Andreas "Andy" Wilfong
Board Chair, Executive Director (Acting)
Andy is the Board Chair and founder of Empowering Education Inc. (EE) and has also founded two additional companies headquartered in Colorado. One of the companies was awarded best small business in Colorado from 2008-2010 and in 2010 was ranked 25th nationally. Andy has extensive experience with business start-up operations and subsequent business sustainability.
Social & Emotional Learning Coordinator
As the Social & Emotional Learning Coordinator, Blake is responsible for providing support to our school partnerships. Blake graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. Blake is passionate about working with students and is currently supporting the implementation of Social & Emotional Learning at Denver Green School. Having experienced first-hand the benefits of SEL as a student, Blake is committed to offering that same support to the students he works with. His hope is that all students receive the emotional support and guidance needed to ensure a bright and sustainable future.
Caitlin Calhoun, MA
Caitlin is a 2nd grade teacher at the Denver Green School, where she focuses on teaching the ‘whole child’ and encouraging young students to invite challenges, to be creative problem solvers, and to change our world for the better. She first got involved with mindfulness based social emotional learning in 2008 when she was living and teaching in Northern California. She is trained as a Mindful Educator through Mindful Schools and she received her Masters in Teaching from the University of San Francisco.
Frank Coyne is a founder and Lead Partner at Denver Green School – a model Innovation school that uses hands-on, brains-on learning to prepare all learners to lead the way toward a sustainable, bright green future. At the heart of his educational philosophy is the strong belief that students will learn best by “doing”—but not merely doing for the sake of experience, rather he believes that students have a hunger to learn while working to solve problems-problems that matter to them.
Emma Espel, PhD
Emma Espel seeks to encourage social and emotional learning in education settings through informed programming. This passion is fostered by her experience as a research associate for RMC Research, consultant work for educational and community programs, and experiences encouraging health and mindfulness in youth through activities and research. Emma earned her BA in Psychology from Gustavus Adolphus College and her MA and PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Denver in 2015.
Marina M. Mendoza, PhD
Marina is the Director of Enrollment and Evaluation at the Denver Preschool Program. She received her PhD from the University of Denver in developmental psychology with a specialty in developmental cognitive neuroscience. She has a strong passion for ensuring that all children at every age have access to social-emotional learning curriculums and programs.
Marie Revak, PhD
Marie has a MA and PhD in Math Education. She taught secondary math before joining the Air Force as an orbital analyst. After three Air Force assignments, she returned to the Air Force Academy where she taught math, trained faculty, and led the academic assessment program. Marie worked for Lewis-Palmer School District as the Professional Development and Assessment Director. Now retired, Marie co-leads a volunteer math tutoring program and teaches undergraduate math courses online.
Charis Whitnah, MA
Charis Whitnah is the Senior Manager of Student Services at Rocky Mountain Prep Charter Schools. She spent the first five years of her career teaching special education at SOAR and the Tennyson Center for Children. Charis is passionate about educational equity and social emotional learning. She is a 2013 Teach For America alumna who earned her BA in Philosophy from Colorado College and her MA in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado.
Maryann Wiggs, MA
Board Member, Executive Editor
Maryann has over four decades of experience in education. She is the founder of Educational Performance Consulting, providing engaging seminars and workshops on a wide range of educational topics both locally and nationally. She is the author of five books on understanding and implementing standards-based educational practices and former Assistant Superintendent and Executive Director in two Colorado school districts.
Dennis spent 15 years in K-12 professional development with an emphasis on curriculum and technology. Later, he developed customized technology solutions for school districts in the area of curriculum and standards alignment. More recent work includes web marketing at agency level working with national clients including nonprofit, publishing and e-commerce. Currently Dennis specializes in large-scale, web-based video and publishing membership systems.