The Elders


Whittney Robinson-Johnson, Founding Board Chair


Why Empower? Because each community already possesses the wisdom and power to be excellent. Creating conditions for humanity to thrive creates the space for our world to heal and transcend towards sustainable equity.

I love the stories that people weave together, practicing yoga, celebrations and ceremonies that include singing and dancing, deep discussions that make you forget time, cuddling with my daughter before bedtime and Sunday dinners with loved ones.

Skills I bring to the board:

15+ years of experience in Education as a teacher and leader (Discipline Management Systems, Student Services)

6+ years of experience providing professional development for schools (Asset Based Thinking, Diversity and Equity, English Language Acquisition)

Previous school board experience (DCTA Denver Classroom Teacher Association, Montessori del Mundo)


Koffi Apedjinou, Founding Board Treasurer


Why Empower? The responsibility for raising a well-educated and civic-minded generation of children cannot rest solely with schools. When schools, parents, and communities partner together, great things can happen in the lives of children and young adults.

I love being part of any innovative idea/strategy that can empower our children, maximizing available resources to develop their God-given talents, seeing kids’ success as an inspiration and motivation to promote a safe and healthy community.

Skills I bring to the board:

Analysis of financial transactions to determine accuracy, completeness, and conformance to established policies and procedures and generally accepted accounting standards


SABRINA HODGES, Founding Board Secretary


Why Empower? I have worked in diverse school settings with different models and philosophies, and I was unable to land in a place in which the means justified the ends. Or in which the ends were deep or just enough. This is why I am excited about ECHS. I am compelled by and committed to ECHS’s mission to invite the community to shape, allow the students to lead, and prepare the teachers to guide; all roles in service of building student agency and preparing them to own the future. Through its unique pedagogy and practice, this school can educate the great change makers of this and future generations. I am grateful and humbled to serve on the governing board.

I love my partner, family, friends, and my sweet 80lb beast of a dog Nala. I love to garden, decorate and beautify space, cook, learn, read opposing view-points, and coach leaders and teachers.

Skills I bring to the board:

Strong understanding of how to gather and review data to set goals, progress monitor and evaluate community involvement, school culture, instructional effectiveness, and executive leadership

18 years of experience in charter schools in the classroom, as an administrator, and as an independent consultant


Cristina Uribe Reyes, Founding Board Member


Why Empower? While in high school I participated in the La Raza Youth Leadership Program. It was what I learned through this program that helped me be more confident in my identity as a Mexicana, Immigrant, and Woman. I wish I would have been exposed to this curriculum much earlier and through school.

I love: reading, puzzles, music, and dancing. I love spending quality time with my loved ones, and I love hearing and helping my clients through their immigration legal issues. There is nothing more rewarding than telling a client that they won their case and that after years of not being able to travel and see their families,they will now be able to.

Skills I bring to the board:

Firsthand experience of the benefits of a multicultural education

Licensed and Practicing Attorney



Jayné Lewis Johnson, Founding Board Member


Why Empower? Because every child deserves to feel that they matter, every child should be supported, and every child should be heard. When that happens, every child is empowered to be their very best and to give their best to their community.

I love to learn, explore, laugh, dance and soak in the rhythms of instruments in a live band. I love my family and I love to encourage others to be the best God created them to be.

Skills I bring to the board:

Analytical skills that allow me to evaluate the big picture of any situation so that strategies, policies and processes match an organization’s mission and vision.

A thorough understanding of school accountability framework and the necessary steps required to successfully meet CDE expectations.