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, kindergarten son, and toddler 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 is a southern Arizona native; he graduated from Casa Grande Union High School in 1992. After graduating as a Cougar, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at Northern Arizona University and then headed to Denver in 2000 and completed his Master’s degree with licensure in Early Childhood Special Education in 2004. Jason completed the Principal Training Program with licensure at the University of Colorado at Denver in 2012. Jason began teaching in 2000 for Denver’s Great Kid’s Head Start. He taught for several years and became the programs education supervisor. Going back to school for special education, put Jason in the position to become the program’s disability coordinator, which opened up a broader landscape of children and families across the Denver Metro area. Jason became a certified Pyramid Coach from the University of Colorado at Denver, to support the effective management of classrooms and student behavior. In 2011, Jason was hired by Sewall in Denver to coordinate and provide the services to Head Start, which he was previously managing for Head Start. This also brought big career perspective, which presented the opportunity to help write the proposal for and develop REACH Charter School. Jason is currently the assistant principal at REACH. Jason’s career has been chock-full of opportunities to see where education needs so much support. Starting from infancy, the trajectory of each student’s development will follow him or her for the rest of their lives. Supporting families in making informed choices and having opportunities to participate in individualized programming have been key structures in his work. Jason’s work style might be characterized as having a solid understanding of child development and engagement styles of adults. These two skills have been pillars in advocating for all students and families to be served with integrity. Jason is currently in his 3rd successful year as the assistant principal of REACH Charter in Denver. The journey to this point in his career has marked by his commitment to providing excellent school experiences for students and family. Jason’s wife is from Sweden and works for the National Parks here in Denver. She and Jason met in Flagstaff Arizona, while she was studying abroad from Sweden. His daughter currently attends second grade at REACH Charter School. She is avidly learning Swedish, and loves to be very active throughout her days. Jason’s family likes to travel, exercise, and finding creative things to enjoy together.