Join the Campaign

happyaboutI’m Happy Haynes, and I’m running for re-election to the Denver School Board. I am passionate about public education and the future of our city – for me, that means making sure that every kid in every single neighborhood has access to an excellent education. For many of Denver’s kids, public education is the first, best, and only opportunity for a better life.

I am a Denver native, who attended Denver Public Schools, and I know that the great education I received in DPS was the foundation for all of my success. I have dedicated my entire life to giving back to our city – working for two Denver mayors and serving on the Denver City Council for 13 years. I have been on the DPS Board since 2011, and have been President of the Board for the past two years.

We have an obligation to our kids and our community to make sure we leave Denver an even better community. DPS has made considerable progress since I first joined the Board in 2011, but our work is far from finished. Although graduation rates are up and dropout rates are down, I want to continue demanding more from the district administration and the Board and greater involvement for parents, families and community to ensure that every one of our kids succeeds.

We can and must meet the goals of the Denver Plan 2020 for great schools in every neighborhood, kids that are ready to learn entering kindergarten, higher graduation rates, a well-rounded education for the whole child and closing the opportunity gap.

Vote for me, Allegra “Happy” Haynes as your at-large advocate on the Denver School Board!

Endorsed by: Mayor Michael Hancock, Federico Peña, Wellington Webb, Crisanta Duran, Rosemary Rodriguez, Barbara O’Brien, Anne Rowe, Landri Taylor and Theresa Peña, Gov. Hickenlooper, Lt Gov. Garcia, Rep. Alec Garnet, Rep. Lois Court, and Councilwoman Kendra Black.

Happy's Policies

Close the Opportunity Gap

While Denver Public Schools has made advances in some aspects of education, we have not nearly done enough to close the achievement gap and it remains the district’s most significant challenge. We need to do more to ensure that all of our kids, regardless of where they live, their race, or their socio economic status are getting a great education.

happyschoolGreat Schools for All Kids

The district’s efforts should be focused on providing good schools in every neighborhood no matter what type they are. If a school serves kids on an equitable basis, serves them well, and is accountable for producing positive academic outcomes, the district should do as much as it can to support that school. Structures and supports need to be created to identify best practices and to help schools implement new strategies that will help them build on their strengths and accelerate their growth. As a board member I have done all I can to support and replicate schools that are helping our kids succeed and I will continue to do so if reelected.

Early Childhood Education

Study after study has shown that one of the best ways to improve a child’s educational outcome is to provide access to high quality early childhood education (ECE). Many of the issues our schools face, from low graduation and high remediation rates, to the achievement gap for students from low-income communities, can be addressed to a large extent by increasing the availability of ECE programs. Denver has taken massive steps towards ensuring that our most needy kids have access to these programs, but we should continue to work on ensuring that parents and guardians are aware of and taking advantage of the resources available to them. Early childhood education is one of my passions and as a board member I will continue to advocate for quality programs and increased access to this vital educational opportunity.

Engage Parents and the Community

happykidsWhile I believe DPS has made progress in changing its philosophy and approach to parent, family and community engagement, it is obvious to me that we can do more. As a board member I have gone to community meetings in schools across the city to talk to parents, and while some of these meetings have great attendance and engaged participants, many do not. We can and should do a better job of reaching out to parents and families, meeting them where they are and empowering them to support their students in their own ways rather than expecting them to engage with the district on its terms, on its schedule and on its turf.

Supporting Our Educators

Amazing educators are not born – new teachers need support from veteran educators and great school leaders to grow their skills and expertise. We must focus on identifying, recruiting, and retaining a talented and diverse corps of committed educators and we must ourselves commit to providing ongoing, robust, and relevant professional development and support.

I support giving educators more flexibility to make decisions at the school level. Our principals and teachers know what services and curriculums will work best for their students and I believe that the policies adopted by the board treat them as the professionals they are and will create better, more responsive schools for our kids. We should continue to find innovative ways to reward our best teachers and leaders, and provide professional development and support. Our kids are counting on these professionals and we need to do everything we can to make sure that they feel supported and appreciated.


I am strongly opposed to vouchers or the use of any public dollars for private schools that are not publicly accountable in every way.