Eucker_Penny

Dr Penny Eucker

My Bio

Employment Agreement

Dr. Eucker has served as the Executive Director of STEM School Highlands Ranch since 2012. When she joined the school, it was struggling as one of the lowest performing schools in Douglas County. Within one year, under Eucker’s leadership, the school went from a Colorado school grade of “F” to “A.” It moved from being one of the lowest-performing schools in Colorado to being ranked 12th out of 333 high schools. Today, the school serves approximately 1,800 students in grades K-12, and is ranked 9th out of all Colorado schools. Last year, the school posted the highest SAT scores in the Douglas County School District and students earned top academic awards locally, regionally, and nationally.

Dr. Eucker’s educational background includes a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Innovation and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction, both from the University of Colorado, School of Education. Additionally, Dr. Eucker holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Geology from the University of Georgia and was a Fellow for the National Academy for Science and Mathematics. She has earned a certificate in Executive Education for nonprofit organizations from Harvard. She has been named an educator of excellence by the CocaCola Foundation.

Prior to joining STEM School Highlands Ranch, Dr. Eucker designed and partnered with industry leaders to develop the high achieving K-8 STEM Magnet Lab School in Adams 12 Five Star Schools. As the inaugural principal, Dr. Eucker worked with staff and industry partners to create a unique model for STEM education. Her award-winning work in Adams 12 includes some of the highest academic growth scores for students and the highest teacher satisfaction scores of any school in the district. She was a member of the original team to develop the Colorado statewide science standards, presents regularly at state and national conferences, and has published several papers focused on assessment and standards.

Her volunteer efforts include seven years with Denver Kids, helping at-risk students, and significant work with the Children’s Museum program for students in public housing. She has also volunteered for the National Sports Center for the Disabled, numerous science programs encouraging girls in sciences, and much more.

Dr. Eucker is a recognized educational leader locally and nationally and her professional accomplishments are many. A sampling of her awards and presentations follow:

  • Awarded the Excellence in Teaching Governor’s Award from National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Received the Channel Six Teacher of the Year, 1995.
  • Awarded the National Award for Excellence in developing instructional materials by The American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
  • Received the National Award from Bell Labs for her curriculum development of the “Classroom of the Future.”
  • Received The National Education Award for her use of technology in the classroom.
  • Selected as a Fellow for the National Academy for Science and Mathematics Leadership.
  • Selected as a member of the Adams 12 Executive Team for developing the leadership of the district.
  • Member of the original team that developed the science academic standards for Colorado. Her contributions resulted in a process adopted by the state, making Colorado a national leader for other states to develop world-class academic standards in the area of science.
  • Motivated by her belief in human potential, Eucker was an influential member of the team that developed the science academic standards for students without the ability to be measured by traditional assessments.
  • Member of the evaluation team for CONNECT, a statewide program to increase math and science participation for Colorado students funded by a $10 million National Science Foundation grant.
  • Member of the Denver Public Schools curriculum committee.
  • Member of the Colorado delegation presenting systemic change vision at AERA (American Educational Research Association) in San Francisco.

2021-22 Welcome Message

Dear STEM Community,

A very warm Welcome to the 2021-22 School Year! I hope you’ve all had a relaxing and restorative Summer Break. Our team at STEM has been working hard this summer to ensure that our team is ready to welcome your student on August 10 for an amazing year.

For those of you who I haven’t had the pleasure to meet yet, I am Dr Penny Eucker, the Executive Director here at STEM School Highlands Ranch. Whether you’re a new family, or one of our dedicated STEM Families, I am so excited to start this school year with all of you.

My role is to ensure that we are living out our Mission of Never Stop Innovating. At STEM, we envision a world of exponential possibilities where every child develops the innate knowledge, skills, creativity and character to thrive, lead and succeed in an ever-changing future.

Our goal is not only to prepare students to thrive in the constant world of reinvention, but to lead it. At STEM, we have five Core Beliefs that we infuse into everything that we do. [display the five Core Beliefs on the screen] Our Problem-Based Learning instructional model allows for our teachers to be as creative as possible and have our students lead the instruction in the classrooms.

There are so many opportunities for all of our students to succeed at STEM and we can’t wait to open up the doors and welcome everyone back. As we all prepare for August 10, please reach out to us if you have any questions. Our website has the most up-to-date information and also includes our Communications Pathways that will help get you to the right person.

Additionally, there are a number of opportunities for you to get involved. Be sure to read through the Weekly Parent Newsletter for the latest information.

I want each and every one of our students to succeed and find their passion here at STEM and together we can make that happen. We are STEMStrongerTogether.

Sincerely,

P.J. Eucker PhD

Executive Director