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Our Team

Laura Anderson

AEI Program Manager

Laura joined the Adult Education Initiatives team in February 2018. In 2019, Laura transitioned from program coordinator to program manager. As program manager, she oversees the program coordinator team, ensuring grantees receive leadership, accountability and resources to successfully provide adult education services to learners in Colorado

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. Teaching college-preparatory ESL grammar and writing, Laura assisted non-native speakers in gaining the necessary skills for reading and writing at the college level.

Amanda Brewer

AEI Data Coordinator

Amanda joined the Adult Education Initiatives team in September 2016. Prior to that she worked for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s Adult Education team for 5 years and taught High School Social Studies for 3 years. She currently works directly with numerous grantees to provide support. Amanda is also the primary contact for the LACES data system providing LACES support to all grantees, as well as completing the federal data reporting in the National Reporting System.

Glendy Calderon

AEI Program Coordinator

Glendy comes from a colorful social services background. Her experiences range from work with early learners with developmental delays, families experiencing homelessness, healthcare, counseling, and career navigation in Adult Education. Glendy joined the AEI team in March of 2022, eager to expand accessibility and equitable opportunities for historically marginalized communities.

Glendy graduated with a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2019. This background informs her understanding of systems, their impact on populations served, and her commitment to social justice. Glendy escribe, lee y habla Español y le da la apreciada bienvenida a cualquier oportunidad para practicar.

Dr. Ally Garcia

Director of Adult Education Initiatives

Dr. Ally Garcia was born and raised in Pueblo, CO. Upon graduation from Pueblo West High School, she attended and earned an Associate of Arts degree from Pueblo Community College. From there, she made the move to Denver where she attended Metro State University of Denver and earned both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Special Education degrees.  She then, earned a Doctor of Education degree at the University of Denver. The emphasis of her studies is in policy analysis, educational access, and equity and social justice. 
She has taught Special Education classes for Denver Public Schools as a Behavioral Specialist and most recently left her position of 7.5 years at Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSUD), where she served as the Director of TRIO Student Support Services and Assistant Dean of the Center for Equity and Student Achievement (CESA). MSUD afforded her the wonderful opportunity to realize her personal mission of helping individuals gain access to a life of better possibilities through education, no matter the barrier. She strives for inclusive excellence, access, and equity for underrepresented and marginalized persons. 
She also currently serves as a board member for the Omar D. Blair Charter School, in which the academic success of students is of paramount importance. As a founding member of the United Women’s Fastpitch Coalition, she strives to promote opportunities for women athletes to have agency over their own sports activities. She also teaches Master and Doctoral level courses at the University of Denver in education policy, retention, equity, and social justice. This summer, she will also assist new, first-time college students, on how to navigate college systems and utilize strategies for academic success at MSUD.  
Her leisure time is best enjoyed reading, trying new restaurants, playing softball, or watching independent movies with her partner, Logan, and her beautiful Chow-Chow, Chewbacca.

Julie Nichols

Adult Education Consultant

Julie Nichols has been an educator for 36 years, beginning in Elementary Education and most recently spent 21 years as director of an adult education program affiliated with CDE's 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 2018 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.

Lacey Miller

AEI Program Coordinator

Lacey joined CDE’s Adult Education Initiatives team in September 2021. She is an Adult Education Program Coordinator, supporting adult education programs that receive federal grant funds. She also provides guidance to programs implementing distance learning.

Lacey has more than ten years of experience teaching English to adults in various educational settings both in and outside of the United States, including 5 years in China. She enjoys learning new things and is interested in digital literacy, instructional design, and workforce development. Outside of work, Lacey enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures, hiking, reading, and cooking. She plays a mean game of Scrabble.

Lilly Redford

AEI Office and Program Manager

Lilly joined CDE’s Adult Education Initiatives team in March 2024. She is the Program and Office Manager, providing administrative and operational support to the AEI team.

Previously, Lilly worked in multiple nonprofit organizations serving people experiencing homelessness in her hometown of Denver. She specializes in administrative and community engagement work and has a deep commitment to building equity within those spaces. When she’s not at work, she enjoys reading, natural dyeing and foraging, and spending time with her family.