justice U.S. Immigration Court, retiring as a legal court specialist. She has dedicated her life—professionally and personally—to ensuring Denver’s youth can reach their full potential. As a leader in the Denver Latino community, she is committed to closing the achievement gap and ensuring that every student, regardless of their background, has access to the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.

“I am grateful for the support of Denver Families Action,” said De La Rosa. “They understand, like I do, that every student deserves a high quality education. As a board member, I will work to close the achievement gap, and increase equity and school funding.”

At-Large: John Youngquist

John Youngquist, a parent of two current DPS students, has been an education leader for over 30 years, serving in various roles in the district including teacher, principal, and administrator. John has dedicated his life to education and student achievement. He believes in fostering a learning environment that embraces inclusivity and equity, enhancing safety measures within schools, and guaranteeing that every student, irrespective of their background or geographical location, receives a high-quality education.

"It is with sincere gratitude that I accept the endorsement from Denver Families Action,” said Youngquist. “Their support reinforces my commitment to ensuring every child in Denver has access to a safe, engaging, and academically successful journey through school. I look forward to partnering with their team and our DPS community as we work collectively to build a strong foundation for every student’s success.”

“All three of our endorsed candidates bring decades of combined experience in the classroom and in leadership positions in the community where they’ve been dedicated to student success,” said Burton. “They also have the shared experience of being Denver Public School families, promising diverse family representation in district leadership.”

The endorsement panel objectively assessed all participating candidates based on their qualifications, viability, and values alignment.

"As a deeply concerned DPS parent, having the opportunity to participate in the Denver Families Action endorsement process was both empowering and meaningful,” said Anabell Hernandez. "This process is more than just a civic duty—it's a chance to improve and shape the future of our children's education."

This November, Denver voters will have the chance to reshape the landscape of the school district in the upcoming 2023 Board of Education election. Denver Families Action encourages the Denver community to voice the need for change by actively participating and voting in this election to shape a brighter future for all DPS families.

About Denver Families Action

Denver Families Action is a community organization dedicated to empowering public school families, educators, and community members in Denver. Through active engagement, advocacy, and endorsement of education-focused policies and candidates, Denver Families Action strives to create a more equitable and successful educational environment for all Denver students. For more information about Denver Families Action and its upcoming endorsements, please visit

Lela Johnston

August 24, 2023 at 6:00:00 PM

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