Get to Know UsTeachers and Board Members
Meet The Team
Our highly trained staff come from diverse teaching backgrounds and have unique interests.
Head of School
Learn More about Ms. Amy
Amy has been a lifelong advocate for supporting and producing readers and is proud to be the Head of School for VSA. Amy earned her master’s degree from University of Colorado at Denver in Special Education, as well as an administrator’s license from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Her undergraduate degree was in English Education from Phillips University. She is a trainer of LETRS and Self-Regulated Strategy Development. In addition, she has also been trained in Orton Gillingham and many other structured literacy programs.
Amy has worked in education for 25 years in a variety of roles, starting her career teaching high school literacy to students with emotional disabilities. In addition to that role, she has worked as a learning specialist, 6th grade teacher, instructional coach, and most recently as a literacy consultant for the Colorado Department of Education. Learning about best practices and research within literacy and collaborating about it with fellow teachers is one of her favorite things to do. She believes that every child can become a reader and writer when high quality teachers use evidenced-based instruction. Promoting this concept is her top priority.
In her personal life, she has a husband of 24 years and two children, 19 and 22 years old–all of whom graduated from something last year: master’s, bachelor’s and high school. Her husband is a therapist, her oldest son works for the family’s business, and the youngest is dreaming of being the next great rock star as a drummer and attends UCD. She is very close to her extended family and lives only a mile away from where she grew up and her parents still live. You can find her most weekends hanging out with some part of her family playing games, reading, or skiing in the winter. She is beyond excited to be part of the VSA family!
Teacher, Academic Director
Learn More about Ms. Michelle
Learn More about Mr. Garrett!
Learn More about Ms. Jen!
Teacher, OG tutor
Learn More about Ms. Liz!
It is hard to believe, but Liz has been working in education for over 20 years! Most recently she had been part of the Learning Services Team at Children’s Hospital Colorado evaluating and providing learning therapy for children with Dyslexia. Prior to that, she was a special education teacher in Douglas County School District. She is looking forward to being back on the school calendar, which allows her to spend more time with her kids.
Originally from Northern Virginia, Liz earned my Bachelor’s degree in psychology & Master’s degree in Special Education back east. She has 2 young teenage girls who keep her busy when she’s not at VSA. She enjoys walking her dogs and visiting with friends and family.
Ms. Liz is excited to join the staff and families at Vertical Skills Academy and feels it is a great opportunity to be able to work with teachers & families who are on the same page about providing kids with the instruction they need to be successful learners. She can’t wait to watch their growth!
Teacher, OG tutor
Learn More about Ms. Emily!
Learn More about Ms. Josie!
Ms. Josie is going into her 4th year of teaching. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Northern Colorado. She has been working for the past few years in Early Childhood special education in Jefferson County public schools. As much as she loved teaching the youngest learners, she is ready to use her skills and focus on students with Dyslexia. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, spending time with her family and traveling as much as she can! Ms. Josie grew up in Evergreen and is now residing in Lakewood. She is very excited to start this year with the students and staff!
Teacher/ OG Tutor
Learn More about Ms. Christine!
Christine Riedlin has spent over 22 years working in education. Her teaching experiences range in age from preschool to college. She holds a BS in Environmental Studies and BFA in Fine Arts from the University of Colorado, and a Master’s in Education from Regis University. While teaching students to learn to read, she became interested in Dyslexia and how to teach struggling readers. She worked as a tutor at Rocky Mountain Summer Camp for Dyslexia for five summers, which gave her a lot of experience and practice using Orton Gillingham methods. Christine has been an instructor at Vertical Skills Academy since its second year in 2015. Her passion for using data to guide instruction led her to become the Assessment Coordinator at VSA. Currently, she is teaching middle school science, upper-middle school English Language Arts and Social Studies. She also tutors dyslexic, dysgraphic, and dyscalculia students, as well as doing academic coaching for elementary and middle school students.
She is strongly committed to the idea that ALL students can learn anything if it is taught in the way they need to learn. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling in her camper van, reading, and being outdoors.
Learn More about Ms. Elisa
Elisa is excited to be part of the Vertical Skills Academy team! She started her career in business, Recruiting, and Human Resources. Eventually, her heart followed two generations of teachers in her family and worked in the Jefferson County School District. Multisensory teaching came naturally for Elisa with her own children, so she completed training in Yoshimoto Orton-Gillingham Basic and Advanced as well as Comprehensive and Intermediate levels in IMSE OG. She loves working with kids from kindergarten through high school. Partnering with kids and teens to achieve and succeed in ways they couldn’t initially imagine, is Elisa’s reason for coming to work every day (and of course the cool co-workers). Elisa is also a co-founder of JeffcoKID, advocating for Dyslexia awareness and teacher training. When Elisa is not tutoring, she loves spending time with her family, friends, and three dogs. She enjoys boating, horseback riding, mountain biking, yoga, camping, hiking, and sushi.
Learn More about Ms. Gretchen!
Ms. Gretchen has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a focus on Interpretation and Translation, and a minor in History from the University of Arizona. Following her credentialing program, she received her post baccalaureate degree in Education, Special Education, and English as a Second Language. Her husband’s career brought them to Houston in 2013 and she continued her teaching career with Pre-K, 3rd grade and special education. In 2015, she wanted to expand her skills as an educator and earned her credential as an Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist supporting students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
This is her 10th year in the classroom and she is pleased to say she has found her new home away from home at Vertical Skills Academy.
Meet Our Board of Directors
VSA Board President
Learn More about Christina
Christina started Gemsbok Consulting, Inc. in 2001 to assist companies in building a solid foundation from which to grow. Through Christina’s years of experience, she learned that business owners are experts at their business product or service, but running a successful company was not always a strong point. As a result, Gemsbok Consulting, Inc. was founded to help owners with all the back-office processes of the organization. Some of these functions include bookkeeping with a CFO perspective, setting up operational processes, developing healthy human resource habits and strategic planning. In addition to running Gemsbok Consulting, Christina has served as the CFO for a successful Digital Marketing Agency in the Denver area for the past 11 years.
Christina was drawn to serve on the VSA board after seeing how much of an impact the school had on her own son’s educational experience and wanted to support the school in providing this experience for other kids. Since Christina has worked with many companies over the past 20 years in reaching their growth goals, she felt her financial background and leadership skills could support the school in reaching its goals. Christina is doing this through building forecasting tools for the school and helping the school move into the next phase of its business growth.
When not working or supporting VSA, Christina is an avid Crossfitter. She also loves to bake as well as travel with her family.
VSA Vice President
Learn More about Lynn
Lynn is from Colorado and lives in Evergreen with her family. She enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, and exploring, especially with family, friends and dogs.
VSA Board Member, Treasurer
Learn More about Becky
Although Becky grew up in Colorado, she has lived and worked on all 7 continents and volunteers her time in activities to assist people around the globe.
Along with volunteering on the VSA Board, she volunteers as a Mentor for female professionals in the Caribbean and is an active member of the Gender Equality Cayman initiative in the Cayman Islands. She currently is a Senior Advisor, Growth Strategy & Transformation for a USA headquartered global company. She has extensive experience working in over 100 countries with a variety of talented and skilled employees. She loves to travel internationally which provides her an opportunity to interact with new people & cultures.
VSA Board Member
Learn More about Mandy
Mandy Harris, CALP, M.Ed.
Mandy believes in the power of family and educator partnerships. She was a classroom teacher for 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades before transitioning to a literacy interventionist for grades K-5. As an educator, she focused on systems improvements and strengthening support for all learners. She is a certified academic language practitioner trained in Texas Scottish Rite’s Take Flight dyslexia program and various other programs based in Orton-Gillingham. She currently works as a literacy consultant and is a 4H program volunteer at her local chapter.
Prior to her career in education, she worked in the mental health field as a counselor for at-risk teens and was a licensed social worker. Mandy strives to be both a resource and a support person for teachers and families. She was drawn to serving on the board because of VSA’s dedication in cultivating an engaging, challenging, and rewarding learning environment that honors the individual. She loves everything Colorado has to offer and enjoys spending time with her husband, two teenagers, extended family, and, of course, her 100-pound dog, Sooner.
VSA Board Member
Learn More about Lindsay
Lindsay is a dedicated leader and professional problem solver with a career in Project Management. She has many years of experience developing high performing teams in fast-paced, complex environments. Lindsay thrives when establishing new processes, systems, and tools that improve operational efficiency. She looks forward to collaborating with her VSA co-board members, staff, and families to implement solutions that help achieve VSA’s organizational goals and growth.
Lindsay is a proud mother of three, including a set of twins and a daughter with dyslexia and ADHD, who proudly calls dyslexia her “superpower” thanks to the confidence and empowerment she has gained from being a student at VSA. She feels lucky to have stumbled upon VSA in her search for a school that offers specialized hands-on, multi-sensory curriculum, while also focusing on building the “whole person” through social emotional learning and executive functioning skill development. Lindsay joined the board with the hope that she can help spread the word about VSA to other families struggling to find solutions that better support their neurodiverse learners.
During her free time, Lindsay enjoys interior design, exploring the outdoor playground that Colorado has to offer, and traveling with family and friends. Although she’s grateful to live close to the mountains, the beach is her true happy place.
Founder and Advisor
Learn More about Ms. Kara
Get In Touch
Telephone: (303) 562-1900
School Hours: M-F: 8:15am – 3:00pm