“Education is a fundamental value of our family. We believe public education is the foundation of a thriving community. We want all DPS students to graduate with the skills and abilities needed to make informed decisions; that will create a better Denver. DPS is leading the state and emphasizing academic achievement for all students, while offering an array of academic options for all types of families. DPS has a foundation based on academic excellence that will be sustainable for generations to come. We support the DPS Foundation because they are a critical partner of the district, funding key initiatives that are proven to positively impact student achievement.”

Theresa Peña, a Denver native and DPS alumni persuaded her New Jersey native husband Matt Chavkin that Denver was the place where they should start their family after completing school together at Pomona College and Cornell University.

When Theresa started serving as a parent helper in our children’s classrooms years ago, I saw a passion ignite from within her. I knew she would go on to do great things for public education.

– Matt Chavkin

Peña was elected to the Denver Board of Education in 2003, and served for eight years – a true testament to her commitment as a champion for DPS students and schools.

Peña now works with Hunger Free Colorado, increasing the availability and accessibility of school breakfast programs in Denver Public Schools. Matt, a business owner of a veterinary ophthalmology practice, Animal Eye Specialists, has been working with owners and pets for over 20 years. Daughter, Maya, currently attends East High School (Go Angels!) and son Ryan, an East High School alum in his second year at Santa Clara University.