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.