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SPED Department Contacts

Dr. Susan Leach Chief Student Success Officer

303-982-6696

  

Matt Palaoro Executive Director

303-982-3500 

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Matt Palaoro is a servant leader who believes relationships, collaboration, and communication are the main ingredients to a healthy school year and our overall success. He listens closely, focuses on the needs of kids, and always acts with integrity. Although Matt is new to being an Executive Director of Special Education, his experience as a Special Education Paraprofessional, Special Education Teacher, Assistive Technology Coordinator, Special Education Coordinator, Assistant Director of Special Education, and Director of Special Education have prepared him for his new leadership role. Matt holds an MBA from the University of Northern Colorado in Educational Leadership and Special Education Administration. You can expect honesty, strong communication, and a child-centered approach when working with Matt. He is committed to improving the outcomes of every student with a disability in Jeffco Public Schools, and he loves his job!

 

Dr. Dawn Loge Greer Director

303-982-2991

Dawn Loge Greer

Dawn Loge, Ph.D., has been a special education director for the last 15 years, both in Jeffco and another metro school district.  She is dedicated to ensuring all students with disabilities gain access to general education and to supporting teams to develop appropriate support for students and families to reach their goals.  Formerly a clinical and school psychologist, Dawn has also provided and supervised mental health services in multiple environments, with expertise in trauma-informed approaches to care.  Dawn is also always working on interrupting oppression to build inclusion and equity for all people.  When not at work, Dawn is usually engaged with her spouse, her young adult children, and her dog.

 


Liza Meier Director 

303-982-9135

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Liza is excited to work in Jeffco in order to create authentic, inclusive, and meaningful opportunities for all students, especially students with disabilities. For over 20 years, Liza has worked in the field of public education. 16 of these years have been spent in Jeffco working as a Special Education Teacher, Instructional Coach, Assistant Principal and Assistant Director of Special Education before becoming a Director of Special Education.  She is dedicated to continued support of Jeffco Special Education professionals, students, and families.

 

Amy Allen Assistant Director

303-982-8829 

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Amy is beginning her 6th year as a Special Education Assistant Director. Her current assignment includes the South/Mountain secondary schools, supervision of the district Behavior Analyst team and special education float paras.

She previously served as an Assistant Principal at Bear Creek High School for 8 years.  Prior to working in Jeffco, Amy was an Assistant Principal at Mountain Vista High School for 6 years.  She started her career in Texas as a high school business teacher. Amy earned a Bachelor of Business Administration at Stephen F. Austin University and a Masters of Education at Texas A&M Commerce.

For the 2020-21 school year, Amy works with the following schools: Chatfield HS, Columbine HS, Conifer HS, D’Evelyn, Dakota Ridge HS, Deer Creek Middle, Evergreen HS, Evergreen Middle, Falcon Bluffs Middle, Summit Ridge Middle, & West Jefferson Middle.  

 

Jeb Brako Assistant Director

303-982-8513

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Jeb Brako is in his second year of service for Jefferson County Public Schools in the role of Assistant Director of Special Education. Prior to his current role, he worked as a special education teacher serving secondary aged students in Colorado’s rural mountain schools and before that, a 4th grade teacher in Cherry Creek School District. Jeb shares administrative leadership over several Jeffco Transition Services sites and supports special education teams at most centrally based Jeffco middle and high schools.

For the 2020-21 school year Jeb works with the following schools: Bear Creek HS, Bell Middle, Carmody Middle, Creighton Middle, Everitt Middle, Golden HS, Lakewood HS, Manning, Wheat Ridge HS, Miller-Light House JTS, Miller JTS, CATS (3) Rose Stein JTS.

 

 

Travis Durocher Assistant Director

303-982-0490

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Travis began his career in education teaching 4th grade in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  He has 13 years of experience as a classroom teacher in grades K-8, special education teacher, and instructional coach. Travis is also the supervisor of the Teachers for the visually impaired and the Assistive Technology Assessment Team.  Travis and his family made Colorado their home in 2015 and continue to enjoy hiking, biking, and skiing in the beautiful outdoors.  When not working to support schools in the north area Travis can be found spending time outdoors with his wife and two children. 

For the 2020-21 school year Travis works with the following schools: Arvada K-8, Arvada West HS, Campbell Elem, Drake Middle, Foster K-8, Free Horizon, Hackberry Elem, Jefferson Academy HS, Lawerence Elem, Little Elem, Parr Elem, Peck Elem, Ryan Elem + PK, Secrest + PK, & Sierra Elem. 

 

Erin Frank Assistant Director

303-982-1726

Erin Frank ImageErin is a Colorado native, a 2nd generation Jeffco student and 3rd generation Jeffco professional. She began working in the mental health field in 2002 as a counselor and director in treatment facilities and group homes. She joined Jeffco as a School Psychologist practicum student in the fall of 2005 and continued in the role of school psych supporting students in and out of Affective Needs (AN) programs through 2014 when she shifted into the role of Special Education Coordinator and then Assistant Director. Erin currently supports all schools with AN programs as well as leading the district work of Center Program Alignment. She also proudly supports schools without center programs and charter schools in the district.

Erin’s core value in supporting students with disabilities is ensuring that all students’ right to an inclusive education is the foundation of IEP decisions. Erin believes that students rise to high expectations and accomplish amazing things when they have the support of a collaborative team. As an Assistant Director, Erin’s primary role is to support direct partnerships between student families and the school professionals. Erin encourages all members of an IEP team to enter conversations ready to listen and consider everyone’s input with an open mind. She is grateful for each opportunity to grow and learn through interactions with Jeffco teams, students and families. 

For the 2020-21 school year Erin works with the following schools: Addenbrooke Grammar & Classical K-12, Collegiate Academy, Colorow & PK, Emory Elem, Glennon Heights Elem, Hutchinson & PK, Kendallvue Elem, Kullerstrand & PK, Montessori Peaks K-8, Mountain Phoenix Community K-8, Semper Elem, Stott & PK, Thomson Elem, Two Roads K-12, Warder & PK, and Weber Elem.

 

Jessica Goodkin Assistant Director

303-982-9703

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Jessica Goodkin moved to Colorado in 1994 and attended UC Boulder for her undergraduate degree.  She received her Master’s in Special Education from UC Denver and has spent her entire educational career in Jeffco.  Jessica Goodkin is in her second year as an Assistant Director for special education. Prior to this, she worked as a learning specialist and then as an instructional coach.  This year, Jessica is the supervisor for the special education instructional coaches, and oversees Learning Ally.  Jessica is also the lead for the SSN center programs in the district.  When not working, you can find Jessica hiking, camping or snowboarding with her family all over Colorado.

For the 2020-21 school year Kelly works with the following schools: Bear Creek K-8, Bradford K-8, Coronado & PK, Elk Creek Elem, Governor’s Ranch, Green Mountain Elem, Green Mountain HS, Leawood & PK, Marshdale Elem, Mortensen Elem, Peiffer Elem, Shaffer & PK, Stony Creek & PK, Ute Meadows Elem.

 

Jennifer Gutierrez Assistant Director

303-982-6980

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Jennifer Gutierrez has worked in the field of special education for the past 32 years.  She has served in many roles; learning specialist, High School SSN teacher, Transition Coordinator, Director and Assistant Director of Special Education. 

For the 2020-21 school year Jennifer supports the Alternative Campus Schools, Sobesky Academy, the Reconnect Program, various JTS sites, and several POOD sites.

 

 

 

 

 

Kelly Klatt Assistant Director 

303-982-6198

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Originally from Minnesota, by way of Nebraska, Kelly Klatt is proud to say she has been a member of Team Jeffco for 16 years.  Kelly began her career in Jeffco as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher.  Prior to working in Jeffco she worked in a Day Treatment facility, was a child-care director and an in-home ABA provider.  This is Kelly’s 3rd year as Assistant Director of Special Education.  Kelly supports north area schools with and without Autism programs.  She is the Autism Lead, guiding the district teams/centers on policy and professional development, as well oversees the iReady Accommodation as part of Read Act.  This is her 21th year in Special Education.  She is passionate about supporting equity and inclusive practices for all students.  Outside of work, Kelly enjoys yoga, reading, participating in 5k races and triathlons, or spending time in the mountains with her husband and their 2 active boys. 

For the 2020-21 school year Kelly works with the following schools: Adams & PK, Coal Creek Canyon K-8, Excel Academy K-8, Fairmount Elem, Fitzmorris & PK, Fremont Elem, Lincoln Academy K-8, Lukas Elem, Meiklejohn Elem, Swanson Elem, Three Creeks K-8, Vanderhoof Elem, West Woods Elem, & Witt & PK. 

 

Amelia Larimer Assistant Director

303-982-4248

Amelia Larimer

Amelia Larimer, M.A. SLP, is committed to supporting meaningful inclusion for all students. Her specific areas of passion and interest include second language learners and students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Prior to this position she was a speech language pathologist in Colorado for nine years with the Sheridan, Eagle County and Jeffco School Districts. Amelia completed a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) fellowship at the University of Colorado and presented at several state and national conferences. Amelia currently consults with the International School of Iceland in addition to her role as an Assistant Director of Special Education for Jeffco Public Schools. She is a driven leader focused on improving the educational experience for ALL students.

For the 2020-21 school year Amelia works with the following schools: Compass Montessori Golden, Compass Montessori Wheat Ridge, Devinny, Edgewater & PK, Jefferson Jr/Sr, Lasley Elem, Lumberg & PK, Mitchell Elem, Peak Expeditionary at Pennington, Prospect Valley Elem, Ralston Elem, Shelton Elem, Stevens Elem, Welchester, Wilmore-Davis & PK.

 

Jill Leitner Assistant Director

303-982-3039

Jill Leitner ImageJill Leitner is a Jeffco native and attended Jeffco schools.  After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Psychology she started her career as a counselor in a Residential Treatment Center in Aurora.  Ten years later, Jill became a Special Education Teacher in Denver while simultaneously obtaining her Master’s Degree in Special Education from The University of Colorado in Denver.  For twelve years she taught students in the affective needs program in several elementary schools.  Jill left the classroom to be a member of the Behavior and Evaluation Support Team and then a Regional Support Specialist in Denver Public Schools for the next four years.  Jill then moved on to Aurora public Schools, where she worked as a Special Education Consultant for schools in Northwest Aurora for nearly six years.  Circling back to Jeffco with 22 years in education, Jill is happily in the position of Assistant Director of Special Education serving schools in the Mountains and South Jeffco. Outside of her career, Jill enjoys fishing, camping, hiking with her dogs and collecting antique bottles.

For the 2020-21 school year Jill works with the following schools: Bergen Meadow Pk-2nd, Bergen Valley 3rd-5th, Blue Heron Elem, Columbine Elem, Dunstan Middle, Dutch Creek & PK, Green Gables, Kendrick Lakes, Mount Carbon Elem, Normandy Elem, Parmalee Elem, Powderhorn Elem, Red Rocks Elem, Rocky Mtn Academy Evergreen, West Jefferson & PK, Westgate & PK, Westridge Elem, & Wilmont Elem.

 

Adena Miller Assistant Director

303-982-1535

Adena MillerAdena Miller, Ph.D., has been committed to equity in education for over two decades. Her experiences range from teaching students in the classroom to coaching educators across the nation. Adena has co-authored special education policies at the Colorado Department of Education prior to conducting research evaluations of policy implementation at McREL International. Her passion for problem-solving the needs of struggling learners; building collaborative partnerships between professionals and families; and studying special education law inspires her work as an Assistant Director of Special Education in Jeffco Public Schools. Adena is driven to inspire, empower, teach, and learn within our community to meet the needs of all learners so that, together, we can improve outcomes for our students.

For the 2020-21 school year Adena works with the following schools: Alameda International Jr/Sr, Belmar, Deane Elem, Dennison, Eiber Elem, Kyffin & PK, Molholm Elem, Rose Stein International, Slater & PK, South Lakewood, & Stober.

 

Lynea Pearson Assistant Director

303-983-3393

Lynea Pearson ImageLynea Pearson joined the Jeffco Public Schools team in 2015.  She started her career as a Speech Language Pathologist working in schools, hospitals, private practice and 10 years as a University Clinical Professor.  As an SLP, she specialized in Assistive Technology and Augmentative Alternative Communication.  Lynea has been in special education for over 25 years.  She currently supports the Birth to 5 Child Find evaluation team, Deaf and Hard of Hearing as well as the brain injury (BrainSTEPs) consultation team. 

For the 2020-21 school year Lynea works with the following schools: Allendale & PK, Doral Academy K-8, Fletcher Miller & PK, Foothills & PK, Great Works Montessori, Jeffco Headstart, Jeffco Open & PK, Jefferson Academy Elem, Maple Grove Elem, Rocky Mountain Deaf School, Sheridan Green & PK, Van Arsdale & PK, & Vivan Elem & PK.

 

Maria Snitily Assistant Director

303-982-4525

Maria Snitily ImageMaria Snitily has been an Assistant Director of Special Education for 4 years.  She currently supports secondary schools in the north part of Jeffco.  She also supports several sites for our Jeffco Transition program, ages 18-21.  In addition to this role, Maria spent many years in one our metro facility schools.  She has also been a teacher for those with significant support needs at both the middle and high school level in addition so spending a few years on the Behavior Analyst team here in Jeffco.  Maria has served the special education community for over 15 years. 

For the 2020-21 school year Maria works with the following schools: Arvada HS, Mandalay Middle, North Arvada Middle, Oberon Middle, Pomona HS, Ralston Valley HS, Standley Lake Hs, Wayne Carle Middle, Woodrow Wilson Academy K-8. 

 

Sarah Weber Assistant Director

303-982-2097

Sarah Weber is beginning her 30th year as an employee with Jeffco Schools, and she has served in various roles over those years (Preschool Director, K-3 classroom teacher, Instructional Coach, and Administrator).  The past 7 years, Sarah has been an Assistant Director of Special Education - Early Learning/Preschool.  She supports Jeffco Preschools across the county and is a strong supporter of the work being done around inclusion, early intervention, social/emotional wellness, and the Birth to Eight Roadmap for early learning. 
Sarah is also a Colorado native and attended Jeffco Schools K-12 as a student. She had many great mentors as a student that inspired her to dedicate her life to the students and schools that make Jeffco an incredible district.

For the 2020-21 school year Sarah works with the following schools: Anderson PK, Bergen Meadow PK, Blue Heron PK, Columbine Hills PK, Eiber PK, Elk Creek PK, Foster PK, Irwin, Kendallvue PK, Kendrick Lakes PK, Lakewood Headstarts, Litz, Molholm PK, Mortensen PK, Mr. Carbon PK, Parr PK, Patterson PK, Normandy PK, Peiffer PK, Pennington PK, Rose Stein PK, Semper PK, Shelton PK, Stevens PK, Ute PK, Welchester PK & Wimot PK.

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