President & CEO
Lesley Dahlkemper is the president of Schoolhouse Communications, a national award-winning firm she founded in 2003. Schoolhouse Communications specializes in helping education leaders communicate about issues that enhance learning and achievement for students in public schools. Lesley brings more than 20 years of journalism, public policy and K-12 education experience to her work. She has experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors.
Lesley has written and presented extensively on community engagement, parent involvement and communicating about school improvement to organizations as diverse as Harvard University’s Labor-Management Program, the National School Boards Association and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Prior to starting her own company, Lesley served as a senior project director with KSA-Plus Communications in Arlington, Va. Clients included the American Association of School Administrators, National School Boards Association, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Public Education Network. Lesley led major initiatives focused on academic standards, data-driven decision making and community/parent outreach. Her work took her to some of the most politically charged urban school districts in the country, including Detroit, Cleveland and Kansas City, Mo.
Before joining the private sector, Lesley managed a $6.5 million Annenberg grant focused on comprehensive school reform for the Education Commission of the States in Denver where she worked on a national level with education leaders, state policymakers and leading school reform experts.
Lesley started her career as a national-award winning reporter for the National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate in Denver and a regular contributor to NPR, the Osgood Files and Monitor Radio. She covered the Colorado Legislature, public policy issues and education.
Lesley was elected in November 2011 to the Jeffco Board of Education and serves as its president. She has held other leadership positions, including as president of The Action Center board, president of the Colorado School Public Relations Association, and vice president of associates of the national Education Writers Association board. Lesley is a member of the advisory council of CASA of Jefferson and Gilpin Counties, a nonprofit that advocates abused and neglected children. She also has volunteered as an after-school tutor and a Colorado I Have a Dream mentor.
Lesley holds a master’s degree in public affairs journalism from the University of Illinois at Springfield and a bachelor’s degree in history from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. She is married and her daughter attends a Jeffco public school.
Marilyn Saltzman, APR
Senior Project Director
Marilyn is a public relations consultant whose clients include the Colorado Department of Education, Denver Public Schools, and Jefferson County Public Schools. She also serves as an adjunct professor of public relations management for Colorado State University.
She retired after 20 years as manager of communications services for Jefferson County Public Schools, Colorado’s largest school district. Her responsibilities included crisis communications; media relations; publications; internal communications; community relations; and communications counseling, training, and planning. She took a lead communications role in the Columbine High School tragedy.
Marilyn has served on audit teams for two North Central Association high school accreditation projects, a private school accreditation team, and school district communications programs.
She is co-author of Building School Communities, Strategies for Leaders, which received a first place in the National Federation of Press Women’s 2001 Communications Contest. She has written articles for national publications and presented workshops across the country on communications topics.
Marilyn holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Colorado at Denver and a bachelor’s degree in foreign languages from Brooklyn College, New York.
Senior Project Director
Stacy brings nearly 20 years of experience in media, marketing, and advertising research to Schoolhouse Communications. Stacy has managed all aspects of corporate, nonprofit, and political marketing and public relations activities.
Her strengths include strategically planning communications, media, and public relations activities; developing targeted project outcomes; and delivering critical insights about an organization’s strengths, competition, and customer base.
Stacy has served as marketing director at 9NEWS, market research executive for the Gannett Corporation, press secretary for U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson, and vice president of marketing and development for Educare Colorado, a $10 million nonprofit initiative.
Stacy holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder and has completed graduate-level coursework in communications and marketing research at Georgetown University.
Tanya brings 15 years of experience in nonprofit and education strategic communications, public relations, and issues management.
Her expertise in both internal and external communications includes strategic messaging, communications counseling and planning, crisis communications, media relations, community relations, and writing and editing. She also has extensive experience in large-scale event planning and production.
Tanya’s school public relations work has been at the local, state and national levels, including the communications offices of Colorado’s two largest school districts – Denver and Jefferson County. She also has served as the director of communications for the Colorado Association of School Executives, the president of the Colorado School Public Relations Association and presenter and event coordinator for professional seminars of the National School Public Relations Association.
Her business experience in the nonprofit sector includes serving as executive director of the Downtown Business Association and the assistant director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, both in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Tanya holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism with a concentration in public relations from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Carol is a copy editor and writer with more than 20 years of experience in the communications and publishing industries. She provides editorial consulting and project management to Schoolhouse Communications’ clients for a variety of publications, including brochures and reports. Her services ensure that client messages are communicated effectively and accurately to targeted audiences.
Carol’s experience includes providing editorial support to large corporations, small businesses, and nonprofits, as well as to magazine, fiction, and children’s book publishers. She has consulted on various projects for Coors Brewing Company, Janus Capital Group, HealthONE Alliance, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and Jefferson County Public Schools.
Carol holds a bachelor’s degree in English and journalism education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Nada is a graphic designer with more than 10 years of professional experience. She listens to clients’ vision and provides a customized final product that meets each client’s goals. Her expertise includes creating logos and developing print marketing materials – brochures, catalogs, ads, magazines, outdoor advertising (billboards and bus benches), targeted direct mailings, and annual reports – for colleges, school districts, businesses, and nonprofits. Nada holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.