BOARD OF EDUCATION BIOS
2011 – 2017
Board of Education President Marques Ivey, J.D.
Marques A. Ivey is married to Stacey, an educator who currently teaches in the Adams County School District, and he is the father of three children, with two currently attending Vista PEAK Preparatory.
Mr. Ivey owns and operates his own law firm in Aurora and has done so for over 11 years. Prior to starting his law firm, he worked for a local civil defense firm and proudly served as a Deputy State Public Defender out of the Denver Trial Office.
Mr. Ivey currently serves as the APS Board President. He is also a member of the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Board of Directors, serves as Vice President of Advocacy, Officer to the Board, and Chair of the Legislative Committee. Prior to being elected to the APS Board, he was the Chair of the Community Housing and Development Committee for the City of Aurora and Chair of the Minoru Yasui Volunteer Award Committee. Prior to these positions, Mr. Ivey has served as Chair of the Bylaw and Policy Committee and Chair of the Membership Committee for the National PTA. He has also served on the Board of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar-- where he is a Life Member-- Board of Directors for the Colorado PTA-- where he is also a Life Member-- the Colorado Lawyers for the Arts Board, and the Board for the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center.
Mr. Ivey was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, where he graduated from Clay High School, and went on to attend and graduate from Indiana University, Bloomington, with a major in Criminal Justice and minor in History. Upon graduation from Indiana University, he immediately moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to attend Law School at the University of Tulsa, College of Law, where he graduated with a Doctor of Jurisprudence. Mr. Ivey is a professional musician and a fanatic Pittsburgh Steelers Fan!
Board of Education Vice President Kyla Armstrong-Romero, Ph.D.
Kyla (Bradford) Armstrong-Romero, Ph.D. was born in Chicago, Illinois. She moved to Colorado at a young age and attended elementary school at Lansing Elementary School in Aurora and graduated from Overland High School. Dr. Armstrong-Romero graduated with honors from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish with a minor in Sociology. She studied abroad in Mendoza, Argentina, and later lived in Chihuahua, Mexico. She attended graduate school at Regis University, graduating with honors with a Master of Science degree in Criminology in 2012. In January 2017, Dr. Armstrong-Romero completed all requirements for her Ph.D. Program at Capella University. She graduated from the Ph.D. Human Services program with a 4.0 GPA and successfully defended and published her dissertation.
Dr. Armstrong-Romero lives in Aurora with her husband, eight year old “bonus” son, and three cats. She enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with family.
Dr. Armstrong-Romero currently works as the Second Judicial District Senate Bill 94 Director for the City and County of Denver. Senate Bill 94 provides alternatives to detention through funding and community supervision practices. She is also an Adjunct Faculty Professor at Colorado Technical University, teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses.
Dr. Armstrong-Romero was appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper to the State Board of Accountancy in 2017. She also serves as a Commissioner on the Crime Prevention and Control Commission. Additionally, she served in various capacities on the following boards and committees: Colorado Black Women for Political Action, Juvenile Services Planning Committee, Aurora Kiwanis Club, Youth Violence Prevention Collaborative, and the Denver Youth Committee.
While completing her education, Dr. Armstrong-Romero worked as a counselor, advocate and social caseworker for children, adolescents, parents and victims of crime. She made it her personal mission to advocate and stand up for kids and families who may be labeled as 'disadvantaged'. In 2012, Dr. Armstrong-Romero was recognized as a Community Hero by Viva Colorado for her role as a Victim Advocate with the Aurora Police Department.
In 2017, Dr. Armstrong-Romero received an award from the Division of Youth Services for Significant Contributions in Juvenile Justice.
Board of Education Secretary Debra E. Gerkin
Debbie Gerkin’s entire teaching career took place in Aurora, including her tenure as principal of Crawford Elementary School. But that wasn’t the first time Crawford appeared in her family’s story — Debbie’s husband Phil Gerkin went to Crawford — and her husband’s mother went to Crawford! All three of Debbie’s daughters graduated from Gateway High School, and now two of her grandchildren are students at Aurora Quest K-8. Debbie’s husband taught in Aurora, and two of her daughters teach in Aurora now. In retirement, Debbie has worked as an instructional coach and mentor for new teachers in APS.
But education is not her only passion. Being bi-vocational, Debbie is also a clergywoman. For over 20 years, she has shared ministry with Fireside Christian Church, a Home Church for Metro Denver. Additionally, she is chairperson of the Committee on Ministerial Standing for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Central Rocky Mountain Region, a group that nurtures and certifies seminary students and credentials clergy in the five-state region. She also serves on the region’s Clergy Ethics Committee.
And in her free time? Debbie loves to read, to quilt and to travel. She’s a member of the Rotary Club of Aurora and is learning how to play golf. Debbie has been married to Phil for 42 years. Together they have three grown children, five grandchildren and a yorkie-schnauzer mix named Cookie.
Debbie earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, her Master of Divinity degree from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, her Teacher Licensure from Regis College at Loretto Heights in Denver, and she completed her Educational Leadership and Policy Studies degree from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Board of Education Treasurer Kevin Cox
Kevin Cox is proud to serve the Aurora Public Schools community. He grew up as the youngest of three children raised by a single mother in Houston, TX. While in high school, Cox earned an honors engineering scholarship. However, due to difficult economic conditions, he started working after graduating from high school. Cox worked many jobs to help provide for his family. Eventually, he obtained his commercial driver’s license and has been a truck driver for 12 years.
Cox is passionate about ensuring that quality education is attainable for all students regardless of their backgrounds. He is also a strong supporter of career and technical education programs for students.
Cox moved to Colorado four years ago and lives in Aurora with his wife Katrice. He credits Katrice for inspiring him to run for the APS Board of Education.
Board of Education Director Monica Colbert
Monica Colbert is a parent to two students in Aurora Public Schools.
Board of Education Director Dan Jorgensen, Ph.D.
Dan Jorgensen, Ph.D., currently serves as the Accountability Support Manager within the Colorado Department of Education. His work focuses on statewide support and training related to the Colorado Educational Accountability Act. In addition, he facilitates the Technical Advisory Panel for Longitudinal Growth, coordinates work related to the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness accountability indicator and supports other CDE initiatives. He previously served as the Data, Research, and Accountability Officer at Harrison School District 2, the Assistant Director of the Division of Accountability and Research within Aurora Public Schools, and as a project leader within the Department of Planning and Analysis at Denver Public Schools.
Dr. Jorgensen has served as the APS Board Vice President, Treasurer, APS Board representative to the Long Range Facilities Planning Committee, and as a member of the Institutional Advisory Committee for Pickens Technical College. In addition, he has served as the Colorado Association of School Boards voting delegate for APS. As part of his work with the Colorado Department of Education, Dr. Jorgensen was appointed by the Commissioner of Education to serve as a Regional Education Laboratory (Central States) Governing Board member (2013-Present) and as an appointed member of the Central Comprehensive Center (2016-Present). He also served on the state Concurrent Enrollment Advisory Board, the regional board for the Book Trust organization, and is a current member and past officer for the Association of Colorado Education Evaluators. Currently, he serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Denver where he instructs graduate level Educational Leadership and Policy courses. He is a former recipient of the adjunct teaching award at Johnson & Wales University in Denver, a past member of the School Accountability Committee at Sixth Avenue Elementary School, and served both as a division representative for the School Executives of Aurora and as a member of the Aurora Public Schools teacher evaluation committee. Dr. Jorgensen has received numerous awards for his work in education including the A+ Game Changer Award from A+ Colorado and advocacy recognition awards from the Arc of Aurora and RISE Colorado.
Dr. Jorgensen has earned a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Educational Policy & Administration from the University of Denver, a Master of Arts degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Omaha where he was a Rhoden fellowship recipient, and a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His dissertation focused on the impact of concurrent enrollment participation on students from impoverished backgrounds. Dr. Jorgensen has also authored/coauthored research articles that have appeared in peer-reviewed research journals on topics ranging from child suicide to ethology. More recently he has examined various education initiatives including PBIS and online programs.
Dr. Jorgensen resides in the Sterling Hills neighborhood of Aurora with his wife Amy Martinez-Jorgensen and his son. Dr. Jorgensen's wife is a Special Education Teacher in the Brighton School District. He has two daughters who graduated from Rangeview High School. His son is currently enrolled at Montessori del Mundo, a dual-language Montessori school. Dan and Amy have also served as foster parents for Adams County.
Board of Education Director Cathy Wildman
Cathy Wildman has been a resident of Aurora since 1985. She has 40 years of teaching experience working with students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels and has taught a variety of classes for the adult learner. She retired from Aurora Public Schools in 2010.
Wildman has an MA degree in reading/literacy and a BA in elementary education. She has served on various boards as a director and as the president and vice president of two other groups. During her career in APS Wildman received the Superintendent’s Award and was recognized by her local PTA as an Outstanding Teacher.
Wildman is single with no children in APS. Two of her nieces were students in APS and one niece graduated from Gateway High School. She maintains contact with a nephew serving in Afghanistan as an Air Force nurse, a niece that is an accountant, and two nieces that are teachers in Arizona.
Wildman currently spends many hours volunteering in APS schools and the community. Recently she was featured on Denver Channel 7 News for her weight loss success. She enjoys hiking, biking (spinning), body pump, reading, cooking, and is active in a variety of other activities. Wildman recently completed her first half-marathon and is looking forward to completing a triathlon.