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Colorado Association of School Boards

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Legislative Excellence Award

The CASB Legislative Excellence Award recognizes outstanding legislators for their distinguished service on behalf of all school districts in Colorado.




2013 Legislative Excellence Awardees


Rep. Millie Hamner


Rep. Millie Hamner’s passion for education dates back more than two decades, starting with her early career as a teacher and superintendent, to her most recent role as a state representative.

In 2012, she was appointed to fill a vacancy in House District 56 and was elected to the reapportioned House District 61 in 2012, serving Summit, Lake and Pitkin counties and parts of Delta and Gunnison counties.

Now serving as chairwoman of the House Education Committee, Rep. Hamner sponsored the Colorado READ Act, one of the major education initiatives of 2012, as well as the Future School Finance Act earlier this year.

Before she joined the legislature, Rep. Hamner was superintendent of the Summit School District and its 3,000 students. She began her career in Colorado public education as a teacher and administrator in the Eagle County School District, where she taught for 23 years before being asked to become assistant superintendent of the Summit School District in 2001. She was promoted to superintendent in 2004.

Rep. Hamner earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and leadership from the University of Denver. As an adjunct professor at both Adams State University and the University of Denver, she was involved in the planning and delivery of advanced degree programs for teachers and school administrators throughout Colorado.

CASB honors and thanks Rep. Hamner for her ongoing commitment to public education and public service.



Sen. Mike Johnston


Sen. Mike Johnston’s mission to reform Colorado’s education system began during his first year in office in 2009, when he sponsored SB 191 to address educator effectiveness. Just four years later, he helped draft SB 213, landmark legislation to overhaul the state’s school finance formula.

Now in his second term representing Northeast Denver, Sen. Johnston also is the chair of the Senate Finance Committee and serves on the Senate Education Committee. Before joining the Senate, he served as an education policy adviser to state and federal political campaigns around the country, including Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and transition.

His work in education began after college, when he became a high school English teacher in Mississippi through the Teach for America program. After earning a master’s degree in education and a law degree, he returned to his home state of Colorado to lead two alternative high schools for students held in state custody or living in group homes and detention centers.

Sen. Johnston also is the co-founder of New Leaders for New Schools, a national nonprofit that recruits and trains urban principals. In 2011, TIME Magazine ranked him among the “Top 40 Under 40 Rising Political Stars,” and Forbes Magazine listed him as one of the “7 Most Influential Educators” in 2010.

CASB is grateful to Sen. Johnston – a steadfast education champion and fighter for students and our schools.