Who We Are
We are insufferable foodies, poets, barbershop singers, writers, consciousness junkies, activists, climbers, snowboarders, and pianists.
We are also educators with visions. We have freedom, resources, and a workplace grounded in our wellness.
If you want to realize your life's work? Join us!
Nathan Pai Schmitt
Co-founder & Executive Director
Nathan has taught classes on social justice/identity, high school composition and literature, urban art, computer programming, outdoor survival, environmental issues, philosophy, professional networking for young people, productivity, and college success. When designing and leading programs for teens, he focuses on creation, high-level discourse, discussion, and analysis. He believes it is critical for students to have real world partner organizations; some of our past and current partners include The Cottonwood Institute, Cabal Gallery, the Department of Education for the State of Rondônia in Brazil, and Devnar School for the Blind in India. Nathan has presented his work on the design of innovative methodologies at the national meeting of the American Philosophical Association, he is certified as a facilitator of Restorative Justice and Mediation, and a co-founder of the Oregon Multi-racial/Ethnic Student Alliance. Before becoming a full-time teacher, he worked for a social change agency to help social-cause oriented non-profits, socially responsible businesses, and government agencies to grow and create change in various sectors. He also led a team of teachers in the Brazilian Amazon, and oversaw teaching, learning, coaching, and curriculum for a school of 80 students.
My life goal is transformative resistance, developing revolutionary love, and actively decolonizing my mind.
Founding Mentor - HackSchool: A Socially Conscious Makerspace
Jesse has been a teacher for 15 years beginning in Charleston, SC, where he taught, and developed curriculum for, local, U.S., and world history at the middle school level. A native of Colorado, he returned in 2010 to continue this work in underserved areas of Denver, most recently as a high school art teacher. Jesse is passionate about fostering creativity among youth and believes that the best way to learn is by doing. He has adopted an experiential model in his art classes to expose students to reality-based learning where possible. He is also partnered with industry-experts developing digital art and design courses to give students hands-on experience in those fields. Jesse is an avid outdoorsman and has designed and led outdoor education programs that include camping, hiking, survival skills, and snowboarding at both the middle and high school level. He has also partnered with The Cottonwood Institute and Denver Parks and Recreation to bring these necessary experiences to his students.
Elom Amouzou Founding Mentor - HackSchool: Identity & Social Action
Elom has six years of experience meeting students’ needs as an educator in both classroom and community environments. After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.B.A. in Human Resources and a B.A. in Ethnic Studies, Elom taught in Denver Public Schools. He has worked with students in primary, secondary and higher education contexts. Previously, he provided leadership instruction grounded in critical pedagogy to middle and high school students from 6 Colorado school districts in partnership with the Crowley Foundation and University of Colorado administrators. Elom is currently pursuing a Master’s of Arts in Education while implementing educational programming for youth in transformative narrative-based pedagogy.
Paul Kim developed and teaches several design thinking based social studies courses at Colorado Academy in Denver, including his current course, "Global Perspectives in the 21st Century". While earning a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming, Paul began a twenty-five year teaching career that has been focused in independent schools. Since then, he has taught everything from kindergarten to college and he has won teaching and coaching awards along the way.
Paul also worked with three of his former students to co-found Dot-to-Dot Children’s Books where he collaborated to develop and manage 14 projects with partner organizations over three years. He has written and spoken in various conferences and publications including Independent Teacher and TEDx Denver Teachers, and he is a leading voice in the Denver education innovation community.
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Interested in working at HackSchool? We always love to meet critically conscious, dedicated, empathetic, and highly effective people. Drop us a line!