Parent University 2020-2021

Each year, Aspen Academy provides opportunities for our community of parents and caregivers to learn and grow together, with a focus on the topics that are most important and relevant for you. In 2020-2021, our Parent Univeristy events focus on equipping parents with managing uncertainty. Events are free unless otherwise noted.  

In addition to the events below, Aspen Academy parents are invited to participate in the Cherry Creek Parents Information Network (PIN) presentation. Information on those events (daytime and evening) are available on the PIN website:

2020-2021 EVENTS

Understanding Anxiety and Depression

December 10, 2020

9:30 AM

Alex Yannaconne, Director of Education and Community Programs, Colorado Depression Center

Alex Yannaconne brings tremendous expertise from the Colorado Depression Center. In this workshop, parents will learn how to identify signs and symptoms associated with anxiety and depressive disorders while recognizing new approaches and tools in understanding these mental health conditions. Participants will learn helpful skills and treatment to support someone with anxiety and/or depression.

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A recording will be available. Please register to receive the recording if you are unable to attend.

About Alex Yannacone, MA

BA, California State University, Chico
MA, University of Denver

Alex Yannacone has an extensive background in implementation and trainings for prevention and intervention of mental health services and education. As the Director of Education and Community Programs at the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center, Alex provides programs and trainings addressing mental health issues across Colorado. She is also a master trainer in suicide prevention training including QPR and Working Minds.

Prior to her work at the Center, Alex contributed to the oversight, management, and delivery of a statewide child abuse and neglect prevention program. Additionally, Alex has provided therapeutic services to at-risk families and the refugee population within Colorado. Alex currently serves as co-chair of the National Network of Depression Center’s (NNDC) Community Education and Awareness Programs Task Force. In her free time, Alex enjoys hiking and rock climbing with her husband, daughter, and dog, Goose.

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • parenting
Keep Your Kids Talking to You

November 12, 2020

9:30 AM

Kerry Stutzman, MSW, LMFT, Parentologist

There are so many curveballs and moments of uncertainty in parenting 'tweens and teens. Learn about the paradigm shift needed to keep a healthy connection with your children as they grow. We'll focus on trouble areas such as:

  • Keeping our big kids talking to us
  • Putting an end to arguing and yelling
  • Being a parent your child can confide in 

This is an engaging, interactive workshop. Please plan to attend with your video on.

About Kerry Stutzman, MSW, LMFT, Parentologist

Kerry is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Parenting instructor. Mother of three. Stepmother of three. Human in relentless pursuit of living FULLY ALIVE.

Kerry has given hundreds of presentations to thousands of parents and worked individually with hundreds more. She has been featured as a “Parenting Expert” on TV and radio shows and was selected to present at the 2020 International Family Therapy Association in Basel, Switzerland.

Kerry weaves together therapy, parenting skills, humor, and compassion to build strong family connections.

  • parenting
BSE Board Meeting

October 8, 2020

9:30 AM

Katie Becker, Executive Director

How are we giving our kids critical life skills in the areas of leadership, finance, and entrepreneurship? Join us for this session about Aspen's own leadership and entrepreneurial development program in Future Holders. Get a taste of the lessons that your children experience daily, take a look at the online platform for delivery, and be equipped with tools for carrying the conversations into your homes with your children.

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A recording will be available. Please register to receive the recording if you are unable to attend.

About Katie Becker

Katie is focused on a mission to re-center our education practices on the right and most important of things: developing people. She believes that when we focus first on who is in front of us, and second on what we want to teach them, extraordinary things can happen. She has been praised for her abilities as a leader, trainer, and speaker, demonstrating great awareness and empathy, but also a clarity of direction and purpose within an organization, and in life.  Katie has spent the majority of her career at Aspen Academy, as a classroom teacher, Instructional Coach, Middle School Principal, and now leads the launch of Future Holders as the Executive Director. As an educator and parent, she is always looking for ways to empower others to lead themselves thoughtfully and with intention.  She is a certified MBTI Type Practitioner, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Trainer, as well as Teaching and Parenting with Love and Logic Facilitator.  She has served on several education accreditation committees, been a council member for the ACT State Council, and spoken at local and national education conferences. She is highly engaged in the community especially when it comes to causes that propel our education systems into a more effective space.  /p>

Katie is a proud mother to Noah, Hugh, and Evelyn, spending as much time with her family as possible. She earned her undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Colorado Boulder and then moved to the career path calling her in education. She has her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

About Future Holders

Future Holders is an online learning platform offering more than 2,000 lessons and exercises in areas including financial acumen, entrepreneurial mindset, leadership and character development, social-emotional learning, and cultural competency.  Future Holders’ agile education model  prepares and emboldens children to be creators, cultivators, incubators, disrupters and change-makers.

  • entrepreneurship
  • Future Holders
  • leadership
anti racism

September 10, 2020 

9:30 AM

Rosalind Wiseman

This presentation will give parents increased knowledge and skills to support Aspen Academy’s efforts to promote diversity and equity in its community. We will cover the following topics:

  • How to have hard conversations about race and privilege with your children

  • How to support anti-racist work when you can’t relate to people of color’s experience or you have little education on having these conversations

  • Knowing the difference between a curious question and a question that reinforces bias and discrimination.

  • Increasing parents' skills to teach their children to contribute to a culture of dignity in the school.

While this topic for many can be uncomfortable, ideally it is also an opportunity for learning and strengthening relationships. It is efforts like these that build the school’s capacity to be a place of dignity for students, parents, staff, and faculty. 


Download the Recording


A recording will be available. Please register to receive the recording if you are unable to attend.


About Rosalind Wiseman

From where we learn to where we work, Rosalind Wiseman fosters civil dialogue and inspires communities to build strength, courage and purpose. Through professional development training, speaking, teaching, and consulting in a wide array of organizations, educational institutions and corporations, Rosalind is reimagining social emotional learning for all: so we can all be in better relationships with each other.

National media regularly depends on Wiseman as the expert on ethical leadership, conflict, media literacy, youth culture, parenting, and bullying prevention. She has been profiled in The New York Times, People, Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and USA Today. Wiseman is a frequent guest on national media like The Today Show, CNN, and NPR affiliates throughout the country.

Wiseman’s presentations transcend cultural and economic boundaries. Her engaging and forthright delivery captures audiences, inspires them to strengthen their professional and personal relationships, and gives them practical tools they can immediately apply to their lives.

She is the founder of Cultures of Dignity; an organization that shifts the way communities think about our physical and emotional wellbeing by working in close partnership with the experts of those communities–young people, educators, policy makers, and business and political leaders.

In addition, to her work at the Anti-Defamation League as a contributor and curriculum creator,   she is best known for being the author of Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World—the groundbreaking, best-selling book that was the basis for the movie and Broadway Musical Mean Girls, and in 2016 was fully revised for a third edition. And Wiseman is the author of the Owning Up Curriculum, a comprehensive social justice program for grades 4-12 which is in widespread use across the world.

Her other publications include the New York Times best seller, Masterminds & Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World, which addresses the social lives of boys and was awarded Best Parenting Book by Books for a Better Life in 2014.

Wiseman has spoken to audiences throughout the US and abroad, South by Southwest, Microsoft, The Royal Society for the Arts, the Association for the Advancement of International Education, the American School Counselors Association, the Game Developers Conference, the American Association of School Administrators, at the White House many times and numerous schools, governments, organizations, and corporations throughout the US and abroad.


  • Diversity
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
balloon launch

August 13, 2020 

9:30 AM

Ali Schroer, LCSW

This presentation will focus on how families can engage individually and as a whole in taking care of themselves amidst a global pandemic. The presentation is aimed at primary caretakers, such as parents, and will provide self-care strategies and tactics that can lessen the emotional strain of today's climate. Additionally, participants will hear about how COVID-19 has compounded mental health challenges and what can be done to increase happiness for both parents and youth alike. 

Ali Shroer

About Ali Schroer

Ali Schroer is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) who specializes in working with children, adolescents, families and adults. After receiving a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and a teaching certificate in Elementary Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Ali taught for four years as a classroom teacher in Cherry Creek School District. Click here to learn more.


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