• It is a devastating reality that the achievement gap continues to grow in Colorado.

  • Over the past decade, the education ecosystem in Colorado has evolved to the point where major improvements can start to take hold.

About Colorado

In the shadow of Colorado’s majestic mountains and rugged frontiers is a long history of racial segregation and economic inequity. While Colorado has the third highest percentage of adults with college degrees, our state ranks at the very bottom for high school graduates continuing to college. This extreme divide, known as the Colorado Paradox, begins early within our education system and disproportionately affects disadvantaged students. In fact, Colorado’s affluent students are three times more proficient than those growing up in low-income communities.

In the face of these inequities, over the past five years Colorado’s education movement has made tremendous progress. Rather than viewing educational inequity as an intractable problem, there is growing optimism that promises new opportunities for students. In 2007, a small group of motivated leaders across Colorado took bold steps to help create broad, systemic change in education. They ushered in dozens of advocacy organizations to form a dynamic ecosystem working to reshape the policy context in which schools and school systems operate. Reforms around school leader autonomy, incentives-based compensation, and teacher tenure served as a model for 30 states across the country. Denver ranks fourth out of 25 cities for reform-friendly environment. In just five years, Denver grew the number of schools consistently putting kids from low-income communities on a path to college from 0 to 12.

As a result of this incredible momentum, by 2010, Colorado was poised to become an inspiring example of system-level change in the nation.  Reformers at every level of the system recognized that dramatically expanding the pipeline of leaders was critical to accelerating the pace of change across the state of Colorado.

By infusing Colorado with transformational leaders, Teach For America - Colorado is a catalyst for a system-wide education reform movement. Our role at Teach For America - Colorado is to create transformational classrooms and schools for all kids.  Our corps members and alumni will facilitate enduring personal and cultural growth, and rigorous academic achievement for our students.

In 2013, we serve both Denver and Colorado Springs metro areas with 265 corps members and over 900 alumni (35 principals/systems leaders) reaching 34,000 students. Our corps members are teaching in more than 80 placement schools in six districts statewide. Both corps members and alumni are supported by 31 staff members and 11 board members. 

Connect With Us

Denver
1391 Speer Blvd., Suite 710
Denver, CO 80204
Tel 303-893-4483
Fax 303-893-0414
Colorado Springs
2860 S. Circle Dr., Suite 310
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Tel 719-219-5200
Fax 719-279-0244

Executive Director

Sean VanBerschot
Sean VanBerschot became the founding executive director of Teach For America - Colorado in 2007.
Sean founded the Colorado region after serving two years as the Executive Director of Teach For America in New Mexico. The region launched in Denver with 55 corps members in just one school district and with only 14 donors. Under Sean’s leadership, the Colorado corps has grown to 265 active corps members in six districts and 80+ schools and the TFA alumni network in Colorado has grown from 100 in 2007 to 900 in 2013. Notably, nearly two thirds of the alumni living in Colorado continue to work in the field of education. Collectively, Colorado corps members and alumni teachers are impacting 34,000 low-income students daily.  
 
Sean began his Teach For America career as a corps member in the 2001 New Mexico charter corps, where he taught third and fifth grades in Smith Lake, NM. He went on to teach sixth grade social studies while serving as the school’s basketball coach and newsletter editor, sitting on the superintendent’s advisory committee and participating as a community organizer. In 2004, Sean took on the role of executive director of Teach For America – New Mexico, where he set aggressive goals for student achievement. An active member of the Colorado education community, Sean serves on several committees and boards of directors. He is a 2013 Livingston Fellow and 2007 Center for Progressive Leader Fellow with a Masters in Teaching and a Bachelors in History from the University of Illinois. Sean is married with two daughters.

Regional Stats

2007
YEAR TFA ARRIVED
60
CORPS SIZE THE FIRST YEAR
130
INCOMING CORPS SIZE THIS YEAR
240
TOTAL CORPS SIZE THIS YEAR
940
ALUMNI IN REGION
25
ALUMNI SCHOOL LEADERS
Data valid as of: Aug 2014