Frutoso Chavez is a six-year Marine Corps veteran, honorably separating as a Staff Sergeant Select. Chavez has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, and a Master’s degree in Special Education. He received his principal certification from the University of Denver as part of the Ritchie Program for School Leaders. Chavez’s business background included owning and operating a Real Estate appraisal company where he managed all aspects of a business including marketing, time management, budget, coordination with a myriad of outside firms, as well as building and maintaining rapport with clients. He brought this experience with him when he became a Principal.
While in the Marines, Chavez served as an intelligence team leader where he directed, trained, and supervised a Signals Intelligence Team. During his second tour of duty, he served as a Primary Marksmanship Instructor (PMI) for the Marine Corps, where he was responsible for the training of over 2,500 Marine Corps recruits in the fundamentals of marksmanship. During his time, he also developed his teaching and presentation skills, and troop management skills, which he would later draw on as he transitioned into education as a civilian. After Chavez’s military career, he began working with the Troops to Teachers program to get his certification.
Frutoso Chavez began his career teaching Special Education (SPED) at Maxwell Elementary, moving onto SPED at Barnum Elementary, and finally SPED and 5th Grade at Newlon Elementary in the Denver Public School system. Chavez worked to develop team based teaching involving collaboration to infuse interdisciplinary instruction in all areas. He also worked to develop a classroom culture around values and ethics while being centered on student achievement. He strived to empower his students to take responsibility and pride in their education. During this time, Chavez was honored as the 2008 Colorado Troops to Teachers, Teacher of the Year. Upon becoming an administrator, he worked at both the building and district levels and was an integral part of the districts initiative to use bodies of evidence to understand students’ strengths and needs, and to use data to make instructional decisions based on the bodies of evidence. As part of this effort, he worked with various district level departments to coordinate efforts to support the links between curriculum, instruction, and assessment. He currently serves as the Assistant Principal at High Tech Early College (HTEC), and is the Principal for High Tech Middle School (HTMS), due to open for the 2015/2016 school year. As the Principal Resident at HTEC, Mr. Chavez is excited to work with the community to ensure that every student finds success. Chavez holds to his uncompromising belief that, “all students can learn, given the proper motivation, relevant connections, individualized instruction, and positive student support.” His work at HTEC will be to ensure that this belief becomes the heartbeat of the school. He believes that “the most effective classrooms are managed by a “warm demander”, meaning someone who has clear expectations, holds students to the highest expectations, and does so with compassion, these skills are often associated with successful military members.
When asked if he ever talks to his students who inquire about his military background, he states, “my favorite conversation to have with students is to look at the MOS options and talk about the need to score well on the ASVAB to qualify for these careers, it is a great way to make their education relevant. The three best pieces of advice he offers to young people are, “Being smart is not enough. Success comes from hard work and determination. Contrary to popular belief, knowledge is NOT power. Knowledge without application is USELESS! Applied knowledge is power. We often tell our youth that they can be anything they want, but we often forget to tell them that it will take hard work and determination.”
Chavez offers the best advice for current or separated military people interested in a teaching career as they choose to “Proudly Serve Again” along with the Troops to Teachers program,
“Teaching is much harder and much more rewarding than you think!”