We understand learning disabilities, we build confidence, we build skills, we build opportunities.

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Corey Pollard, Executive Director

Corey is an Educational Consultant and Diagnostician with a Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Maryland. She has experience assessing, treating, and consulting with families supporting children with autism, specific learning disabilities, speech-language disorders and neurological issues. She has worked at several leading research and treatment centers including Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University, Children's Hospital Colorado, and the University of Denver. She has specific training in Orton-Gillingham and Educational Law and enjoys working with families and schools to come up with a collaborative plan for success. When she's not working she enjoys spending time with her boys (5 and 6), running, and listening to podcasts.

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Mikayla Storey, Clinical Coordinator

Mikayla is our Clinical Coordinator with a degree in Psychology and Special Education from James Madison University in Virginia. Mikayla takes care of all of the daily clinical operations in addition to supporting the curriculum design of the Smart ALEC Curriculum. Mikayla has an extensive history supporting students with special education needs during her time at JMU. She is passionate about giving students everything they need to be successful and absolutely loves spending time supporting students so that they can feel confident in their abilities. Students love spending time with Mikayla as she is engaging and can always find a way to make learning fun.

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Becky Newell, Director of Product Development & Training

Becky is an Educational Therapist and Director of Product Development for Ascend. With a Masters in Education from UNC-Chapel Hill and over 10 years of education experience including extensive training in the Orton-Gillingham approach from the Windward School,  The Hill Center in Durham NC, and Children’s Hospital Colorado she is well-versed in best practices. Beyond her clinical work, Becky was diagnosed with dyslexia in 6th grade and struggled to learn how to read.  She openly talks with her students about the difficulty of learning how to read and spell as well as the strengths that come with having dyslexia.  Away from work Becky loves to play outside, drink good coffee, eat delicious food and travel with her wife and dog Indi!


Abbie Maras, Educational Therapist

Abbie is an Educational Therapist with a Masters in Arts in Reading Education. She has her Colorado teaching and reading specialist licenses. Abbie has a diverse background working as a classroom reading teacher, English language instructor, test administrator and interventionist, and RTI coordinator. Abbie is currently a member of the International Dyslexia Association, Colorado Council International Reading Association and is in the process of becoming a Certified Academic Language Practitioner.

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Kelly Hoover, Clinical Director

Kelly in an Educational Therapist & Consultant. Her educational experience spans twenty years as a classroom teacher, reading interventionist, Differentiation Coach, and MTSS Coordinator. Kelly has a Masters of Arts in Curriculum & Instruction: Reading and is a certified by the Orton-Gillingham Academy as a classroom teacher instructor. Kelly is a freelance writer and teaches at Regis University as a graduate program level instructor in the Masters of Education Reading Program. Kelly understands the unique challenges that come along with learning how to read. While there will certainly be bumps in the road, she works with her students to make these stepping-stones instead of stumbling blocks. Kelly’s hobbies include building model rockets with her two boys (6 and 9), reading historical fiction, and camping with her family.

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Maria Crossland, Educational Coach

Maria is an Educational Coach with a degree in Neuroscience from Regis University. Maria provides math remediation and Executive Functioning coaching. She comes to us with extensive experience from the University of Denver - Developmental Neuropsychology lab and Children's Hospital Colorado - Rehabilitation Psychology department. She is currently working on applications to PhD programs in clinical psychology where she would like to focus on supporting bilingual students to achieve more successful academic outcomes.