Department Overview

  • The district has a paired leadership model consisting of two Chief Operating Officers in the place of a traditional superintendent. The board has chosen Dr. Wendy Birhanzel and Mr. John Rogerson to fill those roles.

    Dr. Wendy Birhanzel has served more than 18 years in public education. She earned her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership in Urban School Settings from the University of Southern California and has been an educator in California and Colorado. Her passion is to improve achievement for all students. Previously as Principal of Centennial Elementary and Wildflower Elementary, she turned around two schools with significant free and reduced student populations. Under her leadership, both schools went from being the lowest performing in the city to some of the top performing in the city. She also helped her schools earn the honor of National Blue Ribbon Award and National Title I Distinguished School. During her leadership, her schools also reported some of the highest levels of satisfaction within the district on culture surveys. For these efforts, Dr. Birhanzel was awarded the Mayor’s Young Leader Award from the city and the Young Alumni Achievement Award from her college. Dr. Birhanzel led the Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Department in Harrison School District where she ensured rigorous curriculum for all students and aligned assessments to measure student learning. In addition, she is a national consultant focused on systemic implementation of programs to increase achievement and student learning outcomes. Dr. Birhanzel is such a believer in HSD2 that she enrolled her son in the District; he is a graduate of Sierra High School. Currently, she is the Chief Operating Officer where she leads all elementary schools, Finance, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Data, and Communications and is the primary interface with the Board.

    John Rogerson has been the Principal of Fox Meadow Middle School and Giberson Elementary School. He has served in Harrison School District Two for 14 years. Prior to coming to Harrison, he was an Instructional Coordinator for gifted and talented students, social studies and science in his district in Illinois. As Principal of Fox Meadow Middle School, he guided the school to being recognized as a Center of Excellence by the state of Colorado. He holds a superintendent certificate from UCCS, a Masters of Educational Leadership from Capella University and BA degrees from UCCS and Northeastern Illinois University. Mr. Rogerson has more than 22 years of experience in education in varied settings. Before entering into education, he ran his own business for several years and served in the U.S. Army. He currently oversees Secondary Education, Operations, Human Resources, Special Education, CLDE, and Student Support Services. He and Dr. Birhanzel work closely to enable strong decision making, maintain transparency increase student achievement and support coherent governance.

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