Director Biographies

  •  Marie LaVere-Wright
     Marie Lavere-Wright, Vice President
    Marie is originally from Marine City, Mich., which is a small farming town on the Michigan-Canadian border. She graduated from Oakland University with a bachelor's degress in physics, and then attended Harvard University where she earned her masters in genetics. After graduating, Marie continued to reside in the Boston area, teaching science at Fontbonne Academy. She moved to Colorado Springs during the summer of 2005, and continued her teaching career at Falcon High School until 2008 when she and her husband were fortunate enough to adopt their children.  
    Marie has been married for 18 years to Air Force Maj. Michael Wright. It is their intent to remain in the Falcon area of El Paso County. Marie and Mike have four children attending District 49 schools. Marie says she'll have at least one child attending District 49 schools for the next 14 years. She is passionate about public education, and comes to the table with a firm belief that we can do better for our kids and our community. Marie brings the perspective of both a parent and an educator, and a willingness to listen and to learn.
    Contact Marie at:

    Lis Richard, Board Member
    Currently the superintendent of Creede School District, Lis has worked in many facets of education. Prior to her current position, she was principal of one of the leading charter schools in Colorado. She led the school in unprecedented growth numerically and academically. 

    Her desire to see every student succeed is the heartbeat of her work in education. She has always placed high priority in providing excellent training to teachers and developed a myriad of effective programs for every learner.

    For over 30 years, Mrs. Richard has been a passionate educator. She has 14 years of administrative experience and sixteen years in the classroom at elementary, middle and high school levels. Twice she has received “Teacher of the Year” awards and is a recognized education consultant in the Western United States. She is a national presenter in the field of education and has also had the privilege to present at the Core Knowledge State Conference as well as the Colorado League of Charter Schools Conference.

    Mrs. Richard has earned two undergraduate degrees in education and theory of education. She holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Colorado Christian University and is currently a candidate in the Walden University doctorate program with a specialty in K-12 Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. She holds a Colorado principal license and has passed the Administrator Exam awaiting licensure.

    Contact Lis Richard at:

    Dr. Don Griffin, President
    Dr. Don Griffin is a nationally known business authority with more than 30 years of actual hands on senior management experience. He is often sought after as an executive coach, strategic consultant, and communication expert.  Dr. Griffin is also the author of the critically acclaimed business novel, “High Velocity”. In December of 2010, he was named Executive Director of Monument Academy, one of the highest performing charter schools in Colorado.

     Dr. Griffin’s professional career has included serving as the Chief Executive Officer in several of the country’s top healthcare facilities.  While President and CEO of Regional Medical Center in Florida, US News and World Report magazine named it one of the nation’s Top 50 cardiovascular hospitals.

     With advanced degrees in Business Administration and Industrial Psychology, Dr. Griffin provides consultative services to charter schools, religious organizations, pharmaceutical corporations, medical practices, hospitals and healthcare organizations, banking institutions, cruise lines, as well as numerous not-for-profit charities nationwide.

    Contact Dr. Don Griffin at:

    Chelsy Harris - Treasurer 
    Chelsy Harris serves as the Dean of High School Programs at Pikes Peak Community College. Formerly a teacher, high school coach and organization adviser, faculty supervisor, program administrator, and director overseeing career-technical education programs, Chelsy’s current role connects secondary and postsecondary education.  Combining specialties in career-technical education and concurrent enrollment, Chelsy partners with more than 80 traditional, alternative, online, and early college high schools in the Pikes Peak region.

    Chelsy earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Education and Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska and Master’s of Education in Human Resource Development from Xavier University.  She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Nebraska, completing an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration at the University of Nebraska. 

    Contact Chelsy Harris at:  

    Bethany Drosendahl - Secretary  
    Financial Teacher and Author
    Contact Bethany Drosendahl at: 
    Dan Snowberger - Board Member
    Dan Snowberger is the Superintendent of Schools at Durango School District 9-R.  
    Contact Dan Snowberger at: