My name is Dan Jorgensen. I’m an advocate for our children, a proud Aurora community member, and I’m running for reelection to the Aurora Public School Board. I have been honored to serve our community as a member of the school board during the past four years.
I grew up with a belief in the value of education, a strong work ethic, and the recognition of everyone’s ability to excel given the right opportunities. I have always viewed education as a pathway to success, and it continues to be central to all aspects of my life. My great, great grandfather was a superintendent and teacher in a one room school in rural America during the late 1800’s (see picture). Continuing to this day, many of my family and friends work on behalf of children. For me, personal fulfillment comes when I’m teaching and advocating for our youth.
When I was still in school my family moved a number of times. This meant changing schools often, but it also provided me with new perspectives as I moved between cities and small towns across Colorado, Nebraska, and Texas. I grew up in a family of six kids. My mother worked primarily in social service positions, and my step-dad was always a blue collar worker. They both instilled in me a strong work ethic and a belief that with hard work, I would be able to achieve my dreams. Growing up, I learned about civic duty, the value of family and community, and the personal satisfaction one gains through hard work. When I was a teenager, I worked on farms, in a family restaurant, and even ran my own business. During college, graduate school and even some points afterward, I supported myself by roofing houses, teaching, and doing both janitorial and construction work.
My formal education included some of the best and most challenging times in my life. I attended an urban middle school where students were not engaged, challenged or provided even the most basic opportunities to reach their potential. Discipline was an issue and much of my time was preoccupied with finding ways to feel safe. The rigor of the coursework was minimal and the kids noticed – I remember questioning the value of even being in school. I do not doubt that if I had continued in this school I wouldn’t have had the subsequent opportunities that I was afforded later in life. I was very lucky; my stepdad’s job relocation pulled me out of this environment and into a new school where students were engaged, expectations were high, the environment was positive and individual abilities were recognized. This experience put me on the road to college and provided me the opportunities I have today. I’ve been able to earn a Ph.D. in Educational Administration & Policy Studies, publish science articles, teach undergraduate and graduate college courses, and provide support to school administrators and teachers across the state.
Today, I’m blessed to be married to a public school teacher and we have three wonderful children. Each one has tremendous opportunity to prosper in Aurora Public Schools. I want every child in Aurora to have the same opportunities as my children. I’ll never forget the challenges and barriers I faced to getting an education, and I will always keep in mind the teachers and mentors that helped me achieve my dreams. Most importantly, I will never stop fighting to ensure that all barriers are removed for every child in our community. While Aurora Public Schools has contributed to many great outcomes for our children, too many children still need support to reach their potential. I benefited from a caring family, strong community, and great schools. That’s how I’ve been able to serve my community. I want to pay my education forward by continued service on the Board.
I’m looking forward to meeting you as we strive to reach our common vision for all of our children. I would be honored to receive your vote on November 3rd.
Dan Jorgensen is currently employed by the Colorado Department of Education as the Accountability Support Manager. His work supports school districts across the state by providing professional development and technical support regarding the state accountability system, postsecondary workforce readiness, and the Colorado Growth Model.
He serves as a Board member, Vice-President, and past Colorado Association of School Boards delegate for the Aurora Public Schools. In addition, he serves as the Board representative to the Long Range Facilities Advisory Planning Committee and serves on the Institutional Advisory Committee for Pickens Technical College. As part of his work with the Colorado Department of Education, he has been appointed by the Commissioner of Education to serve as a Regional Education Laboratory (Central States) Governing Board member. Similarly, he has been appointed to serve as member of the Central Comprehensive Center on behalf of the Commissioner. He previously served on the state Concurrent Enrollment Advisory Board (2009-2013), the regional board for the Book Trust organization, and is a current member and past officer for the Association of Colorado Education Evaluators. Currently, he serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Denver where he instructs graduate level Educational Leadership and Policy courses.
He has earned a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Educational Policy& Administration from the University of Denver, a Master of Arts degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Omaha where he was a Rhoden fellowship recipient, and a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He holds his superintendent licensure from the State of Colorado, is a former recipient of the adjunct teaching award at Johnson & Wales University in Denver, a past member of the School Accountability Committee at Sixth Avenue Elementary School in Aurora, and served both as a division representative for the School Executives of Aurora and as a member of the Aurora Public Schools teacher evaluation committee. Dr. Jorgensen has authored/coauthored research articles that have appeared in peer-reviewed research journals.