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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 inseveral 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
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Director of Schools

Sam Davis serves as Director of Schools, working with the Program Directors, Director of Finance, and Executive Director to assist with operational issues, develop strategic plans and budgets, and oversee the school’s day-to-day operations for the Boulder and Englewood campuses.

Sam holds a BS in Psychology and Education from the University of Colorado - Boulder and an MS in Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University. She is currently completing her EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, focusing specifically on using improvement science to increase recruitment and retention in special education.

Kristen Kaiser
Martha Muth
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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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Human Resources Director

Charity Emery serves as the Human Resources Director, where she is responsible for creating, implementing, and executing human resource department strategies. She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise from over twenty years of progressive human resources experience in a variety of industries. She is passionate about supporting employees, encouraging each one to bring their authentic self to work each day, and valuing each individual for their unique mind, body and spirit.


Charity holds a Masters in Legal Studies in Human Resources & Employment Law from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at the University of Arizona, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management with an emphasis in Human Resources. Additionally, Charity has held the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification since 2011. 

Jewell Webber


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


Development Officer

Jillian Esquivel serves as TJD Development Officer where she is responsible for all matter related to planning and implementing a strategic fundraising plan. She also oversee all aspects of the process, including personnel selection as well as campaign strategy.

Jillian holds a BA in Marketing and Communications from University of Colorado, Boulder, a Masters in Communications with an emphasis in Non-profit work from University of Nevada, Reno where she conducted grant literacy research programs in Northern Nevada for After School programming.



Talent Acquisition Specialist

Cassandra Batista joined The Joshua School as the Talent Acquisition Specialist. She is responsible for any hiring, onboarding, and off boarding needs the The Joshua School might need. Cassandra works closely with our Leadership team and the Support team. Cassandra moved to the Denver area in 2013 from Texas, where she went to The University of Texas at El Paso to study Business Management with a minor in Marketing. She has been studying and working in the business industry for about 10yrs. She comes to The Joshua School with an interest in helping the staff and being their support in any hiring and Human Resource needs. She hopes to continue to help The Joshua School grow.

Ciny MacDonald

Program Director - Transition, Englewood

Annie McClure joined The Joshua School in 2017 where she served both as a Lead Teacher and Behavior Specialist in the Transition Program. Prior to The Joshua School, Annie worked for Easter Seals Colorado at Rocky Mountain Village camp in Georgetown where she helped individuals with neurodiversities access a recreational mountain setting.


Annie graduated with a double major from The University of South Dakota in Special Education and Elementary Education. She holds a Master's degree in Special Education as an Intervention Specialist with an emphasis is Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Northern Colorado. 

Leigh Cooper
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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.



Program Director - Secondary School-Age, Englewood

Ellie has been in the field of ABA for over 8 years, in a variety of positions. She started as a direct line therapist/RBT and worked as a program manager prior to receiving her BCBA certification.  She has worked in several different capacities as a BCBA and Director in homes and clinic settings, as well as in multiple settings with a staff training focus. Ellie was able to utilize ABA principles in her previous experience, having worked as a contracted school consultant across several districts and states.  She also worked directly with children in the school districts on conducting Functional Behavior Assessments and creating/implementing behavior intervention plans to transition into a least restrictive setting. Organizational Behavior Management is another passion of hers, and which led her to pursue a certification as a OBM Specialist more recently. 


Ellie has wanted to work for TJS since 2017 prior to moving out to Colorado. She is beyond thrilled for the opportunity to help create  a positive culture for staff and students, while keeping the TJS philosophy and values at the forefront. Ellie has always admired the resolve that kudos on the spectrum show to accomplish tasks that a lot of us take for granted.  She is constantly inspired by the daily small victories as it serves as a reminder to appreciate the journey, not just the destination. 



Program Director - Boulder

Nicole has worked at the Joshua School for over 10 years, starting as an intern at the Boulder campus in 2012 and subsequently serving as Instructional Assistant, Lead IA, Lead Teacher/BCBA, and Director of Behavioral Programming. In her current role, she develops and supervises behavioral and academic programming, and coordinates team training and support. Nicole’s passion is creating a safe and supportive environment through functional intervention in order to help students make meaningful behavior change, generalize their skills, and reach their highest level of autonomy and quality of life. 
 Nicole holds a BA in Speech Language Pathology from the University of South Florida, MA in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University, a Professional Teaching License in Elementary and Special Education through the state of Colorado, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).



Program Director - Joshua Early Childhood Center

Marie Lowe joined The Joshua School in 2013 as an instructional assistant where she was first introduced to Applied Behavior Analysis. After spending several years at the Englewood campus, she transitioned into a Behavior Specialist role at Joshua Early Childhood Center in 2017. She became the Clinical Coordinator in 2021, and most recently moved into the Program Director role at JECC. She is passionate about creating an environment where children, their families, and the staff feel welcome and can learn and thrive.  


Marie holds a BAS in Exercise Science from the University of Minnesota Duluth and an M.Ed. in the Foundations of Behavior Analysis from the University of Cincinnati. Additionally, Marie is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). 



IEP Curriculum and Compliance Director

James Ringer joined The Joshua Early Childhood Center in 2023 with 10+ years of previous experience in the education sector. Prior to moving to Colorado and joining The Joshua School organization, James cultivated his professional experience in the education world by holding a number of teaching and leadership roles in California, China, and Texas. James brings a breadth of knowledge in supporting the diverse learning needs of all types of learners and has a passion to continue ensuring that every type of learner has an education program that fits their individual needs.


James has his BA in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley, his MS in Education from Johns Hopkins University, and is currently completing his Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Denver. With his current research focusing with equitable funding structures for supporting the diverse learning needs of students, James is actively involved in Colorado’s policy advocacy and will continue to use his leadership and policy advocacy to ensure that all types of learners receive the resources they need to access a free and appropriate public education.

Board Members


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