About Us

photo credit Tim Peterson & Unsplash

Our Mission: Conserve and manage resources to address environmental impact, social development and economic prosperity. We are focused on creating a learning environment where sustainability is integral. It is our objective to maintain fiscal responsibility through sustainable practices with the understanding of how the built environment impacts our natural environment.

Our Vision:  Denver Public Schools is a leader in sustainability, creating healthy learning and working environments that connect students and staff with the wonder of nature and resource conservation.  Our DPS community will have the tools, support and experience to be stewards of the world and leaders in driving change.

DPS Sustainability Logo small

If you have any questions or want to get in touch with us, e-mail us at!

LeeAnn Kittle

LeeAnn Kittle
Director of Sustainability

LeeAnn (Westfall) Kittle is a sustainability professional that has worked in education for over 13 years. She came to Colorado in 2011 from Cleveland, Ohio. She has a Master’s in Business Administration and a B.S. in Environmental Science. LeeAnn is passionate about educating and inspiring the public on sustainability initiatives through program development and project management. She was responsible for one of Northeast Ohio’s first green roofs which was later named the “Huber-Westfall Garden” by the City of Cleveland. During her time in Colorado, LeeAnn has enjoyed engaging students both in higher education and k-12. She has served on several boards across the front range including organizations such as US Green Building Council, Recycle Colorado, and Colorado Association for School District Energy Managers. LeeAnn also took part in NREL’s Energy Executive Leadership Program. LeeAnn is happy to have joined DPS in early 2020 to continue educating our youth on pressing sustainability issues. She is an artist and lives an active life outdoors with her husband and two kids!

Darel Leedy & his bus

Darel Leedy
Controls Application Engineer

Darel moved from Chicago to Colorado in 1973. He has a degree in HVAC technology and over 33 years of Controls experience. Darel joined DPS in 2007 to manage the intelligent Building Automation System (iBAS). He is a proponent of using direct digital controls to provide efficiency, reliability and cost effectiveness for sustainable facilities. Darel’s passion for vintage Volkswagens and the outdoors has compelled him to travel throughout the western states while camping in his 1966 microbus.

Eric Punkay, Sustainability Analyst

Eric Punkay
Sustainability Analyst

Eric was born and raised in Chicago and spent summers camping across the West. Eric joined DPS as a high school science teacher in 2012. In 2018, he moved to the Sustainability Team to return to his roots in sustainability and conservation with the goal of having a bigger impact across the district. With a doctorate in ecology/conservation biology, Eric is all too aware of the need to transition quickly to a sustainable society for the benefit of both people and the planet so that all life on Earth has a healthy environment in which to thrive. Eric sees youth engagement as the key to this transition.

Adam West, Project and Energy Efficiency Specialist

Adam West
Project and Energy Efficiency Specialist

Adam was raised in Knoxville and Atlanta, where he spent much of his time exploring the outdoors. In high school, he joined and helped run his school environmental club, focusing on recycling. In college, he was a member of emerging environmental clubs and assisted with the school’s first Green Move-Out, which is now a permanent program. After receiving a degree in Environmental Studies, Adam worked at a non-profit as a commercial green building consultant. He received his master’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Colorado Boulder in late 2017 and joined the DPS Sustainability Team in 2018. Adam is excited to do the necessary work of making our school community as sustainable and healthy as possible and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.

Chris Woodburn, Garden of Youth Director

Chris Woodburn
Program Specialist – Garden of Youth

Chris was raised just outside of Denver and grew up gardening.  Naturally curious, he was working a summer job during college when the wondrous world of plants captured his attention.  After graduating, Chris continued growing his knowledge of plants at a local garden center before taking a job working with students with special needs at Manual High School.  There he was able to integrate gardening with students as they tended and expanded the garden.  Chris then worked with the 18-21 Transition Team and jumped at an opportunity to orchestrate the Garden of Youth job skills development program.  Since joining the DPS Sustainability Team full time, his role has expanded to become the garden contact for over 120 gardens across the district.  Chris loves to enjoy the wonder of nature with his 4 year old daughter.

Brian Slota bio photo

Brian Slota
Building Optimization Specialist

I began working for DPS in 2010 as a Direct Digital Controls (DDC) Technician in the HVAC shop after working with Long Building Technologies.  When asked if I would be interested in joining the Sustainability team in the newly created Building Automation Technician position, I enthusiastically jumped in with both feet!

I look forward to optimizing our schools for greater efficiency and comfort while helping to reduce our carbon footprint on the earth.

Roger Doris
Building Optimization Specialist

I am originally, from Decatur, IL.  I am part of Sustainability Dept to make sure my granddaughter can connect with nature.  I am a Building Optimization Tech working to improve efficiency and comfort in our schools to provide optimal learning environments for our students.  


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Our Partners in Sustainability support our role within DPS, allow us to extend our reach beyond the district and connect us to resources and opportunities.  Together we are working to make Denver and Colorado leaders in sustainability as we work toward a brighter future.

Renewable Energy
Renewable Energy credit Wikimedia Commons Kenueone

XCEL Energy

Xcel Energy provides most of our electricity and some of our natural gas. They help us find the best rates, efficiency rebates, and inform us of any opportunities to purchase renewable energy. Xcel also supports efficient building operation and is helping DPS explore electric vehicle infrastructure. See RenewablesEfficiency, and Low-emission vehicles.

Denver Water Logo

Denver Water

Denver Water’s Youth Education Program has a variety of program resources available whether in the classroom, learning remotely or exploring the community.