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Chair, A4PEP

Judy Solano is a retired public elementary school teacher of 27 years and a former Colorado State Representative who served as the Vice Chair of the House Education Committee and as an appointee to the Early Childhood Commission.  During her eight-year tenure at the state legislature, Judy spoke out against the harmful effects of high-stakes standardized testing on students, teachers, and schools. She fought for greater access to preschool and kindergarten, and opposed the use of public tax dollars to for-profit charter schools and private education management organizations.

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Vice Chair, A4PEP

Sue Windels is a retired public school teacher who began her career as Peace Corps volunteer in Central America in an in-service training program for unlicensed teachers. Upon returning to the USA, she worked for the Indian and Migrant Education Center providing individualized instruction to migrant children in local public schools.  She also served as a Colorado State Senator, chairing the Senate Education Committee for 4 years of her final term.  Sue then joined the staff of Congressman Jared Polis (now Governor of Colorado) as his Education Advocate.  Now retired, she remains involved as a strong supporter of our public schools

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Secretary, A4PEP

Evie Hudak, a former Colorado State Senator, is a well-known advocate for children, public education, and women’s rights, with a long history of active involvement in her community.  She served in the State Senate from 2009-2013, during which time she served on several committees and commissions, including Senate Education Committee, where she was the Vice Chair and eventually the Chair.  Before serving in the Senate, she spent 8 years as an elected member of the Colorado State Board of Education.  Her background includes teaching at the secondary and college levels and coordinating programs in early childhood and voter outreach.  Evie is an active member of PTA, Business and Professional Women, and League of Women Voters, as well as a number of other civic organizations.

Treasurer, A4PEP

Sue Marinelli was a public school reading specialist and classroom teacher for 31 years, teaching students from rural, urban, and suburban settings. She taught all different ages including students at a juvenile detention center. As a Jefferson County School Board member, Sue witnessed charter proposals that were corporate, religious, or ethnic based. Teachers were not required to have degrees and were paid far less. In 2010 Sue worked for the Lieutenant Governor championing Early Childhood Programs.

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Board member, A4PEP

Michael Merrifield was an award-winning, nationally recognized public school music teacher for 30 years.  Upon retirement, he ran for Colorado State House of Representatives, where he served for eight years.  For six of those years, he was chairman of the House Education Committee.  In 2014, he was elected to the Colorado State Senate, where he served on the Senate Education Committee.  Throughout his political career, Michael has been a passionate and strong advocate for PUBLIC education.

Board member, A4PEP

Manuel Solano is civil rights and consumer rights attorney in private practice.  He was the former regional director of MALDEF (Mexican-America Legal Defense and Education Fund), former President of the Hispanic Bar Association, and a former professor at Metropolitan State University.  Manuel has argued cases in front of Federal Court regarding segregation in the Denver Public School District. 

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Board member, A4PEP

Dr. Mike DeGuire worked as a teacher, district level reading coordinator, and an elementary and middle school principal. As a principal for 28 years, Mike worked in Jefferson County, Boulder, Littleton, and Denver. He served as the president of the Denver Association of School Administrators, and he helped DPS principals organize the first principals’ union in Colorado in 2020. After retiring from the principalship in 2012, he worked as a school improvement coach and a leadership consultant with several nonprofit organizations. During his career, he experienced first-hand the inequities of high-stakes testing, school and teacher accountability, school closures, and the growth of charter schools. Mike currently works as a regional specialist with the educator effectiveness unit in the Colorado Department of Education, a residential realtor, and an executive coach with principals.

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