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                                                       NHDC Staff                             
Celeste Thurman Archer, Director of External Relations 

eleste has been a secondary and post-secondary educator for over 20 years during which time she has taught at urban schools and universities in Houston, Denver and most recently at historic Little Rock Central High School.  While teaching in Denver, she wrote curriculum for classes that continue to be taught by teachers in the Denver Public School system - Honors World Religions and American Contemporary Issues.

In Denver, she has become a constant on the education reform scene.  She founded and was volunteer director of Women for Education, expanding an early childhood education center with an initial funding drive of $3 million.  During Governor John Hickenlooper's first term as mayor of Denver, he appointed Celeste to the Early Childhood Education Commission.  Before departing Denver for a 4-year term in Little Rock, Celeste was named an exceptional educator at Denver East High School, receiving a 2008 East Angel Award.

While in Little Rock, Celeste taught at Historic Little Rock Central High School where she was appointed Teacher-Ranger-Teacher by The National Park Service Foundation, serving at The Little Rock Central National Historic Site.  She was named by The Clinton Foundation as a Presidential Timeline National Archives Scholar for 2012.

Celeste is also an active member of the international peace negotiation community.  She received training for Compassionate Listening in Israel/Palestine during their 2004 delegation, after which she helped to create a Denver based peace and justice training workshop for teens, Student Interfaith Peace Project, based at The University of Denver.  In Little Rock, she served on the board of Arkansas Action for Peace and Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice, for which she founded The Peace Lab, a peace and training workshop for teens with a culminating journey to Israel/Palestine.  SIPP and Peace Lab programs were funded through private grants and initiatives directed and initiated by Celeste.

Upon returning to Denver in 2012, Celeste founded the Colorado Student Leaders Institute, an affiliate of the National Conference of Governor's Schools.  With over a fifty year history, Governor's Schools offer high school students a summer academic immersion program which replicates and prepares the student for college.  Colorado's model will serve a population that is at least 50% free and reduced lunch qualified and/or be first generation college attendees.  In addition, students will complete a service learning practicum and will earn three hours of college credit through University of Colorado Denver.

She is married to Shawn Archer.  They have a son who is himself a budding activist.  Celeste received a B.A. in History from Principia College and a M.A. in Secondary Education, specializing in urban students, from The University of Texas.​

Stacey Pendleton, Director of Operations
Stacey Pendleton received her B.A. in History and Psychology in 2005 and an M.A. in American history (with a minor in modern Britain) in 2008 from the University of Colorado Denver. Since that time, she has had the incredible opportunity to teach a variety of courses within the CU Denver History Department including Paths to the Present, U.S. History Since 1876, and The World at War. She has also taught American Civilization, American Immigration, and American History to 1865 at Metropolitan State University Denver.

Her area of historical research is on the Cold War. Her Master’s research revolved around civil defense in Colorado politics and society. She worked for a brief time as a researcher for an exhibit design firm in the development of a museum about Rocky Flats and appeared in the Rocky Mountain PBS Colorado Experience episode on Colorado and the Cold War. 

Stacey cares deeply about sharing her love for history in every aspect of her job. She is also a faculty co-advisor for the History Department’s honor society chapter of Phi Alpha Theta.

She has a deep love for National History Day. Stacey was a contestant in the exhibit category in 1998 when the theme was "Migrations in History" (Her project was on the 1840s Irish famine). She later became an intern at Hamilton Middle School where she worked with a class of energetic sixth graders on their performances revolving around "Taking a Stand in History". Since 2009, she has served in a variety of interrelated jobs with varying titles for National History Day in Colorado. Her favorite part of the job is working one-on-one with students on their projects and getting to witness the “ah-ha” moments first hand. She is fortunate to be able to have a job that allows her to teach all walks of life.​ 

Kayla Gabehart, Graduate Assistant

Kayla Gabehart grew up in Kiowa, Colorado, a rural farm town on the Eastern Plains of Colorado. She graduated from Kiowa High School in 2010, and began attending college at the University of Colorado Denver. Kayla graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in both history and psychology and a minor in political science in December of 2014.  Currently a graduate student in the History Program at CU Denver, she studies late 19th and early 20th century U.S. history, as well as environmental history.  In addition to her studies and work with National History Day Colorado, Kayla also serves in the department as a Teaching Assistant and an Assistant Editor of the Historical Studies Journal.
Kayla was first introduced to National History Day Colorado in her Freshman year of college when she was a student in Co-Director Stacey Pendleton’s class, and volunteered to judge the State Contest. She later served as a classroom intern and an Undergraduate Office Assistant before becoming a Graduate Administrative Assistant. She is passionate about this program. She believes that it provides participants with the practical critical thinking and persuasive writing skills necessary not only in higher education, but in life on a daily basis.​ 


Genia Herndon, Interim Chair, University of Colorado Denver, Denver​

Marco Abarca, Ready Foods, Denver​

Barbara Walker-Allen, Denver School of History, Speech, Debate, Aurora

Tanya Amrine, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe,

Laura Argys, PhD, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, CU Denver, Denver

Dave Bailey, Museum of Western Colorado, Grand Junction

M. Gregory Bante, JLL, Denver

Senator Michael Bennet, US. Senate, Denver

Joe Bertsch, Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner Hottman, Denver

The Honorable Kendra Black, Councilwoman, City and County of Denver, Denver​

Susan Bonsall Rosenberry, Masonville

Claire Brockbank, Segue Consulting, Denver

William Burruel, Colorado Springs

Bill Convery, PhD, CU Denver, Denver

Margaret A. Coval, Colorado Humanities, Greenwood Village

Susan Daggett, University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Benita Duran, Boulder

Chrissy Faraci, David Cole and Associates, Denver

Katie Feiman, Century Link, Englewood

Shane Feiman, Assured Equity Management Corporation, Denver

The Honorable Joyce Foster, Denver

The Honorable Joe Garcia, State of Colorado, Denver

Lily Griego, Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Jason Hanson, Center of the American West, University of Colorado Boulder, Denver

Stephanie Hartman, PhD, Colorado Department of Education, Denver

Michael Hobbs, Guaranty Bank and Trust Company, Denver

Pamela Jansma, PhD, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, CU Denver, Denver

James Kilroy, Snell & Wilmer, LLP, Denver

Midge Korczak (Ex Officio), Louis P. Singer Fund, Inc., Boulder

Pamela Laird, PhD, History Department, University of Colorado Denver, Denver

Marjorie Levine-Clark, PhD, University of Colorado Denver, Denver

Patty Limerick, PhD, Center of the American West, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder

Claire Martin, A Little History, Denver

Kristen Martin, Arrow Electronics, Denver

Caroline McClurg, Comerica Bank, Denver

Susan Miller, Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented, Evergreen

Cora Neslin, Denver

Tom Noel, PhD, University of Colorado Denver, Denver

Mark A. Ortiz, Community College of Aurora, Englewood

Stuart Pattison, Northstar Bank Colorado, Denver

The Honorable Anne Rowe, Denver Public Schools Board of Education, Denver

David Schachter, Fennemore Craig, P.C., Denver

Julie Speer, Rocky Mountain PBS, Denver

LaTitia Taylor, Southern Ute Tribe, Ignacio

Jerry Wartgow, PhD, University of Colorado Denver, Denver 

​                                                 Student Board

Maia Brockbank, Chair, Denver School of the Arts

 Jaspe Arias, Delta High School
Portia Bhattacharjee, Stargate High School
Josh Bogen, Denver School of the Arts
Jessie Carrel, Denver School of the Arts
Camryn Daidone, Denver School of the Arts
Alec Farmer, Denver School of the Arts
Mary Fuchs, Sargent High School
Bridget Galaty, Denver School of the Arts
Brynn Gauthier, Denver School of the Arts
Izzy Greenhut, Fairview High School
Sameha Haque, STEM High School
Stacy Hsu, Fairview High School
Samantha Jackson, Palmer Ridge High School
Sandra Luksic, Palmer Ridge High School
Cormac McCrimmon, George Washington High School
Sophia Means, McAuliffe International School​
Mia Nelson, Denver School of the Arts
Emma Olpinski, Pine Creek High School
Katie Peterson, Las Animas High School
Emily Phillips, Legacy High School
Audrey Roberts, Denver School of the Arts
Madeline Rohner, Denver School of the Arts
Svea Sendejo, Colorado Springs Early College
Kaylee Strehler, Bear Creek High School
Sarah-Jane Thompson, Hamilton Middle School
Tristin van den Bulk, STEM High School
Ailsa Young, Lewis Palmer High School