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, as a mentor at Watson University 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 Attachment Repair Model (ARM), 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 Attachment Repair Model.

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 health. 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.

Rebecca Comizio, M.A., Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP)

Rebecca taught English at Southington High School in Connecticut before entering a doctorate program in Philosophy and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. While at TC, Rebecca earned her Master’s in Philosophy and Education before taking a parental leave of absence as a doctoral candidate. As a mother of 4, a short leave turned into 13 years or raising her family. During this time, Rebecca began a formal study of educational and child psychology ultimately pursuing a second Master Degree in School Psychology. Rebecca also works in national advocacy for children’s mental, and behavioral health supports in schools as a leader and Committee Co-Chair for the National Association of School Psychologists. She is the proud mother of 4 adolescents, a Sophomore and Senior studying at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Sophomore and Senior studying at Greenwich High School, in Greenwich, Connecticut. She is also the mother-figure for 3 adorable dogs- Max, Molly and Lulu, and a co-host of the School Psyched Podcast, which creates collaborative conversations and free professional development for school psychologists.

Sharon Duncan

Sharon Duncan works nationwide with parents, educators, psychologists and pediatricians, to find solutions for a wide-variety of challenges that often accompany raising and educating gifted children. Sharon consults on educational decisions and options (including homeschooling), behavioral concerns, provides training and classroom support to educators, works with schools to create or improve gifted programing or student-specific plans, and connects people to resources. Professionally, Sharon spent 26 years working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and has served on the governing boards of public and private schools. She is a sought-after speaker and the co-founder of Gifted Identity and Gifted Research and Outreach.  Sharon also serves on the board of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum (GHF).

Markus Hunt, M.Ed.

You’ll find Markus working at the intersection of education and empathy. He currently lives  in Aurora, Colorado and serves as the Head of School for The Logan School for Creative Learning, founded by Patti McKinnell. His most recent presentations have included Giving Students Voice & Choice in the Classroom and What the @$^# is Gifted? In addition to his work at Logan, Markus is a practitioner of the World Game through Instituut Kind en Beeld, Netherlands. Markus studied school leadership at Harvard’s graduate school of education and English literature at Howard University. He is always looking for ways to serve as a catalyst for change and to question the status quo.

Marina La Grave

Marina is Founder and Executive Director of CLACE (Latin-American Center for Arts, Science and Education). She is currently an education team member of NASA’s MAVEN mission, Multicultural and Media consultant for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Discover Health/Decubre tu Salud program, Research Associate for NSF SciGirls national program, Multicultural Consultant for the City of Boulder, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Wings Museum over the Rockies and Coordinator for SWL program for Boulder Valley School District (BVSD). Marina is a UN and UNESCO Interpreter and Translator with a passion for STEM education. She is also the producer of  “Tu Educación”, a weekly segment on the local Latino TV station, Telemundo. Marina has served as a Victim Advocate for the Boulder Police Department since 2003 and received the “Chief Commendation Award” in 2016 for her service. She consults and speaks across the country and is a proud Mom and “Mimi” to 5 amazing grandchildren.

Nancy Lee, MA, LPC

Nancy is a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice in Aurora.  She specializes in treating anxiety, stress, and trauma in adults. She has a passion for counseling individuals with sensory processing sensitivity, giftedness, twice exceptionality, and other types of neurodiversity.  She also provides counseling for individuals with culturally diverse backgrounds and identities.  Nancy received her B.A. in psychology from University of Chicago and M.A. in counseling psychology from University of Denver.  For over a decade, Nancy has led parent groups, spoken at conferences, facilitated programs, and served on committees regarding the needs of gifted and twice exceptional children.

John Wing Flower

John developed the WingFlower healing approach by integrating understanding of neuroscience, technology and indigenous healing practices. Of Cherokee lineage, he is a multi-disciplined energy healer who combines his intuitive abilities with formal training in crystology, Qi Gong and nervous system release to accelerate healing. His innovative approach is particularly powerful for highly sensitive, creative and gifted youth and adults whose threshold for emotional injury is lower given their high levels of empathy and awareness. John is a Qi Gong advanced practitioner having studied directly Master Zhou Ting Jue. In addition, John has taught students of all ages and levels, both in the arts and as a Master Healer.

Anti-Discrimination Policy

SoulSpark is the place where each person’s unique constellation of strengths and interests connect with opportunity to shine and be of service. Equity is central to our mission of optimizing the development and well-being of youth and the educators who care for them. To this end, SoulSpark Learning has adopted an anti-discrimination policy that applies to all the organization’s activities and operations including, but not limited to, selection of volunteers, employment, service offerings, choice of vendors and community partnerships. SoulSpark Learning shall not discriminate on the basis of race, disability, color, religion / creed, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin / ancestry, marital status, citizenship, military status or any other protected class.

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