About Carrie

Carrie A. Olson, PhD

I began my career in DPS in 1985 after receiving B.A. in Elementary Education and Spanish. My entire teaching career was in Denver Public Schools. Over almost 33 years, I taught at all grade levels (elementary, middle, and high school). I received my M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of Colorado at Denver in August 1990. I have been a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) since 1999. In addition, I hold a Colorado Professional Master Teacher and am certified in English Language Arts, Social Studies, Linguistically Different (ESL), and Spanish. When I retired to run for the school board in 2017, I was a middle and high school ELA-S teacher at West Leadership Academy.


During my time as a teacher, I traveled with over 800 students to Washington, DC and Europe over 27 years. With colleagues, students, and families, I created an educational travel program in the Westwood neighborhood. While I was at Kepner, I founded the 501(c)3 organization, Kepner Educational Excellence Program (KEEP) to raise money so that students in a low-income neighborhood could immerse themselves in educational travel. Because I wanted to highlight my students voices in academia, I began work on my doctorate degree in 2005 and I received my PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from the University of Denver in August 2016. My dissertation, The Meaning of Educational Travel in the Lives of Urban Middle School Students: A Transformative Mixed Methods Study, examined quantitative data from DPS and qualitative data from interviews with former travelers and a focus group chaperones.


Currently I am an adjunct professor at the University of Denver in the Teacher Education Program where I teach a class on culturally and linguistically diverse students. I am a Museum Teacher Fellow for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial and currently work as an independent contractor in their Conference for Holocaust Education Centers Program. I also am an independent contractor for Educators Institute for Human Rights as their Curriculum Director.


I am one of seven members on the Board of Education for Denver Public Schools. There are seven members who serve for four-year terms. I represent District 3 (Central-East Denver) on the board and currently serve as Board President. I am DPS’ representative to Colorado Associations of School Boards and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2019 to represent Large Districts.


I have one daughter, Ekaterina (Katya), who is a DPS graduate having attended Denison Montessori, Kepner Middle School and George Washington High School. She graduated in 2015 and currently is in graduate school in Michigan. I am a northern Minnesota native and have lived in Denver since 1985 and in the Virginia Village neighborhood since 1993.


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(303) 910-4963       carrie@carrieaolson.com

Paid for by Dr. Carrie Olson for Denver School Board Registered Agent Carol March