Our Mission:

To optimize the development and well-being of youth and the educators who care for them.

Directors & Advisors

Our Board of Directors works to expand the scope and reach of SoulSpark Learning's mission to optimize the development and well-being of youth and educators. Directors receive formal training in non-profit best practices and SoulSpark Learning is a member of the Colorado Nonprofit Association. Our team has professional experience in education, psychology, equity, public health, research, business and nonprofit leadership. We partner with diverse community members and invest our time, expertise and resources in caring for the entire SoulSpark Learning community.

Dr. Kate Bachtel

From a family of educators, Kate is a mother who has been teaching and learning alongside children and teachers for as long as she can remember. Her parents were pioneers in holistic education; her father taught world history and psychology at the high school level and her mother taught kindergarten.

Kate was awarded a full scholarship to University of Colorado-Boulder for her Master’s in Education (emphasis in equity). She graduated in just over a year with a 4.0 while teaching and raising two young children. In addition, Kate has a Doctorate in Education (curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in gifted) from the University of Denver where she attended on a dean’s scholarship. Her dissertation focused on what IS working in practice to support diverse gifted youth in thriving. Prior to launching SoulSpark Learning, Kate co-led the opening of Mackintosh Academy’s Boulder campus, a K-8 IB World school with a holistic vision for educating gifted and creative learners. In addition, Kate contributes to the community as a director at SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) where she served as president from 2016-17 and as an advisor on The G Word Film.

Meg Carr, M.A.

Megan Carr, M.A. (Meg) brings over 30 years experience working with children and young adults in a variety of roles. She is a Registered Psychotherapist and Coach who specializes in working with the highly sensitive, creative and gifted at Red Feather Rising. She works with adolescents and adults utilizing a neurobiological therapeutic approach to process and repair trauma, attachment patterns and nervous system dysregulation. She is trained in the Adult Attachment Repair Model (AARM), ICF certified Coach for Life training, Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), Equine – Assisted Psychotherapy, Shamanic Studies and Energy Medicine. She is the direct understudy and apprentice to Peter Cummings, LCSW, Creator and Founder of the Adult Attachment Repair Model.

Red Feather Rising
Amber Viitanen, MPH
Amber Viitanen, MPH

Amber is a health care professional with clinical experience informed by degrees in integrative physiology and sociology, as well as a Master’s in Public Health with a dual emphasis in epidemiology and community and behavioral hgealth. She currently serves as the Emergency Medical and Trauma Services (EMTS) data section manager at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. With goals to merge quantitative and qualitative data management, Amber has experience in evaluation, program planning and intervention, statistical analysis, continuous quality improvement, as well as effective dissemination of information.

Tommy Larson

Tommy is recently retired from the United States Air Force. He is currently the business manager for The Rogue Valley Brainery & Ludoteca, an educational enrichment program and community located near Medford, Oregon.

Press & Publications

Mind Matters Podcast

Featured Guest on Inaugural Episode:

A Vision for Gifted Education

Recent Publications (book chapters)

Bachtel, K. (2017). The Heart of It: EQ Skill Gaps Contributing to Underachievement. In Klingner, R. (Ed.), Gifted Underachiever (pp. 93-119). Huntington, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Bachtel, K. (2017). Emotional Intelligence for Achievement and Well-being: SoulSpark’s The Heart of EQ. (monograph). University of Denver, Colorado.

Recent Publications (invited articles)

Bachtel, K. (2018). We are Our Environment: The Eco-System of Gifted Development.  

Bachtel, K. (2018). Sparking Leadership in Gifted Girls. Parenting for High Potential. National Association of Gifted Children.

Bachtel, K. (2017). Trauma: A Call for Collaboration. 

Bachtel, K. (2015). Inclusive Communities Say "No."

Bachtel, K. (2014).  Your Learning Path: A Framework for Creating and Considering Learning Environments.

Bachtel, K. (2014).The Power in Sensitivities.

Dissertation (2017)

Seeing the Unseen: An Educational Criticism of a Gifted School

The Washington Diplomat

Interviewed for and quoted in

Minority Students Underrepresented in Gifted Programs

By: Carolyn Cosmos