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Alyssa Whitehead-Bust, former top Denver schools administrator, launches new consulting firm

Alyssa Whitehead-Bust, former chief academic and innovation officer for Denver Public Schools.
Alyssa Whitehead-Bust, former chief academic and innovation officer for Denver Public Schools.
Denver Public Schools

A former top Denver Public Schools administrator who left the district earlier this year is teaming up with the former CEO of an East Coast charter school network to start a consulting firm.

Alyssa Whitehead-Bust was DPS’s chief academic and innovation officer until January. Before serving as a district administrator, she was the founding principal of Highline Academy, a successful DPS charter school that opened in 2004. And before that, she worked as a consultant, helping to start more than 15 charter schools across the country.

In announcing her departure from DPS, Whitehead-Bust said she concluded the district had “a lot of good work underway” that she trusted would continue.

“It inspires me to want to go make a difference in a new system,” she said last December. She has been mentioned as a possible candidate for open superintendent jobs around the country.

Whitehead-Bust, who still lives in Denver with her family, said that since leaving DPS, she has worked with districts including Boston Public Schools, Tulsa Public Schools and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

She said she’s also worked with organizations such as the Washington-based Center on Reinventing Public Education and charter management organizations such as Aspire Public Schools, which has schools in California and Tennessee.

Her partner in her newest venture is Evan Rudall, a former teacher and charter school founder who subsequently served as CEO of the Uncommon Schools charter network, which has schools in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. He was also the founding CEO of Zearn, a nonprofit that creates digital math lessons.

In her time at DPS, Whitehead-Bust led the team that authorizes the district’s charter and innovation schools. Her team had several other duties as well, including designing and choosing curriculum and tests used by DPS schools, and putting in place training for teachers. She also created the Imaginarium, DPS’s research and development lab.

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