Communication and Development Associate
Director of Research
Eden joins A+ as Director of Research. Eden was most recently employed by Family Counseling Center, Inc., where she managed a prevention services program implementing curricula at schools in the southern seven counties of Illinois. She also worked as a classroom teacher and interned for a nonprofit in Nicaragua. Her policy interests include utilizing data-driven educational and social policies to affect change, particularly for marginalized groups. Eden earned a master's degree in education from Southeast Missouri State University and a Master of Public Affairs from Brown University.
Eden's Favorite Trivia Category is Pop Culture 🎬
The Sorting Hat put Eden in the Gryffindor Hogwarts House, but she can speak parseltongue 🦁
If Eden was in the West Wing, she would be CJ Cregg 🇺🇸
Eden’s advice to Children is a Shel Silverstein quote: "Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me...Anything can happen, child. Anything can be." 📝
Director of Communications and Engagement
Mary Willson joins the A+ team as the Director of Communication and Engagement. Mary is from Colorado and attended Poudre School District, Front Range Community College, and Colorado State University. She joins us from EducationNC, a nonprofit newsroom with the goal of improving public education in North Carolina through analysis and storytelling. Previously, she was an early employee at the innovative newsletter startup, 6AM City, which distributes hyperlocal news and engages in conversations with audiences in 7 Southeastern cities. She is passionate about supporting local journalism and has worked at the Fort Collins Coloradoan and at the Denver Westword.
Valeria was raised in Aurora, CO. She attended Aurora Public Schools, and graduated from Hinkley High School. She previously worked as a Middle School Language Arts Teacher in Denver, and as a Community Organizer in Aurora. Valeria earned a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado Boulder. She is a first-generation U.S. citizen and college graduate.
Valeria's Favorite Trivia Category is Pop Culture. 🎬
Valeria's advice to Children is: Be yourself. Love yourself. 📝
Van Schoales is the President of A+ Colorado. He has thirty years’ experience leading education reform efforts from the classroom to the statehouse. Van has led or help found a number of non-profits, including the Odyssey School, Denver School of Science and Technology, Democrats for Education Reform Colorado, and Bay Area Coalition of Equitable Schools. He was an award winning high school science teacher in the Bay Area and has authored a variety of papers on school choice, charter schools, school accountability, student achievement, science education, school design, state policy, and other education improvement topics. He is regularly quoted in education news stories from The Denver Post, NBC, National Public Radio, Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, Education Week, Univision and Fox News. He is also a Denver Commissioner of Cultural Affairs. Van earned a B.S. from the University of California - Santa Cruz (Earth Sciences), M.S. from Brown University (Geological Sciences), M.A. from San Francisco State University (Education Administration), and an M.A. from Stanford University (Education).