Co-Founder, Head of Research & Program Development
Alexis “Ali” Dabney grew up running around the desert of Moab, Utah and credits much of who she is today from the freedom to play and create she had in childhood. Beyond those pivotal years, she brings over a decade of experience in education working with children from Pre-K to 6th grade.
She holds a Masters in K-6 Teaching from Dominican University and a Montessori primary certificate from The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI).
Ali began her teaching career in 2010 as a Teach for America corps member and went on to work in multiple school models as a primary, elementary, and middle school teacher, as well as a math specialist. During her time in the classroom, she saw approaches to learning that both supported and obstructed student engagement, autonomy and achievement, and wanted to learn more about the science behind helping all children to reach their potential.
In 2019, Ali was awarded the Stelos Alliance Social Innovation Fellowship, a grant to conduct research and development on innovative approaches to a particular challenge in the public sector and EDVOLUTIONARY was born.
Ali currently splits time between her home office in Buena Vista, CO and spending time in her old classroom with Annie and the crew in Denver, CO.
Co-Founder, Head of Partnerships & Implementation
Annie Holyfield has always had an active imagination. She is an avid reader, colors outside the lines – usually with glitter – and has garnered a reputation for creating magical spaces in which her students thrive. Annie earned her Masters degree through the Stanley British Primary Teacher Preparation Program and has taught kindergarten and first grade for nearly 15 years. Her magic for cultivating community and infusing art and literacy experiences for students earned her the 2018 national Klingenstein Teacher of the Year Award from EL Education.
Annie has spent her entire teaching career working alongside principal Chris Fleming in Expeditionary Learning (EL) Education schools, where she had the freedom to be the kind of teacher who creates joy and excitement for learning in her classroom.
Within the EL model, literacy is woven into “expeditions,” where kids engage with compelling topics that have an impact on their community. Annie excelled in the EL environment. Her intuitive ability to integrate the essential elements of childhood – play, literacy, music, art, dance, silliness, curiosity, messiness and just being a kid – while leveraging the development and academic needs of the whole child, led to her nomination for the EL Education Teacher of the Year Award.
In addition to her role at EDVOLUTIONARY, Annie is currently a K/1 literacy teacher and coach in Denver, CO and just completed her Orton Gillingham certification.
We're so glad you asked!
Check out our first ever podcast episode to learn how we met and our vision for how we hope to be part of the evolution of our education system.
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