Jen Cano-Smith, PhD, NCSP

Jen Cano-Smith, PhD, NCSP

Testing Specialist

Children’s learning is fascinating to me. In my professional life, I have watched children grow in their academic and social learning from a particularly privileged vantage point. From preschool to high school and beyond, I’ve enjoyed being invited into their learning processes and their struggles; from finding friends on the playground to navigating university academics. I have served public school districts in Colorado as a school psychologist since 2002, and I still enjoy the process of developing plans that help students who learn differently show what they know. I’ve worked in schools that include dual-language learning models, Montessori, and career and technical education – all of which support children and their gifts in a variety of creative ways.

I completed my doctoral dissertation on the topic of college students with ADHD and learning disabilities and their experiences with self-advocacy throughout their learning journeys. My research included long conversations with successful DU students who were asked to think back on their process of advocating for themselves as they moved through school and the factors that contributed to their successful management of their college careers. When those students looked back on the factors that helped them thrive in college, they shared the importance of embracing their learning differences, capitalizing on their strengths, and communicating effectively with others in a position to help. By joining the team at PEAK, I am excited for the opportunity to help more gifted and twice-exceptional students on this path.

Professional Background

After completing my Bachelor of Arts degree (Psychology, Art) at the University of California at Santa Cruz, I moved to Colorado to get my Educational Specialist and Doctorate degrees in Child, Family, and School Psychology from the University of Denver. I worked for over 12 years in Denver Public Schools and I have been a school psychologist with School District 27J in Brighton since 2014.

Schedule with Jen