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The Commissioner's Executive Team

Marcia Bohannon, Chief Information Officer

Ms. Bohannon has over 30 years’ experience in providing technology services and solutions to internal and external customers in international and domestic settings. After beginning her career in aerospace engineering and providing engineering and technology services to NASA and Lockheed Martin, she provided project and senior leadership services from her home base in Australia for 5 years. After returning to the US, she provided senior technology leadership services in city, county and state government, and in small private sector technology and consulting firms. Her strengths lie in strategic business and technology planning/delivery, strong client relationship management, and building effective data and technology governance structures. Her business knowledge spans many industries, with a current primary focus on K12 education.

Ms. Bohannon spent 6 years as the Chief Information Officer of Colorado’s then largest school district, strengthening that organization’s Information Technology department by transforming it into a true value-add service provider. She joined CDE in 2011, and was appointed CIO in early 2015. Her role within CDE includes oversight of

  • Internal information technology delivery functions for CDE,
  • CDE’s Data Privacy and Information Security programs, and
  • CDE’s Data Service Unit that provides direct support of districts in the provision of data to CDE.


Laurel Davies, Director of Human Resources

Ms. Davies brings progressive legal, operations, management and HR experience in the private and public sectors, spanning from start-ups to Fortune 500 organizations. Prior to joining CDE, Laurel served as Vice President of HR for Coleman Natural Foods. She contributed to business growth and success, overseeing the development and implementation of HR policies and programs for 2300 associates in a multi-state environment ranging from the East to West coasts. Transformational initiatives included designing and launching performance management, compensation and bonus programs to create a culture of achievement, and integration of cultures, processes and systems to achieve cost synergies following merger and acquisition activity.

Joining the State in 2013, Laurel is accountable for advancing HR and safety practices and programs for the Colorado Department of Education. In 2014, she was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to serve on the Colorado Advisory Council for Persons with Disabilities. Laurel received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara and is a certified HR professional holding the SPHR and SHRM-SCP designations. In addition, she has held numerous non-profit Board positions:

  • District Director Colorado State Council - Society for Human Resources Management
  • President - Colorado Human Resources Association (Now Mile High SHRM)
  • President – Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association


Leanne Emm, Associate Commissioner of School Finance and Operations

Leanne Emm was appointed assistant commissioner for school finance at the Colorado Department of Education in 2011. Prior to joining CDE, Emm worked for Jeffco Public Schools in the areas of budget and finance for almost 14 years. While at Jeffco, she was also involved with federal programs, pupil counts, debt issuance and system improvements.

Emm also worked for Jefferson County Public Libraries running the business office and also served as the city accountant for a small Denver metro city. Leanne has a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and holds a master’s degree in public administration from CU-Denver.


Barbara Hickman, Associate Commissioner of Quality Instruction and Leadership

Barbara Hickman was appointed associate commissioner of quality instruction and leadership at the Colorado Department of Education in March 2016. Before joining CDE, Hickman was the superintendent for seven years at Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD) in Arizona – a district of 10,000 students and 1,300 employees. Under her leadership, FUSD successfully passed one bond and two maintenance and operations overrides. She co-led the facilitation of the FUSD STEM Community City recognition and also championed a state recognized teacher evaluation system. Hickman also was instrumental in FUSD landing on the College Board’s 5th Annual Advanced Placement Honor Roll for gains in student access and success.

Hickman was a leader in developing public/private partnerships within FUSD and the Flagstaff community and has been published in nationally recognized professional journals. She represented FUSD and Northern Arizona University in April 2015 when part of her doctoral work was accepted to the American Educational Research Associations’ national conference.

Hickman holds a bachelor’s degree in both geology and science education from the University of Minnesota, along with a master’s in leadership from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. She expects to complete her doctorate at Northern Arizona University this year. In addition to working as a middle school science and math teacher, she taught at the Keystone Science School and was a hike master at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park.


Roseyn Hood, Associate Commissioner of Strategic Partnerships

Roseyn Hood was appointed associate commissioner of strategic partnerships at CDE in January 2016. Prior to joining CDE, Hood was an educator in the Phoenix area for more than two decades --  as principal of Higley High School in Gilbert, Ariz., and assistant principal/curriculum at Hamilton High School in the Chandler Unified School District (CUSD). She was also assistant principal/athletic director at Desert Vista High School and activities assistant principal at Marcos de Niza High School and principal of the district-wide Summer School Program in the Tolleson Union High School District.

At Chandler Unified, Hood was a secondary education specialist and led the creation of a state-mandated, district-wide anti-bullying protocol. She introduced the use of the National Student Clearinghouse’s Student Tracker to define post-secondary pathways and evaluate effective college readiness strategies. She worked to support the College Board’s vision around access and equity and led initiatives to increase Advanced Placement enrollment and testing for all students.

Hood began her education career in a social studies classroom, teaching American Studies, United states/Arizona Government and World History/Geography. A product of Jefferson Public Schools in Colorado, Hood attended Allendale Elementary, Drake Junior High and graduated from Arvada West High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, majoring in political science and religion. After earning her post-baccalaureate degree in secondary education, Hood completed her master’s degree in educational administration and supervision.


Alyssa Pearson, Interim Associate Commissioner of Accountability, Performance and Support

Alyssa Pearson has worked at the Colorado Department of Education for the past 12 years, and is currently serving as the Interim Associate Commissioner for Accountability, Performance and Support. She will facilitate the work of the state’s special education programs, federal programs including Title I, support for local school districts and improvement planning and accountability systems. Alyssa will also continue in her role as Executive Director for Accountability and Data Analysis, in which she’s served since February 2012.

Additionally, while at CDE, Alyssa has supported Title I programs, coordinated and led the No Child Left Behind accountability and data reporting requirements, written a successful proposal to the U.S. Department of Education for approval for use of the Colorado Growth Model for federal accountability, and ensured approval of the state’s ESEA waiver from the U.S. Department of Education. She has enjoyed working with internal and external partners to continually improve the work of CDE, and ensure that data is used securely, responsibly and effectively in order to improve our state education system.

Prior to her time at CDE, Alyssa taught 5th graders in Denver Public Schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an elementary education certification from the University of Colorado at Boulder as well as a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Dana Smith, Chief Communications Officer

Dana Smith has more than two decades of experience providing strategic communications counsel to senior executives in the corporate, non-profit and government sectors. She started her career as a journalist in Washington state, and then shifted to providing public affairs and public relations counsel to school districts as well as businesses in the energy, sports, technology and telecommunications industries. She came to Colorado in 2000 to serve as the chief spokesperson and communications director for US West, now Century Link, and later served as the communications director for Mile High United Way. Prior to joining the team at CDE in 2014, she served as the Deputy Director for Communications and Marketing for the Denver Scholarship Foundation, a key partner in Denver Public Schools' efforts to make college possible for Denver students. As the interim chief communications officer at CDE, Dana oversees the department's media relations, publications, web management and legislative liaison functions.


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