Staff & Leadership

Colorado Afterschool Partnership Staff

The Colorado Afterschool Partnership is supported by these amazing staff members:

Valerie L. Bass

Network Lead

With over 40 years in the field of education, Valerie Bass is an advocate for providing a quality, comprehensive education for all children and their families. Her experiences include: classroom teacher, school principal, district administrator, college level teacher and state department of education principal consultant. She administered the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Teacher Development and Comprehensive School Reform grant programs for the Colorado Department of Education until her retirement in 2009. Valerie has worked with a variety of community and faith-based organizations and school staff with their school reform and Out-of-School Time (OST) programs. She has presented various workshops in the areas of grant writing, school reform, and OST programming at school district, state and national conferences. Valerie is an active member of the Colorado State University’s Family Leadership Training Institute Advisory Council and the Colorado Afterschool Partnership Board. She was selected in 2013-14 for the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship, offered by the Riley Institute at Furman University in partnership with the Charles S. Mott Foundation, to study afterschool and expanded learning policy and develop a state-level policy project. Valerie holds an M.S. in Elementary School Administration from Creighton University and a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado.

Megan Nyce

Megan Nyce

Project and Communications Manager

Megan Nyce found her passion for afterschool when her daughter was entering into Kindergarten. She discovered that her neighborhood school did not have an afterschool program which meant many families were not able to attend the school. She set out on her own trying to bring an afterschool program to the school but found that many required a minimum family commitment and the main program with the district was at capacity. It was through this experience that she discovered that afterschool is not available for all.

Megan brings a Masters in Community Counseling and 20+ years working in federally funded low income housing programs. She managed multiple federal grants for the state of Colorado and spent much of her time connecting grantees across the state to work towards a shared goal. A perfect skillset for CAP’s Project and Communication Manager!

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors provides governance and fundraises on a volunteer basis for CAP. Board members are:

Stephanie Hansen

A passionate and devoted afterschool professional, Stephanie Hansen has over 20 years of progressive experience implementing innovative programs impacting the academic and social emotional wellness of students K-12.  Stephanie is an effective manager adept at cultivating teams and developing the strengths of all staff members to deliver high quality and enriching experiences beyond the regular school day.  She has managed licensed, fee-based programs in Denver Public Schools as well as written and administered 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants ifor Adams 12 Five Star Schools. Stephanie is dedicated to continuously improving systems, procedures, structures, and routines for the benefit of all participants and is committed to engaging stakeholders towards a common mission and vision reflecting guiding principles. Stephanie holds a B.A. in Psychology from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana. 

Amber Stowe

Amber Stowe is the Children’s Programs Supervisor at Foothills Park & Recreation District (FPRD) located in unincorporated Jefferson County. The licensed programs at FPRD serve over 1,800 youth annually – ages three – early teen – in preschool, before & after school and summer camp settings. Amber has a degree in recreation from Northern Arizona University and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood from the University of Denver. Amber has served on the Colorado Afterschool Partnership (CAP) Board since 2016.

Jennie Merrigan

Jennie has worked in the OST community for here entire work career in both nonprofit and district level positions. She has a passion for high quality programming and educating people on the importance of OST. Before she worked in the OST field, Jennie was a Peace Corps volunteer in Vanuatu where she served as a teacher trainer. In her spare time Jennie loves to be with her family either in the garden or enjoying the great Colorado outdoors.

Kathleen King

Kathleen King is a community volunteer, retired from the non-profit sector. Trained as a teacher, Kathleen has held K-12 teacher certification and taught in Pennsylvania and Colorado.  More recently, Kathleen was president of one of Colorado’s largest out-of-school time provider organizations. Kathleen’s strong education background gives her keen insights into the need to unlock the potential of those golden out-of-school time hours.  Kathleen has been part of CAP’s leadership for over five years; her passion is ‘Ensuring that every child and family in Colorado has access to high-quality after school and summer programs’.

Wade Ingle

Wade Ingle is the Colorado State University (CSU) Extension Specialist: 4-H youth development STEM K-12.  In his position, through grant writing, program development and professional development/training, Wade supports 4-H Stem/K-12 programing throughout Colorado.  Previous to his current position, Wade has developed a broad professional background in, and outside of, the realm of education.  In addition to being a secondary broadfield science teacher, Wade has an extensive background in special education, industrial technology/construction, and agriculture. Wade joined the Colorado Afterschool Partnership (CAP) Board of Directors in 2018 and has already made many significant contributions.

Action Teams

Action Teams work to help CAP reach their goals. Current teams include:

Governance

The Governance Action Team is the executive team of the Project Board. This team implements governance structure, manages monthly Board Meeting agendas, nominates and onboard officers to the Project Board, and recruits and onboard new Project Board and Action Team members.

Partnerships and Resource Development

This action team actively pursues a broader community of stakeholders to align initiatives, increase impact, seek funding and strengthen coordinated afterschool efforts. CAP uses these resources to expand our reach to all corners of Colorado and broaden our community of stakeholders.

Quality

The Quality Action Team is tasked with identifying partners and stakeholders to begin a conversation around developing Afterschool/Youth Development Quality Standards and identifying Quality Improvement Systems. The goal is to build a Statewide Quality System that ensures quality, access, capacity, and accountability in Afterschool Programs that serve K-12 grades.

Advocacy

Members of this team examines national, state and local policies supporting high-quality afterschool and out-of-school-time systems. The goal is to provide education and expertise on how such policies may affect youth, families and youth service professionals while advocating for the advancement and support of equitable access of afterschool programs for all Colorado youth.

Communications and IT

This action team reviews communications related to promotion and capacity-building for CAP through social media, newsletters, and the CAP website. This team adapts marketing materials for special events like Lights on Afterschool and National Summer Learning Day.

Professional Development and Events

The goal of this action team is to create a statewide coordinated professional development system aligned with the Quality Standards and learning community. The team is tasked with conducting a statewide needs assessment, reaching out throughout networks to identify existing PD opportunities, and aligning resources and training support to promote, enhance and develop the growing afterschool youth service professional.