Staff

Geneva Hallett, Director and Principal Investigator

geneva.hallett@ucdenver.edu 

Geneva Hallett, M.A. Ed., Ed.D candidate, and ECSEL scholar is the Director and Principal Investigator of The Pyramid Plus Center: the Colorado Center for Social Emotional Competence and Inclusion. She is a Geneva Hallettco-facilitator of the Colorado State Policy Team for the Pyramid Model and Inclusion Practices. Geneva has over thirty years’ experience in early childhood education. She has taught in and directed early childhood programs, taught early childhood courses at the university level, as well as trained and coached early childhood professionals. Geneva was among the first educators to be trained in the Pyramid Model in 2003.  She has studied several times in Reggio Emilio, Italy and was a participant in the first advanced study tour of Reggio.  Before joining the Pyramid Plus Center in 2011, Geneva was the Vice President of Qualistar Ratings where she oversaw all aspects of the statewide rating in Colorado. As Vice President of Quality Improvement at Qualistar Early Learning she created the Getting Ready for Ratings binder and created and delivered the ‘train the trainer’ trainings specific to the Qualistar Rating. She is an invited contributor to the newly released, The Preschool Inclusion Toolkit: How to Build and Lead a High-Quality Program (Paul H. Brookes Publishing, 2015).  Geneva has given presentations on early childhood education topics at the local, national, and international level.

Johanna Berry Wasser, Training and Technical Assistance Specialist

johanna.wasser@ucdenver.edu

Johanna Berry Wasser has dedicated her professional career to promoting social emotional competence andJohanna Berry Wasserinclusion practices in Early Childhood Education for over 17 years. As an early childhood special educator, Johanna has worked with children, families and professionals in a variety of settings. Johanna has worked at the University of Colorado Denver since 2009. Currently, she is the Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator for Pyramid Plus Center and is a Research Assistant for the Prevent Teach Reinforce for Young Children (PTR-YC) study. 

Ben Riepe, Training and Technical Assistance Specialist & Online Learning Coordinator & Online Learning Coordinator

benjamin.riepe@ucdenver.edu

Ben Riepe began his education career teaching two years in Chicago with 5th and 6th graders. He workedBen Riepe for Creative Options (Pyramid Plus Demonstration Site) in Aurora for 13 years, 7 as a preschool teacher and 6 as a Pyramid Plus coach and trainer. Ben joined the Pyramid Plus Center staff in June of 2013. He has worked with the implementation communities of Summit, Grand, and El Paso. He lives in Denver with his wife and two sons.

Robin Levy, Certification Coordinator

Robin.Levy@UCDenver.edu

Robin Levy brings experience as a Family Childcare Provider, Community Child Care Director, non-clinicalRobin Levy Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist, and trainer/coach for Expanding Quality in Infant Toddler Care Initiative. As the Certification Coordinator and Training /Technical Assistance Specialist for the Pyramid Plus Center, she supports the scale up and sustainability of The Pyramid Plus Approach.  Her passion for promoting social emotional competence and inclusion practices in Early Childhood Education encompasses a value for collaborative leadership and advocating for early childhood professionals working ‘in the trenches.’  Robin was a 5th Cohort Fellow in the Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program and graduated with a Masters in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from the University of Denver.

Kelly Ragland, Project Coordinator

kelly.ragland@ucdenver.edu

Kelly Ragland is a Colorado native and graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver with her Kelly RaglandMasters in Political Science in 2009. She has one son, who was born in 2012.  She worked as a program coordinator for six years in the nonprofit sector, facilitating intergenerational programs in long-term care facilities.  Kelly has always loved children and has been drawn to efforts that increase their welbeing.  Kelly is thrilled to be part of the Pyramid Plus Team.

Kalah Thorson, Training Coordinator, Training and Technical Assistance Specialists  

Kalah.Thorson@ucdenver.edu

Kalah joined the Pyramid Plus Center in July of 2015. She comes to us with ten years of preschool Kalah Thorsonclassroom teaching experience. She obtained her Master’s degree from the University of Colorado Denver in 2009 in Early Childhood Special Education. Kalah worked in Douglas County School District for several years in LEAP classrooms with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. One of her classrooms was part of a national research study on LEAP conducted through the University of Colorado Denver. Kalah has experience in ABA, in-home therapy services for birth to three, and opened an in-home daycare after her first child was born. She moved to Texas in 2012 to be closer to family and stayed for three years where she was the only ECSE in a small school district. Kalah, her husband, and two little boys moved back to Colorado to enjoy the mountains, hiking, and skiing once again. She is eager to be part of the Pyramid Plus Center to share her expertise in the field of early childhood.

Julie Walden, Information Support

Julie.walden@ucdenver.edu

Julie has an accounting degree from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She has extensive Julie Waldenexperience in a variety of accounting practices from both corporate/private sector and non-profit/public sector.  Julie has been with the University of Colorado at Denver for fourteen years. Working on Federal Grants for over ten years has enhanced Julie’s skills and proficiencies required to work within higher education institutions. She is currently a project coordinator for the Early Childhood Special Educational Leadership-ECSEL. Aside from work Julie is passionate about her family which includes husband-Bob, children-Jenifer, Nathan and Kayla and their two dogs-Maggie and Bailey.