Stephanie is RAFT Colorado’s Executive Director, but the Board of Trustees has given her another title: the Dumpster Diving Diva. Stephanie is passionate about education and loves that RAFT’s business model supports teachers’ ability to teach in the way kids learn best – and preserves the environment at the same time! Launching RAFT in Colorado has drawn on her eclectic professional experience in non-profits, law, interior design, and education. Stephanie also serves on Colorado Fourteener’s Initiative Board of Trustees and on Rocky Mountain PBS’s Community Advisory Board.
Chris started preparing for his Chief Re-Imagineer job when he was a six-year-old “garage floor scientist,” gradually developing into a “MacGyver of education”! Chris has enjoyed teaching students and working with a wide variety of teachers at the Teton Science Schools, Keystone Science School, and the Thorne Nature Experience, using anything nature has to offer to spontaneously engage students in learning. Chris has a double major in Environmental, Population, and Organism Biology and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and is a graduate of the Teton Science Schools Graduate Program.
Sarah is working part-time as RAFT’s Outreach Director, developing and overseeing donor engagement and marketing strategies and implementation. Until she began working for RAFT, Sarah was a RAFT board and Upcycle committee member, so she is already very familiar with our mission, strategic plan, and operations. She has been a dedicated volunteer leader at Graland for over 10 years, and worked as a marketing communications manager in the Telecom industry for over seven years.
Gwen brings over 20 years of teaching experience and a Master’s Degree in teaching to RAFT, with particular experience in early childhood education, literacy, and special needs. She also started Colorado’s first educator consignment sale (Teacher2Teacher) after she retired because she loves teachers, “stuff,” and hands-on learning! She is a force and she is fabulous!
Alex learned about RAFT when his former employee, Cooper Tea Company, donated 8 pallets of bottles several years ago. Now, as our RAFT Wrangler (Warehouse Manager), Alex brings his warehouse, logistics, and customer service to the back end of RAFT’s operations, and focuses on making sure great materials keep moving their way out onto the floor for teachers to find!
We discovered Joyce at a joint DMNS / RAFT workshop. Her joyful, problem-solving, can-do attitude, educational know-how, and love for science made a big impression and we were thrilled to make her part of the RAFT team. In Joyce’s first career, she managed a Natural Foods store, then she turned her attention to teaching and has experience in PreK through 5th grade classrooms. She wears many hats at RAFT, from supporting teachers to stocking shelves to setting up volunteers to penning the newsletter. Her hard work and positive energy are a winning combination!
Nick was a para for five years, ran a before-and-after school program for four years, and has coached and worked with kids in a variety of educational settings since he was a kid himself (his mom is a teacher too!). Nick has been hanging out and helping part-time at RAFT practically since we opened in Denver. Nick has a gift for engaging and challenging children through hands-on learning and loves to share his enthusiasm and strategies with other teachers, which he does exceptionally well, both within the walls of RAFT, and also out in the world where he represents RAFT at numerous conferences and fairs and now on RAFT on Wheels.
Theresa is working part-time, coordinating kit production and volunteer groups. Theresa had a pre-existing relationship with RAFT before she joined our team; she was a member and an was also an exhibitor at the first STEMosphere at DU. Theresa’s experience make her a natural for this job: She has supervised hands-on science activity development and production, as well as volunteers, at the World of Wonder Children’s Museum in Lafayette, the Youth Science Center at the Science Museum of Minnesota, taught in the Teach for America program in Arkansas, and earned a Masters of Science degree in Alabama.
Alicia served as RAFT’s seasonal arts and crafts specialist while she was getting her B.A. at Colorado College and is excited to return to RAFT in a new capacity—as a grant writer! Her passion for education, love of writing, and dedication to RAFT’s mission make her great addition to our staff.
Tracy has been teaching in a variety of positions at DPS for the past 13 years, and has been a RAFT member since 2012. She is very aware of challenges teachers face every day, and loves that “RAFT provides hope that teaching can still be fun, exciting, and hands-on!” Tracy still teaches full-time and devotes one day of her weekend to RAFT.
Carrie and John Morgridge, Morgridge Family Foundation
Zachary Neumeyer, President, Sage Hospitality
George Sparks, CEO, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Ellen Hall, PhD, Founding Director, Boulder Journey School
Margie Gart, Former Director of Philanthropic Services, Rose Community Foundation
Tracey Calderon, Adams 12
Beth Crist, Colorado Department of Education
Susie Dykstra, Adams 12
Nick Haag, RAFT Colorado
Robyn Jennings, The Logan School
Tonja Mitchell, Boys & Girls Clubs
Justine Sawyer, DPS
Angie Willsea, APS
Sarah Brenkert, Children’s Museum
Maureen Creswell, Speech Pathologist
Chris DeKay, RAFT Colorado
Tom Graves, Douglas County
Jaquita Hurst, DPS
Lauren Lehmann, Colorado College
|Kate McDonough, Adams 12
Sue Sava, Stanley British Primary
Monica Strass, Adams 50
Cynthia Way, Adams 12
Kathy Zook, Adams 50
Mark Arseneau, DPS
Tracy Cress, DPS
Shawna Crocker, Project Learning Tree
Diane Gaston, DPS, CTEA
Christine Holpuch, Clayton Early Learning Schools
Sharyl Kay Lawson, Brighton 27
JPatrice Mason-Dawan, DPS
Rachael Rome, Adams 12
Shirley Stafford, Retired
Amy Turino, PhD
Mike Willsea, APS
Associate Vice President, Wealth Management, MorganStanley
Lisa Donovan, Secretary
Violeta Garcia, Ph.D.
STEM learning by design
Brent Geist, Treasurer
FirstBank, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation
Joshua Hunt, Vice Chair
Barry Kluger Bell PhD
Inquiry Science Educator
Kevin Seggelke, Board Chair
Food Bank of the Rockies
Peter Van Veen
Private Real Estate Investment
Stephanie Welsh, Executive Director