|Trustee Michelle Lucero: An affinity for education|
Feb 20, 2008
Michelle Lucero learned from her mother how important education is.
|One of 10 children, Michelle Lucero grew up in Ignacio, Colo. and learned the value of education from her mother. Photo by Julie Strasheim.
took my mom 15 years to get her college degree in early childhood
education,” Lucero explains. And she did it with a family of 10
children while living in the little southwestern Colorado town of
Ignacio. An 8th grade dropout, her mother had to earn her GED before
she could even pursue college.
Lucero took it to heart when her
mom said, “It’s about your education. No one can take that away from
you.” She became the only child in her family to graduate from college,
earning a bachelor’s degree at Rockhurst College, a small Jesuit
institution in Kansas City, Mo., and then a juris doctorate at the
University of Colorado – Boulder School of Law.
“I had the desire to get that education mom spoke so highly of,” Lucero said.
later, Lucero is a mother herself, a successful career woman, an owner
with her husband of two BBQ restaurants and a Metro State supporter.
serving on the board, I knew that Metro State was one of three colleges
at Auraria, and I thought it was a school for inner-city kids,” Lucero
explains. “Now I know what a rich education anyone can get here. I
don’t think I appreciated it before.”
Lucero believes that there
has been a complete change in attitude about the College. “Students
want to come here for the great programs. And it has a kind of energy.
I am so impressed with Metro.”
A working mom
has been working since graduating from CU, holding positions at a
variety of companies and agencies including Davis Graham and Stubbs,
Denver Health and the Security and Exchange Commission. In 2001 she
took a position with Centura Health, but was lured away two years later
to become a deputy city attorney under Mayor John Hickenlooper’s
administration – “Michael Bennet, who was the mayor’s chief of staff,
was a great salesman,” she explains with a chuckle. “Plus I got to work
for Cole Finegan and had the opportunity to help manage the team.
all it was a phenomenal experience, but I didn’t see my children for
three years, so I returned to Centura in 2006,” Lucero says. She is
vice president of employee relations -- no small task when you consider
that Centura is the largest health-care provider in Colorado and has
“It’s a little more flexible here,” she
adds, which gives Lucero, an avid Harry Potter fan, the time to stand
in line at midnight with her 15-year-old son to buy Potter books the
minute they go on sale. “I love the Potter series because of what
they’ve done for generations of people. They’re a story of dreamers and
She also has more time for her two other
children: a daughter who is a “future Olympic soccer player” and
another son who is a stand-up comedian. “All my kids are different,
which is the beauty of it,” she says.
Lucero also makes time for
community involvement. In addition to Metro State’s board, she is on
Kroneke Sports’ Hispanic Advisory Council and the Littleton Public
Schools Facility Task Force. Her past board memberships include Mi Casa
Resource Center for Women, the Women’s Bar Association, the Colorado
Hispanic Bar Association and the Colorado Board of Chiropractic
Examiners, among others.
As to Metro State’s board, she sees
three issues as the College’s most important for the future: funding,
student retention and faculty retention.
“The faculty are
amazing and President Jordan is attracting more high-caliber
professors,” she says. “Plus, I believe our new pay for performance
system will also attract faculty.
“Really, as wonderful as Metro State is, it can only get better.”
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