After graduating from The Evergreen State College with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts, Lark spent a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA designing an afterschool program in Woodburn, OR. The experience inspired Lark to study education at a graduate level, and in 2006 she completed her Master’s degree in Education at the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education. Lark spent nearly six years as the Director of Student & Civic Engagement at YouthBuild Philadelphia where she managed AmeriCorps grants, engaged students in community service and service-learning opportunities, and orchestrated large-scale community service events bringing together corporate volunteers, elected officials, and community members. Upon relocating to Denver, Lark took on several consulting projects before joining STRIVE Prep’s dedicated staff as the Grants & Communications Manager. In her spare time, Lark enjoys spending time outdoors with her two children, dog and husband.
A graduate of University of Wisconsin – La Crosse (B.S. 2002) and of St. Catherine University (Masters of Arts, Holistic Health Studies, 2010), Sara formerly spent two years with the Minnesota Department of Health where she focused on policy issues, and eight years leading fundraising for College Summit, an organization focused on building the college-going culture of high schools. While there she successfully increased fundraising by 250% for the Colorado region and focused on donor cultivation and stewardship, strategic development plans, and high quality profile-raising events. Sara is committed to STRIVE Prep because of the passionate and committed students, staff, parents, and community leaders. She is responsible for fundraising and cultivating new relationships for the STRIVE Prep network. In her free time, Sara enjoys running, yoga, traveling, cooking, laughing, and being outside. email@example.com
David graduated from the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. In January 2006, David came to United States and then graduated with MBA in Accounting from the University of North Dakota. Prior to joining STRIVE, David relocated to Denver and worked for a global accounting firm since 2009. David is a certified public accountant. David is proud to be a member of STRIVE, and work with the dedicated and hard-working staff and students of the STRIVE Prep community.
Whitney Bride is an alumna of Teach for America, a national corps of demonstrated leaders committed to affecting change in low-income communities by teaching in urban and rural public schools. In addition to teaching 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades, Mrs. Bride served as a corps member liaison to the Teach for America Regional Board of Directors in Houston, Texas. She has spent the past nine years working primarily with Latino families and communicates proficiently in Spanish. She holds a B.S. in Human & Organizational Development with an emphasis on Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness from Vanderbilt University. firstname.lastname@example.org
Julian Conejo is from Del Norte, Colorado. He graduated from Adams State College with a Bachelors in Business Administration/MIS. Prior to joining the STRIVE Prep team, for five years he served the Del Norte School District as the district’s IT Coordinator.
Josh graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in political science and from the Stern School of Business at New York University with an MBA in finance. Josh has spent his career working for a number of start-up to large organizations in a variety financial capacities. Prior to becoming STRIVE Prep’s Chief Financial Officer, he served as its Controller. For more information see his LinkedIn profile.
email@example.com, 303-630-0360 x 182.
Jeff graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio with a B.A. in English. After graduation, Jeff began a career in Information Technology and moved to Colorado. During his career, Jeff has performed a variety of technical, sales and management roles including running an IT consulting company focused on K-12 technology in Colorado. He most recently worked for a national IT Managed Service Provider having managed their Help Desk and Network Operation Center and served as a Regional Vice President. Jeff enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with his wife and boys in the Colorado outdoors, and is very excited to be working with the dedicated staff and students of STRIVE Prep.
Prior to founding STRIVE Prep in 2005, Chris Gibbons completed the Building Excellent Schools Fellowship, a nationally-recognized training program for charter school founders. He also served as the director of Denver Summerbridge, a non-profit education program (now part of the Breakthrough Collaborative), and was a teacher both at Summerbridge and City on a Hill Charter School in Boston. Fluent in Spanish, he holds a B.S. in Biology from Yale University and a M.Ed. from Regis University. firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-630-0360.
Sabrina was a founding Special Education teacher of the Westwood (formerly Harvey Park) campus in 2009, and has taught in Denver since 2001. She is a first generation college student, and was in special education programming as a child. She has incredible passion and commitment for her work at STRIVE Prep, and regards the network of schools as a movement of social and educational justice. She is extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity to support a diversity of learners throughout our city. Sabrina graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2001 with a Bachelor’s Degree is Sociology and Ethnic Studies, earned her Special Education License though the Teacher’s Institute at La Academia in 2005, and completed a Master’s in Clinical Social Work at the University of Denver in 2006. She has traveled to Honduras, New York City and the Grand Canyon with students, lived in Antigua, Guatemala for 4 months, loves living in East Denver, enjoys writing poetry, eats anything with cheese, and is secretly obsessed with the Vampire Diaries! email@example.com, 303-962-9880.
Katie Holz-Russell most recently served as the Principal of West Denver Prep’s Federal Campus. Prior to joining the West Denver Prep Community, she served as the Education Director for Breakthrough Kent Denver and as a member of the Upper School Faculty at Kent Denver School. She is a Teach for America Alum. Throughout her seven-year teaching career, she taught in public, charter, and private school environments before moving into full time administration. Ms. Holz-Russell graduated with Honors from Knox College with a B.A. in English Literature and holds a Master of Education degree from Regis University. firstname.lastname@example.org
Camille Howells is responsible for fundraising, branding, marketing, and public relations for the STRIVE Prep network. Her commitment to STRIVE Prep’s mission brought her to the growing organization in March 2009. Previously, she coordinated large-scale student volunteer and civic engagement programs at Colorado State University as well as grant-making and community development initiatives throughout Colorado as part of the El Pomar Foundation Fellowship program. An AmeriCorps alumna and graduate of John Brown University, she is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Public Administration from the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. She enjoys time with family and friends, sprint triathlons, skiing, TED talks, and live music. email@example.com, 303-630-0360 x 1181.
Travis Lockhart graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Political Science. After graduation, he joined Teach For America in 2010 as a 7th grade science teacher in Charlotte. During his two year commitment, Travis earned his Masters of Arts in Teaching at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Travis is very passionate about his role at STRIVE Prep, recruiting excellent teachers and supporting our dedicated staff. Travis enjoys spending time with his young daughter, going on family hikes, and exploring all that Colorado has to offer.
Alicia Lucero ensures that every 5th grader and their families are informed of the STRIVE Prep school that serves their neighborhood. She believes fully in STRIVE Prep’s mission and core beliefs, and loves getting students and families excited to STRIVE for college! Finishing her B.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado Denver, Ms. Lucero started at STRIVE Prep as a summer Math instructor, reviewing Procedures and Problem Solving with some of its founding 6th grade class members. She serves on the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineer’s Regional Board as a Pre-Collegiate Rep, is a proud member of TRIO (a federal program that serves first generation students), and is somehow a member of the Intl. Golden Key Honour Society too. In her free time, Ms. Lucero loves hanging out with her family and friends-like-family in her West Denver community. firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-630-0360 ext. 1175.
Rena Maez is from Denver, Colorado. In contrast to many Coloradoans, she dislikes winter but enjoys summer immensely. She’s an alumna of Colorado State University and served with the Peace Corps in Romania. Her work at STRIVE Prep is one of the most important things she’s ever done in her life and enjoys working with the first three classes of STRIVE prep tremendously. In her free time she enjoys reading fiction, cooking, running for ridiculous lengths of time, and relaxing. email@example.com, 303-573-2017 x 305.
Before working for STRIVE Prep, Ms. Mason taught fifth grade math, fourth grade, and second grade at Leadership Prep Charter School in Brooklyn, New York. During her time at Leadership Prep, she severed as a Grade Team Chair and Saturday School Coordinator. Ms. Mason previously taught seventh grade math for two years at JHS 265 in Brooklyn, New York, through Teach For America. Prior to this, she was a second grade summer school teacher at Excellence Charter School in Brooklyn, New York, and second grade student teacher at Tonda Elementary School in Canton, Michigan. She received her B.S. in Elementary Education (Graduated with High Distinction) from the University of Michigan and received her Certificate in Teaching and Secondary Mathematics from Pace University. firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-630-0360 x 177.
Johanna Parkhurst grew up on a small dairy farm in northern Vermont. She earned a degree in English at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut before moving to Colorado. She has taught in traditional public and charter schools in both New Haven and various cities here in Colorado. Johanna is currently working towards a M.A. in English Education at Columbia University. She loves live music, reading, writing, football, and almost anything that can be done outdoors in the Colorado sunshine.
Kate Schrepfer graduated from Occidental College in 2003 with a degree in Marine Biology. She taught for five years in rural Mississippi, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. After working for DC Public Schools, she was Dean of Academics at Maya Angelou Academy before relocating to Denver. As Principal in Training, Kate is eager to learn from the folks at SMART and get to know students and families at Lake and Highland in preparation for the opening of the second STRIVE Prep high school! Kate also enjoys cooking, hiking, and running.
Mr. Smith is the Chief Schools Officer for STRIVE Prep, overseeing four of the network’s schools. Prior, he was the founding Principal of STRIVE Prep’s Harvey Park Campus (now Westwood). Mr. Smith was a Teach for America corps member in the Rio Grande Valley from 2001 to 2004, where he was recognized as Campus Teacher of the Year (2003-2004) and Wal-Mart Community Teacher of the Year (2003-2004). Prior to re-locating to Colorado, Mr. Smith spent several years conducting research and policy advocacy in Washington, DC, with think-tanks such as Third Way, the Stimson Center, and the Woodrow Wilson Center, and was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2006. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Master’s degree from Georgetown University. He is intensely proud of the extraordinarily dedicated and hard-working students, teachers, and families of the STRIVE Prep community. email@example.com, 303-962-9880.
Nathalie Sosa is originally from Miami, FL. She was a 2008 Teach For America corps member in Phoenix, where she taught 2nd grade. As the Director of Human Capital, Nathalie works to find the very best teachers and staff for the STRIVE Prep network. Prior to working at STRIVE Prep, Nathalie graduated from Arizona State University with an M.A. in Elementary Education and from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Psychology and minors in Organizational Leadership for Nonprofits and Teaching English as a Second Language.This year, Nathalie is in a dual role, where she is the Director of Human Capital and the Assistant Principal at the STRIVE Prep-Green Valley Ranch Campus. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ramiro Vaca is from Quito, Ecuador. He has been living in Denver for three years and loves the city and the people who live here. He went to college in Quito, and finished his studies in Agricultural Engineering in 2002 at the Army Polytechnic Institute. In 2005, he had the opportunity to join a new educational project in his hometown and since then he has been working in the administrative area of schools. He loves being part of the STRIVE Prep team, for he believes 100% in STRIVE Prep’s vision for the students of Denver. email@example.com, 303-962-9880.
Cassandra Young earned a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Ethnic Studies from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2009. She moved from her hometown of Kaibeto, Arizona in 1995 to pursue a college degree. Prior to STRIVE Prep, she worked in the Development Office at Kent Denver School and Denver Summerbridge. firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-630-0360 x 179.