CEI Appoints Two K-12 Education Experts to Leadership Positions

February 1, 2016

January 29, 2016

Denver, Colo. – The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) appointed two new vice presidents to its leadership team, both of them with years of experience in helping Colorado schools innovate and improve student achievement. Alex Carter, currently the superintendent of Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1, will become CEI’s vice president of Development in March. Samantha Olson, CEI’s director of Next Generation Learning, has become vice president of Strategic Learning. 

Carter is a veteran educator who has worked in education for more than 20 years, first as a high school history teacher and then as a high school principal in Virginia and Telluride, Colorado. As superintendent in Cortez, Colorado, Carter led a successful $44 million bond campaign to build a new state-of-the-art high school. He worked closely with CEI to improve professional development in the district and launch several new programs, and was deeply impressed by the expertise of CEI staff he met. 

“As superintendent for the last four years, I’ve been a partner with CEI and I’ve seen the value and power of having a nonprofit partner,” said Carter. “The work CEI does makes a tangible difference in teachers’ and kids’ lives.” 

Carter said heading up development for CEI is not a huge leap for him, since he often had to seek outside help to fund programs in Cortez. “I’m good at asking people for funding,” he said.

Olson joined CEI in 2010 after working at the Colorado Department of Education, where she implemented secondary reform initiatives, including Colorado’s definition of postsecondary and workforce readiness under Senate Bill 08-212, Colorado’s School Counselor Corps Grant Program, Individual Career and Academic Plans, and concurrent enrollment. She has led CEI’s Next Generation Learning program through a period of rapid growth and developed strong partnerships with schools districts around the state.

“CEI is rethinking when, where, and how learning and teaching take place,” said Olson. “We know public schools are evolving to be more responsive to the needs of students, teachers, and Colorado communities in the 21st century — so is CEI. I’m looking forward to advancing CEI’s work by using what we’re learning to improve education, and to identify gaps and anticipate opportunities to accelerate innovation in Colorado schools.”

In her new role as vice president of Strategic Learning, Olson will oversee two CEI teams — the Strategic Engagement & Communications and Research & Impact teams.

“We are so excited to have Alex and Samantha join our leadership team,” said CEI’s President and CEO Glenna Norvelle. “Alex has a truly unique perspective. He can talk with supporters about our work as someone who has seen the impact firsthand. Samantha is one of the sharpest minds out there. She has an ability to look at problems in new ways and find creative solutions. I’m thrilled to have them take on leadership roles with CEI.”

Contact Information:
Melissa Reeves
720-502-4756 work
303-856-8098 cell

About The Colorado Education Initiative
The Colorado Education Initiative is an independent nonprofit working in partnership with the Colorado Department of Education, educators, schools, districts, and other public education stakeholders to unlock the unique potential of every student by incubating innovation, shining a spotlight on success, and investing in sustainable change that improves outcomes for all students. CEI envisions that every student in Colorado is prepared and unafraid to succeed in school, work, and life, and ready to take on the challenges of today, tomorrow, and beyond.

Up-Close with Harrison School District Leaders

By Susan Paulsen, CEI Strategic Communications Manager Q & A with Superintendent Wendy Birhanzel and Assistant Superintendent and Chief Financial...

Students Lead the Way

By Rebecca Holmes, CEI President and CEO When was the last time you really “stood in the shoes” of a...

What Might be Possible in 2021?

By Rebecca Holmes, CEI President and CEO The disruptions of 2020, long in some communities and shorter in others, pushed...

Q & A with Colorado Leader, Educator Dr. Cile Chavez

The newly-announced Dr. Cile Chavez Fellowship has been created to inspire diverse, under-represented education leaders to join the Rural Superintendent...

A Warm Welcome to George Welsh!

CEI is looking forward to the arrival of George Welsh in 2021. A 24-year veteran superintendent, George will bring his...

Colorado Classroom Project Expands Access to Literacy Instruction

By Rebecca Holmes, CEI President and CEO I wanted to break our regular cycle of end-of-month newsletters to share some...

What’s Needed… and What’s Next

By Rebecca Holmes, CEI President and CEO This has been a tough, turbulent, and challenging month for communities in Colorado....

Purposeful Partnership in the Time of COVID

By Landon Mascareñaz, CEI Vice President of Community Partnership Right now across Colorado, tens of thousands of families have embarked...

Understanding the Impact of COVID-19

By Rebecca Holmes, CEI President and CEO This is a challenging time for schools and districts across Colorado. The impact...

Social-Emotional Development: Creating Relationship-Rich School Ecosystems

By Rebecca Holmes, CEI President and CEO It’s been a very exciting start to the new year here at CEI....

Caring for Colorado Foundation and Colorado Education Initiative Announce “Youth Connections”

Statewide Effort Supports Mental Health and Well-Being in Middle and High Schools Caring for Colorado Foundation (CFC) and Colorado Education...

Setting a Foundation for Intentional and Equitable Student Learning

By Rebecca Holmes, CEI President and CEO Last year, CEI worked with just over 50 Colorado school districts. The diversity...

Supporting Whole Communities Through a Redesign and Reimagining Process

By Rebecca Holmes, CEI President and CEO Happy Holidays!  This has been a big year for us here at the...

CEI and Colorado Succeeds Combine Efforts to Launch Homegrown Talent Initiative

Imagine families, schools, businesses, and higher education coming together to support high school students in finding their passions, engaging with...