You are here

Our Team

Michelle Crawford

Office and Program Support

Michelle began her journey in January, 2016 in the Office of Adult Education Initiatives as Office and Program Support. She has an extensive background as an Administrative Assistant and loves the work!

She is an active member in the Order of the Eastern Star and for over 20 years was a cheerleading coach for young girls ranging in age from 6 to 14.

Laura Anderson

AEI Program Coordinator

Laura joined AEI in February 2018. As a program coordinator, she provides support and assistance to grantees who receive adult education program funding and works with partners to implement WIOA requirements.

Before joining AEI, Laura was a curriculum developer for higher education. As a curriculum development lead, she worked with content experts, instructional designers, and multimedia designers to develop online courses for universities that met learning outcomes and engaged students in the learning space.

Laura is also adjunct faculty, at Community College of Aurora. As a college-preparatory ESL teacher, Laura provides practical grammar instruction to assist non-native speakers in gaining the necessary skills for reading and writing at the college level.

Fumnanya Camara

Re-Engagement Coordinator

In January 2018, Fumnanya joined the Office of Adult Education Initiatives. In an effort to learn from best practices across the Colorado Department of Education, Fumnanya also works with the Online and Blended Learning Department and two other departments within the Pathways Division (Dropout Prevention and Student Re-engagement and the Office of Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness)). In her role, she coaches school districts and adult education programs in best practices around student re-engagement. 

Before joining CDE, Fumnanya was an academic advisor for TRiO Student Support Services ESL, a federal grant, where she advised students in successfully completing their Associate's Degree at the Community College of Aurora. Within 2 program years, she supported over 30 students in applying for and receiving their first scholarships that totaled over $87,000.

Fumnanya also worked as a college and career facilitator for Goodwill Denver and served as a Co-Chair of Goodwill’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In addition, she worked with adult refugees and immigrants to help them find dignified employment while acting as a facilitator for eighth-grade students at Place Bridge Academy, which is a magnet elementary-middle school in Denver Public Schools for immigrants and refugees. As a first-generation immigrant from Nigeria, Fumnanya intentionally focuses her attention in giving back to and strengthening communities. Fumnanya enjoys traveling, reading, building relationships, and touring beautiful homes.

David Cazares

Adult Education Policy Consultant 

David Cazares is a Policy Consultant to the Office of Adult Education Initiatives for the Federal Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) grant program from January - March 2019. He is conducting adult education feedback sessions and working to align AEI policies with federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requirements. David joins the team from Brown University where he is a Master of Public Affairs student concentrating in Social Policy. Previously, he interned at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Office of Labor Standards, where he focused on labor policy. David has a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from the University of California, Irvine. 

Gaye Horne

AEI Program Coordinator

Gaye has worked in the AEI Office since September 2015. As one of three AEI Program Coordinators, her primary duties consist of providing technical assistance and support to grantees receiving adult education program funding through the AEI Office and working with colleagues and state agency partners to implement the requirements of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) passed in 2014. Gaye also provides technical assistance around the following related initiatives: College Transitions, Integrated Education and Training, Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education, and College and Career Pathways.  Gaye is also the office’s primary contact for implementation of the College and Career Readiness standards, English Language Proficiency Standards and the Accessible Design policy for federally-funded Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) grantees, including providing relevant trainings.

Before joining CDE, Gaye was an adult education program director for the Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning. As a director, Gaye led many successful initiatives that included providing libraries, schools and businesses access to adult education. She successfully partnered with other programs within the Denver area to increase capacity for adult learners. Prior to coming to Colorado Gaye enjoyed a time as the Kentucky State Refugee and Migration Education Coordinator where she developed and worked on statewide initiatives. Previously, Gaye taught, coordinated and managed adult and family literacy programs in Texas and New Mexico. 

Galen Mitchell

Instructional Support and Professional Learning Coordinator

Galen joined AEI in November 2016. In her work with AEI, she focuses on professional learning, educator preparation, distance learning, human centered design, and a variety of other things. Outside CDE, but within the realm of education, she helps to organize EdCamp Denver, and helped organize InnEdCO 2017.

Before joining CDE, Galen was a middle school special education teacher in Denver Public Schools. As a teacher, she led her school's special education team and worked to ensure all students in her building were given the tools, resources and supports necessary to be successful. She also routinely facilitated professional learning opportunities at the school, district and state level—particularly focusing on Universal Design for Learning.

Before she became a teacher, Galen worked as a School Technology Specialist in Denver Public Schools supporting educators in implementing technology in their classrooms and finding ways to amplify the impact of their instruction with the aid of technology.

Julie Nichols

Adult Education Consultant

Julie Nichols has been an educator for 36 years, beginning in Elementary Education and most recently spending 21 years as director of an adult education program affiliated with the CDE Office of Adult Education Initiatives (AEI) grant programs.  Julie has a BA in Elementary Education, MEd in Curriculum and Instruction with emphasis in Ethics, Equity and Justice, and a Post-MEd in Special Education. Having had the opportunity to teach all ages from pre-school to adults, Julie enjoys watching as students of all ages react to the realization that they have learned something new.  Julie joined the AEI team in December as a part-time Adult Education Consultant. She is excited to work with the AEI team and adult education programs across the state to facilitate opportunities for adult learners as they traverse the pathway to post-secondary education and/or careers.

Danielle Ongart

AEI Director

Danielle joined AEI in June 2017. In her work with the AEI team, she focuses on interpreting and implementing relevant laws, regulations, and guidance to best support adult education programs. In her role as director, Danielle participates in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) cross-agency workgroups that are working to best support the growing Colorado economy.

Danielle has worked in education for over 15 years at many different levels, including at a non-profit; as classroom teacher; implementing state law in the Denver Public Schools central office; developing regulations and guidance at the U.S. Department of Education. Danielle is a first generation college student and is inspired by the sacrifices her family made to ensure her education. All of her work is in an effort to align systems of support to improve others’ long-term outcomes.