Operational Services Team-OSs

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    OS Team  

     

    The Operations Services Director team (OSD team) builds bridges of information, context, and relationships between schools and operations teams in a way that reflects a shared commitment to continuous improvement and strong customer service to enhance the system experience, the adult experience, and the student experience. 

    All of the OSDs have been Distinguished Principals in Denver Public Schools. Because they have lived the school-level experience, they have unique insight into how to best support school leaders while also sharing school-level context with our operations teams. The team of OSDs combined has experience in working in schools ECE-12th grade, in all regions of the city. 

    Through their liaison relationships with our Operations’ Departments and specific Collaborative school assignments, the OSDs have a continued pulse of the changing dynamics in policy, resources, and needs both centrally and at our schools. Because they are relational leaders who love systems work, they are intentional in their work and prioritize the human experience in Operations while always asking how we are ensuring Equity and Sustainability guide our work.  

    The OSD team is integral to keeping leaders focused on instruction by serving as a support in clearing operational barriers, navigating crises, and coaching leaders in building strong operational systems to maximize our impact on student learning.

     

    Liaison Relationships

    The OS team holds liaison relationships with teams across DPS to ensure that school perspective and voice are a part of all decisions made by central support teams.  Regular meetings take place about once a month to ask questions and get feedback on projects.  CLICK HERE for a list of which OS holds which liaison relationship.  

    Collaborative  Relationships

    Each OS is responsible for anywhere from 30-45 schools and maintains strong relationships with school leaders and Directors in their assigned Collaboratives.  

     

    Yolanda Ortega

    Rachel Payne

    Christina Sylvester

    Scott Wolf

    Elementary Collaborative 1

    Elementary Collaborative 2

    K-8 Collaborative

    Elementary Collaborative 3

    Elementary Collaborative 5

    ECE Collaborative

    Collab Quads (IB)

    Elementary Collaborative 4

    Pathways Collaborative

    Montessori Collaborative

    High School Collaborative 2

    Middle School Collaborative

     

    High School Collaborative 1

       
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    Scott Wolf

    Scott Wolf

    Scott has been working in education since 2002 where he started with the Chicago Public Schools.  He then taught 2nd grade and 4th grade in San Jose, California before coming to Denver to work as the Managing Director of Teacher Leadership Development with Teach For America.  Scott joined DPS in 2013 and was principal at North High School until joining the OS Team.  In his time at North, he brought the graduation rate above the district goal of 85% with a dropout rate under 1%, showing that all students were intentionally supported in post-secondary programs.  These positive results led North to double its enrollment from 779 students to over 1600 students to truly become a community school.  In addition to strong academic growth, North was a national visitation site for Restorative Practices, was a teacher training academy site due to the strength of instruction within each class, and focused on a holistic education for all students as evidenced by Scott being named the Colorado Music Educators Association Honored Administrator of the year in 2018.  When Scott is not working, he enjoys reading about the airline industry and spending time with his amazing family.  

     

     

    Christina Sylvester

    Dr. Christina Sylvester 

    Christina Sylvester is thrilled to serve as an OS Director for Denver Public Schools.  Prior to being an OS, Dr. Sylvester was the Principal at Merrill Middle School, where she led from 2016-2021.  While at Merrill, the school saw great gains in enrollment and academic outcomes for students, as well as strides in social and emotional wellbeing and staff/student culture.  Prior to moving to Denver, Dr. Sylvester spent time in the classroom as a 7th/8th grade Spanish teacher and Middle School Assistant Principal in the Chicagoland area.  She completed the National Principal Academy Fellowship with RELAY Graduate School of Education in 2018 and was a selected Principal Fellow for Leverage Leadership Institute in 2021.  As OS, she enjoys being responsible for leading, advising, and facilitating direct support to school leaders regarding all aspects of budget, legal, facilities, transportation, safety and security, crisis management, food services and more. This clears space for the leader to focus on the important work of teaching and learning. Dr. Sylvester lives in Denver with her husband and two dogs and when she is not supporting leaders in Denver Public Schools enjoys riding her bike and tending to her houseplants.  

     

     


    Yolanda Ortega

    Yolanda M. Ortega

    Yolanda Ortega is an innovative leader focused on building educational systems where all students can access highly effective resources, instruction, and people. She has served in many capacities and roles in her time as an educator, prior to becoming an Operational Service Director. Yolanda Ortega began her work in education in 2002 as a middle school ELA-S teacher at DPS. She has also served as an English Language Acquisition Instructional Coach, leading work outside of the District in Restorative Justice and reengaging students in learning when they have had instructional and social-emotional conflicts, an AP, and her longest seat was as Principal at Lena Archuleta Elementary School. In her time, at Lena Archuleta, she eliminated all racial disproportionality gaps in all contents including Early Literacy. On CMAS 2018-19, she lead the District with the highest scores in Black and African American students’ performance on ELA and Math CMAS for grades 3-5 (including K-8) and was the only school (including K-8) in DPS to exceed in two or more areas of Early Literacy growth while exceeding expectations in Literacy, Math, and Science compared to similar schools on CMAS 18-19. She prides herself in having a detailed history of leading top-performing educators and consistently cultivating systems that honor each individual’s personal journey. When she is not supporting school leaders, you can find Yolanda cheering at her son or daughter’s sporting events, or walking the dogs with her husband. 

     

     


    Rachel Payne

    Rachel Payne

    Rachel Payne has a long history of serving in public education and has been a proud member of Team DPS since 2001.  Rachel currently serves as an Operations Service Director.  Prior to that, Rachel served in a variety of roles in DPS, including Operational Superintendent, Principal, Assistant Principal, Math Specialist, Gifted and Talented Itinerant, Facilitator of Math instruction, and Classroom teacher. Rachel formerly served as a teacher and administrator in Aurora, Colorado, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    In her role as Operations Service Director, Rachel thrives on building bridges of information, context, and relationships between schools and operations teams. Rachel has a close connection to the schools and strives to build continuous improvement and strong customer service to enhance the system experience, the adult experience, and the student experience. 

    Rachel thrives on collaborating with school leaders and uses her wealth of experience to support Distinguished leaders in DPS through her work as an Alumni Advisor with the Cahn Leadership Program.  The Cahn Fellows program is designed to increase leadership skills, principal retention in education, and improvement of student outcomes. One of the proudest roles she has assumed over the last fifteen years has been that of mentor for Denver principal residents and interns. Through this program, she has been able to support new leaders through coaching and mentoring. Leadership development is her passion as she knows it is closely tied to the success of student learning and achievement.