High School Staff


Liz Wolfson Director - GALS National

Liz Wolfson created the vision for the Girls Athletic Leadership Schools eight years ago, raised over half a million dollars in angel funding, developed the strategic plan and moved to Colorado to open the flagship schools here in Denver. Currently GALS has grown to 350 students in grades 6-11, with its first graduating class in 2018.

Liz Wolfson created the vision for the Girls Athletic Leadership Schools eight years ago, raised over half a million dollars in angel funding, developed the strategic plan and moved to Colorado to open the flagship schools here in Denver. Currently GALS has grown to 350 students in grades 6-11, with its first graduating class in 2018.  Liz Wolfson is also leading the charge to open a Denver boys middle school in 2017. Due to Liz's leadership, GALS is the first Colorado home-grown educational network to expand beyond the state's border, as GALS Los Angeles is set to open this fall of 2016. Liz believes her passion for comprehensive health in schools stems from her upbringing in the world of competitive athletics where she competed in Division I Field Hockey.

Liz has spent the bulk of her career working for CEO’s and Philanthropists in manifesting their visions and starting up corporate and philanthropic projects locally, nationally and internationally. Former non-profit clients include the Institute for International Sport, The American Montessori Society, The Rose Institute (for homeless youth) and a former Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Former corporate work includes creating the first global communications division for Comverse, a world leader in voice activated systems,  and raising seed-funding for TaskMail, the first Jordanian/Israeli high tech start-up company.

Liz received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and earned her Masters Degree at the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles.  Liz considers herself a force in organizational behavior and strives to model leadership based on relationships, not compliance. Liz is married and has two daughters aged 5 and 9.

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Carol Bowar Executive Director

Carol is thrilled to be at Girls Athletic Leadership Schools and The Boys School of Denver as Executive Director for GALS Denver (Colorado), after serving as a member of the founding board of GALS and a previous board member.

Carol is thrilled to be at Girls Athletic Leadership Schools and The Boys School of Denver as Executive Director for GALS Denver (Colorado), after serving as a member of the founding board of GALS and a previous board member. Most recently Carol served as the COO of KIPP Colorado Schools, was the Director of Curriculum and Career Services at GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, and a consultant for the National Center for Women and Information Technology. Prior to living overseas with her family (Australia, 2012) she was President & CEO of Girls Inc. of Metro Denver. Additional past positions include Vice President, Program Services at Girls Inc. of Metro Denver, Director of Training, Education and Community Service Programs at Up with People, Policy Assistant for the Governor’s Office (Roy Romer, CO), Field Director at KaBoom!, and Program Officer for the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation.

Carol received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She loves the quote, “What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.” She is an avid hiker and runner, and spends her free time with family - Ted, Ellie - 12, Tate - 10, and Joey - 8.

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Carrie Donovan Head of School 9-12

Carrie Donovan is heading into her nineteenth year in public education. She has worked as an English and English as a Second Language teacher, a soccer coach, an assistant principal, and as a principal.
Carrie Donovan is heading into her nineteenth year in public education. She has worked as an English and English as a Second Language teacher, a soccer coach, an assistant principal, and as a principal. Carrie was the founding school leader of KIPP Austin Collegiate in Austin, Texas which is a college-preparatory, coed high school and is part of the KIPP network of public-charter schools. Carrie played Division 1 soccer at Texas Tech University, has spent time facilitating on ropes courses, and worked as a Girl Scout counselor for several summers. She is also a proud parent of two kiddos! Carrie is incredibly excited to support the growth of GALS into a 6-12 school and is humbled by the opportunity to support our students be their best selves.
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Leah Bock High School Assistant Principal & Math Teacher

Leah was the founding math teacher in the high school, and has been teaching in Denver for six years. She holds a Master's degree in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity from the University of Colorado-Boulder and has a Bachelor's Degree from Luther College in proof-oriented mathematics and gender studies.
Leah was the founding math teacher in the high school, and has been teaching in Denver for six years. She holds a Master's degree in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity from the University of Colorado-Boulder and has a Bachelor's Degree from Luther College in proof-oriented mathematics and gender studies. Before she began her career in teaching, Leah spent time in East Africa working at an HIV/AIDS organization, lived in northern California as an economic justice activist and yoga instructor, and owned a bakery. When she’s not working, she loves running and spending time with her two dogs at home.
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Sara Shapiro  Assistant Principal & 11th Grade U.S. History

Sara grew up in Chicago and has a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and a M.A. in Education from University of Colorado, Denver.

Sara grew up in Chicago and has a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and a M.A. in Education from University of Colorado, Denver. This is her 3rd year at GALS High School and her 7th year teaching, and she feels lucky to be in this job every day teaching the most awesome teenagers in the USA! In her free time, she enjoys skiing, cooking, reading, petting dogs, and being in the Colorado sunshine whenever possible.

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Jen Derosby Dean of Students

Jen is so proud to be in her 16th year of teaching and learning. She spent her first ten years at an urban charter school here in Denver and this is her sixth year at GALS.

Jen is so proud to be in her 16th year of teaching and learning. She spent her first ten years at an urban charter school here in Denver and this is her sixth year at GALS. She received her teaching license from Metropolitan College of Denver in Secondary Social Studies and received her BA in liberal arts from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. This marks her third year as a full time administrator in her role as Dean of Culture. She will be working hard to keep the culture of GALS a positive and supportive one for our girls and their families. She has a passion for teaching about issues of social justice and believes that creating a space where girls can be the leaders and exceptional learners they naturally are is so very important. She is a 2008-09 United States National Holocaust Memorial Museum teacher fellow, a member of the Facing History and Ourselves teacher advisory board and 2006 Denver Mile High Teacher.

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Betsy Barrow Director of Enrollment

Betsy has been with GALS since 2011, and is currently the Director of Enrollment for both GALS and The Boys School of Denver. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and attended Davidson College in North Carolina.
Betsy has been with GALS since 2011, and is currently the Director of Enrollment for both GALS and The Boys School of Denver.  She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and attended Davidson College in North Carolina. She served as the Program Director for Breakthrough Houston, an educational enrichment non-profit in Houston, TX and then taught Biology and Environmental Science before moving to Denver in 2011. She loves hiking, yoga, vegetable gardening, and hanging out with her husband, daughter, and three pets.
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Dolores Schaack Director of Operations

Dolores was born and raised in Liberia, West Africa. She moved to the United States for college and studied General and Religious Education at Southern Methodist College in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Dolores moved to Denver and attended the University of Denver where she majored in Business Administration.
Dolores was born and raised in Liberia, West Africa. She moved to the United States for college and studied General and Religious Education at Southern Methodist College in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Dolores moved to Denver and attended the University of Denver where she majored in Business Administration. Prior to joining the GALS team, she worked as a Business Manager for another Denver Charter School, and a Sr. Administrative Coordinator for a laboratory products distributor, also in Denver.  Dolores has a 6 year old son with whom she enjoys relaxing and hanging out in her free time.
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Elissa Soden Director of Strategic Partnerships

Elissa grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where she competed on the women's tennis team.
Elissa grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where she competed on the women's tennis team. Prior to her work at GALS, Elissa worked in development and community outreach roles for Teach For America, Stanley British Primary School Children's Hospital Colorado, the Atlanta Falcons, and Kroenke Sports Enterprises. She loves swimming, yoga, hiking, traveling, and spending time with her husband and two children. 
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Jennifer Benningfield Athletic Director

Jenni is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. She played collegiate basketball at Vanderbilt University and went on to play professionally in the WNBA and internationally.
Jenni is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. She played collegiate basketball at Vanderbilt University and went on to play professionally in the WNBA and internationally. Upon retiring, she returned to the classroom where she received her master's degree in education with a focus on sport psychology. JB has served many roles in an academic setting as a director of operations, coach, and sport psychology consultant.  She is ecstatic to share her passion for athletics and her love for teaching here at GALS!
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Jessica Dauchy Director of Finance & Strategy

A former high-school math teacher and administrator, Jess left the classroom after 9 years of teaching to earn an MBA from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

A former high-school math teacher and administrator, Jess left the classroom after 9 years of teaching to earn an MBA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She’s been part of GALS since she graduated in 2011. Her background in both academics and organizational strategy/operations has served her well in her GALS roles including Director of Operations, Director of Academics, and currently, Director of Finance and Strategy. Jessica is also a former Education Pioneer fellow in urban education reform as well as a former Get Smart Schools fellow. When not at school, Jess is often hiking with her dog Ada, skiing, or climbing. She also loves pop music and often sings and dances through the GALS hallways during passing period bell music.  Jess also teaches AP Calculus in the GALS HS.

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Meghan Myron-Karels Director of GALS Futures

Meghan is very excited to join the GALS team this year and help students plan and prepare for their post-secondary education and career goals after graduation. In 2005, she graduated from Luther College in Decorah, IA with a degree in Sociology and Gender Studies.
Meghan is very excited to join the GALS team this year and help students plan and prepare for their post-secondary education and career goals after graduation. In 2005, she graduated from Luther College in Decorah, IA with a degree in Sociology and Gender Studies. In 2008, she received her master’s degree in Sociology with an emphasis on race, class, gender & Social Justice from American University in Washington, D.C. Prior to coming to GALS, she worked at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota (2008 - 2012), and the University of Colorado - Boulder (2012 - 2016) in Student Affairs. In her free time, you can catch Meghan playing softball with friends, walking/running with her dogs, and spending quality time with her friends and family. 
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Ana Rangel Office Administrator & After School Art Coordinator

Ana grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana and moved to Denver after graduating from Indiana University in 2013. She has a BA in Spanish and Social Work and hopes to soon get her Masters in Social Work.

Ana grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana and moved to Denver after graduating from Indiana University in 2013. She has a BA in Spanish and Social Work and hopes to soon get her Masters in Social Work. Ana has been a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters and hopes to continue that work out here. She enjoys anything outdoors, cooking, music, volunteering with youth organizations, and spending time with friends and family.

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Penny Marez Office Coordinator

Hi my name is Penny and I defy gravity because I AM AWESOME!!!!
Hi my name is Penny and I defy gravity because I AM AWESOME!!!!
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Amber Brydon Psychologist

Amber is the school psychologist at Girls Athletic Leadership School. She is thrilled to be part of the Inclusion Team, working together to support our students’ growth.
Amber is the school psychologist at Girls Athletic Leadership School. She is thrilled to be part of the Inclusion Team, working together to support our students’ growth. Prior to coming to GALS, Amber worked as a school psychologist and MTSS Coordinator near Chicago. Amber graduated with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Coaching from Miami University. She earned her Ed.S. from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Amber enjoys running, hiking, biking, and spending time with her family, especially her young son. 
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Julie Dolin MA, LPC, BC-DMT Director of Counseling

Originally from New York City, Julie has been living and working in Boulder for the past 25 years. She holds a BA in English from Vassar College, an MA in Dance/Movement Therapy from Naropa University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.
Originally from New York City, Julie has been living and working in Boulder for the past 25 years. She holds a BA in English from Vassar College, an MA in Dance/Movement Therapy from Naropa University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has a private psychotherapy practice working with individuals and groups, adults, teens and parents. She has also been Adjunct Faculty in Naropa University’s Somatic Counseling Psychology program, focusing primarily on group work, Authentic Movement, and mentoring students in their internships and in writing the Master’s Thesis. She has been fielding the question “why movement in psychotherapy?" for so long, she cannot believe her good fortune to be at GALS where the power of movement is a given, and playful, creative and strenuous activity happens daily. She is also the mother of two sons, ages 17 and 11.
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Laura Fajardo-Arbelaez Counseling Intern

Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Laura is currently pursuing a MA in Counseling with a concentration on Mindfulness-based Transpersonal Counseling from Naropa University in Boulder, CO.
Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Laura is currently pursuing a MA in Counseling with a concentration on Mindfulness-based Transpersonal Counseling from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. After graduating from Regis University in Denver with a BA in Sociology, Laura moved to Kansas City and worked in a Child Advocacy Center as the bilingual education specialist. She has experience creating and implementing personal safety educational programs in schools to students and staff. She is very excited to be part of the GALS community!
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Leanne Stull Counseling Intern

Originally from Chicago, Illinois Leanne is currently pursuing a MA in Clinical Mental Heath Counseling with a concentration in Transpersonal Art Therapy from Naropa University in Boulder, CO.
Originally from Chicago, Illinois Leanne is currently pursuing a MA in Clinical Mental Heath Counseling with a concentration in Transpersonal Art Therapy from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. After graduating from Augustana University in Illinois with a BA in Elementary Education and Art, Leanne moved to Chile to teach English to middle schoolers. Her experiences abroad reignited her passion for art and inspired her to begin her journey of becoming an art therapist. Leanne is thrilled to share her skills and continue learning with the GALS community this year!
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LeEllen Condry Counseling Intern

LeEllen was born and raised in Seattle, lived in Los Angeles and Boston before moving to Denver. She has a BA in European Studies Spanish and Theatre.
LeEllen was born and raised in Seattle, lived in Los Angeles and Boston before moving to Denver. She has a BA in European Studies Spanish and Theatre. Currently in her last year of graduate school at Denver Seminary, LeEllen will receive a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
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Melanie Warning Counseling Intern

Middle & High School Staff
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Ilana Fishman SPED

Ilana comes to Colorado from the best city in the world, Philadelphia! She lives in Denver with her husband (a local) and their 2 daughters.
Ilana comes to Colorado from the best city in the world, Philadelphia! She lives in Denver with her husband (a local) and their 2 daughters. Ilana has taught for over 17 years, and has taught every age from pre-school through Adult Education, and has enjoyed each age group immensely.  When not teaching, or dragging her children to the mountains or bike trails  Ilana loves to relax with a good book and espresso.
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Karen Davidson SPED

Karen is thrilled to join GALS’ dynamic community of thinkers, athletes, and leaders as a special education teacher. She obtained her Journalism degree from the University of Denver and her master’s degree in Special Education from Metropolitan State University.
Karen is thrilled to join GALS’ dynamic community of thinkers, athletes, and leaders as a special education teacher. She obtained her Journalism degree from the University of Denver and her master’s degree in Special Education from Metropolitan State University. Karen has taught at many metro area schools, worked for Children’s Hospital Colorado, and freelanced for magazines. Although Karen is a Colorado native, she spent much of her childhood visiting her father abroad. Karen loves to travel, read, write, hike, bike, and spend time with her husband, two children, Kyla (14) and Evan (11), and dog Dublin. Oh—Karen also has a cat named Charlotte who is extremely snarky, having earned her rightful spot at the end of the bio!
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Michelle Shea SPED

Michelle is excited to begin her first year at GALS! Michelle grew up in Connecticut and has been living in Colorado for seven years. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Government from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA and an MA in Special Education from the University of Colorado Denver.
Michelle is excited to begin her first year at GALS! Michelle grew up in Connecticut and has been living in Colorado for seven years. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Government from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA and an MA in Special Education from the University of Colorado Denver. Prior to GALS Michelle completed two years of AmeriCorps at Mile High Youth Corps, where she built trails, used a chainsaw and provided the Denver Metro area with environmental education. She then went on to become a Denver Math Fellow at DCIS Montbello teaching 6th grade math in a unique small group setting. When outside of the classroom, Michelle can be found exploring the city and mountains she has grown to love so much!
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Sydney Johnston SPED

Sydney is a Colorado native, growing up in Winter Park. She holds a BA in Sociology from University of Colorado-Denver, and is currently earning her Masters of Education in Special Education from Metro State University.

Sydney is a Colorado native, growing up in Winter Park. She holds a BA in Sociology from University of Colorado-Denver, and is currently earning her Masters of Education in Special Education from Metro State University. She has over 8 years of experience working with youth at Excelsior Youth Center and Tennyson Center for Children. 

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Lori Riley Paraprofessional

Originally from Los Angeles, Lori found her way to Colorado via Texas and Florida. She attended Florida Southern College where she received a BS in Business Management.
Originally from Los Angeles, Lori found her way to Colorado via Texas and Florida. She attended Florida Southern College where she received a BS in Business Management. Lori has worked for Denver Public Schools for the past 5 years in the role as a paraprofessional and a Restorative Intervention Coordinator. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, cooking, working out, yoga, and is especially passionate about hanging out with her two daughters. 
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Adam Richter HS Biology/Chemistry

Adam is thrilled to be teaching chemistry and biology at Girls Athletic Leadership School. Adam began his teaching career in Austin, TX.
Adam is thrilled to be teaching chemistry and biology at Girls Athletic Leadership School. Adam began his teaching career in Austin, TX. Prior to teaching, he worked on global health projects abroad and in microparticle and biophysical chemistry labs. Originally from the Indianapolis area, Adam is happy to call Denver home. He has degrees from Indiana University and University College London.
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Alex Lee HS Math and Engineering

Alex grew up in Maryland and went to the University of Michigan (B.S.) to earn her engineering degree. After finding her way to teaching, Alex now spends all day sharing her loves: STEM and sports.
Alex grew up in Maryland and went to the University of Michigan (B.S.) to earn her engineering degree.  After finding her way to teaching, Alex now spends all day sharing her loves: STEM and sports.
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Amanda Flageolle HS Theatre and Voice

Amanda is honored and excited to be an official member of the GALS HS team. She graduated from the University of MN--Morris with a BA in Theatre Arts and a double minor in Music and Geology.
Amanda is honored and excited to be an official member of the GALS HS team. She graduated from the University of MN--Morris with a BA in Theatre Arts and a double minor in Music and Geology. She loves teaching students how to use their voices, both on stage and off. Amanda directed GALS first High School production, "The Playwright's Showcase," in May 2016, and is looking forward to our first fall play this November. She is coaching our varsity a cappella team, Thunder Roars, and is looking forward to seeing you at our performances this year!
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Daniel Gilden HS Spanish

After receiving his doctorate in Spanish Literature, Daniel taught at the University of Southern California, and then moved back to Denver in order to be closer to family.
After receiving his doctorate in Spanish Literature, Daniel taught at the University of Southern California, and then moved back to Denver in order to be closer to family.  Although he wrote his thesis on Latin American narrative, Daniel's true passion is teaching content units related to environmental justice and other pressing social issues.  Daniel is a passionate environmentalist and won a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching from the U.S. State Department in order to research and promote organic farming in northern Argentina as well as in the U.S.  After honing his teaching skills for 12 years at Kent Denver, he now feels enormously privileged to have joined a team of educators at GALS who share his concern for social justice and individual inquiry.  He is also excited to lead up the program for native and heritage Spanish speakers and increase bilingualism at GALS in general.  Daniel and his wife Rocío spend their summers at her parents' family farm in Galicia (Spain).
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Erica Jo Gonzalez HS Media Arts

Erica teaches art and coaches movement at GALS! She received a B.A. in art history and a B. A. in philosophy at Texas Stare University.
Erica teaches art and coaches movement at GALS! She received a B.A. in art history and a B. A. in philosophy at Texas Stare University. Actually, it's Texas "State" University, but Erica thinks that "Stare University" would be a fun place. Erica recently earned her teaching license from Metropolitan State University and feels lucky to be a part of GALS this year. When she's not teaching art, Erica likes to be outside, or watching her son skateboard.
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Gregory Gale HS Science/Math

Greg was born and raised in rural West Michigan, and graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in mathematics and political science.
Greg was born and raised in rural West Michigan, and graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in mathematics and political science. He then moved to Denver with the inaugural Teach for America - Colorado corps. Greg has taught middle school mathematics for seven years, and joined the GALS staff halfway through last year teaching high school Biology and Chemistry. He is excited to be teaching Geometry and Physics in the high school this year!
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Joshua Morris HS Language Arts/History

High School Staff
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Sharon Pendleton HS Humanities

Sharon is a Colorado native and loves being outside. She received her B.A. in English from Fort Lewis College and her M.A. in Integrated Arts in Education from Lesley University.
Sharon is a Colorado native and loves being outside. She received her B.A. in English from Fort Lewis College and her M.A. in Integrated Arts in Education from Lesley University. Sharon is equally passionate about physical movement, literature and moody 80's British bands.
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Susana Fuentes HS Spanish (PT)

High School Staff
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