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Home Denver In second try, Denver names two finalists to lead Manual High

In second try, Denver names two finalists to lead Manual High

Denver's Manual High School (Photo by Melanie Asmar, Chalkbeat Colorado)

Two assistant principals who work in the Denver school district are vying to lead Manual High School, a storied school in the northeast part of the city that has struggled academically. This is the district’s second attempt this year to hire a new principal for Manual after its top prospect in the last round turned down the job.

The finalists are Douglas Clinkscales, who has worked at Manual since 2007 and is the school’s assistant principal and athletic director, and Joe Glover, an assistant principal at nearby East High School since 2015. (Read their resumes below.)

Manual is about one-eighth the size of East, a racially diverse and mostly middle-class school that has more than 2,600 students. Manual has 300 students. Nearly all the students who attend Manual are black and Latino, and 90 percent qualified for free or reduced-price lunches last year.

Manual has had two different interim principals since its last permanent principal, Nick Dawkins, abruptly resigned in March. The district has said that the current interim principal, Lynn Heintzman, will stay one more month until the end of the semester.

Though its enrollment is small, Manual’s importance in Denver Public Schools is big. It is often held up as one of the most traumatic examples of the district’s strategy of closing low-performing schools and reopening them with a new program in hopes of better outcomes.

Manual has seen some successes since it was closed in 2006 and reopened the following year, but its students have continued to struggle on state literacy and math tests. It has earned five consecutive low ratings from the state and could face intervention from the State Board of Education next year if its rating does not improve. The ratings are based largely on test scores.

Manual has also gone through lots of leadership turnover in the past decade and a host of different philosophies and academic approaches. Its current approach seems to have positive momentum. It includes more opportunities for students to take college-level courses and earn college credit while in high school, as well as a unique career education program called the Med School at Manual geared toward students interested in careers in health care.

Read the principal candidates’ resumes below.

Douglas Clinkscales

Professional Summary

Educator dedicated to the promotion of equity and change in urban school experiences for all students. Committed to assisting scholars in becoming change agents representing their families and impacting their world.

Core Assets

Community involvement, School operations supervision, Scheduling and planning, Teacher supervision & support, Personalized Learning, Staff culture, Staff coaching and development,  Personnel retention & recruitment, Modeling mission & vision, Student data analysis, Restorative Justice practitioner, Enrichment program coordinator



Manual High School Assistant Principal, Chief Operations Officer, Athletic Director, 2012–present

  • Observe, Coach and Evaluate teachers using LEAP framework and resources
  • Facilitate Personnel Committee and process all hiring of teachers and staff
  • Facilitate Student Support Team (behavioral, emotional, academic, intervention, and attendance supports)
  • Hire and Evaluate all Athletic and Activities coaches
  • Coordinate Special Education programming
  • Site Commander for ECRM plan for shared Manual campus
  • Coordinate CHSAA compliance for all sanctioned sports and activities
  • Manage Student Activity Fund and approve all Manual transactions, contracts and invoices
  • Review and Approve payroll biweekly
  • Manage all Athletic programs including scheduling, equipment, officials, uniforms and transportation
  • Lead professional development for staff and teachers on a variety of topics
  • Coordinate and create master schedule including all stakeholders
  • Facilitate Post-secondary readiness team including credit recovery, Saturday school and student goal setting
  • Community Liaison for community partnerships, events, alumni functions and communication
  • Marketing and Student Recruitment Coordinator including middle school shadowing, attending community evening events, coaching middle school sports on campus, and reaching out to middle schools in the area
  • Manage shared campus operations including bell schedules, safety and security, and community use

Manual High School Social Studies Teacher, 2007-2012

  • Created Curriculum for multiples subjects
  • Co-facilitated concurrent enrollment classes
  • Member of the SLT
  • Education and Licensure
  • Principal Licensure; University of Phoenix, 2010
  • Masters in Secondary Education; University of Phoenix, 2006
  • Bachelor of Arts–History; Colorado State University, 2004


Joe D. Glover

Professional Summary: Instructional leader with success in a wide range of comprehensive high schools. Equity driven with the knowledge that a lack of equity reduces the life chances of our students. Passionate yet composed leader focused on providing students and adults with the tools and resources they need to maximize growth and achievement. Dedicated to giving all our students the opportunity to be great every day.


Assistant Principal: East High School, Denver, CO 2015 – Present. Lead Departmental Leadership Teams in English and social studies with focus on aligning curriculum and assessments to increase student growth and performance Led Advanced Placement Program and helped increase students receiving 3+ scores by 5% and number of students taking exams by 7% from 2015-2017

  • Developed cohort of AP teachers to meet with AP students to increase equitable access to AP courses
  • Collaborated with stakeholders on development of Unified Improvement Plan to align with SPF outcomes
  • Led implementation of Capstone portfolios to meet class of 2021 graduation requirements
  • Led efforts to reduce College Remediation rates at East High School, decreased math remediation rate by 17% and English remediation rate by 11% in two years
  • As leadership partner with AVID, supported implementation of school-wide AVID strategies for 9th and 10th grade
  • Led Site Assessment Leader and Technology Teams, collaborated with teacher teams to develop schoolwide technology mission, vision and strategy
  • Principal Resident: South High School, Denver, CO 2014-2015. Principal Resident working directly with Principal to gain experience in all aspects of leading a traditional high school in areas of equity, instruction, community and operations
    • Adopted and implemented common planning data protocols in science and social studies departments
    • Led pilot year implementation of Student Learning Objectives
    • Supported communications and student recruitment efforts
    • Supported development of choice priorities to ensure seats for English Language learners
    • Assistant Principal: George Washington High School, Denver, CO 2011-2014. Supported development of One George vision to ensure equitable access to International Baccalaureate Program
      • Developed and supported strategic plan to move school from Yellow status on SPF to Green status, reached Green status in 2013
      • Led Advanced Placement program and helped increase students receiving 3+ scores by 12% from 2012-2014.
      • Restructured testing systems and protocols, reduced TCAP no scores from 10% to 1.5% in one year
      • Redesigned GWHS master schedule to include collaborative planning for all departments
      • Lead on GWHS UIP and received UIP Implementation bonus for meeting targets

Ritchie Principal Intern: South High School, Denver, CO 2011. Leader of college readiness support plan, ACT preparation, Advanced Placement common planning groups, and College Ready Institute.

  • Led teacher groups in English, math and science to establish goals, develop ELGs, progress monitor and maintain accountability for ACT prep
  • Served in Dean’s office, received experience in using academic and behavioral intervention strategies, restorative justice, and attendance strategies
  • Marketed school through open house nights and community partnerships
  • Managed Marquez Foundation funds for college readiness support
  • Wrote technology grant for clicker sets and notebooks for classroom use and assessments and lead staff training on use
  • Helped write and implement South’s Unified Improvement Plan
  • New Leader Academy Assistant Principal Mentor: DPS, Denver, CO 2016-Present
  • Provide coaching and mentoring to small cohorts of Assistant Principals
  • Facilitated and coordinated site visits and learning walks
  • Helped mentees identify problems of practice and engaged consultancy protocols to improve effectiveness
    South High School, Denver, CO, English Language Arts Teacher 2002-2011
  • Taught Studio, American Literature, Newspaper, Journalism, College Writing, Springboard, AVID, and AP Language and Composition courses
  • Advised newspaper program from 2003-2010
  • University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR, Adjunct Professor


  • University of Denver, Denver, CO Colorado State Principal Type D Licensure The Ritchie Program for School Leaders, 2011-12
  • Metropolitan State College of Denver, Denver, CO. Colorado Teaching Licensure for Secondary English Education, 2002-04
  • University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR Bachelor of Arts-English Literature, May 1994 Master of Arts-English Literature, May 1998

Originally posted on Chalkbeat by Melanie Asmar on Nov. 30, 2018. Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.

Melanie Asmar covers Denver Public Schools. Asmar previously worked as a reporter for Westword newspaper in Denver and for a daily newspaper in her native New Hampshire. She joined Chalkbeat Colorado in 2015.
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