Elizabeth Orme, Ed.S.
Founder & C.E.O.
With a background in urban settings with low-income populations, Elizabeth has worked extensively in Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, co-teaching implementation and development, and transition-based planning. Before founding Creatively Focused, Elizabeth taught in the Chicago Public School system and conducted research for the University of Chicago Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center. She then worked as a teacher and school administrator for Twin Cities Academy, a charter school on the east side of Saint Paul.
Emily Cooley Dobbins, Ed. S.
(Executive Director of School Services
With experience spanning urban, suburban, and rural settings, Emily has worked to improve outcomes for students in the areas of special education, unique learners, and mental health. Emily's areas of expertise include multi-tiered systems of support, co-teaching, team dynamics, and systems change. Prior to joining Creatively Focused, Emily served at the St. Croix River Education District, Wayzata Public Schools, and Minneapolis Academy.
(Director of Leadership & Culture
With over 30 years experience in special education, Colleen has always advocated for quality education for all students. She has worked to improve and develop programs at all levels PK-12. She has led educational teams in program improvement, PBIS implementation, monitoring, behavior management and much more. Colleen’s areas of expertise include strategic planning to improve programming, transition planning, PBIS development and implementation, workplace wellness and all areas of due process. Prior to joining Creatively Focused Colleen worked as an administrator for SWWC Service Cooperative and Minneapolis Public Schools.
Assistant Director of Special Education
With experience as a special educator in Minneapolis-area charter schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, Ariella is driven help close the opportunity gap for all students. Ariella previously served as an Assistant Director of Special Education at Northeast College Prep Academy and currently works as a Special Education Supervisor and Director of Special Education in Creatively Focused member schools.
Special Education Growth Coach
With experience in working with minority and low-income populations, Kalin is driven to support students and teachers in reaching their potential. Before joining the Creatively Focused team, Kalin worked in the Community School of Excellence School District as a special education coordinator.
With over nine years of experience as a school psychologist, Alyssa has worked with schools to improve outcomes for students in the areas of academics and social, emotional, and behavioral skills. Alyssa’s areas of expertise include multi-tiered systems of support, positive behavior intervention supports, data-based decision making, and due process. Prior to joining Creatively Focused, Alyssa served at South Washington County Schools, Forest Lake Area Schools, and the St. Croix River Education District.
Executive Assistant & School Support Trainer
Shannon’s extensive experience in education includes working as a paraprofessional, special education teacher, special education coordinator, and consultant. Currently serving as a due process specialist, paraprofessional coach, and trainer, Shannon’s goal is to empower staff to support students and each other in order to elevate our education system.
Janelle’s experience comes from providing many years of Early Intervention services to families that have children with special needs. Janelle is driven to support learning from a young age and help students to reach their maximum potential. Before Janelle joined Creatively Focused, she was a Lead Service Provider, Clinical Supervisor, Client Advocate and Program Director. Through her experiences, she has gained a wealth of knowledge on program development and management, leadership and training.
We are excited to tell you more about our new team members!
Come back again August 1 to learn more about each of our incredible new team members.
Saido Abdirashid, Assistant Director of Special Education & Engagement Lead
Ariel Larpenteur, Special Education Growth Coach
Matt Lasure, Business Office Specialist
Brittany Ross, Behavioral Specialist
Kelly Semlak, Assistant Director of Special Education & Due Process Specialist
Becky Vavrichek, Project Manager & Efficiencies Coordinator
Crystal Wolfgram, Assistant Director of Special Education