JAMES SPOJA, PRESIDENT – Jim has practiced law in Colorado for over 25 years, specializing in business, tax and real estate law, as well as estate planning. The Spoja Law Firm, P.C. was formed in 2001 and provides services to privately owned businesses and real estate investors. Jim comes from a large family of lifelong learners ,and his love of reading and education lead to his connection with The Learning Source. That connection began over 20 years ago as a volunteer literacy tutor at People’s Presbyterian Church. After several years as a tutor, Jim was invited to serve as a tutor representative on the Board of Directors of The Learning Source. A 7-year tenure on The Learning Source Board of Directors, was followed by 8 years as a member of The Learning Source Foundation. Jim is a past President of both boards, and after rejoining the Board of Directors of The Learning Source in October 2012, he is currently in his second tour of duty as President.
JEAN MARSHALL, VICE PRESIDENT – Jean has been in the human resources field for corporations and non-profit organizations for over 30 years. She holds a degree from Regis University and has received various professional certifications related to the human resources field. Jean has been affiliated with The Learning Source for over 25 years and has served in various board positions as well as administered the GED program. She is also active in other community-related volunteer programs. Jean and her husband hve two grown children and four grandchildren.
MARY MOSER, Secretary, has served on the Board of Directors for more than 15 years and was President in 1999 and 2000. She is a retired attorney, having practiced in the area of estate planning and administration for more than 30 years. Mary received her B.S. degree from the University of Colorado at Denver and her J.D. degree from the University of Denver College of Law. She is a member of the Zonta Club of Denver II, an international women’s service organization.
SISTER CECILIA LINENBRINK, FOUNDRESS started The Learning Source (originally named The Adult Education Tutorial Program) in 1964 following a survey of Denver ’s Westside residents. This survey revealed that 50 percent of adults lacked a High School Diploma. In November of that year, the program admitted 46 students tutored by 16 adults. In 1968, Sister Cecilia completed her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado and accepted a position with the Denver Commission on Community Relations while, at the same time, continuing to guide The Learning Source. In 1991, she was elected to lead her Franciscan Sisters for a four-year term. She periodically taught at Regis University and continues her involvement by serving on one of the University Committees. Now entering her eleventh year, she continues her ministry to the women at the Denver County Jail, visiting them weekly to provide them with some light and hope.
DAVE AGUILERA, a Colorado native, is an Emmy Award winning Meteorologist. He has worked in every television market in the state and has been at CBS4 since 1993. He holds the American Meteorological Society’s Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) designation, a professional recognition of the quality of his weather broadcasts. Dave is a member of the National Weather Association and the American Meteorology Society. He is a member of The Learning Source Board of Directors and regularly emcees fundraising events such as the Annual Spelling Bee.
KATHLEEN FINLEY is senior vice president of CoBiz Insurance. She has more than 18 years of experience in the insurance industry and has served the community through the local chamber of commerce, leading the Independent Insurance Agents of Colorado and serving on national producer advisory boards for various insurance companies. In 1999, Kathleen received the prestigious Professional Independent Insurance Agent of the Year Award for her service to the industry. She has a B.A. from the University of Northern Colorado and holds a CIC (Certified Insurance Counselor) professional designation.
ELIZABETH FRAWLEY has been a volunteer with The Learning Source since 1968 and has served on its Board the past 16 years. Since moving to Denver in 1967, she has been a volunteer and community leader with many nonprofit organizations. In addition to The Learning Source , Liz serves on the Board of Directors for the Fine Arts Foundation and is an Honorary Board Member of the Rocky Mountain M.S. Center . She also is a volunteer with the Gathering Place, the Denver Center Alliance and the Denver Art Museum. In 1996, Liz was named a Colorado Woman of Distinction and was also recognized with a Volunteerism Award from the Denver Art Museum.
VALERIE SIMONS, Prior to founding the Education Law Group of Colorado, LLC (“Education Law Group”), Valerie Simons served as a trial attorney in Washington, D.C. at the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Education Section. She was lead trial counsel on behalf of the United States in dozens of cases around the country involving a variety of civil rights laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Titles IV and VI), the Equal Education Opportunity Act, Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. She also consulted routinely with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights on federal compliance issues. In 2000, the United States Attorney General presented Valerie with a Special Commendation for Outstanding Service to the Civil Rights Division. Upon returning to her native Colorado, Valerie clerked for now Chief Justice Michael L. Bender of the Colorado Supreme Court and then joined the law firm of Holland & Hart LLP. In addition to commercial litigation, she also represented individuals in special education matters. Following Holland & Hart, Valerie served as the Associate Director of the Colorado Association of School Boards’ Legal Services Program, where she provided direct representation to school districts in all areas of school law, including civil rights, contract negotiation and review, and employment-related matters. She continued to practice education law on behalf of students and their parents from 2007-2011 with Choquette & Simons LLP, a firm she co-founded with Steve Choquette. She has been named a Colorado Super Lawyer in Schools and Education Law since 2010.