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Board Member Profiles - Elaine Gantz Berman

Colorado State Board of Education

Elaine Gantz Berman (D)

1st Congressional District, Denver
Terms of Office: January 2007 – January 2015

1st Congressional District, Denver.

Elaine Gantz Berman, representing Colorado Congressional District 1, was appointed to the Colorado State Board of Education in January 2007 and was elected to a six-year term in November 2008. Berman has dedicated her professional work and community service to improving the lives of Colorado's children.

Prior to serving on the state board, she served for eight years on the Denver Board of Education, including four years as president. During her DPS board tenure, Pro-Comp, a new and more meaningful way to compensate teachers and reward improved instruction, was adopted by the Denver teachers and a $25 million mill levy to support the reform was approved by Denver voters. Also during her board tenure, Denver Public Schools became a leader in promoting choice by approving such high achieving charter schools as Denver School of Science and Technology and West Denver Prep; in revitalizing select neighborhood schools by supporting transformations such as Montclair Elementary School and Hill Middle School; and in opening and expanding new schools/programs such as Academia Anna Marie Sandoval Dual Language Montessori (ECE-6) and Denver Center for International Studies (6 -12.) Berman also Co-Chaired the DPS Commission on School Nutrition and Physical Activity.

As a member of the state board of education, Berman was instrumental in the adoption of the state's first Comprehensive Academic Health Education Standards. In her position as a state board member, she works to improve teacher effectiveness and revise state assessments to align with the newly adopted 10 model content standards. Berman is committed to revamping Colorado's education system to reflect the skills required for the 21st century.

In addition to her work at the local school district and state level, Berman has served on numerous not-for-profit boards and commissions in Colorado and has helped to found several of the state's most effective organizations including the Colorado Children's Campaign, the Adoption Exchange and the Colorado Non Profit Development Center. Berman's current activities include board member - The Denver Compact; Colorado Education Initiative; The Manuas Fund; Democrats for Education Reform; Buechner Institute at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver; Honorary Board National History Day Colorado; Chair, and Government Affairs Committee, National Association of School Boards. Professionally, she has joined the DeBoskey Group, a philanthropic advisory group, as a Senior Advisor. Berman has been honored for her community service by local and state organizations.

Before serving on the Denver School Board, Berman worked for 18 years as a program officer at the Denver-based Piton Foundation.

Berman's life and work has been strongly influenced by her Cuban-born mother, and her two-year stint in Cali, Colombia with her husband, Steve, where they both worked in community health centers, and her extensive experiences in Latin America. Berman is fluent in Spanish and holds a MSPH from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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