2022-2023 CEA Ambassador Fellows
Pikes Peak Education Association
Elizabeth Arnquist is an elementary special education teacher at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind and a proud member of the Pikes Peak Education Association. She has been in the field for 8 years after earning her Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education at Northern Michigan University and Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University. Elizabeth is passionate about supporting educators by sharing trauma-informed teaching practices and elevating educators’ voices. As a lifelong student of public education, she is dedicated to advocating for equitable and inclusive public education. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys skiing and camping with her husband and dog.
Aurora Education Association
Eunice Botchway is a Special Education teacher at Yale Elementary School with the Aurora Public School District and a member of the Aurora Education Association. She is on her school’s Equity, Instructional Leadership, and MTSS Teams. Eunice is currently working on her post-graduate degree in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Director of Special Education Leadership at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AK. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Special Education, a master’s degree in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education (CLDE), an endorsement in Elementary Education, and a designation in READ Act. Over the years, Eunice Botchway has worked as an Early Childhood teacher, READ Act teacher, and CLDE teacher. She has a passion for students with Special needs and works to support them to succeed in school. She loves to advocate for quality education for all students and restore respect for the education profession.
Jefferson County Education Support Professionals
Ny Cahill is a middle school physical eduction para professional in Jefferson County. They also enjoy working as a coach for various sports, Volleyball, basketball, cross country & track. Most recently they have become a Building Representative for The Manning School of Academics and Arts. They are focusing on LGBTQIA+ issues in schools with the hope of creating a better world for our students. In their free time Ny enjoys reading, binging fantasy shows, and all things Dungeons and Dragons. “Building better worlds from my dreams!”
Thompson Education Association
Tawni Eckley is a Third Grade teacher at Laurene Edmondson Elementary School in Loveland, Colorado. In addition to her work in the classroom, she also serves on the school leadership team, as well as sponsoring after-school activities for students, including yoga and gardening. She is the Math Curriculum Leader for her school, and also serves as her school’s representative for the Thompson Education Association. Tawni received her Master’s Degree in Reading Leadership from Western Colorado University. She is passionate about educational leadership and working with incoming educators to be prepared for the realities of the classroom.
Jefferson County Educators Association
Kari Gray is a social worker and a Social Emotional Learning Specialist at Manning Middle School in Golden Colorado. As a SELS Kari views the school as her client and has the opportunity to be involved in a variety of schoolwide programs. She is a huge proponent of preventative mental health with a focus on equity, diversity and inclusion. Prior to the SELS position Kari has work from birth to death in various aspects of mental health and taught Art, Kindergarten, and 3rd grade in Chicago Public Schools. In her free time Kari enjoys drawing, hiking, gardening, playing with her dog, and playing video games.
West Garfield Education Association
Julie Green is a sixth grade social studies teacher at Rifle Middle School and an association member of the West Garfield Education Association. Julie earned her bachelor’s degree in general education for grades K-8 while raising her family and working as a paraprofessional. Continuing, she became a licensed teacher to begin in early childhood where a bulk of her experience was formed. Within a year, she started work on her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction in adolescent literacy and English Language development. Upon earning her master’s degree she went to work in Rifle Middle School. There, she is the building representative for her local teacher’s association and is continuing her education and work for leadership in representing her community’s students, families, and fellow teachers and staff members to bring meaningful growth to Colorado’s public schools.
Brighton Education Association
Rachael Hager is an English Language Arts teacher at Brighton High School in District 27J. Her current role includes teaching 9th and 11th graders, including two sections of co-taught 9th grade, where she works in partnership with a Special Education teacher, and two sections (of both 9th and 11th grade) of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) English Language Arts, where she works with emergent bilingual students. In addition to teaching at Brighton High, she also serves as the Freshman Class Sponsor, the No Place for Hate Sponsor, and the Assistant Coach for the Speech & Debate Team. Her educational credentials include a BA in English Writing & Linguistics from The University of Colorado and teacher training from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Additionally, she is currently working towards her MA in Educational Equity & Cultural Diversity at The University of Colorado. Her driving passion in education is equity with a special proclivity for bilingual education and the often marginalized student populations affected by ineffectual CLD/bilingual educational policies and legislation.
Thompson Education Association
Julia Halualani is a 3rd Grade English Teacher at Truscott Elementary, a Dual Language Immersion School in Loveland, Colorado. She is passionate about early literacy, equity, and philanthropy both inside and outside of the classroom. After graduating from Colorado State University with a BA in Philosophy, Julia spent 3 years with the JET Program teaching English in Japan. She later returned to complete her MA in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Julia loves to spend time with her two daughters and husband, baking, reading, and soaking in hot springs.
Denver Classroom Teachers Association
Dr. Kelly Holmes, Ph.D., NCSP, received her Ph.D. in school psychology from Loyola University Chicago. She is currently working as a Therapeutic Service Provider (TSP) in an alternative high school in Denver Public Schools (DPS). Dr. Holmes’ leadership roles include: (a) being a national trainer for School Crisis Prevention and Intervention: The PREPaRE Model 3rd edition; (b) serving (2022-25 school years) as a Colorado Education Association (CEA) delegate for her local chapter; and (c) actively participating in her local Educators ACCESS Caucus of Denver – designed to support special education teachers and special services providers (SSPs). In addition, Dr. Holmes is passionate about championing local and state policies that support improved mental health services in public education.
Denver Classroom Teacher's Association
Patrick Jiner Is a father of four kids, a husband to a loving wife and engaged community member. In addition to his position as CEA Ambassador Fellow, he also teaches 7th grade math and science at Lake Middle School. Patrick is a football and basketball coach for Cherry Creek AYL, and all-around mentor for young people. Patrick started his career in teaching after graduating from the University Of Colorado At Denver. After completing 1700 Hours of community service through AmeriCorps, he worked 7 years at Urban Peak Denver Youth Center running a successful GED program for homeless and at risk youth. Patrick loves playing sports, practicing martial arts, spending time with his family, reading, going to the movies, and making music.
Denver Classroom Teacher's Association
Rae Jones (they/them) is a dedicated Biology and Mentor Teacher and Equity Team Specialist at Denver Online in Denver Public Schools. In addition, they serve as the Association Representative for Denver Online for the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) and are on the DCTA Board of Directors. Rae holds a certificate from the AMI Orientation to Adolescent Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Justice Studies from Tufts University. Rae is dedicated to social justice and sustainability and recently has focused on creating structures and systems at the school level to better support trans/nonbinary students and staff and hopes to continue and expand on this work through the CEA Ambassador Fellowship. Rae is passionate about being outside, local botany, exploring science in our everyday lives, ending transphobia in education, taking anti-racist actions, and empowering young people to be the amazing and unique individuals they are in the world.
Denver Classroom Teachers' Association
Amy Kapoor is a 5th-grade teacher at Denver Green School and an active member of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. She has a Bachelor’s in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor from Cardozo School of Law. Prior to entering the teaching profession, Ms. Kapoor was a practicing attorney for over 10 years. The primary focus areas of her legal practice were public defense, civil rights and immigrant rights. Ms. Kapoor is passionate about the educational system as she believes teachers are agents of democracy and that a strong education is foundational for the success of future generations. She ultimately intends to combine her legal background with her practical educational experience to drive the much-needed change in how we fund public schools. Amy Kapoor is a 5th-grade teacher at Denver Green School and an active member of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. She has a Bachelor’s in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor from Cardozo School of Law. Prior to entering the teaching profession, Ms. Kapoor was a practicing attorney for over 10 years. The primary focus areas of her legal practice were public defense, civil rights and immigrant rights. Ms. Kapoor is passionate about the educational system as she believes teachers are agents of democracy and that a strong education is foundational for the success of future generations. She ultimately intends to combine her legal background with her on the ground educational experience to drive the much-needed change in how we fund public schools.
Lewis-Palmer Education Association
Stephanie is a social studies teacher in her fourth year at Palmer Ridge High School in Monument and her 16th year teaching. She has over a decade of experience in teaching online for Idaho Digital Learning Academy, making her an advocate for specific state requirements such as plagiarism software and in-person exams that online schools must meet to ensure academic integrity. Stephanie received her master’s in curriculum and development and is currently revising the AP Human Geography courses she is teaching. Stephanie serves as her association’s secretary, along with being an assistant coach to track and cross-country, and leading a community program called RADD – Real Alternatives to Drugs and Drinking for students in grades 9-12. Stephanie is thrilled to be a part of this internship program to learn how to advocate for properly funded public schools.
Jefferson County Education Association
Whitney Newman is a 1st grade teacher at Vanderhoof Elementary School in Jefferson County. She has been teaching for 10 years. Whitney holds a bachelor’s degree in earlychildhood/elementary education and a master’s degree in special education. She serves as Association Represenative for Vanderhoof Elementary and representents elementary teachers on the district accountability committe for Jefferson County Public Schools. She is passionate about helping educators excerise their voice about the issues that affect them daily in their profession and advocating for our community schools. She believes that a union is only as strong as it’s members and it’s important to organize and advocate for our local unions to keep our democracy stong.
Denver Classroom Teachers' Association
Katie Piehl is a STEM teacher at Samuels Elementary School in Denver, CO. Prior to this position, she taught special education for 16 years, mostly in Arizona. She has a strong interest in making connections with lawmakers, as well as participating in the process of getting pro-public education candidates elected across the state. Her other interests include trail running, living a sustainable lifestyle, and traveling.
Jeffco Education Support Professionals Association
Terence Proctor or “T” is Kitchen manager at Powderhorn Elementary. Terence has been working the culinary industry for over 20 years. He has a passion for creating sustainable local food environments to help feed kids. Terence truly believes that by helping feed our kids, we can shape a better future. Terence thinks that by creating a better relationship with food for kids they can lead healthier lives. When not working Terence does charity bike rides for cancer and to stop solider suicide. He also enjoys watching shows like Power, 90 Fiance, and just about any comedy show.
Denver Classroom Teachers' Association
Darlene Rivera is a social studies teacher in Denver Public Schools where she has taught in the classroom since 2007. Darlene has a passion for helping high school students explore their communities and the world through a variety of social studies content classes. Currently she teaches Geography courses at Denver Center for International Studies. Darlene holds a degree in Computer Science and Behavioral Sciences and teaching is a career she entered into later in life. She is an active member in the Denver Classroom Teachers Association and has served as an Association Representative in her building since 2014. Darlene believes a strong teachers Union is vital to supporting teachers’ voice and agency as they do the daily work of putting students first. She is excited to be a Fellow this year and is interested in pushing for increased funding in Colorado schools.
Boulder Valley Education Association
Shanelle Rodriguez is a School Psychologist in Boulder Valley School District. She serves the district’s youngest students as a member of the Child Find team and also bilingual learners at University Hill Elementary School. Shanelle earned her B.S. in Psychology from Florida State University and went on to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Denver, earning an Education Specialist degree in School Psychology. She is also a Certified Infant Massage Instructor. Shanelle plans to continue an active membership within her local union and is thrilled to work with other leaders within education through the fellowship. Some of her priorities within her practice include promoting access to equitable services and creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students and their families.
Durango Education Association
Hannah Squire hails from the southwest corner of Colorado, where she acts as the legislative liaison for Durango Education Association. As a fourth grade teacher with 17 years of experience, she takes pride in supporting both her school and district through various leadership positions. Instilling a school culture based on intrinsic motivation and inclusivity has long been a driving motivation for her participation in local decision making. Over the past decade, her leadership team has been forced to make a series of difficult budget decisions, which over the years, have encouraged her to become more involved in impacting school finance reform. It is her strong opinion that schools should not have to decide between music or art, determine how to operate without a school library, struggle to find funding for a school counselor or to meet students’ needs without interventionists or after school programs. School funding must improve – it’s for the kids!
2022-2023 CEA Ambassador Fellow Mentors
Poudre Education Association
Jill Connell is a music educator in Fort Collins. She has been teaching for 25 years. Jill has her Bachelors Degree in Music Education, and her Masters in Curriculum and Development with emphasis is Technology. Through her years in education, she has served as an AR in her local as well as Secretary on the Executive Board. She has been a mentor for the CEA Fellowship for four years, and enjoys working with educators around the state.
Taylor Davis is a K-5 General Music teacher new to Jefferson County. Along with this position, he is the Association Representative for Coal Creek Canyon K-8 for Jefferson County Education Association. Focusing on equity, inclusion, and antiracism are some areas where Mr. Davis spends his time inside and out of the classroom. Mr. Davis is excited to be a mentor for this class, having been through the program last year as a Fellow. Before moving to Colorado, Mr. Davis completed his Masters of Art in Education from the University of North Alabama in Florence, AL. In his free time, Mr. Davis loves to read, binge shows on Netflix and Hulu, and going on road trips.
Colorado Springs Education Association
Dr. Angelica Givler is a 5th-grade literacy teacher at McAuliffe in District 11 in Colorado Springs. This is her 14th year in education and has taught everything from 1st to 6th grade. Dr. Givler has a Bachelor’s of Art in Elementary Education, a Master’s of Education in Literacy, and a PhD in Education with a specialization in Reading, Literacy, Assessment, and Evaluation. Dr. Givler has been a union member in all of the states that she taught. Last year she was an ambassador fellow and through that fellowship found her voice to advocate for education. She is looking forward to being a mentor this year and helping others find their voice.
Cherry Creek Education Association
Kelly Osuna (she/her/hers) is a National Board certified Spanish teacher at Overland High School in Aurora, CO, who has devoted her career to supporting, advocating for, and empowering her immigrant students and families. Kelly is a building representative and newly elected secretary for her local, Cherry Creek Education Association. She is also a founding member and current co-chair of CCEA’s Social Justice Council. She is a member of the LGBTQ pod within the SJC and the current pod leader for Teachers United for Immigrant Rights. As a 2020-21 CEA Ambassador Fellow, Osuna focused on community outreach and leadership development within Students United for Immigrant Rights (SUFIR), a student club formed by Osuna and her son in 2019.