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!
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 supports everyone who comes in the door to RAFT, from teachers to volunteers. Her hard work and positive energy are a winning combination!
Rachael is the kind of person who likes to talk about stuff (what stuff looks like, what stuff can she do with stuff, where did this stuff come from?). Rachael brings 30 years of teaching experience, working with kids as a speech language pathologist and teachers as a literacy trainer. She has an abiding deep love of science and creativity and was a Destination Imagination Manager for 11 years. Before she took this job, Rachel had been coming to RAFT for over 6 years and had logged over 100 hours of professional development workshops at RAFT! At RAFT she will bring a deeper focus on early childhood, enriching both curriculum and teacher professional development. Rachael has a BS in Communication and an MA in Communication Disorders.
Jack is RAFT’s logistics wizard! After serving 4 years in the United States Air Force, he decided to move to Colorado with his wife and son. He also has a background as a personal trainer, which makes him the perfect person to acquire and move around all of RAFT’s many materials. We’re lucky to have his brains and brawn on board!
Chad has been with RAFT in various capacities since 2014. He is a jack-of-all-trades who is happiest when he’s juggling lots of things. Chad is involved in virtually every step of the RAFT process, including picking up donated materials, organizing, and stocking, and many, many other tasks that keep RAFT going every day. He loves not knowing what his work day has in store at RAFT—and seeing how the tons of materials are transformed by RAFT staff and teachers. He is a family man (married with a sweet daughter), and in his spare time (when he can find it!) plays basketball.
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.
From the day Ellen cut up her mother’s typewriter-written dissertation at age four, she has always been a curious person. She has an MAT in Museum Education and spent fifteen years designing and delivering programs in art and children’s museums, including the Denver Art Museum, the Clyfford Still Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Children’s Museum of Memphis. Ellen has worked with RAFT since its beginnings in Denver, and taught numerous teacher workshops at RAFT as a museum partner. She brings a solid professional grounding in non-profit organizations and a familiarity with all aspects of grant-funded programs.
Theresa coordinates kit production and volunteers – and somehow manages to do it while only working part-time! 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.
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
Margie Gart, Former Director of Philanthropic Services, Rose Community Foundation
Frank Reeves, Superintendent, East Grand County School District
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
Violeta Garcia, PhD, National Inventors Hall of Fame
|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
Barry Kluger-Bell, PhD, Inquiry Science Educator
Madison Carter, Co-Secretary
Associate Vice President, Wealth Management, MorganStanley
Lisa Donovan, Co-Secretary
Chief People Officer, Sage Hospitality
Violeta Garcia, Ph.D.
Regional Program Development Manager, National Inventors Hall of Fame
Brent Geist, Treasurer
Senior Vice President – FirstBank, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation
Joshua Hunt, Vice Chair
Founding CEO, TRELORA
Barry Kluger-Bell, PhD
Inquiry Science Educator
Partner, Hogan Lovells US, LLP
Vice President of Real Estate Reporting, Sage Hospitality
Art Director, Avanti Music Academy
Retired CEO, Colorado Children’s Chorale
Kevin Seggelke, Board Chair
CEO, Food Bank of the Rockies
CEO, Global Product Specialists, LLC
Stephanie Welsh, Executive Director