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SPED Department Contacts

Select the name of a school below to find the SPED Assistant Director for that school and contact information.



Amy Allen Assistant Director


Amy Allen Image

Amy is beginning her 6th year as a Special Education Assistant Director. Her current assignment includes the South/Mountain secondary schools, supervision of the district Behavior Analyst team and special education float paras.

She previously served as an Assistant Principal at Bear Creek High School for 8 years.  Prior to working in Jeffco, Amy was an Assistant Principal at Mountain Vista High School for 6 years.  She started her career in Texas as a high school business teacher. Amy earned a Bachelor of Business Administration at Stephen F. Austin University and a Masters of Education at Texas A&M Commerce.


Jeb Brako Assistant Director


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Jeb Brako is in his second year of service for Jefferson County Public Schools in the role of Assistant Director of Special Education. Prior to his current role, he worked as a special education teacher serving secondary aged students in Colorado’s rural mountain schools and before that, a 4th grade teacher in Cherry Creek School District. Jeb shares administrative leadership over several Jeffco Transition Services sites and supports special education teams at most centrally based Jeffco middle and high schools.





Erin Frank Assistant Director


Erin Frank ImageErin is a Colorado native, a 2nd generation Jeffco student and 3rd generation Jeffco professional. She began working in the mental health field in 2002 as a counselor and director in treatment facilities and group homes. She joined Jeffco as a School Psychologist practicum student in the fall of 2005 and continued in the role of school psych supporting students in and out of Affective Needs (AN) programs through 2014 when she shifted into the role of Special Education Coordinator and then Assistant Director. Erin currently supports all schools with AN programs as well as leading the district work of Center Program Alignment. She also proudly supports schools without center programs and charter schools in the district.

Erin’s core value in supporting students with disabilities is ensuring that all students’ right to an inclusive education is the foundation of IEP decisions. Erin believes that students rise to high expectations and accomplish amazing things when they have the support of a collaborative team. As an Assistant Director, Erin’s primary role is to support direct partnerships between student families and the school professionals. Erin encourages all members of an IEP team to enter conversations ready to listen and consider everyone’s input with an open mind. She is grateful for each opportunity to grow and learn through interactions with Jeffco teams, students and families. 


Jessica Goodkin Assistant Director


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Jessica Goodkin moved to Colorado in 1994 and attended UC Boulder for her undergraduate degree.  She received her Master’s in Special Education from UC Denver and has spent her entire educational career in Jeffco.  Jessica Goodkin is in her second year as an Assistant Director for special education. Prior to this, she worked as a learning specialist and then as an instructional coach.  This year, Jessica is the supervisor for the special education instructional coaches, and oversees Learning Ally.  Jessica is also the lead for the SSN center programs in the district.  When not working, you can find Jessica hiking, camping or snowboarding with her family all over Colorado.



Kelly Klatt Assistant Director 


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Originally from Minnesota, by way of Nebraska, Kelly Klatt is proud to say she has been a member of Team Jeffco for 16 years.  Kelly began her career in Jeffco as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher.  Prior to working in Jeffco she worked in a Day Treatment facility, was a child-care director and an in-home ABA provider.  This is Kelly’s 3rd year as Assistant Director of Special Education.  Kelly supports north area schools with and without Autism programs.  She is the Autism Lead, guiding the district teams/centers on policy and professional development, as well oversees the iReady Accommodation as part of Read Act.  This is her 21th year in Special Education.  She is passionate about supporting equity and inclusive practices for all students.  Outside of work, Kelly enjoys yoga, reading, participating in 5k races and triathlons, or spending time in the mountains with her husband and their 2 active boys. 


Jill Leitner Assistant Director


Jill Leitner ImageJill Leitner is a Jeffco native and attended Jeffco schools.  After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Psychology she started her career as a counselor in a Residential Treatment Center in Aurora.  Ten years later, Jill became a Special Education Teacher in Denver while simultaneously obtaining her Master’s Degree in Special Education from The University of Colorado in Denver.  For twelve years she taught students in the affective needs program in several elementary schools.  Jill left the classroom to be a member of the Behavior and Evaluation Support Team and then a Regional Support Specialist in Denver Public Schools for the next four years.  Jill then moved on to Aurora public Schools, where she worked as a Special Education Consultant for schools in Northwest Aurora for nearly six years.  Circling back to Jeffco with 22 years in education, Jill is happily in the position of Assistant Director of Special Education serving schools in the Mountains and South Jeffco. Outside of her career, Jill enjoys fishing, camping, hiking with her dogs and collecting antique bottles.


Adena Miller Assistant Director


Adena MillerAdena Miller, Ph.D., has been committed to equity in education for over two decades. Her experiences range from teaching students in the classroom to coaching educators across the nation. Adena has co-authored special education policies at the Colorado Department of Education prior to conducting research evaluations of policy implementation at McREL International. Her passion for problem-solving the needs of struggling learners; building collaborative partnerships between professionals and families; and studying special education law inspires her work as an Assistant Director of Special Education in Jeffco Public Schools. Adena is driven to inspire, empower, teach, and learn within our community to meet the needs of all learners so that, together, we can improve outcomes for our students.



Lynea Pearson Assistant Director


Lynea Pearson ImageLynea Pearson joined the Jeffco Public Schools team in 2015.  She started her career as a Speech Language Pathologist working in schools, hospitals, private practice and 10 years as a University Clinical Professor.  As an SLP, she specialized in Assistive Technology and Augmentative Alternative Communication.  Lynea has been in special education for over 25 years.  She currently supports the Birth to 5 Child Find evaluation team, Deaf and Hard of Hearing as well as the brain injury (BrainSTEPs) consultation team. 



Liza Meier Director 


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Liza is excited to work in Jeffco in order to create authentic, inclusive, and meaningful opportunities for all students, especially students with disabilities. For over 20 years, Liza has worked in the field of public education. 16 of these years have been spent in Jeffco working as a Special Education Teacher, Instructional Coach, Assistant Principal and Assistant Director of Special Education before becoming a Director of Special Education.  S

he is dedicated to continued support of Jeffco Special Education professionals, students, and families.




Matt Palaoro Executive Director


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Matt Palaoro is a servant leader who believes relationships, collaboration, and communication are the main ingredients to a healthy school year and our overall success. He listens closely, focuses on the needs of kids, and always acts with integrity. Although Matt is new to being an Executive Director of Special Education, his experience as a Special Education Paraprofessional, Special Education Teacher, Assistive Technology Coordinator, Special Education Coordinator, Assistant Director of Special Education, and Director of Special Education have prepared him for his new leadership role. Matt holds an MBA from the University of Northern Colorado in Educational Leadership and Special Education Administration. You can expect honesty, strong communication, and a child-centered approach when working with Matt. He is committed to improving the outcomes of every student with a disability in Jeffco Public Schools, and he loves his job.


Dr. Susan Leach Chief Student Success Officer


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