The Colorado Core Advocate mission is to provide support for educators across the state as they implement the standards into their practice. Through collaboration with educators, schools, local school districts, and our state department, Core Advocates support teachers in implementing quality, standards-aligned instructional materials and teaching practices to meet the diverse needs of all Colorado students.
Standards-Based Challenge: In ELA, students deserve opportunities to access, analyze, and respond to complex text. In math, students lack a conceptual understanding of math and struggle to retain their learning from year to year.
ELA Campaign: Teachers leverage the learning progressions in the reading literature standards to engage students in meaningful and authentic tasks in response to complex text.
Math Campaign: Teachers will understand when conceptual understanding is required by the standards and will use instructional strategies to support students’ conceptual understanding in mathematics.
Who We Are
State Captain: Jessica Cuthbertson is the Colorado State Captain. Jessica is a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) with over thirteen years of teaching and leadership experience in K-12 education. She currently works for the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ), framing strategy, messaging for communications, and thought leadership efforts in collaboration with teacher leaders, education stakeholders, staff members, and other clients. Prior to joining CTQ’s team, she served as a middle school English teacher, literacy coach, and lab classroom host. She also served for three years as a CTQ teacherpreneur, teaching half-time and spending released time supporting teacher leadership efforts in her district and around the country. She created, launched, and facilitated a districtwide Teacher Leadership Academy in 2015-16, a K-12 community of educators committed to deprivatizing teaching and learning and reflective practice that continues to grow in members and capacity in Aurora, CO. She currently serves on Chalkbeat’s Reader Advisory Board. Jessica believes the instructional shifts and the standards, in tandem with student-centered pedagogy and teacher leadership, are key levers for creating the equitable public schools our students deserve. You can follow her @JJCuthy.
ELA Leadersip Team
Content Lead: Lauren Fine, the Colorado State ELA Content Lead, was raised in Aurora, Colorado. She attended Claremont McKenna College and majored in Psychology. She joined Teach for America and spent two years in inner city St. Louis teaching 3rd and 4th grade. Later she moved to Ghana to volunteer at a school for street children. Upon returning, she moved back to Colorado, attended graduate school at Regis University, and majored in Elementary Education. Lauren trained educators through Teach for America, as well as returned to Ghana with education-consulting work, before deciding she wanted to return to the elementary classroom. Lauren believes that all children deserve access to a quality education and she advocates for those rights both locally in Denver as well as through being Co-President of the Ghana Educational Collaborative. Lauren is also a member of America Achieves, Collaborative for Student Success and Stand for Children and works on the intersection between the classroom and education policy. Lauren's passion for equal opportunities in education both locally and abroad, led her to co-create the Ghana Educational Collaborative and the Mate Masie Program in Ghana with London Moore. In recent years, Lauren worked in Denver Public Schools, specifically with Turnaround schools. Currently, Lauren is an educational consultant based in Denver.
ELA/Literacy Leadership Team: Carrie Cohen, Jessica Moore, Kimba Rael, Troy Rivera
Math Content Lead: Melissa Higgins is the Colorado State Math Content Lead. Melissa is a 7th grade math teacher with over seven years of teaching and leadership experience in K-12 education. She currently works as at Murphy Creek K-8 in Aurora Public Schools. She also participates in leadership opportunities at the school, district, state, and national level including: the procedural skill and fluency pilot program with SAP, the district’s math pilot team, the Teacher Leadership Academy 2016-2017 cohort, and her school’s Math Leadership Team and Instructional Leadership Team. She also regularly shares her practice by hosting lab classrooms for the district to help others learn how to implement the new PSoC curriculum. Melissa was recently awarded the Recognizing Excellence award by the APS School Board for her math pilot work during the 2016-2017 school year. In addition, she has been named as staff member of the month twice since arriving at Murphy Creek. Prior to joining the Murphy Creek team, she served as a half-time 3rd grade teacher and half-time middle school math teacher in a private school in Franktown, Colorado. She also substituted in grades K-8. Before having children, Melissa worked as an 8th grade math teacher at East Middle School in Aurora Public Schools in Aurora, CO. She was part of piloting math curriculum while on staff there as well, and continues to advocate for standards-aligned resources to support all students.
Math Leadership Team: Cassie Harrelson, Nathan Montgomery, Sarah Smith
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