The Boys School of Denver – Leadership

Nick Jackson

Head of School

Nick is incredibly humbled and inspired to see his dream, The Boys School of Denver, become a reality! He is entering his 10th year in education, with the last 3 of those years spent teaching and leading at GALS, the sister school to BOYS. He graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD (his hometown), with a BA in Elementary Education and a minor in music. He holds a Masters in Educational Leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City. Previous to GALS he taught 4th grade at State College Friends School in State College, PA, 6th grade social studies at First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School in Philadelphia, PA, and 3rd grade at Cleveland Elementary in Sioux Falls, SD. When he’s not teaching or leading, he enjoys playing all kinds of sports (he’s been coaching soccer for over a decade) composing music on the piano or guitar, and spending time with his friends and family, especially his wife, Tina, his one year old daughter, June, and his dog, Flower. He is excited for an amazing and historic inaugural year here at The Boys School and can’t wait to see where this “Movement” leads! Ubuntu!

Tony Pigford

Dean of Students

Tony is a fourth generation Denver native and third generation product of Denver Public Schools. He is thrilled to have joined The Boys School of Denver as the Dean of Students! Tony joined the movement in 2016 and has served as a Dean, 7th Grade wellness coach, and movement coach at GALS. He comes to the organization from his position as a Student Voice and Leadership Coordinator at Denver Public Schools, where he coordinated the Student Board of Education and Challenge 5280. Tony coached boys varsity basketball for four years at his alma mater, Thomas Jefferson High School. It was there that he gained his passion for youth leadership and development. He attended Florida A&M University where he studied Business Administration and Theatre. Tony loves to travel, play golf, ski, and spend time with his wife, family, and friends.

Carol Bowar

Executive Director

Carol is thrilled to be at Girls Athletic Leadership Schools and The Boys School of Denver as Executive Director for GALS Denver (Colorado), after serving as a member of the founding board of GALS and a previous board member. Most recently Carol served as the COO of KIPP Colorado Schools, was the Director of Curriculum and Career Services at GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, and a consultant for the National Center for Women and Information Technology. Prior to living overseas with her family (Australia, 2012) she was President & CEO of Girls Inc. of Metro Denver. Additional past positions include Vice President, Program Services at Girls Inc. of Metro Denver, Director of Training, Education and Community Service Programs at Up with People, Policy Assistant for the Governor’s Office (Roy Romer, CO), Field Director at KaBoom!, and Program Officer for the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation. Carol received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She loves the quote, “What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.” She is an avid hiker and runner, and spends her free time with family - Ted, Ellie - 12, Tate - 10, and Joey - 8.

Liz Wolfson

Chief Visionary Officer

Liz Wolfson created the vision for the Girls Athletic Leadership Schools in 2008, raised over half a million dollars in angel funding, developed the strategic plan and moved to Colorado to open the flagship schools here in Denver. Due to Liz's leadership, GALS is the first Colorado home-grown educational network to expand beyond the state's border, as GALS Los Angeles opened in 2016, and GALS Idaho is set to open in 2020. Liz believes her passion for comprehensive health in schools stems from her upbringing in the world of competitive athletics where she competed in Division I Field Hockey. Liz has spent the bulk of her career working for CEO’s and Philanthropists in manifesting their visions and starting up corporate and philanthropic projects locally, nationally and internationally. Former non-profit clients include the Institute for International Sport, The American Montessori Society, The Rose Institute (for homeless youth) and a former Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Former corporate work includes creating the first global communications division for Comverse, a world leader in voice activated systems, and raising seed-funding for TaskMail, the first Jordanian/Israeli high tech start-up company. Liz received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and earned her Masters Degree at the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. Liz considers herself a force in organizational behavior and strives to model leadership based on relationships, not compliance.

BOYS Staff

Ismael Alvarez

Front Office Manager

Ismael "Ish" Alvarez grew up in El Paso, Texas, before moving up to Colorado and attending the Community College of Denver. He is a secretary with 15 years of experience in education doing office work, helping family communities, and doing Spanish translation. Ismael enjoys spending time with his 5 children as well as tabletop gaming.

Joshua Andert

6th Grade BOYS Series

Joshua is thrilled and humbled to join the Boys School of Denver as the BOYS Series teacher.  He is in his 9th year of education.  He began as a Teach For America Corp Member in Louisiana where he taught middle school science for two years.  The following year he and his wife traveled the world, including biking End-to-End through the United Kingdom and trekking though the Himalaya.  Upon returning the US, Joshua settled in Denver, where he has taught middle school and high school science and social studies.  As a History major at the University of Puget Sound, Joshua has always been curious about how the world has come to be the way it is.  Today, however, he is compelled by the questions of how do we make the world a better place, and how do we prepare our children live their truths and lead us to a more compassionate and inclusive world?  When not in the classroom, Joshua can be found spending time outdoors with his wife and three daughters or running in the mountains.

Gabriel Cannon


Gabriel Cannon, Counselor at The Boys School, has worked with youth, young adults, and families for over 20 years. Gabriel received his undergraduate degree in Human Development and Adventure Education from Prescott College and his graduate degree in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Gabriel has worked in both clinical settings and wilderness-based programs, and he is passionate about helping young people transition through adolescence into healthy adulthood.

Lindsay Cocos

6th Grade Social Studies

Lindsay is entering her 8th year of teaching middle school, and is thrilled to be part of the Boys School of Denver! She grew up in Elizabeth, Colorado and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where she studied History. She earned her teaching license and MA in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver. Her favorite part of teaching is when students start to see real world applications of concepts they learn in social studies. When she isn't teaching, she loves to play various musical instruments, travel, and spend time with her husband (Brian) and son (Jonah, 2).​​

Bob Goodwyn

6th Grade Math

Bob Goodwyn was born and raised in Lewistown, Montana, a small agricultural hub in the heart of Central Montana. He graduated with a degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he enjoyed football, soccer, and was a student leader. Since college, he has worked in the Dakota oil fields, guided climbing and skiing in Alaska and Argentina, taught high school math, and coached rock climbing in Helena, Montana. In love with climbing, skiing, and anything in the vertical world, he finds many similarities with the problem solving in the mountains and problem solving in the classroom. In all walks of life, Bob has been an educator and loves working with young adults - the future of tomorrow!

Michael Lamond

6th Grade Language Arts

​Mike is originally from Buffalo, NY. He has spent the last 18 years teaching all ages in some pretty interesting places. He ended up in Colorado 12 years ago and doesn't intend to leave. When not teaching, Mike also spends time coaching basketball, baseball, and soccer. When out of the school environment completely, you'll probably find him running or hanging out with his wife and 2 year old son.

Hannah Miller

6th Grade Science

Hannah is overjoyed to be teaching science at The Boys School of Denver! She has spent the past two years teaching math at GALS and is excited to join The Boys School team. Hannah graduated from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with a BA in Elementary Education and an endorsement in Middle School Science. This past year Hannah received her Masters is Educational Leadership from Regis University. She was born and raised in Minnesota, but now calls Colorado home. Before GALS, Hannah was selected as a Nobel Peace Prize Scholar and later participated in Teachers Ready for Peace, a 6-week graduate course in India. She has spent time teaching abroad in Slovakia and Tanzania as well as 4th grade in Sioux Falls. Outside of the classroom, Hannah can be found enjoying this beautiful state. She spends her free time hiking, biking, getting lost, skiing, gardening and adventuring with her family and friends. Teaching is her passion and she hopes to ignite curiosity within all of her students.

Randall Nigohosian

Special Education

Randall is delighted and honored to be joining the Boys School of Denver team. He is a Rhode Island native and was raised in Utah. Randall graduated summa cum laude from Westminster College in Salt Lake City with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a Special Education endorsement. He has lived in China teaching English to children and working with college students as an English tutor. Randall received the Teacher of the Year Award while working at a school for students with special needs here in Denver.

All-Schools Team

Betsy Barrow

Enrollment & Communications

Betsy has been with GALS since 2011, and is currently the Director of Enrollment for both GALS and The Boys School of Denver.  She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and attended Davidson College in North Carolina. She served as the Program Director for Breakthrough Houston, an educational enrichment non-profit in Houston, TX and then taught Biology and Environmental Science before moving to Denver in 2011. She loves hiking, yoga, vegetable gardening, and hanging out with her husband, daughter, and three pets.

Jennifer Benningfield

Athletic Director

Jenni is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. She played collegiate basketball at Vanderbilt University and went on to play professionally in the WNBA and internationally. Upon retiring, she returned to the classroom where she received her master's degree in education with a focus on sport psychology. JB has served many roles in an academic setting as a director of operations, coach, and sport psychology consultant. She is ecstatic to share her passion for athletics and her love for teaching here at GALS!

Dolores Schaack

Director of Operations

Dolores was born and raised in Liberia, West Africa. She moved to the United States for college and studied General and Religious Education at Southern Methodist College in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Dolores moved to Denver and attended the University of Denver where she majored in Business Administration. Prior to joining the GALS team, she worked as a Business Manager for another Denver Charter School, and a Sr. Administrative Coordinator for a laboratory products distributor, also in Denver. Dolores has a 6 year old son with whom she enjoys relaxing and hanging out in her free time.

Elissa Soden

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Elissa grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where she competed on the women's tennis team. Prior to her work at GALS, Elissa worked in development and community outreach roles for Teach For America, Stanley British Primary School Children's Hospital Colorado, the Atlanta Falcons, and Kroenke Sports Enterprises. She loves swimming, yoga, hiking, traveling, and spending time with her husband and two children.

Felicia Soifer

Academic Support Liaison

Originally from Los Angeles, Felicia graduated from University of Colorado, Boulder with a degree in Sociology. After college, she moved to New York City, where she taught for nine years and received her Master's degree in Elementary Education and Curriculum from City College, City University New York. Felicia came to GALS after working for various educational non-profits as a freelance writer. She taught 6th grade language arts for two years at GALS before becoming the Director of Academics. When not working, Felicia spends all her time playing in beautiful Colorado with her amazing family, husband Josiah, their two boys Jackson and Spencer, and the family dogs, Harlem and Renaissance.