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Change for our children. Change for our staff. Change for our safety. 

At Large Candidate

John Youngquist

John's Endorsements


  1. School, student & staff safety
  2. Social, emotional & mental health
  3. Academic outcomes


"Both raise my taxes and cut services to my students in order to balance the budget.”

Previous Board Service:

  • Colorado Goodwill Industries (2008-2013);
  • Colorado Children's Campaign (2008-2012);
  • Cherry Arts Foundation (2017-2020);
  • Denver Youth Program (2020-current)

Goals & Metrics:

  1. By spring, 2026, every student demographic group (ie: ethnicity, multi-language learner, free/reduced lunch, students with disabilities, etc.), will demonstrate Median Growth Percentile of 55 or higher on identified accountability level assessments.
  2. By 2026, DPS graduates will demonstrate a 90% four-year graduation rate in every demographic group and 100% of students who graduate in four, five, or six years, will transition from high school with a documented plan for their future.
  3. During the 2025-26 school year, 80% of behavioral responses to disciplinary violations will be represented by: alternatives to suspension, restorative action, school/community-based activities, and/or participation in mental health supports

Additional Comments:

1. One of my top three priorities was not listed as an option and that is to immediately lead to create transparency in the work of our Board of Education and strengthen DPS as an organisation. Also, please, note that equitable outcomes and actions need to be integrated into every priority that we engage as a school district, including those that I have identified as my initial priorities.

2. The emphases of my identified goals relate student outcomes because there is currently such a significant gap in the representation of these results. I did not identify the implementation of specific strategies as goals because I believe that, in the context of policy governance, the work of the board is to allow flexibility (with minimal boundaries) to a superintendent for the identification of strategies and actions that will result in the intended outcomes. Goals related to the recruitment and retention of Black, LatinEx, and Indigenous teachers and leaders must also be prioritized so that we see a significant increase in the retention of effective teachers over time. This goal area will drive innovative strategies, such as the recruitment of current students into local education programs under scholarship to draw them into a career in their neighborhoods and in our City of Denver.

3. My best response to #3 is actually: I do not know because there a transparent understanding of the current and future financial status our DPS budget is not currently being provided by our district leadership or Board of Education. My best response needs to be tied to the actual problem we are facing, which is not understood by community, board, or, I believe, the school district itself. As the Chief Academic Officer in the Aurora Public Schools (54,000 students and $500 million budget during my employment), I was faced with a $30 million reduction of my over $300 million budget. Engaging in that process, while challenging, allowed us to identify our highest priority levers, secure them, and create reductions in areas that were not producing results for our students. When DPS becomes clear about the current and future context of our budget, then we will be able to develop a plan to include likely options for budgetary reduction. This will finally allow us to progress into the difficult and necessary conversations that we must engage as financial stewards for our city and for our children.