The League has partnered with highly-qualified consultants to offer a variety of professional development opportunities to our member schools. In the future, the League will be partnering with more highly effective school leaders and teachers across regions of Colorado as well as across school models to consult with our member schools. Please learn more about the consultants below.
Shalelia Dillard, Consultant
Shalelia Dillard is a Denver native and Daniels Fund Scholar who graduated from South High School in 2003. She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor of Spanish from Hampton University. While completing her last year of college, she was working for Upward Bound and realized that she would be fulfilled by teaching. She received her alternative teacher certification in Special Education in Austin, Texas. From there, Shalelia taught high school math, sixth and eighth grade science and preschool. While attending Hampton her sophomore year, she envisioned a program to enrich students with their culture while improving their academia. From this concept, the St. Clair Drake Enrichment Program was born.
As a teacher for eleven years, her number one focus was to significantly impact her students by sharing her real-life circumstances while instilling pride and confidence. Shalelia is certified in special education and AP Science. Currently, she is a cohort member of the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado. She is also in the process of receiving a Masters in School Counseling at Seton Hall University.
Sabrina Hodges, Consultant
Specializing in Instructional Coaching, MTSS, SPED, Diagnostic Review and Improvement Planning, and Data Driven Instruction/Data Teams
Sabrina is a Colorado native with over 17 years of experience working in Colorado schools as a special education teacher, school social worker, administrator, instructional coach and consultant.
As the Director of Student Services, Sabrina developed and implemented special education and MTSS programming for a high-performing charter school network, managed six schools, and coached and evaluated over 20 special education teachers and 6 mental health providers. These practices resulted in some of the best academic growth in Colorado and highest special education MGPs in Denver Public Schools.
Since leaving this 5-year tenure for her independent consultancy, Sabrina has engaged in a myriad of support services including providing regular MTSS, special education and instructional coaching professional learning opportunities at the Colorado League of School Schools, assisting turnaround school design for Denver Public Schools, developing intake educational assessment practices and teacher training modules for the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections, and developing and coaching the implementation of academic and social emotional learning MTSS practices.
Aaron J. Griffen, Ph.D., Consultant
Aaron J. Griffen, Ph.D. is a K-12 Practitioner with over 20 years of experience in public and charter as a middle school English teacher and assistant principal in Houston, Texas, as a high school principal at in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and as Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion for DSST Public Schools.
Throughout his career, he has worked exclusively and purposefully in Urban defined schools and districts. His experience includes working to provide equitable supports and outcomes for culturally different learners who receive Second Language Learner services, Special Education services, and Gifted and/or Talented services, including serving in schools that remain majority children of color and low Social Economic Status
(SES). As a researcher and scholar, Dr. Griffen serves on the programming committees for the Educating Children of Color Conference and the African American Youth Leadership Conference of Colorado Springs, Colorado and is Chair of School/University Partnerships for the American Educational Research Association – SIG – A Critical Examination of Race Ethnicity Class and Gender. He is an author, speaker
and panelist, with an active research interest and publishing agenda in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Culturally Responsive Instructional Leadership, Multicultural Curriculum and Instruction, and Urban Policy and Analysis. For more information about Dr. Griffen visit him at www.DrAaronJGriffen.com and follow on Twitter @DrAaronJGriffen.
Racheal Gurian, Consultant
Specializing in MTSS, SPED, Data Driven tier 1 and Tier 2 Academic and Social emotional Instruction, Comprehensive School Counseling, School Culture, and Community Mental Health and Advocacy
Rachael Gurian is passionate about supporting school communities that have two sticks and a stone to create a sustainable work environment. She is equally passionate about ensuring all Colorado students have access to learning and staff is equipped with efficient and quality tools versus jargon and complex inputs.
Rachael’s background is braided with a long run of work in social emotional and instructional support in the field and as a school and central office special education leader, principal, counselor, and national consultant for over 20 years in Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Diego, and currently Denver. Rachael was formerly the lead partner for over 25 charter schools in Denver Public School for over six years.
Currently, Rachael guides teams on the development and sustainability on the ground models of MTSS in many schools across the country, serves as a school Charter School Support Initiative (CSSI) site review team member for the Colorado Department of Education, consults for SchoolWorks LLC in the areas of turn around, school counseling, and special education, and conducts MTSS and special education trainings for leaders for the Colorado League of Charter Schools.
Rachael is a mother of a preschooler who brings her joy, wisdom, and daily humble pie.
Amos Velasquez, Consultant
Specializing in mentor leadership, technology integration, differentiated instruction, and data.
Amos Velasquez is Colorado Native born in Pueblo, Colorado. After graduating from William J. Palmer in Colorado Springs, Amos joined the United States Marine Corps and served during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since leaving the Marines, Amos has taken roles of increasing responsibility in local school districts, including Colorado Springs District 11, Academy School District 20, and Denver Public Schools, and was recently the Commandant of the recently opened Colorado Military Academy.
Amos is also the owner of a successful small business that operates on the Front Range and Arkansas Valley of Colorado. Amos' passion has been professional development for teachers at all levels. Amos has his bachelor of arts in social sciences and secondary education and a master's of education in administration and supervision.
Amos has been married for 15 years to his wife, Jennifer, and has four children (Jace, Myles, Judah, and Gabriella). Amos enjoys coaching football (his team won a state championship at Coronado High School in 2013), fly fishing, and working with veterans suffering from PTSD.
Keith Ouweneel, Consultant
Specializing in Governance and Leadership
Keith is currently the Director of Crown Pointe Academy of Westminster, a role he has held since 2012. He is responsible for the academic program, facility needs, budget, and day to day operations of the school which include the challenging issues of 50 employees, 300 parents, and 500 students.
While at Crown Pointe, Keith has developed and implemented many changes to the curriculum, schedules, and programming that have positively affected student engagement and performance. Prior to coming to CPA, Keith worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and school administrator for 15 years in Weld County, Colorado. He began his career in education as a third grade teacher, a job his wife described as working with his “peers”.
In addition to his work in schools, Keith has presented at numerous state and national conferences on education best practices, leadership, technology, and board governance. He has also consulted with governmental agencies on the topics of leadership, conflict resolution, and personal motivation.
Mr. Ouweneel holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Indiana University. He has also graduated twice from the University of Northern Colorado with a master’s and education specialist degree in educational leadership and policy study. He believes learning is a lifelong pursuit that requires constant growth and development which happen best in environments of mutual trust and support.
Juliana Tapper, Math Consultant
Specializing in engaging math strategies, instructional coaching for secondary mathematics teachers, mathematics leadership coaching, and math in intervention and SPED
Juliana Tapper is an experienced classroom teacher, mentor, PLC facilitator, professional developer, and instructional coach. With urban classroom experience in multiple states as well as district level leadership, she is dedicated to improving the educational opportunities for all students and teachers. Juliana’s work focuses on collaborating with special education and general education math teachers to increase their confidence in the teaching of mathematics and to learn how to engage struggling learners at every level.
Juliana will be facilitating several workshops at the League’s office this spring. Also, if you are in need of on-site school support in the area of secondary math you may want to consider working with Juliana to offer PD workshops, implementation coaching, instructional coaching for secondary/SPED/intervention math teachers, or math leadership coaching for your department chairs, lead teachers, or network level math leaders.
Contact Kia Murray, Director of Academic Services, at 720-439-8316 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about any of the above consultants.