I am a long time resident of Denver, residing in Northwest Denver where my kids attend one of Denver’s great neighborhood schools, Escuela Valdez – a dual language immersion school. I grew up in Wisconsin where I attended public school k-12 and then studied at The University of Wisconsin-Madison where I received undergraduate and graduate degrees in Engineering. In the 1990s, my wife, Kristen, and I relocated to Denver, and I now work in the telecommunications industry. I volunteer at Escuela Valdez where I help with the enrichment programs including Karate and Science. I am widely known by the students and parents as “The Science Guy!”.
I became increasingly involved with Denver Public Schools when I was nominated by the Valdez leadership team to spearhead the effort to secure funds to renovate our school and bring it up to modern standards. This led to a partnership with several DPS board members to find a way to resolve serious safety issues within many other “open design” schools in the Denver system beyond just Valdez. As a result of our collaborative efforts, the following schools across the district had their open classroom needs addressed at a cost of $22 million: Valdez, Swansea, Southmoor, Samuels, Cheltenham, Centennial, Kaiser, Eagleton and Bromwell.
Through my involvement in various DPS projects, I’ve had the chance to meet many parents, teachers, and community members from all areas of the city. I’ve seen a repeated pattern of DPS implementing changes that communities do not want. The school board has simply been a rubber stamp, approving every single DPS recommendation since 2013, often with no serious debate. This has left many communities frustrated and distrustful, and has led me to the conclusion that I must step forward to try and bring the often ignored community voice and perspective to the board.
Here’s what other people are saying:
Robert will be a strong advocate for ALL of Denver’s students and communities – Jeannie Kaplan, Former Denver School Board Member
I have never in my life donated to a campaign until now. I have never actively reached out to my contacts and asked for money for a cause until now. I have never actively participated in any campaign until now. Why? Robert is that special. I fully believe in him. He’s tireless and relentless in his pursuit of making a better world. He doesn’t just volunteer at school related events. He’s helping neighbors and friends with house projects, kid watching, carpooling, etc. He’s the real deal. – Very sincerely, Tim and Jill Darlington
I’ve known Robert for about 17 years now, and he’s one of the finest individuals I know. In light of his candidacy Robert Speth for DPS School Board At-Large let me share this story. He took me on a tour of Valdez and told me all about the big plans for renovation (to the tune of $6M). I heard “school” and “money” in the same sentence and had that little voice saying it’ll never happen. He helped get that daunting task done, and now Valdez is a model school for many reasons and for generations to come. Robert is now taking that passion to all the Denver Public Schools. If you live in Denver, I heartily recommend that you find out more about Robert and lend him your voice and your vote. – Andy Ard
Couldn’t think of a better man for the job! Caring individual, always the first to volunteer, great organizer. – Gail Piserchio Roth
Robert is an amazing, generous, and thoughtful person. I’m so glad that he’s running for the DPS school board. He’s given so much to our school, our community, and DPS…and I love that he questions the status quo and will not simply ‘rubber stamp’ what is put in front of him. He’s a champion for neighborhood schools and equity for all. I’m telling all of my network and friends about how important voting for Robert is! – Charles Shively, (Husband of a DPS teacher, father of two DPS kids)
I couldn’t think of a better Person for this job! Robert Speth had these Leadership Skills when I had Him in 6th Grade!!! – Jacque Strahl