Meet the Board!

President:  Elizabeth Milligan Cordova

Elizabeth has taught 8-12 grade social studies for thirteen years, and has also served on the CCSS Board since 2009. She currently teaches high school social studies at Northeast Early College in Denver Public Schools, where she is also a concurrent enrollment history professor through the Community College of Aurora. She holds a Masters of Arts in teaching social studies from the Teachers' College at Columbia University, where she also completed her work as a James Madison fellow for the state of Colorado, and a Bachelor's Degree from Lake Forest College in Illinois. Elizabeth most recently co-authored a chapter with Dr. Christopher Busey, who continues to teach her a great deal, in the upcoming Engaging the African Diaspora in K-12 Education (2019). She is the parent to a new sweet baby, and enjoying the new journey immensely.

Vice President: Kristin Ayala

Kristin is middle school social studies teacher in Cherry Creek. She loves to travel, but with two middle schoolers of her own and 4 dogs that has not happened as much lately -- though she does run annual student trips to New York and Washington, DC. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and would love to chat about that if you are interested in certification!

Cassie Moore, Secretary 

Cassie is currently a Social Studies Coordinator for Adams 12. She has taught since 2011, most recently teaching AP United States History and Government at Lakewood High School. She studied History and Psychology at the University of Rochester, where she went on to earn her Master’s in Social Studies and Inclusive Education. She is currently working on a Master's in American History through Pace/GLI. Prior to moving to Colorado in 2017, she worked in a rural district near Syracuse, NY, served on her local council, and worked on the test development committee for New York State during the Regents re-design. Cassie recently served as a member of the JeffCo Social Studies Advisory team and the lead teacher for the district honors cohort for Social Studies, and has served on the CCSS board since the fall of 2018. She has been helping to organize the CCSS conference since 2019 and was elected treasurer in 2020. Cassie and her husband are parents to two wonderful young boys, Remi and Finn, and and have been really enjoying the adventures of parenthood. In their spare time, they enjoy mountain biking, hiking, backcountry skiing with their border collie, Scooch, and traveling - the best trips have been the Salkantay Trek in Peru and their honeymoon in the Azores.

Barbara Taylor, Treasurer

Barbara has taught Social Studies and journalism at Pomona High School in Arvada for 20 years. One of her greatest moments was turning the high school version of CCSS President Elizabeth Cordova on to U.S. history. Barbara's undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois-Champaign was in journalism and fueled her first career as a daily newspaper reporter. She just finished her second master's degree -- this one in American History -- thanks to the James Madison Memorial Fellowship. For fun (and sanity) she engages in an annual partnership with CU Law through the Marshall-Brennan Foundation and also joined the National Constitution Center Teacher Advisory Board. She delights in her kids, friends and neighbors.

CDE Liaison: Stephanie Hartman, Ph.D.

Stephanie is the Social Studies Content Specialist at the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), and has served on the CCSS board as CDE representative for the past eight years. She is a member of the Standards and Instructional Support (SIS) Team whose duties include, among other things, providing support for the implementation of the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS). Stephanie is also an adjunct professor of elementary social studies methods at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Stephanie has worked at the state level as a social studies content specialist for over eleven years. Her first state level job was with the Nevada Department of Education. Prior to that, Stephanie taught high school social studies for thirteen years in both Everett, WA and Reno, NV. She has also taught elementary and secondary education courses at the University of Nevada Reno and Sierra Nevada College. Stephanie holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nevada Reno, as well as a master’s degree in Integrated Curriculum from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies from the University of Northern Colorado. For fun, Stephanie enjoys reading, scrapbooking, and hanging out with family and friends.

Higher Ed Representative: Kent Willmann

Kent serves the board as the Higher Education Liaison, and has worked on the board for ten years. He taught social studies in St. Vrain for more than thirty years. For the last nine years, Kent has been in the School of Education at CU - Boulder preparing the next generation of social studies teachers. He works as a trainer/curriculum writer for Lessons on Local Government and is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Education Association. Kent enjoys photography, college hoops, travel and poker in his spare time.


Chris Elnicki, Board Director

Chris Elnicki is a product of immigrants drawn to Colorado soil by opportunities to farm, ranch, and mine. He has 36 years of experience as an educator, servicing three districts and a wide range of learners, from preschoolers to adults. During the larger portions of this time, Chris was a 6-12 Social Studies Teacher and most recently supported the teachers and students of Cherry Creek Schools as their K-12 Social Studies Coordinator. He is a Past President of the Colorado Council for the Social Studies, Past President and current Outreach and Operations Coordinator for the National Social Studies Supervisors Association, the 2012 Colorado Social Studies Educator of the Year, a James Madison Memorial Fellow, and received his MA degree from the University of Colorado Denver in History and Political Science, with an emphasis on the Constitution, public land, and the West. He is married to a K-5 Grade Teacher and they have two adult children. Chris seeks out wilderness experiences during all seasons and finds great solace wading in streams, waving a stick, and exploring the aquatic world beneath the water’s surface. He is currently the Executive Director of the Colorado Center for Civic Learning and Engagement and has been a member of the CCSS board since 2000.

Anton Schulzki, Board Director and Past President

A social studies teacher since 1983, Anton has been teaching in the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) program at William J. Palmer High School in Colorado Springs since 1992. While a majority of his career at Palmer has been teaching in the IB program, he is the Advanced Placement (AP) coordinator for Palmer. Anton helps to sponsor the Gay-Straight-Trans Alliance at school and enjoys the diversity and history of the school. He has been a member of the CCSS board for the past 20 years and have served in a variety of capacities including president. Additionally, Anton serves as the National Council for the Social Studies president for the 2021-22 school year. When not teaching and leading, he loves white-water rafting, reading, cooking and bicycling. He is also a men's lacrosse official and officiates college, high school and youth lacrosse games.


Kara Casini, Board Director

Kara Casini hails originally from Chicago, Illinois. She attended Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois and graduated Summa Cum Laude with degrees in history and social science secondary education. While living in Illinois, Kara worked at the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park as a Public Program Coordinator/Museum Education then later left to teach AP US History, Advanced US History, and Sociology in the Chicago suburbs. In 2014, Kara and her husband left the hustle and bustle of Chicago and traded it in for the Rocky Mountains! Kara currently works within Cherry Creek School District at Eaglecrest High School teaching AP Human Geography and World History/World Geography. Professionally, Kara has presented her research at the Illinois State Historical Society Annual Symposium, the Council for American Studies Education Annual Conference, the Colorado Council for Social Studies Conference, and the National Council for Social Studies Conference! This past year, Kara wrote an AP Human Geography test bank for Colorado Geographic Alliance and it will later be offered for purchase through National Council for Geographic Education. Kara has her master’s degree in integrated curriculum with an emphasis in instructional leadership. She has been a board member of CCSS since September of 2017. She has served on the conference committee and represented CCSS as a House of Delegates member at the annual NCSS conference. In her spare time, Kara enjoys hiking, skiing, and spending time with her husband and their two year old Australian Shepherd named Kaia.

Peggy Altoff, Board Director

Peggy has been on the board since 2003 and served as CCSS secretary for over fifteen years. She retired as D11 Colorado Springs social studies coordinator in 2010. She is a past president of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and currently serves on their nominations/elections committee. Additionally, Hiking, reading, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends fill her "spare" time.

Christy Howard, Board Director

Dr. Jennifer Goldberg, Board Director

Dr. Jennifer Goldberg has been in education for over eighteen years wearing a plethora of hats ranging from a middle and high school social studies teacher, Dean of Academics and Curriculum, District Instructional Coach, Adjunct Professor for Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University online, Department Chair, and Team Leader. Dr. Goldberg has served on the Arizona Council of Social Studies and served as the Membership Committee Co- Chair for the National Council of Social Studies. Too, she has written several articles in peer-reviewed professional journals and two books. Currently, Jennifer Goldberg works as a Social Studies teacher at Smoky Hill High School in Cherry Creek School District. Last year was Dr. Goldberg's first year serving on the Colorado Council of Social Studies Board.

Jessica Lamphere, Board Director

Jessica Lamphere is a lecturer and supervisor in the College of Education at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where she teaches social studies methods courses and works with pre-service teachers. Prior to that, Jessica taught third, fourth and sixth grade but most enjoyed teaching fourth grade social studies as part of a departmentalized team. She holds a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from UCCS and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends as well as traveling, running, and yoga.

Scott R. Finholm, Board Director

Scott Finholm is the K-12 social studies curriculum specialist for D51 Mesa County, Grand Junction. A teacher since 1996, Scott has been teaching social studies for 26 years. Scott has experience teaching social studies in the elementary(4), middle(14), and high school(8) grade levels. Scott taught subjects from early American, to Ancient and Medieval world history, American Government, and numerous electives including psychology and Advanced Placement Government and Politics (AP). Scott struggled as a young learner and has always valued working with students with learning challenges. He led award-winning school initiatives to improve the quality of learning for students with learning differences. Scott holds a degree in History from the University of Montana where he was a member of the Beta Psi Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the International Honor Society in History. He is currently a graduate student working toward a masters degree in history through the Pace-Gilder Lehrman Masters in American History Program. He has been a member of the NCSS for many years and is a new member of the CCSS board for the past year. When not teaching and leading, he loves running, biking, fly fishing, and cheering his Montana Grizzlies.

Deborah Marshall, Board Director

Deb Marshall has worked in education at the elementary level since 2008 as both a classroom teacher and a Gifted & Talented Specialist. Currently, you will find her in the Cherry Creek School District spreading her passion for social studies and critical thinking. In 2015 Deb was selected as the Colorado History Teacher of the Year. When not teaching and leading she can be found outside in nature, most likely hiking in the mountains.

Tom Keefe, Board Director

Tom holds an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership, an M.A. in International Relations, and a M.A.T. in Social Studies Education, and a B.A. in History from Saint Joseph’s University. He has taught English, Religion, and History at a variety of 6-12 schools in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Colorado. He is currently an Associate Professor of Humanities at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. Tom’s current research is on pedagogy and leadership, genocide education, and identity construction. His recent publications include “Race, Identity, and Choice: Black Voices on Liberia and the American Colonization Society” in The African American Experience: From Slavery to Liberation, and “Using Art to Trigger Memory, Intergenerational Learning, and Community” in the International Journal of Lifelong Learning in Art Education, Fake News in The Liminal: Interdisciplinary Journal of Technology in Education, and the paper “Genocide and the Native American Experience” presented at the University of North Carolina - Charlottesville conference Denial: The Final Stage of Genocide. He is also the recipient of the Philip J. Steele Distinguished Faculty Award.


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