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RAFT Staff and Board Members

RAFT Staff

Stephanie Welsh, Dumpster Diving Diva (Executive Director)

stephanieStephanie 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.

Chris DeKay, Chief Re-Imagineer (Education Director)

chrisChris 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 Harvey, Marquee Maven (Outreach Director)

fd404a40-022c-443c-8583-6ef259e67315Sarah 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 Vann, Stuff Scientist (Operations Director/Educational Coach)

GwenGwen 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 Smith, RAFT Wrangler (Warehouse Manager)

Alex 1

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!  

Joyce Weaver, Deputy Re-Imagineer (Store Associate/Volunteer Coordinator/Educational Coach)

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 Haag, Ramblin' Re-Imagineer (Offsite Event Coordinator/Store Associate/Educational Coach)

nickNick  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 Stets, Kit Conductor (Kit and Group Volunteer Coordinator)

b5e696c2-e9a9-4d14-91c9-78005dbe4885Theresa 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.

Tracy Cress, Re-Imagineer (Store Associate/Educational Coach)

tracyTracy 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.

 

 


 

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Community Advisory Board

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

 


 

Teacher Advisory Board

Lorraine Anderson

Tracey Calderon, Adams 12

Beth Crist, Colorado Department of Education

Susie Dykstra, Adams 12

Nick Haag, RAFT Colorado

Robyn Jennings

Angela Lovisolo, RAFT Colorado

Tonja Mitchell, Boys & Girls Clubs

Justine Sawyer, DPS

Lisi Quinby

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