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Leadership
Ed Nichols
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CINDY LYSTAD

Executive Director

"Cindy Lystad is a lifelong educator with an extensive background in ASD, leadership, and community relations. Cindy started her career as a special education teacher on the Western Slope of Colorado. She has served as a building administrator at every grade level PK- 12 in
several diverse communities in Colorado. She is well-versed in community building, fiscal oversight, strategic planning, and state education laws and policies. Cindy has served on school boards in Telluride and Ridgway and recently completed a yearlong leadership professional development program (RSA) through Colorado Education Initiative. Cindy was honored to be one of two Cile Chavez scholars for the first RSA cohort. Cindy has been integral to several large philanthropic campaigns, including community initiatives, school expansions, and teacher support programs.
“I am thrilled to be a part of The Joshua School (TJS). Our staff's love, skill, and dedication are at the core of TJS’s continued success. I look forward to providing long-term financial stability and a detailed vision for the immediate and future needs of The Joshua School”.
Cindy earned her Elementary and Deaf Education BA from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL, where she was a full-scholarship middle-distance runner. She earned her MS in Educational Leadership from WGU and is currently a doctoral candidate at UC Denver, focusing on Educational Equity in Urban and Diverse Communities. She holds a teacher’s license with Special Education endorsement, a Principal License, and a Superintendent License."

KRISTEN KAISER

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 and budget. Kristen also works closely with the program directors at the three campuses, overseeing programming. 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 12 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. 

Kristen Kaiser
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Martha Muth
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MARTHA MUTH

Special Education 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.

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JEWELL WEBER

Finance Director

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.

Jewell Webber
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JILLIAN ESQUIVEL

Development Officer

BIO PENDING..

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KATE LOVING

Program Director - Transition, Englewood

Kate Loving serves as Transition 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.

Ciny MacDonald
Kate Loving
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LEIGH COOPER

Program Director - School-Age, Englewood

Leigh Cooper serves as the School Age Program Director for the Joshua School Englewood Campus. She joined TJS in 2021 after moving to Denver from New York City. For the 11 years prior to her move, she received hands-on training in ABA through serving various roles at the NYC Autism Charter Schools where she worked closely with school-age students with ASD and IDD and their families. She began there as a classroom instructor, and after graduate school began to work as a Clinical Supervisor overseeing student programming and classroom staff training. She then helped to open and run their second school in the South Bronx. Immediately prior to joining TJS, Leigh served as the Clinical Development Supervisor and was responsible for the continued oversight of student programming and behavior management, staff training and performance evaluations, the professional development of new supervisory staff, conducting outreach workshops and professional development training, as well as running the school research committee. 

 

Leigh holds a B.S. in Biospsychology from Tufts University, an M.S. in Neuroscience and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) through Florida Institute of Technology.

Leigh Cooper
Mia Baldacci
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MIA BALDACCI

Program Director - Secondary School-Age, Englewood

Mia joined TJS in May 2019 as a BCBA/Behavior Specialist in the Transition program. Since then, Mia worked across classrooms and programs as a BCBA before recently accepting a Program Director position of the Secondary School Age Program in Englewood, Colorado. Prior to TJS, Mia worked as a BCBA and Clinical Supervisor, providing ABA services in family homes and center-based settings and supervising teams of BCBAs. Mia moved to Denver from Chicago, Illinois in 2016. 

 

Mia holds a BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Saint Xavier University, a Masters of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) through The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

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AMANDA MECKER

Campus Director - Boulder

Amanda Mecker serves as Program Director at The Joshua School Boulder campus. Prior to her move to Colorado and joining The Joshua School in 2021, Amanda worked as a BCBA and Director of Clinical Services in schools and homes across New York and New Jersey. With greater than 13 years of experience in Applied Behavior Analysis, Amanda comes to The Joshua School with an interest in designing and implementing comprehensive curricula to support students in achieving their greatest potential based on their individual strengths and areas of continued growth. 

 

Amanda holds a BS in Psychology from Rutgers University, and an M.Ed. in Special and Elementary Education from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. Additionally, Amanda is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), and Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of New York (LBA).

Amanda Mecker
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CHERITA GARLINGTON

Program Director - Joshua Early Childhood Center

Bio pending

Cherita Galington
Board Members

AMY ZUPON

President of the Board

MATT ANSAY

Chair Governance & Facility Committee

KENNETH WHITELAM

Treasurer

JOEL DREESSEN

Board Member

JIM GENDELMAN

Board Member

KRISTI GRANING

Board Member

KATHERINE HENSCHEN-HAUFF

Board Member

NATE MILLER

Board Member

JIM VITALIE

Board Member

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