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To move through life both professionally and personally, you have to be a good people person.

Yancey Spruill, CEO DigitalOcean

What I Know Now: Yancey Spruill, CEO DigitalOcean

Student Advisory Board Member Noah had the opportunity to speak with Yancey Spruill, CEO of DigitalOcean, just before he graduated from high school. Yancey shared insights from his education and his professional journey from engineer to Wall Street to working in technology. Tune into our latest episode of What I Know Now to hear these highlights and more from Yancey’s interview: 

About Yancey Spruill
As Chief Executive Officer, Yancey drives the overall strategy for DigitalOcean leading the company through its next phase of profitable growth. He brings a wealth of technical, financial, and leadership experience and spent the last 15 years in senior executive roles at technology companies including SendGrid and DigitalGlobe. Yancey started his career working as a manufacturing engineer at Corning Incorporated and The Clorox Company. He also has extensive investment banking experience focused on mergers and acquisitions at JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers, and Thomas Weisel Partners. More about Yancey >>

About the Student Advisory Board
Our Student Advisory Board (SAB) is a collaborative leadership experience for Boulder Valley School District high school students. The SAB brings together 13 students enrolled in Boulder Valley’s high schools to share their perspectives in order to advise Impact on Education’s initiatives and guide our investments. More about the SAB >>

What I Know Now: Maris Herold, Boulder Police Chief

I’m a big believer that opportunity structure is the number one reason we have crime and disorder.

Boulder Police Chief, Maris Herold

Sara and Jasper, two members of our Student Advisory Board, had the opportunity to speak with Chief Maris Herold of the Boulder Police Department back in May. Prior to her 2020 appointment as Boulder Police Department’s Chief of Police, she worked for the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) for 23 years where she focused on innovative strategies to better her community and the department itself. Watch Chief Herold’s What I Know Now interview to hear more about the following highlights and more:

About Maris Herold
First appointed as Boulder Police Chief in 2020, Chief Herold previously served as Chief at the University of Cincinnati Police Division (UCPD) and has 23 years of experience with the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD). She has an educational background in Sociology with a Bachelor’s degree from Eckerd College and a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. Chief Herold has prioritized diversity-focused recruiting initiatives and officer access to enhanced technological platforms. She has been recognized for her crime reduction initiatives and was awarded the 2017 Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem Oriented Policing for her work at CPD. Learn more >>

About the Student Advisory Board
Our Student Advisory Board (SAB) is a collaborative leadership experience for Boulder Valley School District high school students. The SAB brings together students enrolled in Boulder Valley’s 13 high schools to share their perspectives in order to advise Impact on Education’s initiatives and guide our investments. More about the SAB >>

“It doesn’t have to be familiar, it doesn’t have to be safe all the time. I can go and take these risks and grow as a person.”

Shaz Zamore, ATLAS Institute

What I Know Now: Shaz Zamore, ATLAS

Dr. Zamore (they/them) obtained their PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior from the University of Washington Seattle in 2015 and is currently an ATLAS Instructor with the University of Colorado. Their work combines a background in neurobiology and neuroengineering and their drive and focus for diverse social engagement. Our Student Advisory Board members, Emery and Paul, had the opportunity to interview Dr. Z, and here are a few highlights from our latest episode of What I Know Now:

About Dr. Shaz Zamore 
Dr. Shaz Zamore (they/them) is an ATLAS instructor and STEM outreach coordinator at the University of Colorado. Their interests span a range of scientific promise from creating accessible science and education outreach with a focus on neurosciences, to exploring the neural network and sensations of animals. Dr. Zamore is a first generation American who is heavily invested in outreach and inclusion. 

About the Student Advisory Board
Our Student Advisory Board (SAB) is a collaborative leadership experience for Boulder Valley School District high school students. The SAB brings together students enrolled in Boulder Valley’s 13 high schools to share their perspectives in order to advise Impact on Education’s initiatives and guide our investments. More about the SAB >>

“Unconscious bias is huge. How do we address unconscious bias in the culture in our organizations? How do we make our workplace more equitable?”

Dr. Everette Joseph

What I Know Now: Dr. Everette Joseph, Director of NCAR

Student Advisory Board Members Lindsey and James had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Everette Joseph, Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Prior to his work at NCAR, Dr. Joseph was the Director of the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the University of Albany, where he co-led the New York State Mesonet, providing direction for advanced weather detection. Dr. Joseph was also the Director of Howard University’s Program in Atmospheric Sciences. Tune into our latest episode of What I Know Now to hear these and more highlights from Dr. Joseph’s interview: 

About Dr. Everette Joseph
Everette Joseph became the Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in 2019 after leading the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the University of Albany. Dr. Joseph originally received his Ph.D in Physics from the University of Albany with an emphasis on atmospheric science. Since 2014, he has remained a Board member of the Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine alongside his roles as principal investigator of over $90 million of research projects and grants from a range of national research organizations. More about Dr. Joseph >>

About the Student Advisory Board
Our Student Advisory Board (SAB) is a collaborative leadership experience for Boulder Valley School District high school students. The SAB brings together students enrolled in Boulder Valley’s 13 high schools to share their perspectives in order to advise Impact on Education’s initiatives and guide our investments. More about the SAB >>

“As students, we have to start asking the really important question of who’s making the decisions for us.”

Marta Loachamin

What I Know Now: Marta Loachamin, Boulder County Commissioner

Marta Loachamin was elected to the Board of County Commissioners in 2020 and is the first Latina to hold the office in Boulder County. Marta is a long-time Longmont resident who has worked for social, economic, and housing justice by building opportunities for families throughout Boulder County and the Front Range.

Audrey and Bella from our Student Advisory Board joined Marta for a virtual interview in which you’ll learn:

About Marta Loachamin

Marta was elected to the Board of County Commissioners in 2020, with a term continuing through January 2025, representing District 2. More about Marta >>

About the Student Advisory Board

Our Student Advisory Board (SAB) is a collaborative leadership experience for Boulder Valley School District high school students. The SAB brings together students enrolled in Boulder Valley’s 13 high schools to share their perspectives in order to advise Impact on Education’s initiatives and guide our investments. More about the SAB >>

We’re excited to share the second round of Student Advisory Board interviews with local community leaders.

Our students asked the leaders questions about how high school impacted their lives and careers as well as issues facing high school students today. They also sought advice for making the most of their time in high school and early on in their careers.

In this edition, we hear from the first Colorado African-American member of Congress, the first female Boulder city manager, a healthcare CEO envisioning healthcare as an industry of service, and the co-founder of a wildly successful yoghurt company.

Below, our students provide a glimpse into their conversations, and you’ll find links to each individual interview. 

Joe Neguse

Joe Neguse represents Colorado’s 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected to his first term in November 2018, becoming the first Colorado African-American member of Congress in our state’s history. He was interviewed by Jasper Brockett and Audrey Bahintchie.

Jasper enjoyed learning “the degree to which he was involved with things in college” and getting a behind the scenes look at life as a Congressman. Audrey related to how his immigrant parents have influenced how he lives his life, “as I too take on life with the beliefs that were passed down to me from my mother.”

Watch Joe’s interview.

Jane Brautigam

Jane Brautigam is the former city manager of the City of Boulder. She is the first female city manager and longest serving Boulder city manager in modern history and shared her story with Elle Vickey.

More a conversation between the two than an interview, the experience of hearing that Jane enjoyed being a city manager more than being a lawyer surprised Elle. She found it interesting that Jane “believed in doing things that were able to help more people and reach her community.”

Watch Jane’s interview.

Isaac Sendros

Isaac is the CEO of Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville, Colorado. He shared his experience as the son of Cuban immigrants and his journey into healthcare with Sara Cuervo and Lolita Grandbois.

Sara was surprised to hear Isaac talk about how higher positions often have less control but thought it made sense because “you have to rely on others, have trust, and allow for nuance to be a good leader.” Lolita enjoyed the opportunity to hear about Isaac’s journey to CEO “and getting to know him on a personal level.”

Watch Isaac’s interview.

Koel Thomae

Koel Thomae is the Co-Founder of Noosa Yoghurt. She shared her story of building a yoghurt company with Bella Chang and Paul Masters. 

Paul found it interesting to “hear from someone with an outside perspective on what it’s like to live in the United States.” And Bella was struck by the importance of building a strong team. Even though Koel didn’t have a background in dairy, “she paired up with someone with dairy experience and she was in charge of the business and marketing.”

Watch Koel’s interview.

Each of the leaders’ What I Know Now interviews highlights the uniqueness of success. We’re proud our Student Advisory Board leaders could bring out each leader’s individual story and learn so much in the process.

MORE

What I Know Now: Edition 2

In this edition, we hear from the first Colorado African-American member of Congress, the first female Boulder city manager, a healthcare CEO envisioning healthcare as an industry of service, and the founder of a wildly successful yoghurt company.

Read More

What I Know Now: Edition 1

What do a Google engineer, a Colorado House representative, and two entrepreneurs have in common?

Read More

Our Student Advisory Board recently set out to learn from leaders in our local community about how high school impacted their own lives and careers. These virtual interviews discussed favorite classes, important life skills, and issues such as equity, allowing students to glean key insights from a diverse group of community leaders.

How do their high school experiences contrast with those of current students in the Boulder Valley School District? What advice can they offer students navigating personal and academic growth as they look toward their futures?

And of course: what do a Google engineer, a Colorado House representative, and two entrepreneurs have in common? Each community leader emphasized the importance of written communication skills as critical to their success, one insisting that a pen and paper should travel with you everywhere you go!

Below, our students provide a glimpse into four of these conversations, and you’ll find links to each individual interview. 

Bhavna Chhabra

Bhavna Chhabra is the Payment Engineering Director and Boulder Site Lead for Google. She was interviewed by Noah Mollerstuen and Maya Clements. Bhavna shared her unique journey to engineering, emphasizing the importance of hard work and communication skills.

Noah’s favorite part of the interview “was the opportunity to get advice from an industry leader on what students in our position can do to create a more equitable and inclusive school system,” while Maya enjoyed learning what it’s like to hold an influential position, and hearing “ about the trials and tribulations that come with the path when you’re a minority in your field.”

Watch Bhavna’s interview.

Justin Gold

Justin Gold is the Founder of Justin’s, a local natural foods company. He was interviewed by Lindsey Kendall and Mattie Pape. Justin shared his entrepreneurial journey and the importance of surrounding oneself with diverse and smart people who will challenge your thoughts and ideas. 

Lindsey was surprised to hear Justin share two important skills for running a business: positivity and curiosity: “Those are the things you are told when you are young, but to know he still thought those were important was surprising.” Mattie enjoyed hearing “how his unique experiences shaped his company. This taught me that all of our unique interests can grow into something big.”

Watch Justin’s interview.

KC Becker

KC Becker is a former Colorado state representative and Speaker in the Colorado House of Representatives. She shared her high school experiences and political journey with our students, Abby Cohen and James Clemson. 

When talking about “how to encourage diversity in both government and at school, she told us Colorado is one of two states with a majority female legislature, and emphasized how diversity can only be achieved through active effort,” says James. Abby says it was “an amazing opportunity. I really value her viewpoints … even though we disagreed on a few things.”

Watch KC Becker’s interview.

Pete Estler

Pete Estler is an innovative tech entrepreneur who founded and served as CEO of Quintess, was Chief Executive Officer of dbINTELLECT Technologies, and later founded and served as CEO of MatchLogic. He shared his entrepreneurial lens and perspective with Emery Jansen and Roane Edwards.

Emery found “it was incredibly fascinating to research our interviewee and brainstorm questions that would truly challenge him…Pete recognized the importance of diversity of thought, meeting people from all walks of life … and he emphasized that experiencing life and exiting the bubble Boulder County kids live in is vital to gaining perspective and learning how to better collaborate.” 

Watch Pete’s interview.

MORE

What I Know Now: Edition 2

In this edition, we hear from the first Colorado African-American member of Congress, the first female Boulder city manager, a healthcare CEO envisioning healthcare as an industry of service, and the founder of a wildly successful yoghurt company.

Read More

What I Know Now: Edition 1

What do a Google engineer, a Colorado House representative, and two entrepreneurs have in common?

Read More

Our Student Advisory Board is a fun and collaborative leadership experience for Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) high school students.

We launched this program in 2019 to help advise our efforts and guide our investments. Our Student Advisory Board brings together students currently enrolled in Boulder Valley’s 13 high schools to share their perspectives and insights and create an initiative focused on an issue of importance to them.

What I Know Now

A new leadership opportunity for the 2020-2021 Student Advisory Board involves conducting interviews with members of our local community. Pairs of students are preparing questions and sitting down for virtual conversations with a diverse group of local leaders to answer the question: What do you know now?

Looking back from high school to the present, what stands out? What lessons or insights do you want to share with students? And what advice can you offer as students navigate issues from equity to diversity to innovation in public schools?

Students will be interviewing leaders from a variety of industries, including government, tech, natural foods, and healthcare. Each interview will be a little different, but we hope you’ll be inspired by their honest conversations about topics important to our students and maybe learn something new.

The interviews

Edition 1:

Edition 2:

READ MORE

What I Know Now: Edition 2

In this edition, we hear from the first Colorado African-American member of Congress, the first female Boulder city manager, a healthcare CEO envisioning healthcare as an industry of service, and the founder of a wildly successful yoghurt company.

Read More

What I Know Now: Edition 1

What do a Google engineer, a Colorado House representative, and two entrepreneurs have in common?

Read More

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