Students and their teacher on the playground at Lowry Elementary in Southeast Denver.
May 9, 2019
Nominate Our Values Role Models for the Leadership Lamp Award
The Leadership Lamp is the most distinguished award a teammate can receive, and we are currently seeking nominations.

This extraordinary honor is reserved for four individuals each year who truly go above and beyond, making a difference and actively living all of our Shared Core Values.
2018 Leadership Lamp Award honoree, school leader Elza Guajardo

A person in any role can be honored with the Leadership Lamp award -- from teachers to school nurses, bus drivers to finance partners, principals to security officers -- so if you know someone setting a great example for all of Team DPS, nominate them today! Nominations are due May 24.

Questions? Email
Take Action: Benefits Open Enrollment Ends Tomorrow
Take action today! Benefits Open Enrollment ends tomorrow, which means Friday, May 10 is the last day to enroll in or waive benefits during the annual benefits Open Enrollment period. Visit to get started.

Open Enrollment is your chance to select medical, dental, vision and supplemental benefits for you and your family. Take advantage of Aetna’s 0% rate increase and Kaiser Permanente’s 1.46% rate decrease, and select your plan for the 2019-20 plan year. 

Reminder: If you do not enroll in or waive benefits by 5 p.m. tomorrow, May 10, you will be auto-enrolled post-tax in the Aetna 3500 CDHP medical plan with employee-only coverage, a Health Savings Account (HSA) and the DPS Sick Leave Bank. 
Top 5: Most Memorable Teacher
As we celebrate our educators for Teacher Appreciation Week , we asked our team members to think back on their most influential teachers. Check out these inspirational stories of memorable educators!

Congratulations to our giveaway winner, Jennifer Alonso at Valdez Elementary!
5. "My most inspirational teacher was my eighth-grade music teacher at Lake Middle School, Mr. Ashton! He inspired me with his love for music. To this day, music brings happiness to my ears and I try to instill that in my students by advising them to listen to all genres!" -- Loretta Martinez, Florence Crittenton High school

4. "My most memorable teacher was my elementary P.E. teacher, Ms. V. She's always been an outstanding teacher and I now have the opportunity to work with her. I just love how she's always putting Students First and has the biggest heart ever." -- Kathy Onken, Dora Moore

3. "My most memorable teacher was my high school humanities teacher. She was notorious for being a really tough teacher and I was definitely intimidated by her. However, I didn't realize how supportive she was and how she pushed her students to reach their full potential. I was an average student until she showed me that even though I had so many things going against me, I could still be successful!"
-- Toulachanh Sayouthasad, Green Valley Elementary

2. "My Freshman year at Thomas Jefferson High School, I had a Spanish teacher named Marlili Cuesta who was amazing. She had so much vibrancy and presence. She inspired me to learn Spanish, taught me to never judge a book by its cover and proved that hard work can get you anywhere. She is a big part of the reason I am Spanish teacher today." -- Karen Casner, Sabin World School

1. "My most influential teacher was my high school P.E. teacher and softball and volleyball coach, Debbie Krebs. She was tough, strict and passionate about her job. She made me a better athlete, taught me the importance of health and wellness -- and she was so good at her job, she made me want to be a P.E. teacher as well. So I did!"
-- Jennifer Alonso, Valdez Elementary
Top 5 Callout: Benefits of Learning Another Language
This week, DPS hosted a celebration in honor of all our students who earned a Seal of Biliteracy award for attaining proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. We wanted to hear from members of Team DPS about a time it has been beneficial to learn another language. Share your story here and be entered to win a giveaway!
Register for a Mindfulness Retreat
Join an Introduction to Mindfulness for Educators course from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. June 6 at McAuliffe International School, 2540 Holly St. The fee for the course is $20 and will feature opportunities to:

  • Learn mindfulness practices that help you respond rather than react. 
  • Practice conversations that help you connect with peers. 
  • Explore setting boundaries for self care. 
  • Gain insight into the dynamics of stress and challenging emotions. 
  • Learn a short mindfulness practice to bring back to students or teams. 

Click here to register.
Perks at Work: Emotional Well-Being Support
Team members have access to several programs to support emotional well-being: 

  • DPS Kaiser Plan Members can access comprehensive behavioral health services by calling 303-471-7700. Also, access valuable clinical information, assessment tools, classes and podcasts by visiting

  • DPS Aetna Plan Members can access virtual behavioral health care for approximately the same cost as a face-to-face office visits. Call Arcadian Telepsychiatry at 866-744-0020 or Teledoc at 1-855-Teladoc (835-2362) to explore options. 

As a reminder, all DPS Team Members have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) -- a free resource that provides team members and their dependents with confidential support, resources and information. Access the EAP by calling 855-327-1377 or visiting GuidanceResources online (enter Organization Web ID: DPS).
Living Our DPS Honoree
Courtney Ferreira
Teacher, Valverde Elementary
Students First

"Ms. Ferreira is always living our Shared Core Value of Students First. In the beginning of the year, she had a challenging class. Within the first week, Ms. Ferreira had already set high expectations and boundaries for the kids’ success. She has an upbeat mood, sense of vitality and can see past setbacks to reach the end goal. Ms. Ferreira’s positivity breeds creativity, which has helped the students feel safe and challenge each other to make the classroom a great learning environment."

-- Lisyuri Gallardo, Valverde Elementary
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