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 University 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

The 10 Greatest Gifts I Give My Children

March 11, 2021


Colleen Upton, Presenter

Take the struggle out of parenting and put the joy back in! Based on the best-selling book, The 10 Greatest Gifts I Give My Children, by Steven Vannoy. It’s entertaining and priceless for building close, healthy families with qualities and values such as honesty, responsibility, self-reliance, respect and joy! During this Parent University, you'll learn easy-to-use, practical tools to equip your children with priceless values and recognize the strengths in your parenting, your child, and your family.

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 A New Model of Marriage for Busy Parents

February 21, 2021
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Nate Klemp, PhD & Kaley Klemp, Authors
Cost: $40/Couple, each couple receives: The 80/80 Marriage: A New Model for a Happier, Stronger Relationship (a $26 value).

In today’s current age, as we strive for partnerships between equals, an unintended consequence is fighting about what’s fair: who is doing more, cares more, or tries harder. Against this backdrop, Kaley & Nate Klemp created The 80/80 Marriage (Penguin Random House), which provides the map and tools for how to live beyond 50/50 fairness and instead shift to a more optimal way of experiencing your relationship in the midst of life’s chaos.

This 90-minute workshop introduces couples to the key tools of The 80/80 Marriage. The first is a shift in mindset: out of scorekeeping and into radical generosity. The second is a new way to think about the structure of your life, where clear values, priorities, boundaries and roles give you shared success, and with it the freedom and fun to enjoy your lives - and each other - at a whole new level.

Session includes their new book, The 80/80 Marriage.


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Due to the workshop nature of this session, a recording will be not be available. 

Nate Klemp, PhD and Kaley Klemp

Authors, The 80/80 Marriage: A New Model for a Happier, Stronger Relationship


Nate is a writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur. Along with Eric Langshur, he is the co-author of the New York Times Bestseller Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing (Simon & Schuster: North Star Way) and is a weekly columnist for Inc. Magazine. He is also a founding partner at Mindful, one of the world's largest mindfulness media and training companies.  Nate holds a B.A. and M.A. in philosophy from Stanford University and a PhD from Princeton University

Kaley is one of the nation's leading experts on small-group dynamics and leadership development. She is a TEDx speaker and the author of three books, including the Amazon Bestseller The 15 Commitments of Conscious LeadershipThe Drama-Free Office, and 13 Guidelines for Effective Teams. A favorite with Young Presidents Organization (YPO) forums and chapters, Kaley has facilitated retreats for more than 400 member and spouse forums throughout the world. Kaley is a graduate of Stanford University, where she earned a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in Sociology, with a focus on Organizational Behavior.





  • marriage
A Walk in Others' Shoes

February 11, 2021


Jessie Skipwith, Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

This school year has brought to the forefront for even more friends and families the urgency we all have in creating a more fair, just and equitable world. The Aspen Academy community is addressing head-on the variety of ways that we can become increasingly culturally competent with students, parents and faculty.

Please join us for our February Parent University where Aspen Academy Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Jessie Skipwith, will guide you through the many ways that Aspen Academy is meeting others where they are through personal stories and professional reflections.

"I really enjoyed hearing your personal stories as this helps provide a clear example of systemic racism which can be hard to fully grasp when not coming from a similar perspective. Most importantly your tone and approach are so inclusive and inviting that they made me feel so comfortable learning about what can be such a heated topic. I love your emphasis on giving each other grace as we try to educate ourselves. Thank you for all the thought and effort you put into today." - Parent Attendee Testimonial

Download the Recording



Director of Elevate & Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Student Success Coach, Licensed School Counselor

Jessie comes to Aspen Academy with over 20 years of experience in educational leadership and student engagement. He has held head of school positions at elementary, middle and high schools, ran an all-school counseling department, provided private practice counseling services for families and individuals, and has served as the executive director of an education non-profit supporting low-income, English language learners from throughout the greater Denver area. He is a voracious reader of books about how students learn, how families and communities support developing young people, as well as books on progressive, innovative and dynamic new solutions to many of today’s life challenges. Jessie loves that Aspen Academy provides families and students with a small, nurturing and safe environment that encourages students to take healthy risks, to push themselves beyond their comfort zones, and that it inspires insatiable curiosity and wonder in students as they pursue their passions to help make the world a better place to live for all people. Outside of work, he loves to spend time with his wife and two children and enjoying Colorado’s great outdoors while hiking, golfing or skiing.


M.Ed., Counselor Education, University of New Orleans 1997
B.A., Justice, American University 1994





  • DEI
  • Diversity
Goal Setting Workshop: Finding Your North Star

January 14, 2021


Kristina Scala, Founder & Head of School

Many are hoping for 2021 to look different than 2020, so let's focus on setting some intentions and goals! With all the massive priorities for modern parents, we often neglect the important time to establish personal goals, mission and vision. Yet, it’s a crucial skill we instill in our children and Aspen Academy students. Join Kristina Scala for an actionable session where you’ll walk away with a clearer focus for accomplishing your personal goals for the decade ahead and the rest of 2021.

Due to the workshop nature of this event, a recording is not available. 

Founder, President - Aspen Academy
Founder, Executive Director - Bear's Student Enterprises
Founder, Chief Officer - Future Holders
Founder, President - Aspen Academy Investment Fund
Founder, President - MODI

Kristina Scala is committed to equipping the generations of future leaders to be life-ready; as an award-winning entrepreneur she is transforming education. She inspires and motivates others to live purposeful and authentic lives by being kind, doing good, working hard, and making the world better through what we think, say, and do. She is a thoughtful and creative leader, enthusiastic educator and master facilitator who presents on topics of education and personal, leadership, entrepreneurial, and parenting development.

Scala is the founder and president of Aspen Academy, Future Holders, Aspen Academy Investment Fund, Bear’s Student Enterprises and The Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute, and MODI – Move and Discover, a school furniture line (for which she was granted a patent in 2019).

In addition to serving as a pioneer of social good-oriented education, and her dedication to empowering others, Scala is a mother to Canyon (Class of 2009), Sage (Class of 2010), and Dillon (Class of 2012). She received her Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Business Administration from California State University, Chico and her Master’s Degree from the University of Denver. She is also a graduate of the Entrepreneurial Master’s Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.).

She received her Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Business Administration from California State University and her Master’s Degree from the University of Denver’s Morgridge School of Education. She is also a graduate the Entrepreneurial Master’s Program at M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). She was featured in the PBS documentary, Exceptionary Women.



B.S., Business Administration, California State University at Chico
M.Ed., University of Denver
Entrepreneurial Master’s Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology





  • Goal-Setting
  • Mission
  • personal growth
  • priorities
  • values
  • vision
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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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