Click each photo to learn more about each Executive Team member!
Becca is a mission-driven, equity-focused organizational leader with a track record of building and sustaining diverse, high-performing teams and positive and inclusive cultures. She has over 25 years of experience in education and non-profit organizations. Her specific areas of expertise include setting vision and strategy, talent management, leadership development, executive coaching, facilitation and teaching, and implementing strategies to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in both internal and programmatic work. Through her work with leaders across the country in hundreds of school systems, she has content expertise in issues of K-12 theories of action, governance, leadership, superintendent search processes, community engagement, and other core areas of school system performance.
Becca served for 20 years as the founding executive director of The Broad Center in Los Angeles, a national nonprofit organization that identified, developed, and supported education leaders inspired to work inside school systems, in partnership with students, families, and communities, to improve public education with a focus on excellence and equity. The Broad Center ran two primary leadership programs, The Broad Academy and The Broad Residency in Urban Education (an accredited master’s degree program), and supported a network of over 850 education leaders. In 2021, The Broad Center transitioned to become The Broad Center at the Yale School of Management.
Earlier in her career, Becca was a director at The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, responsible for managing numerous grants and two of the foundation’s flagship initiatives. Prior to this role, she served as the regional director of K-12 programs for Kaplan Learning Services, as the family services director for the Salvation Army’s South Central Los Angeles Youth Project, and as the Healthy Start coordinator at Rose Parks Elementary School in the San Francisco Unified School District. She also worked in the Oakland Unified School District on major school improvement initiatives through Partners in School Innovation and held leadership positions in that same organization. As part of her tenure at Partners in School Innovation, she was an AmeriCorps member and also held a leadership position in AmeriCorps’ precursor, the Summer of Service.
Becca serves on the Advisory Committee for The Broad Center at Yale School of Management. She also serves as a board member of EdFuel, a national nonprofit that helps education organizations recruit and retain talent at all levels. Becca was a member of the second cohort of the Aspen Institute-NewSchools Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education fellowship (now Pahara Fellowship), designed to recognize and support entrepreneurial leaders committed to transforming public education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, and society from Stanford University.
Kia joined Clayton in the fall of 2020 to fill a newly created position adding leadership capacity to Educare Denver at Clayton Early Learning. Kia is an experienced teacher, school leader, and coach, and is deeply committed to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for staff, children, and families. As the leader of the school, Kia sets the vision and strategy, oversees classroom operations and family engagement, all within a lens of continuous improvement to build upon Clayton’s national recognition for excellence in the field of early childhood. Previously Kia worked in Denver Public Schools, most recently as a school principal. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Midland Lutheran College, a master’s of science in curriculum and instruction from Peru State College, and a master’s of arts in administrative leadership and policy studies from the University of Colorado Denver. She also holds a national principal fellowship certificate.
Sarah is responsible for prospecting, cultivating, and stewarding donors and grants on behalf of Clayton Early Learning. She also oversees internal and external marketing and communications, helping to advance the brand and recognition of the organization, as well as Clayton’s policy and advocacy work to influence systems leaders and advance the field of early childhood. Prior to joining the Clayton team in February of 2015, Sarah worked for the University of Northern Colorado as the director of corporate and foundation relations. Sarah has more than 24 years of experience in management positions with various industries, both for-profit and nonprofit, with skills in strategic planning, fundraising, program implementation, and community networking. Sarah attended Trinity College where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, and the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, earning an international master’s degree in business administration.
Maria leads our People Services team which includes oversight of human resources, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and Clayton’s learning and talent team. She brings decades of experience and a track record of success in human resources and talent development, having led the human resources operations for large companies in the healthcare sector, for Mile High United Way, and as a consultant providing senior counsel to nonprofit organizations with strategy development and implementation, policy development, employee relations, and legal compliance. Maria has a breadth of experience providing strategic and operational leadership in all areas of human resources, including talent management, workforce planning, performance management, diversity and inclusion, and benefits administration. Born and raised in the Panamá Republic of Panamá, Maria earned her master of business administration in international business from Maastricht School of Management, Netherlands. She also holds a master’s degree in international management from the University of Phoenix and is an Emergeneticsâ Certified Associate.
Mark joined Clayton Early Learning in March 2020 to oversee finance, accounting, facility, and information technology areas. Prior to joining Clayton, Mark spent seven years as CFO with K-12 independent schools where he developed a passion for education and improving the learning environments for children. While working within independent schools, he was instrumental in restructuring labor and benefits platforms to help support and reward great teaching. Mark also spearheaded many transformational capital improvement projects such as a library redesign, commercial kitchen build-out, and construction of a state-of-the-art turf field. Before partnering with independent schools, Mark served nine years as CFO of the Vail Valley Foundation and played a key role in the acquisition of the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships. Prior to entering the non-profit sector, he worked in the accounting and corporate finance departments for T. Rowe Price and Vail Resorts. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Lehigh University.
Paula has more than 25 years of front-line experience working in Early Head Start and Head Start programs, passionately serving culturally diverse children from birth to age five, and their families. Since joining Clayton, Paula has led and managed all aspects of education, health, mental health, early intervention, and child and family services to support school readiness and strengthen families. She has also directed and leveraged numerous community partnerships throughout the State, enhancing both quality and access to early childhood care and education programs, particularly for underserved communities. Paula currently provides leadership and oversight of Clayton’s school-based, home-based, and community-based early childhood programs with an additional focus on strategic initiatives that include professional development and coaching throughout Colorado. Paula earned a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and a master’s degree in early childhood studies, specializing in management, administration, and leadership from Walden University.