untitled-4690.jpg
untitled-4732.jpg
Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 11.14.33 AM.png
12932808_10207571089869664_3688550620824387488_n.jpg
untitled-4690.jpg

About


SCROLL DOWN

About


The Story of ASSET

ASSET was inspired by two extraordinary educators: Suellen Inwood and Chris Quirk. Their student, Tessa Zimmerman, grew up with severe anxiety in the classroom and it wasn't until she attended the high school led by Suellen and Chris that she learned the tools to cope.

For Tessa's college thesis, she wanted to make these tools accessible to classrooms everywhere. In 2016, ASSET entered its first academic class at DSST: Green Valley Ranch High School and quickly earned recognition for its success. In February of 2016, Tessa won the Denver Public Schools Imaginarium Innovation Lab Design Challenge to launch ASSET's first professional development and formalize a partnership with the Imaginarium.

She teamed up with Brent Modak, the first teacher to pilot ASSET, to formalize the curriculum and professional development program. 

In January of 2017, Signe Hawley, a Research Partner at the Denver Public Schools Imaginarium Innovation Lab, began conducting case studies on ASSET's impact and has found remarkable results.  

Since it's inception in 2016, ASSET has trained over 150 educators and equipped 3,025 students in the ASSET tools. 

After having immense success with local Denver high schools, ASSET is growing its reach to high schools across the country, ultimately making these tools accessible to every student.

 

 L-R: Suellen Inwood, Tessa Zimmerman, Chris Quirk

L-R: Suellen Inwood, Tessa Zimmerman, Chris Quirk

untitled-4732.jpg

Program


Program


ASSET Equips Schools

There is an epidemic running rampant within our schools: students are experiencing unprecedented levels of school-related stress and anxiety. In a case study conducted by the Denver Public Schools Imaginarium Innovation Lab, they found that 85% of students reported experiencing stress and/ or anxiety caused by school on a daily basis. Yet, over 90% agreed that their school does not help them cope. Teachers, the people on the front lines of this epidemic, have not received training or gained the tools to help their students cope until now. This is how ASSET works to end the epidemic of student stress: 

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 1.02.57 PM.png

Curriculum

The curriculum is made up of three modules: Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, and Positive Self-Talk. We knew teachers cared but couldn’t afford to implement a lengthy program, so we convened some of the best teachers we know to turn these tools into 32, bite-sized social-emotional learning lessons that could be implemented at the start of an academic class, during a morning meeting, or before a test. Teachers that purchase the curriculum also have access to corresponding presentations for each lesson. 

21752074_10212243725002622_6770849203379438729_n.jpg

Professional Development

ASSET trains school staff members in the curriculum modules of Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, and Positive Self-Talk. In an ASSET PD educators role-play tools, practice troubleshooting, and plan their curriculum implementations. These sessions are great for educators that want to:

  • Deepen their understanding of student stress
  • Develop Mindfulness & Positive Psychology skills
  • Design their implementations with the ASSET team

Video


Video


Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 11.14.33 AM.png

Team


Team


  Tessa Zimmerman, Founder/Executive Director   Tessa Zimmerman is the Founder and Executive Director of ASSET Education. Starting at eight years old, Tessa began having severe anxiety attacks in the classroom. When she would ask her teacher or guidance counselor for help, the best “tool” they could provide her with was a stress ball. Tessa was disheartened by their response because she knew the stress ball was not an effective coping mechanism. She started ASSET to equip teachers with effective tools to help their students cope with stress and anxiety. Tessa believes that mental and emotional wellbeing shouldn’t take a backseat to academics so she’s championed ASSET’s design to be implemented in regular classes. In 2016, Tessa won the Denver Public Schools Imaginarium Innovation Design Challenge to pilot and scale ASSET across Denver. She has been recognized by Forbes as a “wildly successful millennial with an untraditional education narrative.” Tessa is the first graduate of the Watson Institute at Lynn University and holds a Bachelors of Science in Entrepreneurship. She studied yoga and meditation with Tara Stiles and Michael Taylor of Strala Yoga, earning her 200 hour yoga teacher certification. Tessa’s first book, I Am Tessa, was released in January 2017 by One Idea Press. Given her personal experience with anxiety, it means the world to Tessa to contribute ASSET tools to schools, teachers, and students.   

Tessa Zimmerman, Founder/Executive Director

Tessa Zimmerman is the Founder and Executive Director of ASSET Education. Starting at eight years old, Tessa began having severe anxiety attacks in the classroom. When she would ask her teacher or guidance counselor for help, the best “tool” they could provide her with was a stress ball. Tessa was disheartened by their response because she knew the stress ball was not an effective coping mechanism. She started ASSET to equip teachers with effective tools to help their students cope with stress and anxiety. Tessa believes that mental and emotional wellbeing shouldn’t take a backseat to academics so she’s championed ASSET’s design to be implemented in regular classes. In 2016, Tessa won the Denver Public Schools Imaginarium Innovation Design Challenge to pilot and scale ASSET across Denver. She has been recognized by Forbes as a “wildly successful millennial with an untraditional education narrative.” Tessa is the first graduate of the Watson Institute at Lynn University and holds a Bachelors of Science in Entrepreneurship. She studied yoga and meditation with Tara Stiles and Michael Taylor of Strala Yoga, earning her 200 hour yoga teacher certification. Tessa’s first book, I Am Tessa, was released in January 2017 by One Idea Press. Given her personal experience with anxiety, it means the world to Tessa to contribute ASSET tools to schools, teachers, and students.

 

  Brent Modak, Program Director   Brent entered education over seven years ago with one focus: to serve his community. In order to ensure he served his students in the best manner possible, Brent participated as an ACE Teaching Fellow and earned his Masters in Education through the University of Notre Dame. Once in the classroom, he quickly realized there was a void in how teachers and schools approach their work. Teacher development programs and school professional development never instructed educators in concrete ways they could help students cope with stress and anxiety. For this reason, Brent began working with Tessa in 2015 and was the first teacher to implement ASSET tools in an academic class. As a member of the ASSET team, Brent helped develop the curriculum and led in the implementation of the program across Denver Public Schools including DSST: GVR, a school recognized nationally by the US Department of Education and the Eli and Edy Broad Foundation for its commitment to educational excellence.   

Brent Modak, Program Director

Brent entered education over seven years ago with one focus: to serve his community. In order to ensure he served his students in the best manner possible, Brent participated as an ACE Teaching Fellow and earned his Masters in Education through the University of Notre Dame. Once in the classroom, he quickly realized there was a void in how teachers and schools approach their work. Teacher development programs and school professional development never instructed educators in concrete ways they could help students cope with stress and anxiety. For this reason, Brent began working with Tessa in 2015 and was the first teacher to implement ASSET tools in an academic class. As a member of the ASSET team, Brent helped develop the curriculum and led in the implementation of the program across Denver Public Schools including DSST: GVR, a school recognized nationally by the US Department of Education and the Eli and Edy Broad Foundation for its commitment to educational excellence.

 

  Gina Leach, Curriculum Contributor/Designer   Gina Leach grew up in Troy, Michigan and attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. After two years of fumbling through the course catalog, she settled on studying (and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in) Public Policy, hoping to contribute some- thing positive to the world. Unsure of how to actually use her degree in real life, Gina joined AmeriCorps and coordinated an after-school program for middle school stu- dents in Detroit who struggled socially, emotionally, and academically. This year was transformative for Gina; her career tra jectory shifted from policy to education. She got alternatively certified to teach secondary English in Tulsa, Oklahoma--where she spent three years teaching--and just finished her fifth year teaching 9th grade Composition at the Denver School of Science and Technology. Literacy is opportunity, and Gina loves her subject fiercely, but without teaching today’s teenagers stress management skills, she knows that the academics are often lost. Educating the whole student must be prioritized, so she was excited to pilot the ASSET Education program in her classroom to fill in the often-ignored social-emotional gap. Though Gina understood its value, she underestimated how her students would respond to ASSET: they absolutely loved the program. With the program’s tools, her students felt heard and supported. They are now equipped to mitigate their own stress and anxiety, and they know that their teach- er and school care enough about their mental health to spend time each week--even if it’s only five minutes--to this practice. Though Gina and her husband will be moving back to Michigan to raise their new baby boy, she is thrilled to continue her work with ASSET, providing a teacher’s perspective to the tools and structure of the program.

Gina Leach, Curriculum Contributor/Designer

Gina Leach grew up in Troy, Michigan and attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. After two years of fumbling through the course catalog, she settled on studying (and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in) Public Policy, hoping to contribute some- thing positive to the world. Unsure of how to actually use her degree in real life, Gina joined AmeriCorps and coordinated an after-school program for middle school stu- dents in Detroit who struggled socially, emotionally, and academically. This year was transformative for Gina; her career tra jectory shifted from policy to education. She got alternatively certified to teach secondary English in Tulsa, Oklahoma--where she spent three years teaching--and just finished her fifth year teaching 9th grade Composition at the Denver School of Science and Technology. Literacy is opportunity, and Gina loves her subject fiercely, but without teaching today’s teenagers stress management skills, she knows that the academics are often lost. Educating the whole student must be prioritized, so she was excited to pilot the ASSET Education program in her classroom to fill in the often-ignored social-emotional gap. Though Gina understood its value, she underestimated how her students would respond to ASSET: they absolutely loved the program. With the program’s tools, her students felt heard and supported. They are now equipped to mitigate their own stress and anxiety, and they know that their teach- er and school care enough about their mental health to spend time each week--even if it’s only five minutes--to this practice. Though Gina and her husband will be moving back to Michigan to raise their new baby boy, she is thrilled to continue her work with ASSET, providing a teacher’s perspective to the tools and structure of the program.

  Suellen Inwood, Board President   Suellen Inwood earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders/Learning Disabilities at Northwestern University and her Master’s in Education for Pre-K –12 at Southern Connecticut University. She is a founding parent of Easton Country Day School and one of the school’s two administrators.  Her thirty years of teaching experience includes Pre-School at Cooperative Educational Services and numerous grades at Fairfield public schools. She has apprenticed and worked with Dr. Donaldson in Original Play for over 25 years, Lynn Meltzer in Executive Function and specializes in Sensory Integration for home, work and classroom. At ASSET Education, we call her the "child whisperer." 

Suellen Inwood, Board President

Suellen Inwood earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders/Learning Disabilities at Northwestern University and her Master’s in Education for Pre-K –12 at Southern Connecticut University. She is a founding parent of Easton Country Day School and one of the school’s two administrators.  Her thirty years of teaching experience includes Pre-School at Cooperative Educational Services and numerous grades at Fairfield public schools. She has apprenticed and worked with Dr. Donaldson in Original Play for over 25 years, Lynn Meltzer in Executive Function and specializes in Sensory Integration for home, work and classroom. At ASSET Education, we call her the "child whisperer." 

  Casey Skillins, Curriculum Contributor   Casey has been working with children in the field of education for almost two decades. For the last eight years, she has been incorporating Mindfulness and Positive Psychol- ogy techniques in her work with children of all ages. She has a Bachelors as well as a Masters degree in Special Education from SUNY New Paltz and became a certified Mindful Schools Level 2 Educator in 2010. She is also a recently certified health coach from the Health Coach Institute. Casey has a personal relationship with anxiety and depression that began in childhood. She made a commitment to herself long ago that she would always do her best to find ways to feel better and live a more meaningful, happy life. Her path has lead her to develop a personal mindfulness practice that helps her tremendously. This is why she is so excited to support Tessa, a former student of hers, in creating a curriculum that genuinely provides the skills and tools she herself needed so many years ago as a student. All of these things put together, Casey pas- sionately guides and supports children and adults to find their center, feel empowered, and move forward in their lives with grace and ease. Casey currently serves as the Math Specialist and Assistant Director of Easton Country Day School. She lives with her husband, Nathan, and son, Asher, in Woodbury, CT.

Casey Skillins, Curriculum Contributor

Casey has been working with children in the field of education for almost two decades. For the last eight years, she has been incorporating Mindfulness and Positive Psychol- ogy techniques in her work with children of all ages. She has a Bachelors as well as a Masters degree in Special Education from SUNY New Paltz and became a certified Mindful Schools Level 2 Educator in 2010. She is also a recently certified health coach from the Health Coach Institute. Casey has a personal relationship with anxiety and depression that began in childhood. She made a commitment to herself long ago that she would always do her best to find ways to feel better and live a more meaningful, happy life. Her path has lead her to develop a personal mindfulness practice that helps her tremendously. This is why she is so excited to support Tessa, a former student of hers, in creating a curriculum that genuinely provides the skills and tools she herself needed so many years ago as a student. All of these things put together, Casey pas- sionately guides and supports children and adults to find their center, feel empowered, and move forward in their lives with grace and ease. Casey currently serves as the Math Specialist and Assistant Director of Easton Country Day School. She lives with her husband, Nathan, and son, Asher, in Woodbury, CT.

  Stacy Schreiber, Board Secretary   Stacy Kohn Schreiber, a corporate lawyer, has recently led an internal legal team in the acquisition of two European airlines, XL France and XL Germany; developed a commodity trading platform with multinational source and EU refining and sales; created a corporate and legal structure for a New York City art gallery; created and operated a company that licensed and manufactured products in joint venture with consumer centric companies such as Time Life, Phillip Morris and Sears; and represented a digital solutions company. At ASSET Education, we call her our "legal guru." 

Stacy Schreiber, Board Secretary

Stacy Kohn Schreiber, a corporate lawyer, has recently led an internal legal team in the acquisition of two European airlines, XL France and XL Germany; developed a commodity trading platform with multinational source and EU refining and sales; created a corporate and legal structure for a New York City art gallery; created and operated a company that licensed and manufactured products in joint venture with consumer centric companies such as Time Life, Phillip Morris and Sears; and represented a digital solutions company. At ASSET Education, we call her our "legal guru." 

 
12932808_10207571089869664_3688550620824387488_n.jpg

Partners


Partners


 

Our 2018-19 Partners

Thank you to our partners that help us champion ASSET's work for students throughout Denver and across the country. 

 
 
logo-1.png

Denver Public Schools Imaginarium Innovation Lab

Denver, CO


DSST_GVR_RaptorRGB_0.png

DSST: Green Valley Ranch

Denver, CO


north_vikings_logo.gif

North High School

Denver, CO


DSISD_logo.jpg

Denver School of Innovation & Sustainable Design

Denver, CO