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Cabinet Leadership Team

Among the superintendent's advisors is a team of district leaders relied on to discuss and determine action on critical issues facing the district. Every area of the district is represented in Cabinet.

DAVID BELL, CHIEF HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICER

David BellDavid was selected as the Chief Human Resources Officer in July 2018. He has held multiple human resources positions within Jeffco, most recently as the Director of Employment Services. David has more than 23 years of experience working in all facets of HR, 11 of those in Jeffco.

The Jeffco Public Schools HR department is responsible for the development and implementation of comprehensive systems, programs, processes, and procedures in the areas of employment, personnel record maintenance and record retention, job classifications and compensation, performance management and evaluation, benefits administration, recruitment onboarding, leave programs, substitute teacher programs, unemployment, and employee assistance programs. David also works with the district’s unions and serves as the lead negotiator with union officials. The department is currently working to implement strategies outlined in the Jeffco Generations Vision, including on-going work to recruit, hire, and retain talented, effective employees in all positions across our school district.

HR Organizational Chart
Human Resources

STEVE BELL, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Steve BellSteve joined Jeffco Public Schools in May 2010. He previously worked in the investment banking industry. His job responsibilities included the oversight and management for the origination of municipal accounts. Steve is a 50-year resident of Jefferson County, attended Jeffco Public Schools, and is an Arvada High School graduate. He has been active in the Jeffco community, serving on civic organizations including St. Anthony Hospital Foundation, Jeffco Economic Development Corporation, the Arvada Chamber, and the Jefferson Education Foundation, where he served as president for two terms and then as a foundation trustee.

The Chief Operating Officer develops, directs and implements the district’s support services and provides general management of day-to-day operation of service divisions including Athletics & Activities, Food & Nutrition Services, Custodial Services, Environmental Services, Facilities Management, Planning Construction, Security & Emergency Management, and Student Transportation & Fleet Maintenance.

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Operations

DAN COHAN, CHIEF OF SCHOOLS - SECONDARY

Dan CohanDan has worked in education for over 30 years. During his tenure he has served as community superintendent, executive director, principal, assistant principal and math teacher at the middle and high school levels. As principal of Pomona High School, Dan led his staff in implementing a highly effective Professional Learning Community and Response to Intervention model. He believes deeply in Graduation with Choices for every student and works to develop strong principal and teacher leaders committed to this purpose.  Dan earned a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and teacher certification from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He earned a master's in administration, supervision, and curriculum development from the University of Colorado, Denver.

Dan oversees all district middle, senior high, alternative and option schools through community superintendents to increase student achievement, ensure quality school leadership, improve school effectiveness, inspire innovation, develop healthy school culture, budget strategically and maintain a safe school environment.

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School Leadership

 

BRENNA COPELAND, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Brenna CopelandBrenna brings exceptional skills in program management, financial management, and operational leadership in a time of great opportunity for the district. She has experience in education strategic initiatives, financial programming and grant management, and in public education as Director of Portfolio Management & Instructional Superintendent with Denver Public Schools.

Brenna’s blend of strategic skills and abilities in the financial and education areas will allow her serve as CFO and lead our financial services team in a manner that aligns with needs identified by our superintendent: the just right balance of coherence and autonomy, positive climate and culture, efficient and effective use of resources, pandemic recovery, and effective district organization to support schools and student achievement.

Brenna has twenty years' experience in education and finance and holds an MBA from Duke University and a BA from Rice University.

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Financial Services

CHRIS ESSER, CHIEF LEGAL COUNSEL

Chris EsserChris most recently served as the Deputy General Counsel before being appointed as the interim Chief Legal Counsel in February 2020. Chris first joined Jeffco Public Schools in 2014 and has served in multiple roles providing legal advice and representation in areas of employment, education, and governmental law. 

Originally from the Hawkeye State, Chris moved to Colorado to earn his juris doctorate from Denver University in 2010. Chris and his wife are Jeffco residents and proud parents of two Jeffco students. 

Chief Legal Counsel provides district-wide, general in-house legal support including leadership for compliance with federal, state, and local laws relating to staff, students, and the public. Chris and his team also represent the Board of Education and Superintendent concerning labor relations with employee organizations, employee relations, and the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) program.

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Legal Counsel/Employee Relations

MATT FLORES, CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER

Matt FloresMatt has been in this position since May 2016. He previously worked as a classroom teacher and as an elementary, middle, and high school principal. He also worked for four years as the Jeffco Public Schools Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction.

The Educational Research & Design Department is responsible for all programs that support teaching and learning. His team ensures that resources, tools, and training are readily available for staff to support the district’s vision and strategic plan. All state and district assessments are organized and facilitated through this department, as is early childhood education, Title I, choice programming, and student data privacy.

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Educational Research/Design

JILL IBECK, CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER

Jill IbeckJill joined Jeffco Public Schools in July 2021 as Chief Information Officer. Jill has 21 years of professional experience in information technology (IT) with 17 years in the education industry. Prior to joining the Jeffco Public Schools cabinet team, Jill served in numerous technical and techno-functional roles in K-12, community college, and for the University of Colorado serving all four campuses totaling 66,000 students, 37,000 faculty and staff, and the vast enterprise constituent base of over 390,000 individuals. In addition, she has held numerous technical and product advisory roles and enjoys volunteering with the Arvada Festivals Commission and the Ralston House. Originally from Illinois, Jill and her spouse have lived in in Colorado for 16 years and are proud Jefferson County residents.

As Chief Information Officer, she will oversee technology related strategy and initiatives for the district and lead the IT department while assuming responsibility for designing and recommending appropriate technology solutions to support the district’s goals and objectives.

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SUSAN LEACH, CHIEF STUDENT SUCCESS OFFICER

Susan LeachDr. Susan Leach, formerly a Director of Special Education, was named Chief of Student Success as of July 1, 2019. Prior to Jeffco, she was with Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) in Jacksonville, FL for 12 years, the twentieth largest school system in the U.S. Her most recent position at DCPS was as Director of Exceptional Education and Student Services where she led a team of over 300 professionals who ensured that the approximately 20,000 students with disabilities in the district received the supports and services necessary to find success in the public school system. Dr. Leach is a licensed and certified school psychologist and previously served as the Supervisor of Psychological and Social Work Services, as well as a regional Special Education Supervisor and school psychologist. Her research interests are related to issues impacting public school students, particularly those marginalized by race and socioeconomic status 

The Chief Student Success Officer position is responsible for developing, directing and rolling out systems and programs to serve students and families who require educational, physical, and emotional support beyond standard programming. Susan provides leadership and management for the following departments: special education, gifted and talented, health services, homebound instruction, student services, healthy schools, and student engagement.

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Student Success

HELEN NEAL, CHIEF OF STAFF

Helen NealHelen has worked with five superintendents and many board members of Jeffco Public Schools since her hire in 1998. Prior to coming to Jeffco, she worked at executive levels of state and municipal government and fundraised for local non-profits. She was Public Information Officer for the City of Aurora city manager, mayor, and council, opened and managed the Access Aurora Office. Helen has worked for the Colorado Lt. Governor’s Office and Department of Local Affairs on special projects, the Economic Development Commission and the Colorado Film Commission. She and her spouse have two children who are Jeffco graduates.

The Chief of Staff manages actions and decisions impacting the Board of Education, Superintendent, and Cabinet, and advises and counsels district leadership to help the district provide clear, complete and accurate communication to external and internal audiences. Helen coordinates the Superintendent’s schedule, all content on Board and Superintendent webpages and in Board Docs — the platform for sharing public meeting documents. She also manages the board’s meetings, schedule, and agendas while serving as main staff support during their meetings.

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Board of Education/Superintendent

RENEE NICOTHODES, CHIEF OF SCHOOLS, ELEMENTARY

Renee NicothodesOver the course of her 26-year career in education, Renee has served as elementary director of curriculum and instruction, principal supervisor, principal, instructional coach, and classroom teacher. Renee holds a Master of Arts in Education and a reading specialist credential from San Diego State University. Renee has a passion for working with at-risk student populations and advocating for equity and excellence in educational systems.

Renee oversees district elementary schools through achievement directors to increase student achievement, ensure quality school leadership, improve school effectiveness, inspire innovation and monitor safety. She partners with the chief academic officer and chief student success officer to oversee the rollout of all district targets, priorities, and strategies for Jeffco schools.

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School Leadership

TAMMY SCHIFF, CHIEF COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER

Tammy SchiffTammy joined Jeffco Public Schools in 2018 after serving as Chief Communications Officer at Eagle County Schools for nearly four years. Prior to her time with Eagle County Schools, Tammy spent over 30 years in domestic and international marketing, business strategy, communications, and field operations. She also worked in consulting and interim executive roles with numerous start-up technology ventures, higher education systems, and non-profits. Tammy is currently a board member with West Metro Chamber of Commerce, has served as president of the Colorado School Public Relations Association (COSPRA) and on various non-profit boards over her career. Tammy holds an MBA from Emory University, and received her BA from Tulane University.

The Chief Communications Officer provides leadership and strategic direction for all communications and community relations initiatives within Jeffco Public Schools. Tammy and her team are responsible for the development and delivery of internal and external communications including branding, publications, media relations, new media, video programming, and crisis communications, as well as coordinating family engagement programs, community outreach, and serving as district spokespersons to the media.

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Communications Services

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