Dr. Moira Coogan has dedicated her professional career to empowering students to make authentic life choices that are not limited by societal barriers. Her leadership focuses on equity and excellence to eliminate unequal access to learning opportunities and to challenge students to achieve their highest potential rather than allowing demographics and descriptors to determine their destinies. During her 19 years in public education, Moira’s visions and strategies for schools have always reflected the expectation that “all means all” and she has brought this passion for genuine and meaningful inclusion to a broad range of diverse learners as a general education teacher, special educator, and administrator at the elementary, middle and high school levels in the three largest Colorado Front Range school districts.
Prior to being appointed as the Principal of REACH, Moira served for three years as the Principal of Fremont K-6 Elementary School which included a Level III Center for students diagnosed with severe Autism Spectrum Disorders. In the Denver Public Schools, Moira served as an Assistant Principal on the administrative team that achieved a 100% graduation rate for the inaugural classes at Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College and turned-around multiple indicators on the Colorado Performance Framework from “red” to “green” status. Also in Denver, Moira supported a network of 15 urban elementary principals as an Instructional Specialist for Assessment, after having served as an Instructional Coach providing professional development to elementary-level teachers.
Moira began her career as a classroom teacher of language arts, mathematics, and special education at the elementary and middle levels and of all core subjects at an alternative high school for expelled students and she designed and developed a full inclusion program for elementary level students with severe affective needs.
Moira’s contributions to the profession include teaching pre-service teachers at the University of Northern Colorado and the Metropolitan State University of Denver and serving on the Board of Directors, Colorado Association of Elementary School Principals (CAESP) and the Legislative Committee, Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE). She is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children and has made invited presentations at national conferences. Her dissertation research examined the considerations necessary when using a standard general education rubric for evaluating special education teachers.
Moira graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Colorado-Boulder with a B.A. in English. She received both an M.A. and Ed.D in Special Education with a minor in Applied Statistics from the University of Northern Colorado, where she also completed the Principal Licensure program. A Colorado native, Moira lives with her husband, toddler son, and infant daughter in Lafayette, CO. She enjoys any activity related to Shakespeare, singing in her church choir, skiing, playing trivia games, and reading historical fiction.
Jason Marsh has 13 years of experience in working with children with disabilities and their families. Jason has a master’s degree in early childhood education; he is a certified Pyramid Coach from the University of Colorado at Denver and completed the Principal Training Program also at the University of Colorado at Denver. Jason’s wife Jill is from Sweden and works for the National Parks. Their daughter Vega currently attends preschool at Sewall.