Deborah Isabell Faust
Mortgage Loan Originator, The Mortgage Network Public Education and Business Coalition, Executive Director of Residency Program and Senior Director of Evaluation
PhD, Quantitative Research Methods, University of Denver MA, Cultural Anthropology, University of Denver BBA, Business Administration, University of Denver
Although I have followed politics carefully in the past, I have not actively participated in campaigns.
Vice President, Board of Directors for High Point Academy in Aurora, Colorado Carnegie Foundation Improvement Science American Association of Leadership Educators ASCD American Evaluation Association
For the past several years, my advocacy has been primarily through my professional work in an attempt to ensure that each child has a great teacher with access and opportunity to learn. An important part of this work involved studying and advocating for extended use of culturally responsive/culturally relevant pedagogy and restorative justice strategies, which were important to our work with school districts, as well as my work as a board member at High Point Academy.
A number of years ago, I became disillusioned with how partisan our political systems and structures were becoming, and I changed my voter affiliation to independent. Part of this was done to remind myself to think critically about and listen to all aspects of various arguments before making decisions. Since that time, it seems that the partisan politics has increased and people are no longer listening to one another or working together for the betterment of our society and communities. I believe that this has, in part, been fueled by failed structures which have led to inequities in our political system. Through living and working in Denver, as well as my liaison work with rural school districts across the state, I came to appreciate the differences, as well as some of the similarities, in the needs of rural and urban communities. These experiences led me to move to a rural community in Southwest Colorado, and through this experience I learned even more about the needs of rural communities. I believe that the work on fair maps is crucial in order to increase the focus on serving the members of our communities and working together, while de-emphasizing somewhat the focus on partisan politics. My doctorate degree is in Quantitative Research Methods from the University of Denver.
When working with groups or teams, I believe it is important to incorporate and attend to norms of collaboration which foster listening to one another and respect for differences of opinion. Several years ago, the organization I worked with received a grant to extend residency teacher preparation to rural areas. We had a preliminary strategic plan for rolling out the program over the years of the grant. However, almost immediately, as I began talking with school superintendents from across the state, I realized that the needs of rural school districts were very different from the needs in the front range urban centers. Moreover, it turned out that the needs in different rural regions of the state were also very different and that a model that would work in one area created substantial difficulties in another. As a result, we ended up developing three different program options, rather than a one-size fits all model.
Through my work on the grant mentioned above, as well as other administrative work I have engaged in, I have extensive experience in budgeting and strategic planning. I have also studied extensively the work of the Carnegie Foundation in Improvement Science. Although I have a degree in Quantitative Research Methods, the majority of my work has been in administration and program evaluation, as opposed to the implementation of research studies. However, I also have a master’s degree in cultural anthropology, which focused on qualitative research methods. Through my experiences I believe it is important to understand and use the data relevant to the task at hand, but it is important to pay attention to the big picture and remember that the emphasis is on individuals and communities.