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Candice Reese announced as Principal of Elementary School 14

27J Schools named Candice Reese the principal of its newest elementary school -- Elementary School 14. The school’s future home will be in Southlawn, a part of the Reunion neighborhood development in Commerce City. 

Reese came to 27J in a rather unconventional way. She was inspired by 27J’s superintendent who talked with students one day at her daughters’ school program at the local Boys and Girls Club. As Reese tells it, the superintendent didn’t focus his attention on the adults at the program. Rather, he opened a conversation with the students. That student-centered interaction prompted Reese to knock on the district’s door seeking to be a 27J principal.

“The superintendent was so passionate about the success of students and being clear that the 27J staff was supporting learning with the Thinking Classroom,” Reese said. “Dr. Fielder celebrated students owning their thinking through the ‘thinking classroom’ and how every student had the opportunity to succeed in 27J schools.”

The more the superintendent spoke, the more Reese knew she had to work in his district. Seven years later, Candice Reese has done just that. She’s been the principal at Thimmig Elementary School where, over time, she transformed the learning environment and consistently met goals to support staff and students.

Recently, Reese saw 27J was set to start construction on Elementary School 14 and Reese saw the potential opportunity to continue her growth and leadership in a new school in a new area of 27J.  When envisioning a new school, Reese was excited about cultivating a new school culture with all community stakeholders.  

“I want students to feel our connection with them even before they walk into the school. Students will know we believe in them and they will do nothing but succeed.”

Reese earned her Liberal Arts and Science degree with a major in English Writing from the University of Colorado at Denver. She earned her Masters of Education from Lesley University, Mass. and her administrative license from the University of Denver. She’s served as an elementary school teacher, instructional coach, and principal for 16 years before coming to Thimmig Elementary School as principal.

Elementary School 14 is set to open phase I of the building in August 2022. Reese will spend the next year planning for the opening of the school and hiring staff. Details about the school and enrollment information will be shared as the school is planned. Updates will be found on the district’s website,, in the coming months.