Instructor Biographies

Click on the instructor's name and learn more about the expertise they provide in the classroom to help you Move Mountains!

Kevin Boyd

Kevin BoydKevin Boyd, M.B.A., M.S., a former Bell Labs engineer and Vice President of a market leading cardiology software company, is a multi award-winning eBay Education Specialist, published eBay author and the technical editor for The Complete Idiot’s Guide to eBay. Kevin has appeared on TV, various radio shows, and been interviewed by Bloomberg News and several newspapers for his insights about online entrepreneurship. He teaches at over 40 colleges in the U.S. and Canada. The primary objectives for his writing, teaching and consulting is to educate online sellers at all levels and equip them with the skills necessary for online entrepreneurial success. Learn more at

Maria Carrasco-Stone

Maria Carrasco-Stone is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Maria has a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the Universidad of Buenos Aires, and a Master’s in Architecture from the University of Colorado at Denver. Maria has been teaching Spanish to adults in Community Education at Arapahoe Community College and Metro State College of Denver for the past five years. Maria also teaches Spanish to private students and volunteers at her daughter’s school. Maria is currently pursuing a Master of Arts Program in Spanish at the University of Colorado at Denver.

David Cichon

David R. Cichon, M.Ed, CEP®, RFC, has over 35 years of experience in the financial services industry. He specializes in working with people who are planning for retirement and retired clients who want to preserve and grow their assets. He holds the following securities registrations: 1, 22, 24, 39, 63, 66 and various Life/Variable licenses in the state of Colorado and other states.

As founder and principal, he successfully developed an employee benefit and financial services firm specializing in retirement planning, a pension administration firm, and an investment management firm. His commitment to helping people achieve their financial goals caused him to join Householder Group, one of the leading networks of financial professionals in the country.

David is Regional Vice President of Householder Group, one of the largest, independent estate and retirement planning firms in the United States. He is a Registered Representative with Securities Service Network, Inc., a leading broker/dealer in the independent financial industry.

David holds a Master’s Degree and is educated on the specific issues and concerns facing seniors today and has the experience, knowledge, and tools to help clients design and implement a strategic plan to meet their individual financial needs.

David was the recipient of the 2011 Wealth Manager award. You can see his business here.

David Cook

David CookDavid began practicing law in Missouri in 1974. In 1982, he relocated to Paonia, Colorado where he was the owner and publisher of The North Fork Times. He also started practicing law in Delta County, Colorado at that time. David later moved to Denver and, after establishing the tax department of a mid-size law firm, opened his own practice, Klancke & Cook, Attorneys at Law. His firm emphasizes wills, trusts, tax planning, probate, business formation and advice, and real estate.

David is active with a number of local non-profit and charitable organizations and serves on the national board of directors for Bethesda Lutheran Communities, which operates homes and provides assistance for the developmentally disabled. Besides instructing at Arapahoe Community College in its adult education program, he speaks throughout the state on estate planning/family relationship issues and has a current presentation of Mom Always Loved You Best. David is close to finishing his first book titled Games Lawyers Play and has two other publications in the works.

David holds a B.A., J.D., and L.L.M Tax from Washington University. See his business website here.

Trish Elledge

Trish ElledgeTrish Elledge, MA, is an experienced professional mediator in over 10,000 cases (70% of which have been engaged in litigation), involving well over 30,000 emotionally charged individuals and positioned legal representatives. She has had the opportunity to apply, practice and experiment with theories and techniques that most mediators can only read about. Trish knows what works and when; and she knows what doesn’t and why. Her cases have spanned everything from neighborhood trash piles to complex legal matters.

Since beginning her journey into the world of professional mediation in 1985, Trish has accumulated over 900 hours of advanced mediation training from mentors across the US and UK. In addition, she has logged hundreds of continuing education and research hours in such specialized content and law-related areas as contracts, landlord-tenant, HOA, employment, probate, dependency and neglect, divorce, parental responsibility, child support, personal injury, torts, negligence, medical issues and considerations, collections, insurance/subrogation, brain functioning and more.

Her proactive, interactive, and light-hearted teaching approach creates an open and easy learning environment for her students. Trish is a fresh and dynamic presenter who incorporates real-life experiences and lessons into every class. The specific and effective techniques and feedback that she offers to her mediation students help them to become their very best.

Trish has served as a contract mediator for a variety of organizations including USPS, Hewlett Packard, Canadian Consulate, and Colorado Judicial Branch, to name a few. She managed Colorado’s 18th Judicial District Multi-Door Court Services program (MDCS) from 1995-2012, founded International Alliance of Certified Professional Mediators (IACPM) in 2008, and is the owner and director of Mediation Training NOW!

Jim Flint

Jim FlintJim is a native of Denver and graduated from DU with a Business Degree and specializes in real estate. Jim has over 30 years of experience helping clients to reach their goals. He will discuss buying a rental home or buying into a no-management partnership.

Over the years, Jim has formed 18 Partnerships and bought commercial properties in Colorado, Florida, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Alabama. Over 300 Investors have purchased an interest in these properties valued at $20,000,000.

Jim has six agents in all parts of the metro area, from Longmont to Castle Rock, to help clients.

An individual meeting is included when you attend one of Jim’s classes. For a sample of Jim’s Investing in Real Estate Class or the Property Management Class, go to

Amy Folkestad

Amy FolkestadWith over 20 years of experience working with Photoshop, Amy has a passion for the analytical and artistic skills required for graphic design and photography. She has taught in a variety of settings, from leading high ropes courses at the YMCA of the Rockies, to teaching summer school physics. She loves to learn, teach, and dabble in anything artistic. You can learn more about her by visiting her design website, her fine art website, or her YouTube Channel.

Originally from Grand Rapids, MI, Amy holds dual degrees in Art and Biology, and a Master’s in Education.

Evette Goldstein

Evette GoldsteinEvette has been learning and practicing calligraphy since she learned cursive writing in the third grade. She turned her hobby into a part-time business almost 30 years ago. Necessity and opportunity created a full-time business – check out her calligraphy website here and Pinterest page here– in February 2002. Evette has been featured in CONFETTI magazine, Castle Rock News Press, Littleton Independent, and Highlands Ranch Herald. She is self-taught in art, calligraphy, abstract paintings, and pencil portraits. Evette has the ability to replicate what she sees! She has also won awards for her calligraphy and her paintings. Evette is a member of Greater Castle Rock Art Guild, Parker Artists Guild, and the Colorado Calligraphers Guild.

Born in New Jersey, raised at South Lake Tahoe, Evette holds a B.S. in technical management from Regis University. She is also a former aerospace engineer.

Sandra Gourd

Sandra GourdSandra Gourd is a NGH Certified Hypnotist focusing on helping people with self-improvement and resolution of problems. She does private and group sessions, which include; HypnoBirthing®, smoking cessation, weight loss, stress management, PTSD, pain management, academic improvement, athletic improvement, and self-hypnosis. Sandra also does alternative healing in the form of Reconnective Healing® and The Reconnection®.

Originally from Connecticut, Sandra has a Bachelors Degree in Business Management.

Birgid Howell

Birgid HowellBirgid Howell has been teaching German at Arapahoe Community College for eight years. As a native of Heilbronn, Germany, she not only has experience in German language, but in the culture and customs as well. With her class, you'll be able to use basic conversation skills when shopping, making reservations, asking for directions, and doing other daily tasks.

Howell graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering from Metropolitan State University.

David Laverty

David LavertyDavid brings 26 years of marketing, operational, and management experience. Prior to this endeavor, David served as the Director of Business Development/Marketing Consultant for American Business Advisors, a Greenwood Village-based, small business consulting firm. In this position, he significantly increased the company’s revenue through his sales efforts and assisted many clients with marketing/operational plans.

A recipient of South Metro Denver Chamber Volunteer of the Year award in 2006, David is also an adjunct faculty member at Red Rocks Community College where he teaches courses in business introduction, management, business communications, and preparing business plans. In his spare time, David enjoys taking trips to new places, exploring America, hiking in the Rocky Mountains, and attending sporting events.

Originally from San Diego, CA, David received his BA in Social Science from San Jose St. University and MBA from California State University, San Marcos.

Bob Montgomery

Bob MontgomeryBorn in San Diego, CA, and raised in Denver, CO, Bob was employed by the Colorado State Patrol from 1976 until 2002, first in communications and then as a uniformed officer. His last assignment prior to retirement was to Troop 1-C in Castle Rock Colorado as a member of the CSP Accident Reconstruction Team. Bob was employed with the Douglas County Colorado Coroner’s Office from 2003-2007, where he advanced to the position of Assistant Chief Deputy Coroner. He was also Co-Chair of the North Central Region Mass Fatalities Committee, taught fatal accident reconstruction photography and produced training venues for the North Central Region Homeland Security Fatalities Management membership. Bob wrote and implemented the photo standards for investigators, which included guidelines for documentation, archiving, and photographic evidentiary procedures.

In addition to participating in the Community Education Program at ACC as an instructor of photography, Bob does freelance photography assignments, which include videos for vehicle safety education and corporation web site staff photos. In his spare time Bob is a sales lead for an international audio company, specializing in home theater installations.

Crystal Oleskevich

Crystal OleskevichCrystal Oleskevich has done floral design for receptions held for two United States Presidents and for the 1984 Olympics Kick Off Party. She has published floral design articles in several bridal magazines including Martha Stewart Weddings, the Knot, Modern Bride Colorado, Colorado Expressions Confetti Magazine, and Lux Mountain Weddings. Crystal is a contractor designing landscaper for several Denver design companies.

 She attended Warren Technical Vocational School in Golden and is a member of the FFA.

Bert Parades

Bert ParadesBert Paredes, who has lived in Colorado since 1976, was born in Frankfurt, Germany. His dad met his mother while stationed in Germany after World War II. He has lived in Germany for 16 years, including his own tour while in the Army. He retired in January of 2014, after over 40 years in Aerospace and advanced computer systems.

Bert has been researching his German ancestors for over 25 years. He has has done research on his and his wife’s ancestors in a number of US states, in Scotland, and in Mexico. Collaboration with others has been invaluable in this research. Bert's network of "genealogy cousins" now spans over a dozen states and almost as many countries.

Currently, he teaches an introductory genealogy class and a German genealogy class.

Andre Ratkai

Andre RatkaiAndy is President and Chief Investment Officer of Praxis Advisory Group, Inc., an independent investment advisor providing portfolio management and asset allocation services for stock, bond, and mutual fund investors.

 Prior to offering Praxis Advisory Group's services in 1992, Andy was a portfolio manager for Alpine Capital Management Corp., a Denver-based registered investment advisor. He was a member of Alpine's investment team that was responsible for more than $100 million of managed stock, bond, and mutual fund accounts.

 Andy was also an adjunct professor in the Reiman School of Finance at the University of Denver from 1993 to 2008. He is a former board member of the Denver Society of Security Analysts, and has taught Ethics/Standards of Practice classes for Society CFA examination reviews.

 He received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Washington in Seattle and then earned the Chartered Financial Analyst charter from the CFA Institute. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter is a globally respected, graduate-level investment credential established in 1962 and awarded by CFA Institute – the largest global association of investment professionals.

 Andy moved to the Denver area as a child and graduated from Mullen High School.

 Learn more about Andy by visiting And learn more about InvestAcademy by visiting

Steven Sande

Steve SandeSteve Sande has been an avid user of Apple products since 1984, and for the past six years has been a professional blogger and editor at the new Apple World Today and websites. Steve is a Colorado native and attended CU Boulder, where he obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master's Degree in Business Administration.

During his career, Steve was the IT manager for a natural gas pipeline company, worked as a project manager for IBM for nine years, was an Apple-Certified consultant for his own company, and also traveled the country as a requirements engineering instructor for ASPE.

Steve has written a number of computer-related books for Apress and Pearson, the most popular of which have been "Talking to Siri: Mastering the Language of Apple's Intelligent Assistant" (now in its third edition) and "Pitch Perfect: The Art Of Promoting Your App On The Web". Connect with Steve on LinkedIn and on his Facebook page.

Sharon Sherman

Sharon ShermanSharon has an extensive background in education. She first received her B.A. in English/Spanish in 1989 and her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction in 2001 both from Denver University. She later earned her PhD in Educational Leadership and Innovation in 2008 from University of Colorado Denver. Additionally, Sharon taught children with special needs in Jeffco and Littleton public schools for five years. She also works as a Denver Math Fellow with Denver Public Schools.

Sharon was born in Nashville, Tennessee and grew up in Miami, Florida. Fun Fact: Sharon discovered the Community Education program when her husband enrolled in an ESL class at ACC before becoming a U.S. citizen.

Bobbi Shupe

Bobbi ShupeBobbi Shupe is an award winning illustrator and owner of E.P. Puffin & Co., Inc. which specializes in book illustration and surface design as well as decorative painting. She has over 20 years of experience in the field and is published by both local and national publishers. Besides teaching classes through ACC, Bobbi also teaches classes in her own studio and does consulting in paint color and technique choices. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Formal education: BFA Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO., Associate of Arts at the Art Institute of Colorado, Denver, CO


Pam Smith

Pam SmithPam is a third generation Colorado native with a strong passion for the visual arts. She earned a BA in Elementary Education with a minor in Fine Arts from the University of Northern Colorado and was a teacher before staying home with her now adult children. She started Pam Smith Designs, LLC in 2007 after broadening her education with an AS degree in Interior Design from Arapahoe Community College. By combining her passion for interior, design, fine arts and education, a once celebrated pastime has become an enjoyable and rewarding career path. She enjoys educating clients and creating unique personalized designs based on individual needs and lifestyle. Pam thoroughly enjoys sharing design knowledge with her Community Education students.


Valorie Snyder

Valorie SnyderValorie is an award winning artist, who has shown her work locally, regionally and nationally.  She creates portrait commissions, figurative, landscape, and still life oil paintings.

Having taught art for over 30 years, she has developed a unique curriculum that combines right brain eye training with classical, old master techniques.  With this approach, students are often surprised at their rapid improvement in painting skills.  Oil painting students have an opportunity to keep an ongoing workbook to compile their class notes, handouts, class exercises and assignments.

Valorie has directed the ACC Student Art Show for Community Education.  She is a member of the Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters of Colorado (PAAC) and former President of The Colorado Artists Guild.

Check her out online at, on her blog, and like her Facebook page,

Rochelle Stephens

Shelly StephensRochelle (Shelly) is a Brooklyn, New York native, born to immigrant parents, who earned their high school equivalency diplomas through New York public education night schooling. Shelly pursued her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Public Administration, as a non-traditional student, through California State Universities, and further course study for Adult Teaching and Methods at Colorado State University.

In addition to GED instruction at ACC, Shelly teaches crochet classes. The traditional craft was inspired and taught to her by her grandmother and is implemented through a ministry where special-needs populations are gifted chemo hats, lap robes and other handcrafted items.

An avid nature enthusiast, Shelly is a volunteer naturalist at Roxborough State Park, providing recreational and educational opportunities. Shelly is married, has two adult children, and is further blessed with five grandchildren, who provide further opportunity to enhance tutorial skills.

Stephen Stroud

Stephen has been working in the criminal justice system for 22 years and has been the owner of a massage therapy business for 20 years. He holds an A.A. in Criminal Justice, B.A. in Psychology, and M.A. in Human Relations and Management. Stephen is also an Adjunct Instructor of Business and Management and Community Education Instructor of Massage. Stephen is also a member of the massage therapist association ABMP, BPOE (Elks), and American Legion.

Paul Thomas

Paul ThomasPaul Thomas, a senior instructor for Trading Market Technicals, has been a day trader for the past eight years specializing in the equities, futures, and Forex markets. For the past ten years, he has been a Functional Neurologist specializing in the enhancement of brain performance by improving connectedness of the various brain pathways, through restoring balance to the hemispheres.

His unique knowledge of functional neurology coupled with his insight as a trader, allows him to share with us the neurology behind the psychology of trading and the reasons why we fail to stay disciplined as traders. When a trader understands the neurology behind trading coupled with the proper education and support of how the markets work, they are better prepared to become a consistent profitable trader/investor.

Kumiko Tolbertson

Kumiko TolbertsonKumiko has been teaching Japanese for six years. Her course may seem like a finger dip into Japanese language and culture but her goal is to provide each person a stepping stone of learning Japanese on their own. Students receive enough guidance in Japanese alphabets, useful websites, and sentence structures and so on by speaking Japanese even from the first day.

Originally from Japan, Kumiko also has a B.A. in English language and English American Literature.

Josefina Tuason

Josefina TuasonJosefina retired recently after a long career in public television; she worked for different public TV organizations around the country, most recently as Director of Education for Rocky Mountain PBS. Preceding her public television career in the U.S., she taught broadcast journalism courses at the University of the Philippines. She also has her Master of Arts in Communication.

Eli Vega

Eli VegaEli Vega, who taught himself photography, is a highly published award-winning photographer and author. He has just finished writing his second photography book, Right Brain Photography (Be an artist first). Eli taught his first photography course in 1993 in Dallas, Texas. Today, he offers four different courses at several venues, including his popular 3-day workshops in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Eli's former life was in the Learning & Development field, where he got certified as a workshop facilitator. Those credentials, coupled with his extensive photography teaching, and having been self-taught provides students with a down-to-earth, laid back, learning experience---with a touch of home-spun humor.

Eli was born in a railroad boxcar, spent most of his formative years in west Texas, majored in art for three years, and moved to Colorado eleven years ago from Dallas. He loves Colorado and our surrounding states, and his images show that love.

You can see samples of Eli's artistic photography at and you can like him on his Facebook page.

Todd Walker

Todd WalkerTodd Walker is a founding member of Arapahoe Asset Management LLC IA (AAM). He has been in the financial industry since 1994 and has provided investment advice through his broker-dealers Registered Investment Adviser since 1997.

Todd has developed numerous models for various monetary institutions. He currently is focused on active money management solutions for institutions and investors. Todd believes,”The first priority of any professional money manager should be to assess, monitor, and reduce risk to investors.”

He has been on the forefront of financial education since he became a financial educator in 1995. His current and previous clients include: City of Aspen, Vail Resorts, Colorado Mountain College, Marriott Inc., Eagle County, Toyota, and Valley View Hospital. He teaches throughout Colorado at multiple campuses. These include: Arapahoe Community College, Colorado Mountain College, Mesa State, and Western Community College.

Todd is originally from Brownsburg, IN, but spent much of his adolescent years in Michigan. After secondary school, Todd attended Moody Bible Institute from 1987-1989. He graduated from Lambuth University in 1993.

Mr. Walker is the recipient of multiple awards including the Ronald Reagan Gold Medal in 2005 and the Republican of the Year Award in 2006. He will be permanently listed in the Republican Honor Roll at the NRCC Headquarters in Washington.

Kathryn Winograd

Kathryn WinogradKathryn Winograd, poet and essayist, is the author of Air into Breath, a 2002 Colorado Book Award Winner in Poetry (Ashland Poetry Press, 2002), Stepping Sideways Into Poetry (Scholastic, Inc), a classroom resource book for K12 teachers, and co-author of two books on online learning and teaching, You Can Learn Online and You Can Teach Online (McGraw Hill). Her first collection of creative nonfiction essays, Phantom Canyon: Essays of Reclamation, was just published in February 2014 by Conundrum Press.

Winograd has been the recipient of a Colorado Artist Fellowship in Poetry, a Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute Associateship, and co-winner of a Colorado Endowment for The Humanities Grant for which she designed and developed Teaching the River of Words website for the Colorado Humanities Center for the Book.

Her recent and upcoming publications include essays and poetry in Calyx, Cricket Magazine, Cutthroat, The Florida Review, Fourth Genre, Hotel Amerika, Literary Mama, River Teeth, Puerto del Sol, and Rkvry Quarterly Literary Journal. Her poetry won the first place prizes for the 2011 Chautauqua poetry contest on War and Peace and the 2011 Writers Digest Annual Writing Competition for non-rhyming poetry. Her poem, “The Lives of Cells,” has been nominated for a 2012 Pushcart Prize and won the 2013 Colorado Author League's Award in Poetry. Her essay, "Bathing," was named a notable essay in Best American Essays 2011 and is included, with the essay, "(Note to Self): The Lyric Essay," in 6th edition of The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/an Creative Nonfiction textbook/anthology. Her essays, "Heresies of the Holy" and "Of Wind and Fire" have been finalists for the 7th and 8th Annual Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize. Her essay, "Elegies," was a finalist for the University of New Orleans Study Abroad Programs in Arts and Writing Writing Contest.

Her poetry has appeared in literary journals such as TriQuarterly, The Denver Quarterly, The Colorado Review ,The Journal, The Antioch Review, Kalliope, The Ohio Review, The Cincinnati Review, Water-Stone, Poets Laureate, Weber Studies and The New Yorker. She has published numerous articles and essays in publications such as Iris: A Journal About Women, Bloomsbury Review, The Herb Companion, Mountain Living, Natural Homes Magazine, Adjunct Advocate, Winds of Change, and Converge Magazine, as well as children's stories and poems in Cricket magazine and Shoofly: An Audio Magazine for Children. Her work has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and received Special Mention in Pushcart Prize XXXVIII.

Winograd received her Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Denver, and a M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. She is a full-time faculty member for Arapahoe Community College where she directs the Writers Studio, and core poetry and nonfiction faculty for Ashland University’s low residency MFA program in Poetry and Creative Nonfiction.

Holly Yang

Holly YangHolly Yang, a native of China, has been teaching Mandarin Chinese continuously for 25 years. She has taught at Suzhou University, Suzhou, China, at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, at the Washington Academy of Languages, Seattle, Washington. Currently she teaches Chinese at the Community College of Denver and Arapahoe Community College.

 Holly has a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language & Literature from Beijing Teachers’ University, China, a Master of Arts in Chinese Grammar and Rhetoric from Shanghai Teachers’ University, China, and a Master of Arts in Asian Language & Literature from the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.