April 2020 - Manuel Calderon

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents

April 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 Manuel Calderon, Director, Migrant Education Program, Southeast Region, Pueblo D70.

Career Highlights & Education

I completed my BA in Music Education from the University of Southern Colorado (now Colorado State University-Pueblo) in 1991. 

I began my career as the high school band and choir teacher in Alamosa, CO, building a successful and thriving music department. I also helped to bring more awareness to music in the San Luis Valley (SLV) serving on the board of the SLV Music Association. 

I earned my MA in Secondary Education from Adams State College, then moved to Pueblo to work in Pueblo District 70. Served as band and choir director at Pueblo West Middle school for 11 years. Again, building a great band program and receiving numerous awards for excellence in music. During my tenure as band and choir director,  I worked on and received my Colorado Principal’s License from University of Phoenix in Colorado Springs. 

After one year as Assistant Principal at Pueblo West Middle school, I became the School Administrator at Mountain View Core Knowledge school in Cañon City for two years, then returning to Pueblo D70 as principal of South Mesa Elementary school where I worked for 8 years. Since then, I became Director for the Migrant Education Program in the Southeast area for the past 5 years.

What is exciting about my job?
I come to work very excited about finding ways to support the migratory students. I love the passion my staff has to help the families in our area. I know that the decisions I make as director will impact our families in positive ways.

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader:
Find ways to celebrate every student. They need to feel loved and welcomed in your district. Celebrate culture, celebrate successes--even the small ones--and celebrate life. If I would’ve known then what I know now, embrace the Latino community!

If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . .
I enjoy singing and playing my guitar at church, spending time with my new grand baby, and enjoy spending time with my wife.

How does CO-ALAS add value?
I have done much reflecting as the Director of MEP and I have much regret that I did not pay attention to the very real plight of the Latinos/Latinas in our community. CO-ALAS has helped me to identify more with my Hispanic culture and to help support leaders of color and support students of color in our field. I look forward to mentoring and supporting young Hispanic leaders in our community.  

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