I am a Mother of two sons, the eldest graduated from Denver Public Schools (DPS) and the youngest is currently attending a DPS elementary school in Harvey Park. I am a product of DPS, as is my husband Jaime and we graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in the 90’s. I also earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Metropolitan State University of Denver. I am a small business owner and real estate agent in southwest Denver. I have the great honor of being President of the Harvey Park Improvement Association in the neighborhood I live in. I work and serve in the community in which I live in.
Being Mexican-born and now a proud United States Citizen, I lived the experience of being an undocumented child within DPS schools. I attended several elementary schools, one middle school and two high schools; Knapp Elementary School, Valverde Elementary School, Cheltenham Elementary School, Valdez Elementary School, Lake Middle School, North High School and Abraham Lincoln High School. Due to poor education and low paying jobs, my parents were always looking for an affordable rent option. As we moved around Denver, I quickly realized I had to learn to socialize, make friends, adapt to new beginnings and learn to be tolerant and empathetic to children of all communities. Being part of the under-served, and living on the margins of society was a difficult experience for a child, however as an adult I realize that it helped shape me into the empathetic, strong leader I am today.
I believe that an equitable public school education is a right for all.
My husband, Jaime and I bought our first home in Ruby Hill in southwest Denver over 20 years ago. Our next home we chose because Doull Elementary School was such a great neighborhood school and we looked forward to raising our son in Harvey Park. Like many of you, having the right school for our son was one of the top reasons we chose the neighborhood and house we live in now. Denver families still want to move into a neighborhood where they can count on a good neighborhood school in the area. That is why I am running to represent you on the school board.
These are important decisions and a quality, local public school education has always been a foundation for a strong neighborhood. Whether you have kids in school today or not, your property values and the integrity of our community is all tied back to strong neighborhood schools.
-I believe that education leads us all into prosperity.
-I believe education creates confident, civic-minded leaders that will make a positive impact in their communities.
-I believe that an equitable public school education is a right for all.
-Children from all communities, backgrounds, ethnicities should have a strong neighborhood school to attend in the community or neighborhood they live in.
-I believe teachers should have more growth opportunity, provided with better health care options and financial support from the administration and the Board of Education of the school district they work in.
-I believe that parents and communities should also get involved and support their local, neighborhood schools.
I believe in southwest Denver communities and strengthening our neighborhood schools. Together we can reverse the weakening of our neighborhood schools, provide moral and financial support needed by our teachers and meet the needs of the diverse people living in southwest Denver. That is why I am running for the District 2 – Southwest Denver seat on the Denver Public Schools Board of Education. Join me and let’s make a difference in our communities.
Xóchitl “Sochi” Gaytán is a Denver Public School Board candidate in District 2.