East High School PTSA Board and Committee Members

The Board of Directors of the PTSA at East High School includes the following seven members. Detailed information appears below.  To email a board member, simply click on their name.

Elected Officers of the Board


The president presides over all meetings of this local PTSA and board of directors; serves as an ex-officio member of all committees except the nominating committee and the financial review/audit committee; serves as ex-officio of the EAFAF committee, coordinates the work of the officers and committees of this local PTSA in order that the purposes may be promoted; appoints standing and special committee chairs with the approval of the board of directors, with the exception of the nominating and financial review/audit committees chairpersons; appoints special committees, as needed, with the approval of the board of directors; and appoints the PTSA liaison to the school’s accountability committee, with the approval of the board of directors.

Laura Barr has lived in the Park Hill neighborhood for over 30 years serving the community as a teacher, educational consultant, and child advocate.  Laura has four children who have all attended Denver Public Schools and her youngest child will be in the class of 2019.


Vice President

The vice president serves as an aide to the president, and performs the duties of the president in the president’s absence or inability to serve.

Liz Rutledge is a freelance writer and has a blog about Mindfulness and sustainable living at SustainableThree.com. She consults as a Mindfulness instructor teaching students, teachers, and professionals how to use Mindfulness meditation to manage stress. Additionally, she helps individuals and businesses with sustainability efforts. She is involved with the Greater Park Hill Community helping to organize the Park Hill Home Tour and Street Fair with a sustainable, zero waste focus. Liz has been active in DPS since 2010 as a room parent, volunteer, and Mindfulness instructor. An East High School parent since 2015, she has three children, two of which are at East this year, Jenna (2019) and Devon (2021). With Berni Slowey, she helped reform the PTSA after coming to the Administration as a co-founder of Angel Talks.


The secretary records the minutes of all meetings of the East High School PTSA and board of directors; is prepared to read the records of any previous meetings; files and maintains all records in accordance with document retention requirements; has a current,  approved copy of the bylaws; maintains a current membership list; and updates all official board documents as needed with the approval of the president.

Rachel O’Bryan is a long-term resident of Congress Park and has one son who is in the graduating class of 2019 at East. She likes to hike, bike and garden. In her spare time, she is an attorney and co-founder of Smart Colorado, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting Colorado youth from the unintended consequences of legalized marijuana.




The treasurer has custody of the funds of this local PTSA, maintains a full account of the funds of this local PTSA, in accordance with the budget adopted by a vote of the members of this PTSA, makes disbursements as authorized by the president, the board of directors or the membership of this local PTSA; and is one of the signatories on all PTSA accounts.

James Smith is a longtime Denver resident with almost 25 years living in the Congress Park and South City Park neighborhoods where he and his wife Barb raised their two sons; one a 2017 East High School graduate and the other beginning his Freshman year in 2018. James is dedicated to the importance of public education, which include the principles of equity and opportunity for all students in the community. His passions include music, film, mountain hikes, and travel.


Appointed Officers of the Board

As is consistent with the by-laws of this PTSA chapter, the following members have been appointed by the president to provide a cohesive group in furthering the goals of this organization.

Principal Representative

Christine Miller has over 27 years experience in youth development, family engagement, program design, and collaboration. She earned a Bachelor of Liberal Arts with a concentration on ethnic studies, dramatic arts, and psychology. After graduation, she learned the power of collaboration through a Kellogg foundation-funded early prevention and intervention community-based partnership. Her passion and commitment to collaborative strategies in working with youth, families, and community continued after her move to Denver. In 2007, Goodwill Industries of Denver employed her as the first Denver Youth Development Initiative (DYDI) resource advocate, dedicated to establishing a community agency collaborative at East. In 2011, she transitioned officially to the East staff focused on furthering family engagement efforts, community collaboration, and intervention initiatives for underserved populations.

Christine is committed to sharing best practices and furthering the work of equity in education and family engagement. Through her position at East, she has created and coordinated the East New Family Connect for Success event, East Angel for AP Excellence, East Arts Walk, East Diversity Dialogues, East Gen 1 Efforts, East Health Fair, and East Diverse Advanced Learners- Gifted & Talented student/family outreach. Christine is passionate about the Angels and looks forward to meeting you!

Teacher Representative

Hello! I’m Jill Abney and I am currently beginning my 8th year of teaching Spanish at East High School. During the past 8 years, I have been involved with National Honor Society, SLT, DTCA, and Softball. I have lived in Denver for most of my life and graduated from East in 2002! I attended the University of Oregon and after graduation, I joined the Peace Corps as a Volunteer in the Dominican Republic. There, I grew to love Spanish and youth development work. The skills and experiences I gained while serving in the Peace Corps launched my teaching career. I live in Park Hill and when I’m not working, I enjoy traveling, painting, and gardening. I look forward to becoming more involved with the East community and serving on PTSA.


Community Liaison

Veronica Ware is an elementary DPS paraprofessional. She is the mother of both an East high school and DPS middle school student.
Prior to having children and becoming a stay at home mom, Veronica was Vice President and Community Investment Manager for Commercial Federal Bank (Colorado and Arizona).  She served as a liaison between the bank and community, originated financing for the production and development of affordable housing units and awarded grants and donations to nonprofit/community organizations. Also in various capacities, she served on numerous non profit boards and committees.
Currently, she is very active with her church.  Every Sunday Veronica, with her family, serves 20-40 homeless individuals breakfast.  She also organizes her church’s annual Free Back to School Supply Giveaway Event, with over 200 backpacks and school supply bags given each year to K-12th grade students in the community. Veronica has also served as a parent volunteer on numerous school committees/events.
Veronica has lived in Park Hill with her husband and family for 21 years.


Mark F. Kochevar spent 41 years in senior cancer research administrative positions at the National Cancer Institute and most recently at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Retired as of June 2018, he and his wife Barbara Redmond have enrolled their daughter Caroline as a freshman at East, and are enthusiastic for, and supportive of the reconstituted East PTSA. Mark received his MBA from Loyola University Maryland and over his career engaged with national and local boards of directors and scientific advisors in addition to academic medical center institutional governing committees. An East Coast native, Mark moved to Denver in 2010, and has been a Park Hill resident since 2011.

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