Staff

Van Schoales Chief Executive Officer

 

Van Schoales is the Chief Executive Officer of A+ Denver, 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 number of non-profits, 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 (Earth Science) - Santa Cruz, M.S. from Brown University (Geological Sciences), M.A. from San Francisco State University (Education Administration), and an M.A. from Stanford University (Education).

Sari Levy Senior Advisor

Sari Levy joins A+ Denver is a Senior Advisor at A+ Denver. In recent years, she hasconsulted for Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), Education Reform Now, Colorado Legacy Foundation, Charter School Growth Fund, Rebound Solutions and the Travis Manion Foundation. Previously, she was the Associate Director of Get Smart Schools (GSS). Before joining GSS, Sari worked for the Piton Foundation and the Colorado Children's Campaign, and as Deputy Press Secretary for the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. 

She earned her M.B.A. in 2007 from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Trinity University. 

Lisa Berdie Policy Analyst 

As the policy analyst, Lisa supports A+ Denver’s reform and advocacy efforts by analyzing DPS’ performance, and developing reports and recommendations to improve education outcomes in Denver.

Lisa became interested in education, and education policy, while tutoring in a fifth grade bilingual classroom. This experience greatly influenced her own research on the educational attainment of Hispanic youth. A native Coloradan, Lisa is excited to work on education reform in Denver, where, in the past, she has worked with Mi Casa Resource Center and Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Lisa joins the A+ team after a stint in management research and consulting with CEB in Washington, D.C.

Lisa holds a B.A. in International Development Studies from Brown University. Outside the office, you’ll find Lisa, well, outside.

Aimee Martinez Assistant Director of Development

As the Assistant Director of Development, Aimee manages grants and contributes to research. She graduated from Seattle University with a degree in Business Economics and a minor in Finance.

While in school, she worked at several non-profit organizations, including Washington C.A.S.H, a microloan and financial education organization, where she helped with grant research and analyzing metrics. She also worked as a New Student Mentor, helping freshmen business students navigate their first year of college.

Throughout her work, she has become aware of education’s role in economic development and the importance of quality education on a global scale. She is excited to be a part of the A+ Denver team and to help raise awareness about education reform in her hometown.  When she is not working, she enjoys going to local concerts, reading, and doing art projects.

Stephanie Gordon Program Associate

Stephanie serves as an AmeriCorps VISTA for A+ Denver. As the Program Associate, she will manage data and the organization’s website, help with grant writing, and contribute to research efforts. She is a Michigan native and graduated from the University of Michigan in April 2014 with a degree in Elementary Education.

Stephanie previously immersed herself in the educational sphere by working as a teacher’s assistant in elementary classrooms in Ann Arbor and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She worked closely with educators and the administration to learn about the inter-workings of our education system, as well as developed teaching practices to assist in student development and achievement. Throughout her experience in the classroom, she became increasingly passionate about strengthening the education system to ensure high educational achievement for all students.

Stephanie is excited to be a part of A+ Denver’s team and raise awareness about the importance of quality education and the need for education reform on a local and national level.