Senior Reading Specialist and Academic Coach
Emily Blevens is a Senior Reading Specialist and Academic Coach at Denver Test Prep. Emily spent six years teaching in public and private school settings in Georgia and Colorado before joining Denver Test Prep. Emily graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from The University of Alabama and later received her Master’s Degree in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education from The University of Colorado. Emily worked at The Swift School in Atlanta, GA, specifically designed for students with dyslexia, which is where she became a certified Orton Gillingham Instructor. She provides multisensory phonics and reading instruction driven by the needs and data of each individual student and takes pride in leading students to becoming confident, fluent readers. Between working at Los Ninos Primero’s non profit organization whose vision is “to inspire Latino children to be lifelong learners and exemplary members of the community” and teaching English Language Development for three years in Denver Public Schools, Emily’s passion for providing instruction that considers and meets the the cultural and linguistic needs of multilingual students grew.
As a senior reading specialist and academic coach, Emily works to maintain and build partnerships with nonprofit organizations that serve a diverse set of readers and learners. Emily’s tutoring focuses on reading intervention, academic coaching, academic tutoring, and test prep (ISEE and HSPT).
Director of Reading Programs
Kirsten Braley is the Director of Reading Programs for Denver Test Prep. Trained in Orton-Gillingham and several other multisensory structured language programs, Kirsten has been in private practice for over 15 years. Originally from Wheat Ridge, Colorado, Kirsten is a graduate of Creighton University. She is an expert in the remediation of dyslexia and has experience with all types of learners. Kirsten has worked with early elementary through high school age students in both public and private school settings throughout her career as a reading specialist.
As the Director of Reading Programs, Kirsten helps students to build their confidence and develop a passion for reading. Kirsten also helps to ensure that Denver Test Prep provides a comprehensive, coordinated approach to supporting our students with dyslexia and other learning differences.
Manager of Nonprofit Programs
Annalisa Galgano is the Manager of Nonprofit Programs for DTP. Originally from Colorado, she graduated magna cum laude from New York University Abu Dhabi. After completing her undergraduate studies, Annalisa spent a year as a Fulbright Fellow in Greece, providing language instruction and educational support to refugees. She then went on to earn her Master’s in Public Administration at Columbia University, where she continued to work with diverse communities as an economics teaching assistant, private tutor, and volunteer language coach.
As Manager of Nonprofit Programs, Annalisa maintains and builds DTP’s partnerships with nonprofit organizations throughout the Denver Metro area. In addition to teaching DTP’s nonprofit programs, Annalisa works with individual students on ACT/SAT prep, K-12 tutoring, and academic coaching.
Manager of Test Prep
Chaye Gutierrez is the Manager of Test Prep for DTP. A lifelong Denverite, Chaye earned her BA in History and MA in Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis in Special Education, from the University of Denver. She taught social studies in Denver schools and devoted herself to creating authentic and relevant learning experiences for young historians. With a love for differentiating for students with learning differences, Chaye eventually took on the role of Director of Academic Support in her school, where she led a team of teachers and staff in developing support services and implementing evidence-based executive functioning strategies for a cohort of over 100 students.
As the Manager of Test Prep, Chaye takes an asset-based approach to serve students and families seeking support in executive function skill-building. She maintains an active roster of students preparing for SAT, ACT, ISEE, and HSPT.
Andrew Harvey is a senior instructor with Denver Test Prep. Andrew studied Neuroscience and Quantitative Political Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. Andrew enjoys taking the time to help students understand math with greater depth by showing the elegant structures that underlie even algebra. As a hobby, Andrew became interested in geometric physics as it relates to information theory through his study of neuroscience. Andrew works with students on academic coaching, ACT/SAT prep, ISEE, HSPT, SSAT, and math tutoring for all levels.
Manager of Reading Programs
Meghan Kerrigan is originally from Boston, she graduated with an elementary education, sociology/anthropology, and art degree from Saint Michael’s College. She worked in residential mental health and non-profit settings prior to moving to Denver. She taught literacy and tutored in a turnaround charter school and Denver’s public schools and for the past 8 years. As a Regional Literacy Specialist, Meghan coached school leadership teams by impacting school-based systems and strategic plans, curriculum development, and professional development for teachers. She is trained in Orton-Gillingham and several other multi-sensory structured language curricular. As an academic tutor, academic coach, and reading interventionist, Meghan is passionate about all students having access to the foundational skills needed to be successful and engaged students.
Senior Reading Specialist and Academic Coach
Kala Kloeber is a Senior Reading Specialist and Academic Coach at DTP. She graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University and holds a Master of Art in Teaching with a focus on English and English as a Second Language. She has also completed a variety of reading specific training, Orton-Gillingham being her favorite.
Kala joins the DTP team after working in public education for eleven years. During that time, she fell in love with teaching reading and developed a passion for student support systems. Kala always considered herself a reading teacher first but simultaneously held roles that included instructional coaching, developing curriculum, and coordinating school based multi-tiered systems of support to ensure all students receive high quality instruction.
As an academic coach, reading specialist, and test prep tutor, Kala believes in tailoring instruction to each student and leveraging love and data. She prioritizes regular assessment to drive instructional decision making while also honoring the identities of her students and creating a joyful learning environment.
Senior Reading and Writing Specialist
Claire Kilcommons is a Senior Instructor for Denver Test Prep. Claire graduated cum laude as a dual major in secondary education and english with a special education endorsement from Georgian Court University. After graduating, Claire worked for five years as a language specialist in a specialized school for language-based learning differences. During her time as an educator, she taught as a Wilson Reading System® Level 1 Certified instructor and helped to develop and implement a writing program for middle and high school students with dyslexia. She also received training in Yoshimoto Orton-Gillingham approach, Lindamood-Bell® Visualizing and Verbalizing, Story Grammar Marker® Methodology, Hochman Expository Writing Program, and Framing Your Thoughts®.
As a Senior Instructor for Denver Test Prep, Claire helps students with learning differences to exceed their own expectations through systematic and direct instruction of reading, writing, and Executive Function skills. Claire has developed an active student roster and specializes in Writing Support, Academic Coaching, HSPT, Lower Level ISEE, ACT and SAT English sections.
Dan Koken is the Founder of Denver Test Prep. Originally from Colorado, Dan graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a starting player on the university rugby team and led a variety of youth oriented service projects with an educational focus. Upon graduation, Dan spent a year serving as a Coro Fellow in California and later was awarded an academic scholarship to attend the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Switzerland, where he obtained a Master of Arts in Development Economics. After teaching at a university in Ecuador and working as a microfinance practitioner in Paraguay, Dan moved to New York to serve as the Director of NYC Business Solutions for the city of New York as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. In this role, Dan helped to lead the city’s effort to provide support services to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Given his background in education, small business experience, and success on standardized tests, Dan founded NYC Test Prep in 2008. Dan moved back to Denver in 2012 to focus on building Denver Test Prep into the premier tutoring service in Colorado. In addition to managing the business and our strategic growth, Dan maintains an active student roster and specializes in teaching the ACT, SAT, HSPT, ISEE, SSAT, and LSAT.
Nathan Lee is a Senior Instructor at Denver Test Prep. Nathan graduated with honors from Colorado College with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. At CC, Nathan worked as a peer tutor in the writing center and led student government. He completed a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from CU Boulder; throughout graduate school, Nathan was a teaching assistant and worked with middle school students in Denver for an afterschool program focused on learning the science of global warming.
Nathan is a lover of all standardized tests and particularly enjoys helping students demystify algebraic word problems. He supports students to achieve their goals on the ACT, SAT, HSPT, and ISEE. He also works with students as an academic coach and specializes in K-12 math and AP Microeconomics.
Director of Nonprofit Programs
Ashley O’Dell is the Director of Nonprofit Programs for Denver Test Prep. Ashley joined Denver Test Prep after eight years as a middle and high school science teacher. During her time in the classroom, Ashley became an expert at designing engaging, rigorous curriculum and building strong relationships with her students. A Colorado native, Ashley graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado, before returning to school to earn a master’s degree in education from the University of Phoenix.
As Director of Nonprofit Programs, Ashley designs and leads programs for Denver Test Prep’s school and nonprofit partners. Ashley also maintains an active student roster and specializes in the ACT, SAT, HSPT, ISEE, SSAT, and academic coaching.
Director of Talent and Training
Emily Prengaman is the Director of Enrichment Programs for Denver Test Prep. Emily joined Denver Test Prep after five years as an educator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. As a museum educator, Emily developed and delivered dynamic science programs to museum visitors and students across the state. Originally from Delaware, Ohio, Emily graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. Upon graduating, Emily spent a year teaching English in Nonthaburi, Thailand and then spent two years teaching outdoor education in Southern California. Emily then received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and moved to Samarinda, Indonesia. In this position, Emily developed an immersive language curriculum, built relationships with local communities, and participated in international conferences. Emily later earned her Master’s degree in Teaching from Miami University in partnership with the Advanced Inquiry Program at the Denver Zoo.
As the Director of Talent and Training, Emily leads DTP’s recruitment efforts and training programs. Emily also maintains an active student roster and specializes in teaching ACT, SAT, HSPT, ISEE, math, AP Chemistry, and AP Biology programs.
Senior STEM Instructor
Gabe Romero is a Senior STEM Instructor for Denver Test Prep. A Colorado native, Gabe pursued his undergraduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning a B.S. in Brain & Cognitive Sciences. While at MIT, Gabe worked in the Kenneth Wexler Abnormal Language Lab, working on both the theoretical & experimental sides of research. He spent two semesters as math director for a student-run non-profit SAT prep program and worked as a teaching assistant during his final 2 summers. Upon graduation, Gabe spent 2 years as a marketing specialist for Renaissance Electronics Corporation, a small tech company in Harvard, MA, before following his heart back to Colorado. While pondering his next move, Gabe worked as a tutor, developing an extensive network of clients, almost exclusively through word of mouth. During this time Gabe discovered that tutoring was his passion, and he made the decision to pursue tutoring as his career path.
As Senior STEM Instructor, Gabe works primarily as a standardized test and advanced placement tutor. As the leader of DTP’s advanced placement program, Gabe is responsible for developing course curriculum and training DTP tutors in advanced placement practices. With his vast math & science background, and his extensive tutoring experience, Gabe can break complex material down into simple and accessible steps, making him well-suited to tutor students of all ages, abilities, and learning styles.
Senior STEM Instructor
Mark Savin is a senior STEM instructor for Denver Test Prep. A native of the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, Mark graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He then went on to complete two years of master’s coursework at Texas Tech University, also in Atmospheric Sciences, during which time he taught introductory meteorology classes for undergraduates. After leaving Texas Tech, Mark moved to South Florida where he provided science, mathematics, and test prep tutoring to high school- and college-aged students for six years. He subsequently relocated to the Denver area, where he now enjoys helping students achieve their academic goals, particularly in the areas of math, science, and test prep.
Director of Academic Coaching
Kelly Schlegel is the Director of Academic Coaching for Denver Test Prep. Kelly joins Denver Test Prep after a 13 year teaching career. During her time as an educator, Kelly launched a girls STEM program, served as a founding staff member of a new charter school, and coached alternative route teachers. After her third year of teaching, Kelly received the prestigious Master Teacher designation and the Teach On award which recognizes teachers who demonstrate excellence in raising student achievement, enhancing students’ self esteem, and collaborating with multiple stakeholders for the benefit of students. Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Kelly graduated with an engineering degree from Purdue University. After a successful engineering career, Kelly returned to school to earn a Masters Degree in Education from Georgia State University.
As the Director of Academic Coaching, Kelly helps students discover their potential through Executive Skill coaching and development. Kelly also maintains an active student roster and specializes in Academic Coaching, ACT, SAT, HSPT, ISEE, and SSAT.
Adam Silver is the President of Denver Test Prep. Prior to his work at Denver Test Prep, Adam spent more than five years at College Track, a nonprofit focused on college completion for students from underserved communities. During his time at College Track, Adam served on the national leadership team, developed and ran academic programs, and coached students to improve their academics and pursue their dreams. Originally from Buffalo Grove, Illinois, Adam graduated with honors from Indiana University. After graduating from IU, Adam moved to Phoenix as a Teach for America corps member and spent three years as a math teacher. While teaching and coaching basketball and softball, Adam earned his Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Arizona State University.
As President of Denver Test Prep, Adam’s role includes overseeing day-to-day operations and leading strategy for our core program areas. Adam also maintains an active student roster and specializes in the ACT, SAT, HSPT, ISEE, and academic coaching.
Manager of Academic Coaching
Aaron Thomas is the Manager of Academic Coaching at Denver Test Prep. Prior to joining our team, Aaron spent the past 17 years on the faculty at Colorado Academy where he taught myriad history courses, including a wide range of electives as well as AP European and U.S. History. A career educator, he began as an admissions officer at Lewis & Clark College before transitioning to the high school side, first as an administrator and ultimately as a classroom teacher. As an undergraduate at the University of Oregon, Aaron was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which made it possible for him to continue his studies in political science and earn his master’s degree from U of O.
As a Manager of Academic Coaching, Aaron helps students of all ages crack their own personal educational code. In addition to maintaining an active roster of coaching students, Aaron is focused on growing the reach of our non-profit programming, and teaching ISEE, HSPT, and Advanced Placement History programs.