The University of Colorado Denver’s School of Education & Human Development (SEHD) announced that early learning specialist Kristie Kauerz, EdD, is joining the faculty and will bring the National P-3 Center to Colorado.

Kauerz, currently a research assistant professor at the University of Washington, specializes in bridging the worlds of early childhood education and K-12 education through education reform, policy, research and practice. Kauerz has a deep history in Colorado having served as early childhood policy advisor to former Colorado governors Bill Ritter and Roy Romer and having held leadership roles developing infrastructure for the early childhood workforce in Colorado and the nation.

Photo of Kristie Kauerz
Kristie Kauerz, EdD, joins School of Education & Human Development faculty as clinical associate professor

“Kristie will bring her framework for creating alignment between ECE and K-12 education to Colorado. She will also add a critical policy perspective to the School’s Early Childhood Education curriculum in the EdD Leadership for Educational Equity program. Her work will enrich the broader community and move us closer to the goal of providing quality pre-Kindergarten education opportunities to all children throughout Colorado,” said CU Denver SEHD Dean Rebecca Kantor.

Kauerz joins the university as a clinical associate professor in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies. Her scholarship will focus on ECE and K-12 policy development and systems alignment so that children have more seamless and supported early learning opportunities, from early childhood through elementary school.

“I am eager to join the stellar team at CU Denver and to collaborate with faculty whose work is dedicated to improving the organizations and systems that support young children’s learning and development. I am also humbled and excited to ‘come home’ and re-join a deep and wide network of community leaders who are making Colorado a place where all children are valued, healthy and thriving,” said Kauerz.

Kauerz is director and principal investigator of the grant-funded National P-3 Center, which will be housed within the SEHD. The Center focuses on quality learning opportunities for children from birth through elementary school, or Preschool through 3rd Grade (P-3). Its bi-annual National P-3 Institute, a professional development program for state and district leadership teams, is planned for October 2018 in Beaver Creek.

Leaders in Colorado’s Early Childhood Education community join CU Denver and the SEHD team in welcoming Kauerz back to Colorado:

Jennifer Landrum, president and CEO of Denver Preschool Program, says: “It is a big win for Colorado that Kristie Kauerz is returning to our state and bringing the National P-3 Center to CU Denver. Her past contributions to Colorado’s early childhood landscape through her work in the Office of Gov. Romer; on the Policy Matters initiative in the early 2000s; and her leadership in the development of the Colorado Early Childhood Framework paved the way for much of the good work Colorado has accomplished for children over the past 15-plus years. I look forward to seeing how having her back in our state will further deepen the work Colorado is doing to ensure every child is healthy, valued and thriving.”

Susan Steele, executive director at Buell Foundation, says: “We are so pleased to welcome Kristie back.  She is a thought leader and longtime friend to Colorado’s work to improve outcomes for young children and their families across the state. Her expertise in connecting systems through the PreK-3rd Grade Framework as well as in advancing leadership skills in the field will be particularly valuable at this time.  We look forward to partnering with Kristie again very soon.”

Kauerz starts at CU Denver Aug. 15.

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