March 2020 - Catrina Estrada

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents

March 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 Catrina Estrada, Principal at Thunder Valley K-8 in St. Vrain Valley Schools.

Career Highlights & Education

I grew up on the Western Slope and am a Colorado Native.  I received my Bachelor’s Degree from University of Northern Colorado in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in ESL. This is my 16th year in public education.  I started my teaching career in 2004 at Centennial Elementary in Greeley as an ELL and Half Day Kindergarten teacher for three years. Then, I moved to Denver and spent the next 10 years in Mapleton Public School where I served as a First Grade Teacher, ELL/Reading Interventionist and TOSA.  While teaching in Mapleton, I earned my Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and also had the opportunity to serve as an assistant principal and principal. Another opportunity arose, and I took a leadership position in the St. Vrain School District. Currently, I am in my third year in St. Vrain Valley Schools where I have served first as the assistant principal and currently as Principal at Thunder Valley K8. 

What is exciting about my job?
I love that I have the opportunity to support and serve teachers and students everyday. It’s never a dull moment nor predictable what the day will bring, which makes it exciting. I love that I get to watch students laugh, learn and persevere through challenges.  Most of all, I love the connections and relationships I am able to build with students, parents, teachers and colleagues.

Words from a consejero/a.  
Be willing to have difficult and courageous conversations and stay true to your values for the sake of kids. Find good mentors and sponsors who will support your growth.

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader:
Don’t forget your “why” and always come back to it. With leadership comes many challenges, so always seek to understand and listen.  Surround yourself with people who are positive and will lift you up. Don’t be afraid to lead because students are counting on you.

If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . .
My husband Erick and I have two sons, Vinny and Dario.  I love spending time with my family and watching my boys play sports.   Additionally, my husband and I love the Colorado sports teams so you can catch us at a game during any season.  We love music and any opportunity to attend concerts. Lastly, we love being active and spending time outdoors enjoying Colorado.

How does CO-ALAS add value?
I am a true believer in you becoming who you surround yourself with. CO-ALAS is full of many talented and inspirational leaders.  It has connected me with other professionals who challenge my thinking and encourage me to be better everyday. I have been able to develop relationships and build a positive network of support.  The connections and conferences help promote my personal and professional growth as a leader and supporting a diverse group of learners.  

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