WHO WE ARE
Denise Mund worked for the Colorado Department of Education for almost 13 years. During that time the charter school unit grew to become the Schools of Choice Unit and the number of charter schools grew from less than 50 to more than 170. Denise served as the Director of the Schools of Choice Unit and as Interim Director of Online Learning. In that capacity, Denise managed the federal Charter School Program startup and implementation grant; facilitated meetings for charter school authorizers, provided extensive training for charter school leaders and served as the primary contact for the State Board of Education on charter school issues. Denise has attended more than 85 charter school appeal hearings and brought in more than 112 million dollars in charter school grants.
Denise is a co-founder of the three Jefferson Academy Charter Schools and Lincoln Academy Charter School. She served as the governing board president at Jefferson Academy for seven years and has also served on the boards at Colorado Virtual Academy and Woodrow Wilson Academy.
While working for the state department, Denise helped write several state level resources, including the Standard Application, Checklist for Completeness and Review Rubric, the sample Contract Language and the accompanying narrative document, the Governing Board Handbook, and many of the technical assistance resources on the CDE website.
Denise also served on the House Bill 10-1412 committee which was established by statute to recommend charter school and charter school authorizer standards for State Board of Education rule and was a primary contributor to the committee’s final report.
Tony Fontana owns his own consulting firm, Performance Consulting. Before launching out on his own, Tony was the Executive Principal of Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, CO. During his time at Peak to Peak, the school rose to the top 100 high schools in the nation. He was also the high school Principal and Director of the Teacher Induction program while at Peak to Peak.
Tony continues to work for the Colorado Department of Education as a consultant for the Administrator’s Mentoring Cohort (AMC), which he helped create. The program offers a mentor to all new charter school administrators and provides training on special topics that are designed to make administrators better instructional leaders.
Tony’s specialties are coaching administrators in how to improve operational performance and instructional practices; budgetary inefficiencies and wise decision-making; staff development; dashboards to improve performance; and governing board training.
Eileen Johnston has served as the Chief Financial Officer of James Irwin Charter Schools since October, 2005. She has over twenty years of experience in accounting for non profit entities. Her work experience includes twelve years as the Chief Financial Officer of USA Cycling, Inc., the national governing body for the Olympic sport of competitive cycling; five years as an accountant for USA Ski, the national governing body for the Olympic sport of competitive skiing; and five years as Director of Finance for the Billiard Congress of America. She has completed 8 of 10 courses in the graduate program at Regis University. Her undergraduate degree is in business administration from the University of Colorado (Colorado Springs).
In addition to her position at James Irwin, Eileen is a member of the CSSI team that audits charter schools for the CDE, and works with Denise Mund as a charter school financial consultant.
Eileen retired June, 2021 after 16 years as James Irwin Charter Schools CFO. She currently is a member of Liberty Tree Charter Academy’s Finance Committee.