• Support aspiring and current Latino/a administrators and educational leaders.
  • Support aspiring and current Latino/a administrators and educational leaders.
  • Support aspiring and current Latino/a administrators and educational leaders.
  • Support aspiring and current Latino/a administrators and educational leaders.
  • Support aspiring and current Latino/a administrators and educational leaders.

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Register now

Who we are.


CO-ALAS is a professional education association that advocates for the continued development and placement of Latino/Latina administrators who are committed to quality public education for all students.

We are committed to:

  • Promoting effective educational practices with Latino/ELL students, which also benefit all students
  • Collaborating with local, state and national educators to promote Latino/ELL student success
  • Providing career enhancement opportunities through professional development and mentoring

CO-ALAS members and supporters include:

  • School superintendents, administrators, teachers and support staff
  • Representatives from the Colorado Department of Education
  • Representatives from the Colorado Department of Higher Education
  • Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents
  • Various educational publishers



Ron Cabrera, Ph.D.
Leadership Consultant


Bernadette Archuleta
Staffing Manager
Douglas County School District RE-1

Ben Martinez
Retired School & District Administrator


Elina Medina
CTE Director - The Med School
Manual High School
Denver Public Schools


Jorge Robles
Executive Director - English Language Acquisition Department
Denver Public Schools

Past Chair

Jesús Escárcega
Director for Grants Department
Aurora Public Schools


The mission of CO-ALAS is to support aspiring and current Latino/a administrators and educational leaders by promoting best practices, professional learning, communication and networking.


Effectively communicate our vision and mission.

  • Promote the organization to increase membership.
  • Work cooperatively with educational organizations to advocate for quality and equitable public education.
  • Provide regular updates about key educational issues
  • Increase support from corporate sponsors

Provide members with opportunities for professional learning by sharing best practices.

  • Create learning opportunities regarding effective school/district administration and leadership.
  • Promote learning opportunities on effective instructional practices.

Develop leadership capacity to increase the number of under-represented educational leaders.

  • Mentoring opportunities for members.
  • Networking opportunities for members.

Read the latest CO-ALAS newsletter

Conferences & Events




Download the flier
Register now

9th Annual CO-ALAS Conference
Breakthrough: your pathway to leadership
Rompiendo barreras: tu camino hacia el liderazgo

Saturday, April 21, 2018
Denver Public Schools
1860 Lincoln Street,  14th Floor
Denver, Colorado 80203

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Register now

Latina Leadership Network
Locations, Times, and Dates to be announced

Regional CO ALAS Social Events
Locations, Times, and Dates to be announced

View More




Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents

February 2018

Welcome to the CO ALAS Membership Spotlight.  Each month we introduce you to one of our many CO ALAS members. Let’s see what they are doing and what’s on their mind!

This month we are featuring Luis Murillo, Principal of Skoglund Middle School, Center Colorado.

Career Highlights & Education
Mr. Murillo has been a principal at Skoglund Middle School in the Center Consolidated School District for the past four years.  Prior to that, he was a counselor at Ortega Middle School in Alamosa, CO.  Mr. Murillo brought to Center a fundamental belief in educating the whole child.  Toward these efforts, he has instituted and developed a number of programs to ensure that not only are we developing young academics, but also young people armed with the skills necessary to successfully traverse an ever-changing world. 

Mr. Murillo has helped to transform a discipline program focused on punishment to one that is focused on accountability and the development of life skills to change behavior.  This includes introducing Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports as well as Restorative Practices.  As a result the number of hours our students spend in ISS (In-School Suspension) has dramatically reduced from 710 in 2015/2016 to 139 hours this school year.

An integral value of the Center School District is the health and wellness of the student.  Mr. Murillo emphasizes that if students do not come to school ready to learn, they will not be able to fully engage in all that we are offering them academically.  Under Mr. Murillo’s leadership, all students in grades 6-8 are in PE and have required health education aligned to the Colorado Comprehensive Health and Physical Education standards, and these classes are held to the same rigor as other academic content areas.  On the 2016 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, compared to the average for Colorado students, 25% more Center students report the recommended daily dosage of 60 minutes of physical activity.  Students who report tobacco use is half that of Colorado’s average.  The same is true for alcohol use.  Marijuana use in Colorado overall is 2.4 times that for Center. These and other efforts have led to Skoglund being awarded Healthy School Champions for 6 years in a row.

When Mr. Murillo first began his tenure at Center School District, he understood the need for more parent involvement.  His own educational experiences underscored the need to parents to feel engaged and part of the school community.  His dedication to this effort has been unparalleled.  He developed a parent leadership academy called Parents Involved for Center Students (PICS).  This group meets on a weekly basis to address parent concerns, interests, and education.  Mr. Murillo’s vision has taken this from a group of parents merely following him, to a group of parents taking the charge to proactively address parent and student needs.  Currently, this group has parents who sit on the PICS Advisory Board and lead the group itself, but also parents who sit on our District Accountability Committee, the District Health Advisory Committee, and the Middle/High School Building Leadership Team.  Mr. Murillo has truly embraced the idea of meaningful engagement for parents as leaders and partners in the education of our students.

Another facet of the Center parent engagement program are home visits.  Mr. Murillo took a fledgling parent home visit program and developed it into a program utilized on a daily basis by all educators in the middle and high schools.  Mr. Murillo himself did over 100 home visits last year.  His belief in the value of ALL students motivates him to ensure we are not only reaching out to the parents of students who we see often, but to the parents and guardians all students in our schools.  Mr. Murillo has championed the idea that all students matter, and that “If parents cannot come to us, we will go to them.”

A Core Value of the Center School District is that, “With our support, all students can achieve academically and be successful in life.”  Mr. Murillo has fully embraced this value and helped develop a robust career development program starting in the sixth grade.  Through advisories, students engage in social-emotional learning and career planning on a weekly basis.  Students are developing post-secondary aspirations and plans, learning what behavioral skills they need to be successful, and making connections between the academic content they learn in their classes and their future career needs.  On the VOLT climate survey, on a range of 1 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree), Skoglund students averaged 3.17 (compared to 3.13 for Colorado) for questions related to teacher support.  For overall school climate, Skoglund was at 3.2 compared to 3.09 for Colorado. Lastly, Skoglund has maintained its CDE “Performance” accreditation for the past four years and it is inching closer to getting to achievement across the board. 

What is exciting about my job?
The most exciting aspect of my job is that I get the honor to work in a serving field right next to a bunch of inspiring professionals who are just as passionate as I am about educating students. Let’s face it, Center, Colorado is not the most enticing town in our state; yet these individuals recognize the need and honor the right of providing a rigorous education to our students. With the teacher shortage we have in our state these teachers can easily find jobs in other school districts in our beautiful state and they choose to walk right next to me to serve the stakeholders in our beautiful little town.

I also get excited to serve in a community that mirrors my values and continues to fuel my fire to serve. I see my story in the stories of my students. I see my parents in the parents I serve. The potato fields surrounding Center remind me of the strawberry fields in Oxnard. The food we eat when we celebrate remind me off my mother’s kitchen. I get excited every day to be leading in a Latino community.

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader?
The advice I would give a new leader it to always stay true to your roots. Remember where you came from. The analogy that comes to mind is that of a tree. A tree that is deeply rooted will not topple when the storm hits. A tree that is not will not be able to withstand it. In the field of service and leadership there will be storms. Follow your values and see them through. Y como dice la célebre pintora Frida Kahlo, “pies para qué los quiero si tengo ALAS para volar”.

If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . .
If you catch me outside the office you will probably see me rooting for our kids at a sporting event. If you catch me outside of the San Luis Valley you will find me spending time with family and loved ones or at a play. I really enjoy small production plays and live music.

How does CO-ALAS add value?
CO- ALAS means a lot to me. My first year as a principal was a rough one. I was approached by Jesus Escárcega at a CASE conference. He made me feel like I was his family. He told me about ALAS and it has truly been THE turning point in my career. CO-ALAS continues to fuel my fire. I have met so many inspiring leaders that I have learned so much from. My professional network has grown. More than anything CO-ALAS showed me that I am not alone and that there are many of us doing the right work and fighting the fight for equity in the trenches.




National Organizations
ALAS – Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents
ALAS is the national association created for the purpose of identifying, recruiting, developing and advancing Latino school administrators in order to improve the educational accomplishments of Latino youth. 

 Regional Organizations

AZALAS Arizona Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents
The Arizona Hispanic School Administrators Association has been in existence since 1988
 and members include administrators and teachers from throughout Arizona.  AHSAA’s mission is to promote leadership, unity, and mentorship for Hispanic educators and students.  To that end, AHSAA is committed to improving the quality of education and ensuring excellence and equity in education for all students in Arizona.

CALSA – California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators
CALSA is a community of educational leaders whose mission is working to increase the number of successful Latino/Latina administrators, committed to closing the Latino/Latina student achievement gap.  CALSA will achieve its mission by, advocating on behalf of Latino children, providing mentoring opportunities for professional development and career enhancement.

GALAS Georgia Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents

The Georgia Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (GALAS) was formed in 2012 with the goal of establishing an organization committed to identifying and developing school leaders to improve the educational outcomes of Latino students in Georgia. A small group of dedicated administrators throughout the Metro Atlanta area began the task of developing the Vision, Mission, goals, and bylaws for the organization. GALAS became an official state affiliate in the fall of 2014.

OALA – Oregon Association of Latino Administrators

OALA was created as a vehicle to support and mentor Latino Administrators as well as Latino educators who aspire to become administrators in the State of Oregon.

ALAS de Nuevo Mexico 
 Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents de Nuevo Mexico
OALike its parent organization, the mission of ALAS de Nuevo México is to advocate for public education by inspriing and cultivating the development and promotion of Hispano/Latino educational leaders for the benefit of all students.
TALAS  Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents
 The Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (TALAS) is beginning its first year as a state association for the identification, recruitment, development and advancement of Latino school administrators in order to improve public education in general for all students with an emphasis on improving the educational and career opportunities of Latino youth.
SFL-ALAS  South Florida Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents
SFL-ALAS provides a venue for educational professionals to discuss the needs of our diverse community in order to better serve the Latino students who attend Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach county schools.


Register here for memberships, conferences and sponsorships


CO-ALAS is a professional education association that advocates for the continued development and placement of Latino/Latina administrators who are committed to quality public education for all students.


PO Box 13109
Denver, CO 80201