January 2021 - Jon Castillo

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents

January 2021

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 Jon Castillo, School Partnerships, Apex Learning.

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

Career Highlights & Education

In my career (on the “sales” side of the industry), I’ve been able to see and do things in education that a lot of people don’t get the chance to do. I started out supporting virtual speech language pathologists and occupational therapists for a small San Francisco-based startup, where we grew from a handful of school districts in northern California to many, big and small, across the country. At that company, I transitioned into sales, which I loved because it meant more direct contact with educators who were making a difference in the lives of students. Nowadays, I assist superintendents and other school leaders to implement ideas that they didn’t think were possible and help set up online learning programs for some of the most innovative districts in the country. I’ve been able to meet and learn from many talented educators, and I am grateful to help schools provide more and better online learning opportunities for ALL students. 


  • University of California, Los Angeles – Bachelor of Arts in Economics
  • Saddleback College – Associate of Arts in Economics

What is exciting about my job?
I love being the idea guy, and my role at Apex allows me to do just that! The combination of brainstorming with and learning from school district leaders, assisting districts to advance online learning, and building true connections with people makes this a very exciting job.

Words from a consejero/a:
The most impactful words have come from a consejero in business and my mother. 

  • My consejero: “Be hungry and be humble.” 
  • My mother: “No job or person is beneath you.”

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader:
If we think about it as a book, when it comes to online learning, course completions are only one chapter in the story. New superintendents and/or school leaders should look at change in grades when using online learning, efficacy of programs, cost effectiveness, and if/how the online learning programming enhances the student-teacher relationship. With so much going on, these are things we don’t often keep tabs on. If you want to understand the whole book, you need to read all the chapters!

If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . .
Me spending time with my wife in our front yard, babbling nonsense with my 10-month old daughter in her playpen, or attempting CrossFit while day-dreaming about In-N-Out Burger.

How does CO-ALAS add value?
When you see people that look like you doing great things, you think that world is for you as well; you belong there. CO-ALAS has given me the opportunity to help other Latinx high-achievers in their work, and it allows me to support a group that will be the people my daughter will eventually see. Even though I’m not in the classroom, the mentorship, sense of community, and pride makes me want to do more to support education.

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