THE JOSHUA SCHOOL
Over 10 years ago, what began as the radical, heartfelt response of six teachers to serve students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental disabilities, has grown into one of the top schools for autism in the United States. Using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), an evidence-based science, we identify what each student needs to create an independent and fulfilling life. These might include social skills, communication and language, academics, daily living and community skills, vocational skills and more. By providing our students with structured environments, using teaching strategies based on behavioral intervention, and using data to inform programming, our nationally recognized approach has achieved superior results.
We are making a real difference in the lives of students with ASD and their families. Our programs serve children from age 2 to 21, through our integrated preschool program at the Joshua Early Childhood Center, and our school-age and transition programs at our Denver and Boulder campuses.
Ed Nichols is a fourth generation Coloradan with an extensive background in business and community service. He has experience with large corporations (IBM) and entrepreneurial initiatives, with positions on both cultural and education nonprofit boards. He is well versed in fundraising and implementing strategic planning for nonprofit organizations. Ed previously served as both the President and CEO of History Colorado, and head of the State Historical Fund (SHF). He also served as Colorado’s State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). As a Colorado state agency, History Colorado operates the flagship History Colorado Center in Denver and eight other museum sites across the State of Colorado. The new History Colorado Center, a $142 million headquarters and museum, opened in April 2012 under Ed’s leadership. His philanthropic experience includes directing the $32 million Make History Colorado! Capital Campaign of the new center and his service as CEO of the $10 million annual grant funding program of the Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF). Ed has a BA in Science from Williams College and MBA in Marketing from Northwestern Kellogg School of Business.
Director, Human Resources
Cindy MacDonald joined TJS in early 2019 as Human Resources Director and is responsible for leading initiatives focused on maximizing the TJS employee experience. She collaborates closely with the TJS leadership and HR teams to design and implement talent acquisition and development strategies that align with the TJS strategic plan. Cindy brings over 20 years’ experience in the Human Resources field in both Canada and the U.S. in a variety of industries. She holds a Bachelors in Business Administration degree and has a SHRM-SCP certification.
Program Director (Joshua Early Childhood Center)
Brooke Lestikow is the Program Director at JECC and has 5 years of experience in the Joshua Early Intervention Program. Brooke also has previous experience in Douglas County School District at the preschool level. She received a BA in Political Science from the University of Denver and a Masters in Early Childhood Educations from the University of Colorado-Denver.
Executive Program Director
Kristen Kaiser joined TJS in 2015 as Director of Operations, and recently became Executive Program Director. She is responsible for working closely with the Executive Director and Director of Finance in overseeing operations, programming and budget at the three TJS campuses. Kristen serves as LEND Family Discipline Director at JFK Partners, UC Denver School of Medicine, teaching and mentoring multidisciplinary professionals on disability and the family experience. There she spent the past 11 years in autism research, developing and implementing family support programming for families newly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Currently Kristen holds a Masters in Public Health from the UC School of Medicine, BA in English from University of California, Santa Barbara and an MLA in English and American Literature from Harvard University Extension School.
Program Director (Englewood)
Kate Loving serves as Program Director for The Joshua School Englewood campus. She joined TJS in 2017 from Colorado Department of Education, where she has spent the past 7 years. As an ASD Specialist for CDE, Kate provided consultation and coaching for districts around the state, and the past 4 years with districts throughout Wyoming implementing evidence-based practices for students with ASD and IDD. In her years in private practice as a BCBA, Kate specialized in working with young adults with ASD and significant behavioral and communication needs.
Kate holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University, a Masters in Special Education from Portland State University, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) through Florida Institute of Technology.
Program Director (Joshua Early Childhood Center)
Jamie Cohen is the Program Director of Joshua Early Intervention at JECC. She has been working passionately with children in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) since 2006 and has been at The Joshua School’s Early Intervention Program since 2012. Jamie is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), has a BA in Psychology from Livingston College and also holds a Masters Degree in Elementary and Special Education from Rutgers University. Jamie is the Director of the Early Intervention program, provides oversight as well as consultation services to school districts regarding programming for children with ASD.
Director of Finance
Jewell Weber serves as TJS Director of Finance where she is responsible for all matters related to the planning, supervision and monitoring of school budgets, operational expenses and planning. She has over 20 years experience in non-profit Finance and Accounting. Jewell holds a BS in Accounting.
Special Educational Director
Martha Muth serves as Special Education Director over all three campuses, acting as liaison to CDE and responsible for regulatory compliance. She is also the educational director and school administrator for The Joshua School, Boulder campus. She joined TJS in 2015 from a residential treatment facility.
Martha holds a BS in Special Education from Metropolitan State University and an MA in School Administration and Supervision from The University of Phoenix. She holds Special Education Director and Principal Licenses, a Special Education Professional License with Elementary Endorsement.
Program Director (Boulder)
Megan Coatley is the Program Director at The Joshua School, Boulder. She holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from the accredited programs at Western Michigan University. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and has spent over a decade empowering clients and families to create lasting, positive behavior change. Throughout her career in nonprofit organizations, Meg has led clinical teams and educators in developing evidence-based interventions for children with disabilities. Utilizing the scientific principles and strategies of behavior analysis, she empowers clients to achieve their goals. Meg is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.
Board of Directors
President of the Board
Amy Zupon brings operations and organizational leadership to her role as president of the Board. As CEO of Vertifore, she oversees all facets of the company, including strategic and product development, human resources, marketing and customer service. In her career, she has demonstrated a mastery for managing teams and implementing large-scale, custom software projects. She holds a degree in Mathematics from Northwestern University.
Amy Zupon joined the board in 2016. Her son Noah has been a student at TJS since 2013.
Roopesh K. Aggarwal
Roopesh Aggarwal is the Senior Director, Business Innovations at Excel Energy. With nearly 20 years of experience working with distressed and challenged operating companies to successfully address critical strategic, financial, operating, and marketing priorities.
Roopesh also serves as the President, and is a member of the Executive Committee for the Board of Directors of Central City Opera.
Matt Ansay serves as Chief Operating Officer for National Valuation Consultants where he is involved in all aspects of the company’s day-to-day operations, including bidding, structuring and engaging appraisal assignments. Matt holds a BS in Business Administration from UC Denver, and he and his wife Kari are the parents of five children, two with Fragile X Syndrome and one a student at The Joshua School.
Craig DeLeone serves as the Associate Executive Director of Business Development and Education at the Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC.) Craig has 17 years of experience in both non-profit and for-profit industries. He is an accomplished business leader with expertise in business development, client services, and market research. Prior to the PEBC, Craig served as the Marketing and Business Development Manager at The Devereux Foundation. He previously served as a committee member for Youth on Record.
Jim Vitalie has over 25 years experience building financial services firms, having served as Institutional Group Head of Old Mutual Capital, president of Curian Capital, president of Foliofn Institutional and Century Business Services Retirement and Wealth Management Services division. He began his career in corporate transactional law at Eckert, Seamans, Cherin & Mellott. Jim holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law.
Jim joined the board in 2015. His son Grant attended TJS from age 16 to 21.
Ken Whitelam has more than 30 years of experience in the commercial banking and finance arena, and currently serves as the Market President for Midland States Bank in Denver. Ken grew up in Canada and has lived in Denver for the past 26 years. He graduated from Red River College in Winnipeg Manitoba and holds a Certified General Accounts (C.G.A.) designation. He is actively involved in his community, including serving as treasurer for the Montessori Educational Foundation of Douglas County.