High School Staff

Liz Wolfson

Chief Visionary Officer


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.

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. 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.

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 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.

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. 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.

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. 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.

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. 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.

Felicia Soifer

MS Director of Academics & HS Academic Support Liaison


Originally from Los Angeles, Felicia graduated from University of Colorado, Boulder with a degree in Sociology. After college, she moved to New York City, where she taught for nine years and received her Master's degree in Elementary Education and Curriculum from City College, City University New York. Felicia came to GALS after working for various educational non-profits as a freelance writer. She taught 6th grade language arts for two years at GALS before becoming the Director of Academics. When not working, Felicia spends all her time playing in beautiful Colorado with her amazing family, husband Josiah, their two boys Jackson and Spencer, and the family dogs, Harlem and Renaissance.

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. 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.

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. 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!

Amber Brydon

School 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. 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.

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. 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.

Laura Fajardo-Arbelaez

Bilingual Counselor


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!

Ilana Fishman

GALS Special Education


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.

Karen Davidson

Director of Special Education


Karen is thrilled to be the Director of Special Education at GALS. She is a native of Denver and loves to read and travel. Karen received her Bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Denver and her Master's degree in Special Education from Metropolitan State University. She has worked for DPS, Adams 14, Children's Hospital Colorado, and as an independent educational consultant. When not at GALS, Karen enjoys spending time with her husband, 15-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son.

Lori Riley



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.

Leah Bock

High School Assistant Principal/Math


Leah was the founding math teacher in the high school. 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, spending time with her two dogs at home, and watching Melissa McCarthy movies.

Sara Shapiro

HS Assistant Principal/History


Sara joined GALS in the founding year of the high school and is thrilled to be a part of something so awesome! Sara grew up near Chicago (Go Cubs!) and has a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and a M.A. in Education from University of Colorado, Denver. She moved to Colorado in 2010 and has not looked back! In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, hanging out with friends, talking about politics and history, attending her book club, and snuggling with her dog George. Sara's favorite movie is Beauty and the Beast (1991).

Meghan Myron-Karels

Director of GALS Futures/GALS 11/Futures 12


Meghan goes by MK at the high school and her main role at GALS is to help students plan and prepare for their post-secondary education and career goals after graduation. She is a Luther College ('05) and American University alum ('08), and received both of her degrees in Sociology with an emphasis on race, class, gender, social justice and equity. 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, she enjoys playing team sports, board & card games, and instruments. Additionally, Meghan enjoys watching movies and tv shows about baseball, magic, and outer space.

Jenn Green

Dean of Students


Jenn grew up in Denver and has a BA from Stanford University (Anthropology/Theater) and an MA in Education (University of Colorado/Denver). Her game plan for life is: find something you like to do and get paid doing it! To that end, she has worked for the Navajo Tribe in Arizona, joined a circus, performed on stage in New York City, Mexico and Europe, raised and trained horses, and managed community gardening programs at the Trinidad History Museum in southern Colorado. All these experiences inform her teaching, and after 20+ years in the education business, she is honored to be a part of the GALS family.

Adam Richter

HS Science/GALS Series 10


Adam is thrilled to be teaching AP Chemistry, Environmental Science, and the 10th Grade GALS Series. 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 where he enjoys exploring both the city and the beautiful landscape surrounding it. He has degrees from Indiana University and University College London. Adam enjoys, but is not fanatical, about Star Wars films.

Alex Mangurian

HS Math


Alex grew up in Maryland and went to the University of Michigan (B.S.) to earn her engineering degree. She has spent time living in Vermont, West Virginia, and Utah. After finding her way to teaching, Alex now spends all day sharing her passions for STEM and sports with the GALS community. While not at school, Alex likes to cook, hike, ski and take her big, fluffy dog Juno for long walks.

Amanda Flageolle

HS Performing Arts/Registrar


Amanda is honored and excited to be back at GALS HS for another awesome year. 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 also directs after school theatre productions for the high school and the 6-12 musical every other March. To put the rumors to rest, her favorite movie series is "Indiana Jones."

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. 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).

Devin Romano

GALS Counseling Intern


A Colorado native, Devin is currently pursing an MSW (Master of Social Work) degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver, CO. After graduating from The University of Colorado at Boulder with a BA in Psychology and English Literature, Devin moved from Boulder to Denver to pursue her dream of working in an empowering all-girl environment. She has experience working in settings that support the social, emotional, and psychological health of girls. She is thrilled to be a part of the GALS community this year!

Erica Gonzalez

HS Media Arts & Engineering


Erica is studied Art History and Philosophy at Texas State University, San Marcos ('07). While completing her bachelor's degrees, Erica enjoyed swimming in and kayaking the San Marcos River. Erica recently completed the teaching program at Metropolitan State University, Denver ('15), and during this time, cycled to school in the snow. She now teaches AP Art, Studio Art, Photography and Engineering at GALS. She loves taking her son on hikes, even though he would prefer to be doing anything else. Erica holds Ridley Scott's 1982 film Bladerunner close to her heart, but is excited about Bladerunner 2049.

Gregory Gale

HS Science


Greg was born and raised in 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 midway through the 2015-2016 school year. He is excited to be teaching in the science department in the high school this year! Greg feels that the Fast and the Furious franchise of movies is the finest cinema that has been made in the last 25 years.

Joshua Morris

HS English/HS Humanities


Joshua Morris enjoys learning and happens to be a teacher. He loves learning about dinosaurs, social issues, and cooking techniques. Additionally, he enjoys eating enchiladas, waking up early in the summer so he can binge watch TV longer, and driving. He is entering his 9th year teaching. Lastly, after spending the entire week learning and teaching, he spends his weekends eagerly waiting for the newest Games of Thrones episode.

Katie Clark

GALS Series 12


Originally from Colorado, Katie earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver and her teaching credential from the University of Colorado, Denver.  She spent her first three years teaching at Joan Farley Academy in Denver, before moving to Los Angeles to learn to surf and continue her career.  In Los Angeles, Katie taught for six years in grades six through twelve at Ollin University Prep and earned her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction through Concordia University, Irvine.  Katie is excited to be continuing her tenth year in education at GALS, where she can support students as they develop their capstone projects.  Outside of school, she loves spending time with her family, being outdoors, traveling and running.

Katie Ritchie

Staff Accountant


Katie is born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She has a BS in accounting, and has worked in various non-profit and for-profit accounting roles for the past 10 years. Her passions include education and environmental stewardship. In her free time she power lifts, hikes, and spends time with her 2 sons and husband.

Laura Mondragon

GALS Front Office


Coming soon!

Michelle Shea



Michelle grew up in Connecticut and has been living in Colorado for close to 10 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!

Penny Marez

GALS Front Office & After School Coordinator


Coming soon!

Sarah Covey

GALS Special Education


Originally from California, Sarah moved to Boulder 15 years ago to attend University of Colorado, Boulder, where she completed her BA in English and History. She went on to complete an MA in Special Education at the University of Colorado, Denver. This is her 10th year teaching. Her experience has taken place in three different districts, in regular neighborhood schools and charter schools, with students from Kindergarten through 8th grade, and in various models of education. She is very excited for her first year at GALS!

Sarah Surrey

HS English/HS Humanities/Literacy


Sarah is so excited to be joining the GALS HS staff this year as the 9th grade Humanities and 11th grade AP Language and Composition teacher.  Sarah is a Denver native and absolutely loves teaching in the best city in the world!!  She graduated from Pitzer College in 2012 with two BA degrees in English/World Literature and Spanish Literature.  Sarah then went on to teach in Newark, New Jersey through Teach for America where she also got her MS in Teaching and Learning from CSU: Global.  Following TFA, Sarah taught at another charter school in Denver for three years.  When not in the classroom, Sarah loves to read, ski, hike, cook, and hang out with her 9 year old dog, Zhivago. One of her life goals is to see all of the Audrey Hepburn movies.

Susana Fuentes

HS Spanish/Honors Seminar/Global Studies


Susana Fuentes teaches HS Spanish 1, Global Studies, English Language Development (ELD), and HS Honors. She was born and raised in Monterrey, México where she learned English at a very young age. Inspired by its language and culture, she moved to the United States to complete a B.A. in English from New York University in 2013. She then moved to Boulder, Colorado, to complete a M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Colorado in 2016. She is fluent in Spanish, English, and French, and her academic interests lie in translation, intersectionality, displacement, global literary theory, and feminist studies. Her personal interests are yoga, biking, puppy playdates, card games, poetry/fiction, and films by David Cronenberg, Martin Scorsese, Jean-Luc Godard, and Woody Allen.

Tess Duffy

HS Math/Data Support


Tess brings to GALS a love for growing vegetables, keeping bees, and riding bicycles. Tess earned her B.S. in International Agricultural Development at UC Davis and a M.S. in Agriculture and Resource Economics from the University of Arizona. After college, she lived in rural Paraguay for 2+ years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, where she worked with some truly inspring women and girls, then returned to the States to teach some equally inspiring third and fifth graders in South Tucson. Growing up, playing sports and being on teams (triathlon, cross country, track, softball, soccer) is what gave Tess her identity, her confidence, her friend groups and her leadership skills, and she is so excited to share all of that with a new generation of girls.

Tim Lloyd

GALS Special Education


A native Coloradan, Tim has also lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City. Tim became inspired by adventurous social experiences when he was a teenager. Inspired by friends, novels, and music, he found insight in addressing and, at times, embracing life’s unforeseen challenges. This resolve stuck with him through college, leading him to get his BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Tim quickly saw a need and developed a deep passion for working with adolescents of divergent backgrounds. He eventually went on to earn his MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado, Denver. In his spare time, Tim works out, makes music, and explores uncommon, often illogical, creative ideas. He also loves/hates exploring Colorado and the West with his family in their 1982 Volkswagen Vanagon, responding to its frequent breakdowns, as a paradigm of life itself.

Vanesha Mcgee

HS GALS Series 9, 12 & MS Intervention


Vanesha grew up in New Jersey and has spent nearly all of her life living on the east coast. She graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice then went on to earn her Master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania’s Teacher Education Program.