This month, we’ll explore strength: how do we harness it to find our passions, chart our careers, and help others? In discussion with Collinus Newsome, we’ll define what strength means to her through her incredible work and current focus on Culturally Responsive Education for increasing academic achievement for P-12 students
May 21, 2019 @ 6:30 pm
Collinus Newsome is Director of Education at The Denver Foundation. As the director, Collinus oversees and directs the K-12 education portfolio which focuses on Culturally Responsive Education as a strategy for increasing academic achievement for P-12 students. In addition, Collinus also oversees the development, growth and implementation of Denver Foundation’s School to Prison Pipeline Initiative- Common Sense Discipline (CSD), an initiative that brings teachers, school administrators, students, families, community members, and nonprofit partners together to reduce suspensions and expulsions for all children with a specific focus on reducing the racial and ethnic disproportionality in suspensions and expulsions.
Previously, Collinus served as the Policy Advisor to the Superintendent of Aurora Public Schools. While in APS, Collinus developed policy analysis and recommendations for the Superintendent. She was also responsible for leading and managing special assignments and projects as well. Prior to her time in Aurora, Collinus served as the Director of Diversity and Senior Instructor for the School of Education at the University of Colorado, Boulder campus. Her work in the School of Education focused on the management and implementation of the strategic plan to recruit and retain students of color and first-generation college students to the School of Education degree programs. In addition, Collinus served as the chair of the Teachers of Color & Allies Summit conference, a professional learning opportunity focused on school culture, social justice, equity and leadership. As a senior instructor in the School of Education, Collinus was responsible for advising and teaching elementary school instructional methods courses for licensure candidates. Collinus also taught middle school and high school students for 10 years before moving into the policy and advocacy space.
Collinus is a Denver native. Her parents arrived in Denver in 1978 as part of the last wave of black southerners migrating from the Deep South to northern cities. Big John and Big Ruby parented eight children in spite of the bigotry and hatred they lived through. All eight of Collinus’ siblings are first generation college students. She attended Denver Public Schools, South High School, and was a member of the Colorado Flyers Track and Field Club. Collinus earned a track and field scholarship to the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana where she was a 7-Time Big Ten Champion and 6-time NCAA All-American. Collinus lives in Denver with her three daughters Gracie, Faithie and Rubie Star.