Director of Strategic Initiatives & Impact
Director of Family & Community Partnerships
Director of Project Development & Operations
In 2013, Amy co-founded RESCHOOL with Tony Lewis as a project of the DK Foundation. She became the organization’s Executive Director in 2018 when RESCHOOL launched as an independent 501c3. Amy strives to create an organization that operates internally in ways that align with the world we are working with our partners to create externally, as reflected in our mission, vision, and values.
Prior to RESCHOOL, Amy was Associate Commissioner at the Colorado Department of Education where she created and led the Division of Innovation, Choice, and Engagement. Her work there resulted in the creation of a statewide vision and strategy to personalize learning and ignite the unique potential of each student through Expanded Learning Opportunities.
Before her time at CDE, Amy had her first stint with the Donnell-Kay Foundation as the Director of Strategic Partnerships where she launched the Foundation’s work on blended learning. She also worked as an education policy and school finance researcher and analyst at APA Consulting and led new school development efforts for the Colorado League of Charter Schools.
Amy is a founder of The Odyssey School, a Denver charter school started in 1998 where both her children attended and she served for many years on the board of directors. She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Aurora Institute’s Board of Directors. Amy holds a Ph.D. and M.Ed. from the University of Colorado and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin
Selamawit is a strategist, researcher, and educator catalyzed by visions of social impact that embrace complexity and are rooted in community-centered and relational design. She draws on her educator roots in centering the promises of curiosity and learning as practices of freedom, community care, and self-determination. Her approach to her work includes exploring big and thoughtful questions, developing collaborative and generative insights, and identifying creative approaches to strategic planning and decision-making. Selamawit seeks to contribute to the collective task of designing spaces and systems that embody equity-centered consciousness through her work.
At RESCHOOL, Selamawit is the Director of Strategic Initiatives and Impact and leads the organization’s work in strategic planning, learning, and evaluation. Prior to RESCHOOL, Selamawit was on the Academic Operations team at Guild, where she developed and taught engaging and responsive curriculum to adult learners seeking to advance their access to workplace and economic opportunity. She began her career teaching high school English in Atlanta as a Teach For America corps member. She currently serves on the Board of the Chinook Fund, an organization that mobilizes economic resources to fund BIPOC-led social justice initiatives across Colorado. In addition, she previously served as the Board Chair of the Colorado Youth Congress, a youth-centered organization bringing together high students across various geographies to explore and define their leadership in taking political and systemic action. Selamawit received her Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a certification in Social Innovation Design from the University of Pennsylvania.
As RESCHOOL’s Director of Project Development and Operations, Jess leads RESCHOOL’s work to provide professional development opportunities and resources that support organizations to operate in a way that authentically reflects the experiences and ideas of the young people, families and communities they partner with. She was deeply involved in the latest versions of REVOLVE and Design Lab and is the main point of contact for RESCHOOL’s grants and operations. She has been working in education for nearly 15 years with experience in program management and implementation, operations management, product development, and partner coordination.
Prior to joining RESCHOOL, Jess worked at the Colorado Department of Education in multiple roles. She was a grant manager for federally and state-funded dollars supporting adult education programs, worked with innovation and charter schools, and worked in the Commissioner’s Office and the High School Equivalency Testing Office. Prior to CDE, Jess worked with a non-profit providing high school equivalency testing and skills coaching, primarily to youth and adults who were incarcerated or navigate a disability.
Jess graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and a Minor in Business. She was a 2020 Systems Impact Institute Fellow through Climb Higher Colorado and actively participates in alumni opportunities through MIT’s Center for Systems Awareness. She is active an active community member in Jefferson County where she serves on her neighborhood elementary school’s School Accountability Committee, and consistently engages in community conversations about school consolidations, resources and sustainability efforts for youth in the area. Jess gets a lot of joy from being a mom to two awesome young kids who already navigate the world in their own unique ways.
Paola Ramírez is RESCHOOL’s Director of Community and Family Engagement and Lead Learner Advocate. Paola partners with a variety of families, in the Denver Metro Area, to explore out-of-school learning opportunities for their children. Paola also works to amplify students’ voices in their learning experiences so that their opportunities inside and outside of school can better match their backgrounds, passions, and desires. While working with families, Paola builds partnerships with organizations and cultural institutions to help unlock scholarships and create more positive environments for a variety of students. Paola has taught in bilingual, dual-immersion, special education, and Montessori school settings in East Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco, and Denver. Paola serves on the board of Mountain Mamas, which works to protect public lands, clean water, and clean air. Paola serves on the board of the Colorado Soccer Foundation, where free pick-up play in soccer is nurtured and provided. Paola also works on the Strategic Committee for the Colorado Funders for Inclusiveness and Equity.
Paola is committed to advocating for and creating educational environments that are supportive of all students and families. She believes that students and families thrive and continue to develop their unique voices in diverse settings that are carefully developed to counter systemic biases. Prior to joining the RESCHOOL, Paola taught her own children and gave them the gift and love for learning languages.
Monica manages the DISCOVER learning resource and builds relationships with local learning providers so it is easier for all families to explore learning opportunities available to their children when they are not in school. She is RESCHOOL’s lead on administrative tasks across projects, and partners with other members of the team to create resources for families and support general communications efforts.
Prior to joining RESCHOOL, Monica worked for Girls Incorporated of Metro Denver as the founder of their social enterprise business and manager of their coffee shop and entrepreneurial programming for teens. As their former Director of Programs, Monica was instrumental in creating programming for over 2,000 girls each year across the Denver-Metro Area. Monica is also a microbusiness owner and member of the RISE Westwood Collective in the Westwood neighborhood in Denver.
A Colorado native, Monica studied Psychology and Chicano and Women’s Studies at CSU-Pueblo. Having worked in the youth development field for many years, she is committed to creating communities of support and learning opportunities for Colorado students.
Board of Directors
Zuben Bastani, Chair
Judy Perez, Treasurer
Emily Fay, Secretary
Meet Zuben, Chair
Zuben has spent his career leveraging mobile technologies to increase access and reduce barriers. In addition to founding ReachWell, a social impact company, he has worked for enterprise and startup organizations in marketing, sales, and product leadership roles.
While volunteering at his child’s school, Zuben quickly recognized the inequity in legacy communication platforms created by failing to reach and engage low-income and migrant families.
After piloting and consulting dozens of school, nonprofit, and state leaders about the shortfalls of family engagement, Zuben founded ReachWell with the vision of inclusive community engagement. Zuben continues to invest in his local Denver community serving as a board advisor for RESCHOOL Colorado and The Denver Park Trust and a mentor for EdTech Startup founders.
Away from his laptop, he enjoys beating himself in tennis, finding the next best band, and taking in the outdoors on his bike, skis, and river tube!
Zuben holds a BA from Nebraska Wesleyan University and an MBA from Thunderbird, School of Global Management.
Meet Judy, Treasurer
Judy is the CEO and founder of iLearn Collaborative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering educators through cutting-edge professional development and consulting support services. She is also the co-founder of EDC3, supporting communities of practice and a marketplace for educators to support other educators. With over three decades of unwavering commitment to education, Judy’s career includes a variety of roles that reflect her deep passion for transforming education. Prior to the launch of iLearn Collaborative in 2013, Judy served as a career educator, serving in roles as a teacher, school principal, district administrator, and as the Chief Authorizing Officer for the Colorado Charter School Institute at the Colorado Department of Education.
Judy played a pivotal role in the emergence of online education within the K-12 sector. For two decades, she’s overseen the development and implementation of Colorado’s largest statewide multi-district online middle school, she spearheaded the Jeffco School District’s innovative blended learning program and successfully launched Jeffco’s Virtual Academy.
Judy’s work transcended district borders, as she worked with numerous districts to plan and execute districtwide initiatives aimed at fostering innovative learning environments. She served on state-appointed advisory boards, where she contributed to the quality and growth of digital learning across Colorado. Judy’s contribution in the development of House Bill 16-1222, expanding blended and online learning in Colorado, passed in 2016 which led to the formation of Colorado Empowered Learning. Nationally recognized as an expert in blended and online learning, she participated in research projects for the U.S. Department of Education, iNACOL, Project Tomorrow, The Buck Institute, the State of Colorado and other organizations.
Her consulting work has taken her to underserved communities and institutions in other countries, including Colombia, S.A., where she served as advisor and collaborator with the Secretary of Education in Manizales, the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, The ASCENT Initiative in London, and the International School for Champions in Nairobi, Kenya, and the Latin American and Caribbean Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders.
Judy takes the most pride in her role as a mother of blended learners, which has led her dedication to creating meaningful, flexible, and equitable educational opportunities for all.
Meet Emily, Secretary
Emily was raised in North West Aurora. She found a sense of belonging in youth sports and high school leadership. Emily was privileged to have the opportunity to play Division II soccer at Colorado State University-Pueblo while earning her Bachelor’s degree in exercise science and health promotion. She went on to serve the American Diabetes Association for 12 years coordinating overnight residential and day camps for youth living with type 1 diabetes across the Western U.S. In the summer of 2022, she completed her Master’s in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Denver while working as the Whole Human Coordinator at South Middle School in Aurora, CO. Emily has served on the Board of Directors for the Colorado International Soccer Academy, delivered Familia Adelante workshops for Servicios De La Raza, and has most recently participated on the 2023 US Youth Soccer Grassroots Symposium Planning Committee. Emily believes enthusiasm is contagious and is honored to be part of the RESCHOOL’s work.