This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of these cookies.
Class Notes and Alumni News

Graland Alumni Living as Engaged Citizens and Thoughtful Leaders

As we recognize Trini Rodriguez ’89 with the Nancy Nye Priest Alumni Award this fall (see previous page), Graland also wishes to acknowledge other alumni who are contributing to the public sphere, modeling what it means to be an engaged citizen and thoughtful leader. 
Daniel Baer ’92 is a distinguished leader in international policy and diplomacy, currently serving as senior vice president for policy research and director of the Europe program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He has held various influential roles, including U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe under President Obama and executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. With a background in academia and consulting, Daniel has made significant contributions to public service and thought leadership as a respected media commentator and writer, contributing to various publications and appearing on major news networks. His dedication to educational opportunity, equity, workforce development, and diverse background in higher education, public service, government, and the private sector highlight his role as an engaged citizen and thoughtful leader.
Jeremiah Baronberg ’91 is a public policy and strategic communications consultant, currently serving as senior advisor at Blue Star Strategies, LLC, an international public affairs and government relations firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. With a diverse background spanning international relations, corporate social responsibility, and business development, Jeremiah’s career has included service in the U.S. Congress and with non-governmental organizations such as the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, WorldDenver, and the American Jewish Committee, where he serves as a national board member. Throughout his professional journey, Jeremiah has consistently demonstrated his commitment to civic engagement and public service as an engaged citizen and a thoughtful leader.

Justice Melissa Hart ’84 was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court by Governor John Hickenlooper in 2017. She is an active member of the Colorado legal community, serving in various roles and committees, including liaison to the Colorado Access to Justice Commission and involvement with the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education. Justice Hart is also an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado Law School and the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. She has an extensive educational background, including a law degree from Harvard Law School, where she served on the editorial boards of the Harvard Law Review and the Harvard Women’s Law Journal. Additionally, Justice Hart clerked for prominent judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court before practicing law in Washington, D.C. Her dedication and passion for the community reflect her reputation as an engaged citizen and thoughtful leader.

Jennifer Ridder ’02 was recently appointed as Denver Mayor Mike Johnston’s chief of staff, through which she will help set the agenda for the city’s first new mayor in 12 years. Jenn has managed political campaigns from the gubernatorial to the presidential level. The American Association of Political Consultants named her to their nationwide “40 Under 40” list for her successful work in electoral campaigns. Jenn has managed teams of all sizes, from several dozen to several thousand — and has developed a leadership style that brings people together to tackle tough challenges. Her ability to navigate the complex world of politics and government while staying true to who she is has led her to be an engaged citizen and a thoughtful leader.

For 18 years, Jamie Torres ’92 has dedicated her career to human rights and promoting community partnership in the City and County of Denver. Her journey from deputy director to leading the Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs reflects a deep commitment to addressing the evolving needs of Denver residents. In her roles, Jamie has tackled issues ranging from poverty and equity to food insecurity and immigrant integration. Now, as a re-elected Denver City Councilwoman for District 3, Jamie’s unwavering commitment to the community exemplifies what it means to be an engaged citizen and a thoughtful leader.
Chantal Weatherley-White ’82 Unfug has a public service career spanning experiences with three governors, three Denver mayors, and three rural county Commissioners. She now serves in the Department of Local Affairs as director of the division of local government. With a passion for serving Colorado and its rural communities, Chantal has shepherded billions of dollars in grants to community building, disaster recovery, and infrastructure efforts to ensure no Colorado community is left behind. Her leadership and perseverance truly make her an engaged citizen and thoughtful leader in the community. 

Alexis Wilson ’96 Weightman is a senior manager of government affairs at Colorado Health Foundation with a unique blend of science and policy expertise. With a biology background, she honed her skills in Boston and Washington, D.C., leading program evaluations and policy research for many prestigious institutions such as the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, National Science Board, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In 2008, She joined the Colorado Health Foundation, recognizing the potential to make a greater impact by translating research into actionable recommendations. Alexis’s passion for her work lies in navigating the complex world of policy in order to craft data-driven recommendations that advance health equity and allow Coloradans to live their healthiest lives. Her dedication to her work and community embodies the qualities of an engaged citizen and thoughtful leader. 

Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1927, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.