Born in Denver Irene Griego was raised in Adams County. After graduation and with the support of the United Mexican American Students (UMAS) program Griego attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and acquired a degree in elementary education in 1973. She later became an elementary school teacher at Wyatt Elementary and later became an assistant principal at Colfax Elementary. Griego later joined Jefferson County Public Schools at Stein Elementary and established the first bilingual education at Jeffco. During the last 11 years of her career Griego served as a community superintendent (one of four) who supervised 38 schools. During her career Griego also taught classes (education) at University of Colorado Denver and Metropolitan State College of Denver. She acquired her master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a PhD from the University of Colorado Denver in 1997 in school administration. She received the Colorado Distinguished Teacher’s Award in 1985 and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education in 1993 from former Gov. Roy Romer. Griego also received the Wayne Carle Legacy Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity in 2005. She retired in 2010, but established the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Jefferson County Public Schools where she is the director, post-retirement. In 2011 Jeffco District received the National Association for Multicultural Education Award (NAME). Griego is married to Al Aguayo, PhD with Denver Public Schools. Together they have a son, Diego and a total of six grandchildren. They enjoy traveling in the U.S. and abroad.
About CU Board of Regents
CU Board of Regents governs and oversees the University of Colorado’s four campuses. The board is responsible for establishing and reviewing policy and the school’s president is hired by the board. Griego, the first Hispanic on the Board of Regents was appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper. She is up for re-election in November.
High School Experience
Mapleton High School students came mostly from blue-collar families. Griego recalls strong faculty support. She served on the school’s student council as well as student body president. A well-rounded student, Griego was also head cheerleader. According to Griego, Mapleton served as a foundation for the development of civic responsibility.
Message to Youth
“It is critical to become an active member of the school community and learn from experience. Think broadly; develop the skills to listen to different perspectives from students in school. Be open-minded and learn about the different cultures within the student body.”
“I am proud of and strongly support public education K-12. CU Board of Regents does whatever we can for our youth. The students are first and whatever decisions are made, are made in their best interest.”