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governing board


CDLS has a strong governing board made up of Colorado educators and leaders to help support the CDLS team.

Ed Vandertook [president]

Current Position: Retired- Former Superintendent:   Ed Vandertook has been an educator for 46 years. He has served as a Mathematics teacher at the secondary and post-secondary levels; has been a principal, Curriculum Director, Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) Executive Director, and he was superintendent for the Strasburg School District, a small rural school district in eastern Colorado. Ed also served as the interim superintendent for the Deer Trail School District in eastern Colorado and is currently serving as the interim superintendent for the North Park R-1 School District, a small rural district with less than 200 students located in northwest Colorado.  Ed has been involved in distance learning and on-line learning since 1992.

Dianna Chrisman[member]

Current Position: Superintendent, Yuma Schools:  Dianna Chrisman has been in rural education for 27 years, serving various roles from teacher, coach, Head Start Education Coordinator,  athletic director, principal and superintendent.  Her current role is as the Superintendent of the Yuma School District in Northeast Colorado since the fall of 2015 where she serves approximately 900 students Pre-K-12.

Leon Hanhardt [member]

Current Position: Superintendent, Bayfield Schools:  Leon Hanhardt  served as Principal of the Bayfield High School prior to becoming superintendent in 2022.  The Bayfield School District JT-R is a rural district in southwest Colorado with approximately 1100 students PK-12..  

michelle murphy [member]

Current Position: Executive Director, Colorado Rural Alliance:  Michelle Murphy, stepped into the role of Executive Director for the Colorado Rural School Alliance in September 2015.  Prior to that time, Michelle served as Advocacy and Legal Counsel for the Colorado Association of School Boards.  Michelle is a city girl with a strong passion for—and commitment to-advancing the interests of rural schools and students. 


Michelle has worked in public education for almost 20 years. Michelle received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Denver in 1996. Following graduation, she worked as an intervention specialist in the Boulder and St. Vrain Valley School Districts where she provided counseling, advocacy and mediation services to students and their families.


Michelle received her law degree from the University of Colorado in 2002. After graduating from CU Law, she worked as a real estate associate at one of Denver’s top firms. Her passion for education brought her to the practice of school law and, prior to joining CASB, she worked with Alexander Halpern LLC.

Jason Westfall [member]

Current Position: Executive Director, East Central BOCES:  Jason Westfall became Executive Director of the East Central BOCES in 2018.  He was superintendent of Elbert County Schools (Kiowa) from 2011-2017 and has been an educator since 1999, also working in the Elizabeth School district, 2006-2011.   

For a copy of our Bylaws, Conflict of Interest Policy, and other governing documents, please contact Dan Morris at

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