Chief Executive Officer
Van Schoales is the Chief Executive Officer of A+ Colorado, a community-based “action tank” for education reform. He has over twenty-five years experience leading education reform efforts from the classroom to the statehouse. Mr. Schoales helped develop and has lead a number of nonprofits, including the Odyssey School, Denver School of Science and Technology, Democrats for Education Colorado, A+ Denver, Bay Area Coalition of Equitable Schools, and Chalkbeat Colorado. He has authored and edited a variety of papers on school choice, charter schools, school accountability, student achievement, school design, state policy, and other education reform topics. He is regularly quoted in education news stories from The Denver Post, NBC, National Public Radio, Chalkbeat Colorado, Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, Education Week, Univision and Fox News. Mr. Schoales earned a B.S. from the University of California - Santa Cruz (Earth Science), M.S. from Brown University (Geological Sciences), M.A. from San Francisco State University (Education Administration), and an M.A. from Stanford University (Education).
Director of Operations
Hayley joins A+ Colorado as the Director of Operations. Prior to A+, Hayley worked as a teacher in Denver Public Schools and as a founding staff member of Reading Partners Colorado, a nonprofit focused on early childhood literacy. Before moving to Colorado, Hayley worked in public relations in Washington, D.C.
Hayley is passionate about the intersection of policy and practice in education. She is particularly interested in early childhood literacy and the growing role of technology in education.
Hayley earned her B.A. in Public Policy and Environmental Science from The College of William and Mary and her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado Denver.
Lisa Berdie is the policy director for A+ Colorado, an education research and advocacy "action tank" that focuses on school and district-level policies and practices that support student outcomes. She leads A+ Colorado's research efforts and data analysis to guide and advance the organization's policy work. Lisa's commitment to educational equity developed while working in bilingual classrooms and conducting research on Latino youth and the school system in Providence, Rhode Island. Prior to joining A+, Lisa worked at CEB, a D.C.-based consulting firm, where she researched how to best manage teams and business processes in large R&D organizations. Lisa holds a bachelors in Economic Development Studies from Brown University.
District Advocacy Director
Liz joins A+ Colorado as the District Advocacy Director.
Before joining the A+ team, Liz worked in Aurora as Program Specialist for RISE Colorado. Liz taught 6th grade Social Studies at the Girls Athletic Leadership School for 3 years as a Teach For America corps member. As a teacher, she helped lead culturally responsive teaching professional development for her school and for TFA. Liz is a Latina and the first in her family to graduate from college which fuels her passion for educational equity.
Liz graduated from Whitman College with a BA in History.
Sam Grainger Shuba
Sam joins A+ Colorado as an Americorps VISTA for external communications. A recent college graduate, Sam has cut her teeth doing communications work for a variety of organizations including a small healthcare marketing firm in her college town and the office of Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown (now Governor). She found her passion for education reform while researching effects of Title IX on college campuses as it pertains to equity and inclusion. Sam has a B.A. in Rhetoric Studies from Whitman College.