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MONDAY, MAY 17, 2021

In the homestretch of the search for a new Denver Public Schools superintendent, the final three candidates fielded questions from students, parents, and community members during a public interview panel last week. Main topics of discussion included: how to give students more decision-making power, school dress codes, principal autonomy, and the role of charter schools.

So, who are the three finalists for superintendent of Denver Public Schools?
  • Stephanie Soliven: assistant superintendent for Brevard Public Schools in Florida
  • Andre Wright: chief academic officer for Metro Denver's Aurora Public Schools 
  • Alex Marrero: interim superintendent for the City School District of New Rochelle in New York
In surveys, DPS community members have said they want a person of color who has experience as an educator and a commitment to equity. The community is now encouraged to provide feedback on each applicant during the public comment portion of the school board's May 20 meeting.

👉 What you can do: 
The weather: Today calls for umbrellas and rain boots (as will most of the week) ☔ Expect showers and thunderstorms throughout the day. 

—Peyton Garcia (@peytonmgarcia)
We asked you for community members to spotlight in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. City Cast Denver reader Elise G. wrote back with this:

Meghan Montelibano-Gorman works with me at the University of Denver, but does infinitely more than her job description as Alumni Engagement Coordinator. She is at the forefront of re-imagining alumni engagement and institutional advancement through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) ... On the side, she is a DEI consultant and runs a blog for women of color in the workplace, so…just an overall impressive but also kind person!” (Check out Meghan’s blog below in our Made in Denver section 👇)

Is there someone you want to give a shoutout to for AAPI Heritage Month? Just reply to this newsletter with your nomination!

🎉 ICYMI: No more masks! (Well, mostly)
Just one day after the Center for Disease Control announced newer, looser guidelines for mask rules, Gov. Jared Polis followed suit. Coloradans who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks in most settings unless otherwise required by a business or facility. Local governments can implement their own mandates, but Denver's Mayor Michael Hancock said the city will be aligning its regulations with the state. [Denver Post]

😷 DPS will continue to require masks
Despite Gov. Polis lifting the state's mask mandate, Denver Public Schools will continue to require students and faculty to wear masks during in-person learning on all DPS campuses for the remainder of the school year. School leaders said they will continue working with health authorities to decide next year's mask policy. [KDVR]

Some Denverites want to repeal group-living amendment
Remember all that talk of Denver's group-living rules earlier this year when City Council upped the number of unrelated people who could live together from two to five? Well one local group opposing the amendment just collected more than 18,000 signatures to try to repeal the decision and instead get the issue on the ballot in November. [Denverite]

🛎️ Colfax Royal Palace Motel up for demolition eligibility
The owners of the funky, long-shuttered Royal Palace Motel at Colfax and Colorado Boulevard have applied to have the structure demolished. One Colfax history enthusiast is already in talks with the owner about preserving the site — or at least some of motel's the iconic signs. [Denverite]

🏒 Suit up: The Avs are headed to the playoffs
After claiming victory over the Los Angeles Kings (5-1) last Thursday, the Colorado Avalanche now head into a first-round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues — the 2019 Stanley Cup champs. Game 1 is tonight at 8 p.m. at Ball Arena. [Denver Post]
After speaking with former mayoral candidate and open space advocate Penfield Tate on Friday, host Bree Davies sits down with the developers who own the site of the old Park Hill Golf Course. It’s Part Two of our exploration of one of Denver’s thorniest development debates: What should be done with those 155 open acres in Northeast Park Hill?


+ TUESDAY: Artist lecture at Denver Art Museum
Join this online discussion about how art intersects with migration and displacement, featuring artists Shirin Neshat, Hew Locke, and Suchitra Mattai.

+ WEDNESDAY: "Changing Landscape" Panel
This virtual talk with the artists will take you behind the scenes of the current climate change-focused exhibit at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center. 

+ THURSDAY: Los Mocochetes at Raíces Brewing
See Los Mocochetes perform live at Raíces Brewing Co. (Yes, the same Los Mocochetes that created the City Cast Denver podcast's theme song!)
Image: @howdoyousay.that on Instagram
"How Do You Say That" is a blog space dedicated to women of color, where they can share the stories of their heritage and culture. Denver-based founder Meghan Montelibano-Gorman was inspired to create the site because of her last name — or rather, a lifetime of people mispronouncing it. The site explains that all her life, Meghan just wanted someone to ask her, "How do you say that?" She says it would have been an opportunity to share her culture and her history with others. It would have helped her appreciate the beauty in being different. With her blog, Meghan asks other women of color: "What's your 'that' and how do you say it?" Check it out here.  
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