MINDFULNESS BASED SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING: K-2 | 3-5 | 6-8
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Our Team

Andreas "Andy" Wilfong

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.

awilfong@empoweringeducation.org

Charlie Merrow, MA

Charlie Merrow, MA

Program Director

cmerrow@empoweringeducation.org

Blake Wilfong

Blake Wilfong

Social & Emotional Learning Coordinator

As the Social & Emotional Learning Coordinator, Blake is responsible for providing support to our school partnerships. 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. Blake currently supports SEL programming at Cole Arts & Science Academy in Denver Public Schools. Blake graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Psychology.

bwilfong@empoweringeducation.org

Maryann Wiggs, MA

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.

mwiggs@empoweringeducation.org

Emma Espel, PhD

Emma Espel, PhD

Board Member

Emma 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 M. Mendoza, PhD

Board Member

Marina is the Director of Enrollment and Evaluation at the Denver Preschool Program. She has a strong passion for ensuring that all children at every age have access to social-emotional learning curriculums and programs. Marina received her PhD from the University of Denver in Developmental Psychology with a specialty in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.

Charis Whitnah, MA

Charis Whitnah, MA

Board Member

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 and 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.

Marie Revak, PhD

Marie Revak, PhD

Board Member

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.

Frank Coyne

Frank Coyne

Board Member

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.

Dennis McCarthy

Dennis McCarthy

Web Master

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.

dennisjmccarthy@gmail.com

Caitlin Calhoun, MA

Caitlin Calhoun, MA

Curriculum Contributing Author

Caitlin is a contributing author of the Empowering Minds curriculum with a background in teaching primary elementary. As a teacher at the Denver Green School, Caitlin focuses on teaching the ‘whole child’ and encouraging young students to invite challenges, to be creative problem solvers, and to change the world for the better. She is trained as a Mindful Educator through Mindful Schools and she received her Masters in Teaching from the University of San Francisco.

Cody Wiggs, LPC, MA

Cody Wiggs, LPC, MA

Curriculum Contributing Author

Cody is the primary contributing author of the Empowering Minds K-8 curriculum. Cody is a licensed professional counselor, a licensed school counselor, a certified yoga instructor, and a long-time practitioner of mindfulness. His work is informed by his travel and study of indigenous healing practices in SE Asia, South America, and North America. Currently, Cody specializes in treating PTSD and depression in his private practice in Denver, CO.