January 2020 - Dr. Diana Roybal

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents

January 2020

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 Dr. Diana Galindo Roybal, Executive Director of Elementary Education in the Cherry Creek School District.

Career Highlights & Education

Twenty-five years ago, I worked as a para educator in the Aurora Public School District.  I supervised recess and prepared materials for teachers. But, I was determined to become a teacher.  As a young mother, I worked during the day and took evening and weekend classes at Colorado Christian University.  Once I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, I landed my first teaching job as a first grade teacher  in the Cherry Creek School District. I taught at the elementary level for several years. Soon I realized I enjoyed leadership roles and decided to pursue a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction.  I appreciated the experience that I was able to gain by teaching in a variety of schools that represented many demographic populations.  

I had the wonderful privilege of working with strong female leaders who modeled their leadership and provided me with opportunities to develop my skills in leadership.  Subsequently, I went back to school to earn my Education Specialist Degree in School Administration from the University of Colorado. Shortly after, I moved into an assistant principal position; in 2006, I received my first principalship at Dry Creek Elementary School.  I spent five years at Dry Creek before moving to Cimarron Elementary. After five years at Cimarron, I was apppointed as principal to the largest elementary school, and the only year-round school in CCSD, Pine Ridge Elementary. Pine Ridge had close to 900 elementary students while I served as the principal.  During my 13 years as school principal, I was motivated to return to school and earned my Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership. 

Earning my Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix in 2018 was a true highlight in my life!  I am a first-generation college graduate whose parents did not finish high school. Born in Souther California, I was the product of a teenage pregnancy and my childhood memories include visiting my dad in a maximum-security prison in California.  When I think of where I came from and where I am now, I am humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude. I am now Dr. Diana Galindo Roybal and I am the Executive Director of Elementary Education in the Cherry Creek School District. I supervise and support principals as they strive to provide an excellent education for all children.

What is exciting about my job?
Education is complex!  School leaders must navigate social and political interests while staying true to the purpose of their work.  It is exciting for me to visit schools where students are affirmed, engaged, and growing academically. Another exciting aspect of my position is collaborating with other leaders to develop our vision for the future.  I am energized by the collective approach that requires people to put egos aside and consider multiple perspectives to craft a strategic plan that provides access and opportunity for all students!

Words from a consejero/a.  
A quote that I have on the cover of my notebook is by Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor:  

“Don’t let fear stop you.  Don’t give up because you are paralyzed by insecurity or overwhelmed by the odds, because in giving up, you give up hope.  Understand that failure is a process in life, that only in trying can you enrich yourself and have the possibility of moving forward.  The greatest obstacle in life is fear and giving up because of it.”

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader:
Take time to listen to many varied perspectives on a topic.  Listen and ask a lot of questions and then listen some more. Be clear on “the why” of your decisions.  Make time to be visible and accessible to the people in your organization. When a change is implemented, take time to gather feedback from the people who are doing the work. 

If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . .
When I have several days off at a time, I love to travel somewhere warm and near the ocean.  The ocean speaks to me and brings me peace. I believe in selfcare, so working out, spa time, relaxation, and reading fill my bucket. 

How does CO-ALAS add value?
ALAS is a place where I feel I belong.  In my organization, I am a speck of color in a sea of whiteness and it can feel isolating.  ALAS affirms my being and motivates me to be strong, confident, and believe that I am a person of worth.  I am a person who can make a difference. I have what it takes. I am inspired by the other Latino/a leaders.  They challenge me to be the best version of myself. ALAS challenges me to give back by mentoring and supporting upcoming Latino/a leaders. 

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