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Meet our staff

Our staff team brings together a wide range of skills and experiences. We are united in our shared passion: Empowering our scholars for ongoing success, in school and in life.

Our staff team.

Kathleen King, President

Kathleen began her career as a teacher… but quickly determined that her talents were better suited to work outside of middle-school classrooms. She moved to the non-profit sector, and immediately prior to joining what was then Summer Scholars, Kathleen served as the president of Sewall Child Development Center. She was named Scholars Unlimited’s president in June, 2010. As a young reader, Kathleen devoured all of the Nancy Drew mystery series.

Linda Abeyta, Director of Instruction

Linda was an elementary teacher in Denver Public Schools for 28 years, then joined the district as a literacy specialist. In that role, she developed curriculum and provided training, mentoring and coaching to DPS teachers. She has been with Scholars Unlimited since October 2005. As a young child, her favorite book was The Little Engine That Could.

Jennifer Agnew, Site Staffing Manager

Prior to joining Scholars Unlimited in October 1999, Jennifer worked for Denver Public Schools as the Program Coordinator for Community Schools, within the Department of Extended Learning. Jennifer says, “As a wee child, I loved the book Millions and Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag.”

Yazmin Atmore, Site Leader

Yazmin previously worked with Scholars Unlimited as a youth development instructor at John Amesse, and recently returned after a stint in a retail environment. She is close to wrapping up a bachelor's degree from Metropolitan State University, with a focus on supporting higher-risk youth through the arts. As a young adult reader, Yazmin had a passion for the books in the Hunger Games trilogy.

Shaylah Clayborne, Site Leader

Shaylah is a native of Denver and graduated from Montbello HIgh School. She has earned an associates degree from Community College of Aurora, and is now just 10 credits shy of a bachelor's degree in early childhood administration. As a young child, Shaylah's favorite book was If I Lived Alone -- and she now enjoys reading it to her four-year-old son.

Joel Cornell, Administrative Manager

Joel’s work with Scholars Unlimited’s students began when he was a recreation instructor with Denver’s Department of Parks and Recreation. He was hired by Scholars Unlimited in March 2008 as a Site Coordinator. As a young reader, his favorite book was Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

Kelly Craugh, Development Associate

A native of Colorado, Kelly earned her bachelor's degree in psychology at CU Boulder. Shortly after beginning her professional career, Kelly landed a position in the development department at the Colorado Ballet -- and quickly decided she had discovered her career path. Kelly joined Scholars Unlimited in September, 2016. As a young reader, she read To Kill A Mockingbird -- and it remains one of her all-time favorite books because of Atticus' commitment to justice for all.

Kelly Dent, Site Coordinator

Kelly worked with Denver Public Schools for 16 years, first as a para-professional, then as an after-school coordinator. She joined Scholars Unlimited in June 2010. Kelly admits that she was a reluctant reader in elementary and middle school, so can’t recall a favorite book. She also says she felt disconnected as a student – perhaps that’s why forming relationships with the scholars at Harrington is always a priority.

Sherry Glynn, Finance Director

Sherry came to Scholars Unlimited in April 2009 with a broad range of skills and experience: She was a CPA with Ernst & Young, worked as a business analyst and program manager in the IT/software development field, and was a business consultant for American Management Systems (now CGI). A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is the book she remembers most fondly from her childhood.

Jacqueline Gonring, Site Leader

Jacquie spent many, many years working for Denver Public Schools as a teacher (with licensure for elementary, middle and high school, plus special education) and administrator. She has worked as a literacy teacher for Scholars Unlimited for five years, but this year decided to take on the program coordination role at Oakland Elementary School. Jacquie remembers retreating to a closet to have a quiet reading space, and reading The Jungle Book many times over.

Karin Hostetter, Director of Enrichment

Karin Hostetter joined Scholars Unlimited in 1999; her prior experience includes creating educational programming and materials for cultural institutions. As a child, her favorite book was Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss.

Michael Kagan, Data Coordinator

Michael joined Scholars Unlimited as a business intern in February 2009 – but within two months, he was on the payroll as our data entry specialist. Since summer 2012, he has overseen all data collection and outcomes reporting. As a young reader, his favorite book was A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

AnnaGrace Knudtsen, Fitness Activities Coordinator

A native of Colorado, AnnaGrace graduated from Broomfield High School and earned her Bachelor's degree in human development and family relations at the University of Colorado-Denver. During her college years, she worked as a therapeutic riding instructor, and she continues to teach piano. When she was growing up, her favorite books were those from C.S Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series "because that's what my Dad read to us every night." (AnnaGrace has six siblings!)

Jennie Merrigan, Program Director

Jennie started as Program Director in January 2017 -- but this isn't her first stint with Scholars Unlimited. She joined our organization in 2007 as a Youth Development Instructor, then served as a Site Coordinator at several sites. In 2010, she was promoted to a Program Specialist position, where she worked until leaving us for a Senior Supervisor position with Denver Public Schools' Department of Extended Learning. Jennie is a return Peace Corps volunteer, having served in Vanuatu as a teacher trainer. Jennie holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with an emphasis in elementary education. She recalls that as a child, her favorite book was The Giving Tree "because it was comforting to me."

Ebony Moore, Site Coordinator

Armed with a bachelor’s degree, Ebony enrolled at Metro State to pursue a teaching certificate. She wanted to gain hands-on experience in developing lesson plans and leading student groups, so she worked for Denver Parks and Recreation while doing her coursework at Metro. She did earn her teacher certification — but realized that her real passion was working in youth development. Ebony was hired by Scholars Unlimited in 2007. Her earliest memories of independent reading are the 26 books in the Sesame Street Alphabet series.

Patrick Quigley, Multi-Site Manager

Patrick planned to have a career in the non-profit sector, and just happened to land a job with Playworks after graduating from the University of California-Davis. At Playworks, he quickly discovered that the youth development field is his passion. He joined Scholars Unlimited in November 2014. As a young reader, Patrick’s favorite book was The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Monica Sims-Guss, Site Coordinator

Monica’s involvement with Scholars Unlimited began in the mid-1990s: Her sons Michael and Richard were enrolled in Summer Scholars at Hallett Elementary School, so Monica volunteered in the program. She joined our staff in 1998, and was named a Site Coordinator in 2005. As a young child, her favorite book was Green Eggs and Ham.

Coleen Truax, Development Director

It started with an internship, which led to a job offer — and so began Coleen’s career in the not-for-profit sector. Over the years, she has worked in development, as an executive director, and as a national campaign manager and chapter consultant for the National MS Society. She joined Scholars Unlimited in October 2010. As a child, her favorite book was Mustang – Wild Spirit of the West, a biography of Wild Horse Annie by Marguerite Henry.

Maria Luz Valle, Site Coordinator

Maria’s daughter was working as a teacher at Swansea Elementary, where Maria would visit her. The principal at the school invited Maria to be a part of the Scholars Unlimited team during the summer program at Swansea – and shortly thereafter, Maria became a site coordinator for our organization. As a young girl, her favorite book was Memin Pinguin. (Yes, Maria is bi-lingual.)

Patrick Wilhelm, Multi-Site Manager

As an Americorps volunteer in Washington state, Patrick worked in the On Track program, guiding at-risk high school students to get them on track for graduation. After moving to Denver, he joined DPS as a para-professional at Dora Moore K-8 school — and began working in the Scholars After School program, as well. He was named a site coordinator in 2012. Hoop Dreams was Patrick’s favorite book as a young reader.