Joy has been with REC since 2006. Her background is in business and insurance, and she genuinely believes we can change the world through education.
Senior Program Director
Jack came to REC with a degree in environmental science and geology. He has worked in the nonprofit world for several years both in his hometown and with a two-year stint in Panama with the Peace Corps. Jack feels he can benefit our students holistically by giving them the opportunity to connect to the outdoors in the beautiful spaces we have around us here in the Grand Valley.
Susette was born in the Philippines and moved to Grand Junction in 1993. She has ties to REC through her family and has always believed in the importance of academics as the foundation for success in life. Susette’s organizational skills and calm approach to solving any problem make her invaluable at REC.
Landen is from Grand Junction and graduated from Colorado Mesa University in 2019 with a degree in economics and a minor in accounting. Since he enjoyed working with kids, a friend convinced him to work as a REC tutor while studying at CMU. The rest is history. Landen agreed to transition onto our administrative team after graduation. Landen and his accounting skills have been invaluable to REC.
Special Projects Director
Kristen joined the REC team in 2019 to coordinate career and college readiness support. With a background in journalism, marketing, and public policy, her responsibilities are diverse and ever-changing. Kristen is gratified to work for REC, an organization that makes positive changes in peoples’ live every single day.
Human Resources Director
Megan graduated from Colorado Technical University with a BSBA in human resource management. Megan has lived on the Western Slope most of her life. She believes strongly in advocating for others and helping them find their voice.
Amber is a Western Slope native, who brings years of nonprofit experience to her work at REC. Ever since Amber started her first job as an afterschool program coordinator, she has always worked to give back to the youth in her community and loves getting the opportunity to continue those efforts at REC. A graduate of Western Colorado University, Amber has extensive experience in marketing, fundraising and storytelling and loves to share the news of all the wonderful work REC does with the community.
Secondary Program Director
Mary moved from New Mexico to Grand Junction in 1998. She has a degree in elementary education and worked as a third-grade teacher for several years. She is the founder of REC and was co-Executive Director of REC with Joy for 10 years before deciding to explore other avenues. We are beyond excited that Mary has come full circle back to REC to share her skills with our middle and high school programs.
Elementary Program Director
Jan is a retired elementary school teacher. She taught grades 1-3 for 31 years in School District 51. She is passionate about helping kids reach their potential in school and to become responsible, independent lifelong learners.
Hannah is from Bloomington, Indiana, where she graduated from Indiana University. She has been a swim instructor, a ski instructor (in Germany!), a Girl Scout leader, and a youth program manager at Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. New to the Grand Valley, Hannah enjoys creating community and is excited to combine academics and hands-on, outdoor learning in her work at REC.
Grand Junction High After-School Program Manager
Edgar has deep roots in REC. He first came to REC when he was in fifth grade, continued participating through middle and high school, and was hired as a REC Youth Leader his senior year at Grand Junction High. He continues to set the example for younger REC students as the GJHS Site Manager while attending Colorado Mesa University. Edgar valued the connections and support he received from REC staff as a student and hopes to do the same for the students he works with now.
Dual Immersion Academy After-School Program Manager
Dixie worked for School District 51 for 31 years, the last 14 years as a teacher, before retiring in 2015. After working for Ariel Clinical Services for several years, she realized how much she missed student/teacher interactions. Another REC site manager told Dixie about REC and it seemed to be just what she was looking for. She loves working at DIA and looks forward to getting to know the DIA kids and families.
Mount Garfield Middle After-School Program Manager
Vivian is from Grand Junction and has taught elementary and middle school for School District 51 for 34 years. She believes in the value of extended learning time for students and is excited about sharing time with REC’s MGMS students.
Grand Mesa Middle After-School Program Manager
Maeve is from upstate New York, where she graduated from St. Lawrence University with a BS in Geology. She enjoys sharing her interests -- including hiking, climbing, and gardening -- with young people. Maeve became familiar with REC in a previous professional role and was impressed with the opportunities REC programming offered to both students and staff. Now part of the REC team, Maeve is excited to help kids find their passion.
Bookcliff Middle School After-School Program Manager
Lena has a bachelor's in psychology with a concentration in counseling from Colorado Mesa University, where she also worked with the TRiO program. Lena has grown up in the Grand Valley and feels a deep connection to our community. She is looking forward to using her customer service and psychology background to serve our community and help our students grow.
Chipeta Elementary After-School Program Manager
MacKenzie’s dedication to children and her desire to be a consistently trustworthy and supportive adult for them, makes her the perfect fit for REC. She recently graduated from Colorado Mesa University with a degree in early childhood education and has worked with children in a variety of settings. MacKenzie is looking forward to serving the children and families of REC.
Clifton Elementary After-School Program Manager
Sara is a Colorado native who loves living in Colorado because there are so many beautiful places to visit. She has been a teacher for 15 years. Sara has an associate degree in early childhood education. Sara heard about REC from a co-worker and felt being part of REC would fit with her passion for working with children and families. She is very excited to be part of the REC team.
Chatfield Elementary After-School Program Manager
Emily is passionate about education and community. She has lived, studied, and worked all over the country — from science museums, to camps, to the Florida Everglades. A lifelong learner, Emily studied place-based education at the Teton Science Schools. She is motivated by the joy she shares with students as they make new discoveries together.
Nickole Marroquin Kettle
Nisley Elementary After-School Program Manager
Nickole is originally from Mexico and spent her childhood traveling through various Latin American countries. She has a bachelor's in bilingual elementary education, an associate in Bible. She has taught all ages in both public and private schools. Nickole is enthusiastic about REC’s mission and is looking forward to the opportunity to invest in students’ lives.
Rocky Mountain Elementary After-School Program Manager
A native of the Western Slope, Elizabeth studied social sciences at Colorado Mesa University and brings years of caregiving and administrative experience to her role at REC. She enjoys working with kids and making an impact in the community. She has been a staff member at REC’s Rocky Mountain Elementary site and says that REC “feels like home.”
Fruitvale Elementary After-School Program Manager
Alex was born and raised here in Grand Junction. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with bachelor's in counseling psychology from CMU in May of 2018. She has always loved working with kids and enjoys seeing those “aha” moments when whatever they are struggling with finally clicks.
Pear Park Elementary After-School Program Manager
Connie grew up in Limon, Colorado, and came to Grand Junction after high school graduation. She raised her family here, graduated from CMU (then Mesa State College), and taught in District 51 for 15 years. Connie brings a wealth of experience, including as a REC program assistant at Nisley Elementary. She says, “My early childhood degree, psychology degree and masters degree all stressed meeting each student at their level of learning: emotionally, physically and developmentally. REC affords that freedom. That is why I love working with our REC students!”
Dos Rios Elementary After-School Program Manager
Sherri moved to Grand Junction to be near her daughter and grandkids after spending most of her adult life in the Flathead Valley of Montana. She has an associate degree in science, with an emphasis in education, and has worked for District 51 as a READ Act paraprofessional. For the last several years, Sherri has been with REC as a tutor and site lead. Sherri is passionate about the education of these kids who are our future and hopes to make a difference in their lives.
Palisade High School After-School Program Manager
Rebecca was born and raised in the Grand Valley, attended District 51 schools, and is the mother of two D51 students. She came to REC from the district, where she worked mainly with kindergarteners and in the Special Education Department. Since joining REC she has worked at Dos Rios Elementary and Nisley Elementary in a variety of positions, giving her a valuable perspective on the many facets of REC programming. Serving as the temporary program manager at Nisley, Rebecca fell in love with the role and the experience. A graduate of Palisade High School herself, she is excited to help REC start a new chapter at PHS.
Orchard Mesa Middle School After-School Program Manager
Cassie was born and raised in Meeker, Colorado, and came to Grand Junction to attend CMU, where she earned her associate degree in early childhood education. She has worked in education for more than 25 years. Since joining REC as a tutor, she has held a range of roles in REC’s programs at Pear Park and Nisley elementary schools.
In addition to this wealth of experience, Cassie brings a passion for impacting the youth of the Grand Valley to her new role leading REC’s after-school program at OMMS.
Central High School After-School Program Manager
Nico Mendez has roots in Grand Junction and returned to attend CMU (and to enjoy the ski slopes) after some time away. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sports management and an associate degree in business administration, bringing valuable skills and interests to his role at REC.
Nico is excited to be part of a fantastic staff with great resources to create opportunities and connections for youth, teachers, parents, and the community. “My interest is to help youth find their unique path to success during and after their school pursuits,” he says.