Dr. Danielle Varda is a scientist turned start-up founder. She is the CEO and Founder of Visible Network Labs (a health technology startup), an Associate Professor at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver where she is Co-Director of the Center on Network Science, Director of the Nonprofit Concentration in the MPA program, and Advisor to the Dual MPA-MPH Degree. Additionally, she holds a secondary appointment in the Colorado School of Public Health, Department of Health Systems, Management, and Policy. She also has a courtesy Associate Professor appointment in the School of Information Sciences at the University of CO Boulder.
Dr. Varda is an entrepreneur, technologist, network scientist, fundraiser, and mother to three spirited girls. Her combination of 20 years as a network scientist studying social connectedness and health/mental health outcomes, published author, 14 years as a tenured professor and her successful launch and scaling of the Center on Network Science and Visible Network Labs describes her drive and commitment. She is an entrepreneur, technologist, network scientist, fundraiser, and mother to three spirited girls. Now she wants to be your Jefferson County Board member.
My Experiences that Qualify Me to Serve on the Board
My Experience in Higher Ed. As a tenured professor in a school of public affairs at the University of CO Denver, with a public policy background, I am interested in the policies that affect outcomes for kids and I believe as a school board member, I can be a positive and thoughtful partner in the policy and program work towards district policy. I have also been researching the connection between social connectedness and health and well-being outcomes for almost 20 years, and I believe that my research will contribute to policy and plans that Jeffco might consider to support the social emotional health of kids, teachers, and parents.
My Experience as a Small Business Owner. As a business owner, I understand the need for a strong workforce pipeline. As I grow my own business, and advocate for the success of other small businesses in the area, I see the potential of graduating strong classes of students, with great educations and skills for the next generation of the workforce. I believe in equipping our students with technology, systems thinking, and skills related to emotional intelligence. Supporting student success with good policy and resources means enabling students to graduate with great future opportunities in the workforce.
My Connection to Jeffco Schools as a Parent. As a mother of three girls in Jeffco’s public schools, I have a personal interest and investment in the success of our district. Nothing is more important to me than my girls and their success. That said, I also care deeply about the success of all kids, and I desire to be a part of a process and system to promote an equitable and supportive system for kids and teachers to thrive. I have been the chair of the School Accountability Committee at Weber Elementary for the last three years. I chose this role so I could learn more about the “inner workings of the school”. I’m interested in how decisions are made, what data is being used to make those decisions, and the role of stakeholders in how those play out. I have enjoyed that simple role and it has sparked my interest in playing a more meaningful role in the success of Jeffco schools.
My Connection to Teachers in My Life. As a daughter of a public school teacher and having been married to a Jeffco teacher for 13 years, I see how hard teachers work for our kids. I see their devotion and commitment to our kids. I also have experienced first-hand where teachers need more support. I believe as a board member I can work collaboratively with stakeholders to develop creative and necessary support systems to develop and sustain teacher success plans and policies.
My Hope to Serve the Students and Families in Jefferson County. I aspire to serve in a public office. Right now, my heart is drawn to serve the kids of Jefferson county. The opportunity to represent District 1 for Jeffco Schools is an open window of opportunity and I would be honored to serve the kids, families, staff, and teachers of Jefferson County.