Newest 27J school gets first principal


Brighton School District 27J's newest school, Elementary School 14, won't open until August 2022, and it doesn't have a name yet. 

But it does have a principal. She is Candice Reese. The school’s future home will be in Southlawn, a part of the Reunion neighborhood development in Commerce City. 

Reese came to 27J in a rather unconventional way, according to a press release. She was inspired by 27J’s superintendent, Chris Fiedler, who talked with students one day at her daughters’ school program at the local boys & girls club. The superintendent didn’t focus his attention on the adults at the program. Rather, he opened a conversation with the students, according to Reese. That student-centered interaction prompted Reese to knock on the district’s door seeking to be a 27J principal.

“The superintendent was so passionate about the success of students and being clear that the 27J staff was supporting learning with the Thinking Classroom,” Reese said. “Dr. Fielder celebrated students owning their thinking through the ‘thinking classroom’ and how every student had the opportunity to succeed in 27J schools.”

The more the superintendent spoke, the more Reese knew she had to work in his district, the statement said. She’s been the principal at Thimmig Elementary School where, over time, she transformed the learning environment and consistently met goals to support staff and students.

Recently, Reese saw 27J started work on Elementary School 14, and she saw the potential opportunity to continue her growth and leadership in a new school in a new area of 27J.  When envisioning a new school, Reese was excited about cultivating a new school culture with all community stakeholders, the statement said.

“I want students to feel our connection with them even before they walk into the school. Students will know we believe in them and they will do nothing but succeed," she said in the statement.

Reese earned a degree in English writing from the University of Colorado at Denver. She earned her masters of education from Lesley University in Massachusetts, plus an administrative license from the University of Denver. She’s served as an elementary school teacher, instructional coach, and principal for 16 years before coming to Thimmig Elementary School as principal.


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