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Michael Bennet was appointed as the US Senator for Colorado replacing Ken Salazar in January, 2009. Previously, he served as Superintendent of Denver Public Schools (DPS) in July 2005. Under Bennet's leadership, the district developed The Denver Plan, a strategic plan to address the challenges faced by DPS. The plan is a compilation of research-based, best practices created to guide the district in its effort to bolster student achievement. In its first year of implementation, The Denver Plan has guided DPS in the creation of unique professional development opportunities for teachers and principals, alignment of the curriculum, a balanced budget, and implementation of Student-Based Budgeting. Bennet comes to DPS from the City and County of Denver where he served as Chief of Staff to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. In this role, Bennet helped assemble and lead a diverse and accomplished leadership team which closed a budget gap, balanced two consecutive budgets during Denver's worst recession in history, conducted successful bargaining negotiations, and gained public support for city ballot initiatives. Bennet moved to Denver in 1997, to serve in the private sector as a managing director for the Anschutz Investment Company, where he was responsible for restructuring billions of dollars of debt and lines of business, as well as investing of over $500 million. Since arriving in Denver, Bennet has maintained strong ties to the community with connections to Denver neighborhoods, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. He lives in the Congress Park neighborhood, and his two school-age daughters attend Denver Public Schools. Bennet began his career as a personal assistant for then Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste and later worked as a law clerk for Judge Francis D. Murnaghan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Following a brief tenure at the Washington law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, Bennet served as Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration. Bennet earned his bachelor's degree in history with honors from Wesleyan University and his law degree from Yale Law School where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal. He is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Aspen Institute-NewSchools Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.