December 2020 - Dr. Doris Candelarie

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents

December 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. Doris Candelarie, Clinical Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, University of Denver, Morgridge College of Education.

Doris shares hers professional preparation and current bio below.  You can read the diverse experiences that have led to her leadership preparation and various leadership roles.  One of our shining stars!

Career Highlights & Education

I earned my BA in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado, my MA in Education:Teaching and Learning from Regis University, and a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Denver. 

I have been an elementary and middle school teacher, an elementary and middle school principal, and a central office administrator. I am currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Denver.  While I love my job as a professor, my best work was done as a school principal for Sanchez International School.  Because of the work I did with the teachers, parents and community, I was named the 2014 Colorado National Principal of the year. We developed a wrap-around system of support (academic, social, emotional & behavioral) for the students, a 21st Century Community Learning Center, a non-profit foundation to support families and students, a community garden, and most importantly, we improved the educational outcomes for students and created a school that students and families loved.

What is exciting about my job?
I think I have come full circle in my career. I started as a teacher, then became a leader, and now I am teaching others about leadership. It is exciting to help future leaders develop an equity driven leadership approach to dismantle systems of oppression and dominance in their schools. I get excited when I hear about one of my students getting a new leadership position or hearing how they are applying their learning to create better outcomes for their students. I especially enjoy using the Intercultural Development Inventory as a catalyst to help educational leaders build equity plans in their schools and districts.

Words from a consejero/a:
As a leader, you have to be clear on your values and use your values as your north star to guide you in your work. Our identities define us and influence how we lead. It is important to connect to our identities in our work and use our gifts and ancestral wisdom in our leadership.

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader:
I believe that you can’t lead where you won’t go.  As a leader, you have to be really clear on your vision before you can engage others in a collective vision.  Superintendents need to listen to their communities in their communities about what is and is not working for their children.  Public forums are often extensions of systems of power, and to really hear the community, leaders have to remove the power differential and meet the community in their spaces.

If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . .
…me with my family, on a hike in the foothills or mountains, doing yoga, reading or making something really good to eat. 

How does CO-ALAS add value?
CO-ALAS adds value in that representation matters. Finding a community with similar backgrounds and ways of being is important. We need each other and CO-ALAS brings leaders together to learn, to support one another, and to make a difference for our communities we serve.

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