Staff

Lisa Berdie

Vice President of Policy and Research

As Vice President of Policy and Research, Lisa leads A+ Colorado's work to understand how and why school systems are or are not working for students, with a specific interest in closing the opportunity gap for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds. Lisa's commitment to educational equity developed while working in bilingual classrooms and exploring the impact of the economic recession on the experience of Latino youth in Rhode Island. Lisa has also spent time researching how large organizations work through her time at CEB, a management research firm.

Lisa was born and raised in the Denver metro area, and holds a bachelors in International Development Studies from Brown University. When not thinking about how to democratize education data, research, and policy conversations, Lisa spends as much time as possible exploring the outdoors.

Lisa's Favorite Trivia Category is Geography 🌎
The Sorting Hat put Lisa in the Ravenclaw Hogwarts House 🦅
If Lisa was in the West Wing, she would be Toby Ziegler 🇺🇸
Lisa's advice to children: You have a lot to learn from this world. You have a lot to teach this world. Keep exploring, learning, and sharing your brilliance. 📝

lisa@apluscolorado.org    read blog posts by Lisa Berdie

Eden Morrison

Master of Public Affairs Consultant

Eden joins A+ as a Master of Public Affairs consultant supporting Community EdData Hub work. 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.

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." 

eden@apluscolorado.org

Nate Faflick

Development and Communications Associate

Nate Faflick joins the A+ Colorado team as the Development and Communications Associate. Nate takes pride in being raised within an inner-city public school system. His background in community organizing and advocacy have focused on closing the racial wealth gap and protecting access to healthcare for low-income people and vulnerable populations. Nate has been published in the Journal of Gay and Lesbian social services, and the Journal of sexuality and culture. Nate recently completed an internship in Washington D.C. at a non-profit focused on developing a diverse talent pipeline for congressional internships. In his free time, Nate enjoys spending time outdoors camping, biking and playing with puppies.

Nate's Favorite Trivia Category is Music 🎵
The Sorting Hat put Nate in the Hufflepuff Hogwarts House 🦊
If Nate was in the West Wing, he would be Sam Seaborn 🇺🇸
Nate's advice to children: Follow your passions, and laugh every day. 📝

Nate@apluscolorado.org

Hayley Reddish

Vice President of Strategy and Operations

Hayley joins A+ Colorado as the Vice President of Strategy and 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.

Hayley's Favorite Trivia Category is Science & Nature 🌎🔬🍂
The Sorting Hat put Hayley in the Slytherin Hogwarts House 🐍
If Hayley was in the West Wing, she would be C.J. Cregg 🇺🇸
Hayley's advice to children: Be kind. 📝

hayley@apluscolorado.org

Van Schoales

President

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).

van@apluscolorado.org    read blog posts by Van Schoales

Katie Martinez

Director of Communications and Engagement

Katie joined A+ after completing her Masters in Social Work at the University of Houston. As part of the program, her internships focused on public policy, education, and community outreach.

Prior to joining A+, Katie was the Associate Director of Development at Children At Risk, a research and advocacy nonprofit in Texas. She has worked for over seven years in various fields of the nonprofit sector, where she discovered her passion to address social issues, specifically issues which impact children.

While pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Texas Tech University, Katie volunteered with at-risk youth which influenced her career trajectory. She has served as a mentor as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for over four years, and enjoys engaging the community with programs and policies which will ultimately better the lives of children. Katie’s self-care involves a lot of yoga, traveling, and being outdoors with her two dogs, Lincoln and Maia.

Katie's Favorite Trivia Category is Audio Round: Name That Song 🎧
The Sorting Hat put Katie in the Slytherin Hogwarts House 🐍
If Katie was in the West Wing, she would be Charlie Young 🇺🇸
Katie's advice to children: leave the world a little better than how you found it. 📝

katie@apluscolorado.org

Laura Valle Gutierrez

Director of Research

Laura developed her passion for education and racial equity while working in predominantly low-income classrooms in Providence, RI. She received her MPA from Brown University in 2018 with a focus in data-driven policy. Prior to joining A+, she worked at the Rhode Island Innovative Policy Lab as a Research and Policy Analyst. During that time she did research on course choice use in Rhode Island and its impact on academic outcomes. Laura is originally from Puerto Rico and Colorado.

Laura's Favorite Trivia Category is Arts & Literature 🎨📚
The Sorting Hat put Laura in the Slytherin Hogwarts House 🐍
If Laura was in the West Wing, she would be Sam Seaborn 🇺🇸
Laura's advice to children: It's never too late to try something new! 📝

laura@apluscolorado.org    read blog posts by Laura Valle Gutierrez