Meet the Staff

Lisa Weil
Executive Director

A graduate of Greeley Public Schools, the University of Colorado, and the Yale Law School, Lisa has been a public interest attorney and political consultant. She served as Policy Director and Chief Legal Counsel for former Governor Roy Romer, and as a Legislative Aide to former Senators Timothy Wirth and Bob Kerrey. She managed the first Congressional campaign of Representative Diana DeGette, and has served as a consultant on a wide variety of research and campaign projects. The mother of two DPS graduates, Weil was closely involved in the creation and passage of Amendment 23, and co-founded Great Education Colorado in 2005.  She has served as Executive Director since 2015. email | twitter

Betsy Bevis, MSW
Director of Outreach & Public Affairs

Betsy started focusing on organizing and policy work while receiving her Masters in Social Work from Baylor University. After working in research and outreach departments of nonprofit organizations focusing on homelessness and poverty, Betsy realized that inadequate education is a key factor in perpetuating the cycle of poverty. As Director of Outreach & Public Affairs, Betsy is responsible for recruiting and organizing advocates statewide and ensuring that a clear pathway to state-level advocacy is accessible to public education supporters across the state. Betsy splits her time between organizing and training advocates for advocacy at the Capitol and during ballot measure campaigns, as well as following bills at the Capitol during the legislative session. Outside of work, she can be found rock climbing, reading and spending time with her friends and family. email

Analise Harris
Director of Communications and Digital Media

Analise has been in Denver since 2011 starting as an After school Programming Coordinator with City Year at North High School in Denver Public Schools. After obtaining a MA Ed. from Metropolitan State University, she continued teaching as a special education and concurrent enrollment teacher for 6 years. Analise also taught at Community College of Denver as an adjunct professor. As the Director of Communications and Digital Media, Analise will continue to grow Great Education Colorado social media presence and streamline content delivery.


Ben Robinson
Communications and Public Affairs Coordinator

Ben’s passion for advocacy began in high school, when he traveled with his AP Government class to Washington, DC. But issues closer to home, like chronic educational inequity, have kept him rooted in Colorado. Since graduating college, he’s spent his young career organizing, working in communications, and advocating for policy to improve the lives of Colorado’s students and teachers. As Communications and Public Affairs Coordinator, Ben drafts outgoing emails, writes Great Ed’s weekly legislative recap, works closely with our policy coalition, and lobbies for relevant legislation. Growing up, Ben struggled with learning difficulties, and his experiences in school motivate him to fight for those most affected by Colorado’s unique education funding challenges. Outside of work he enjoys medium roast coffee, brisk fall days, and frequent mountain adventures.


Lea Steed
Director of Equity Matters

Lea grew up in the Denver/Aurora area and was educated in the DPS and APS school system. She continued her education at the Community College of Denver and received a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from University of Northern Colorado. Working with Great Education Colorado since 2015, Lea has been building relationships, knowledge, and feedback loops in communities of color to ensure the organization is increasingly responsive to their needs, ideas, and input.  Lea has two beautiful teenage daughters who attend DPS schools. Her work at Great Education Colorado has taught her to never underestimate the power of grassroots organizing or the power of voice! email

Zacary J. Tardiff
Director of Development

Zacary has a diverse array of professional experiences including nearly 8 years as an administrator and professor at West Virginia University. He has also been involved with nonprofit organizations for more than 10 years, including serving as the President of Empty Bowls Monongalia in West Virginia.  Zacary and his wife, Abby (a native Coloradan), relocated to Colorado in mid-2016. Originally from New Jersey, Zacary is a two-time graduate of West Virginia University, most recently attaining an MBA from the John Chambers College of Business & Economics at WVU. Zacary is dedicated to building genuine, lasting relationships that will help Great Education Colorado continue to grow. He is passionate about ensuring that students throughout the state have access to high quality public education. In his free time, Zacary enjoys cooking, golfing, and spending time with his wife, daughter, and dogs. email | twitter

Nicole Niebler
Director of Operations

While studying Dietetics and Global Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Nicole chose to dedicate her career to increasing equity by empowering and educating communities. She then worked in the non-profit sector in Madison, Wisconsin increasing access to healthy, local foods and educating communities about the connections between food, health, and the environment. Great Education Colorado’s vision for all Coloradan children to have equal access to adequate and equitable education fulfills her goal of increasing equity. Outside of work she is frequently found playing ukulele, traveling, and caring for her plants. email

Mary McNeil Cheever
Community Liaison

A California native, Mary moved to Colorado in 1987. She has been involved with Great Education Colorado in a variety of capacities since its inception. Mary has two daughters who are proud graduates of Denver public schools. She spent many years as a fundraiser, organizer, school and community volunteer. She passionately believes in the value of public education as a cornerstone of our Democracy and is devoted to making an equitable and adequately funded public education a reality for ALL Colorado children. Mary also serves on the board of Partners in Literacy and holds a degree in History from Stanford University. She enjoys hiking in Colorado’s beautiful mountains and singing in a community choir. email