Our Team

Our Team 2018-04-06T11:09:15+00:00

Elena Aguilar, Founder and President

Elena has trained thousands of educators across the United States and abroad in transformational coaching and team development. She is a regular contributor for Edutopia and EdWeek Teacher and has published two highly acclaimed books: The Art of Coaching (2013) and The Art of Coaching Teams (2016) with an upcoming book titled Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators anticipated to release in May 2018.

Elena’s expertise derives from twenty years as a classroom teacher, instructional coach and leadership coach working in diverse school environments. In her role as a consultant, she has partnered with leaders in public and private organizations across the United States and abroad. She holds a B.A. in history and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. She received her teaching credential from California State University, Hayward, and she also holds an administrative services credential. Elena lives in Oakland, California, with her husband, son, and two cats. When she’s not coaching or writing she enjoys traveling abroad, photographing birds, hiking, drinking coffee and reading fiction.

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Stacey Goodman, Vice President

Stacey brings 30 years of working in schools and in the private sector to our team. Having worked in internet companies in Silicon Valley in the mid-1990s, he has a keen understanding of how small businesses thrive. Following his adventures with start ups, Stacey taught in independent schools in the San Francisco Bay Area for 18 years which gave him a deep appreciation for the learning needs of educators in private schools. Stacey is also a professional artist and brings an eye for aesthetics and design to Bright Morning. Stacey has a BA in Architecture from Princeton and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. He and Elena have been married for 19 years.

Lettecia Kratz, Senior Associate

Lettecia draws on over 20 years of experience as a coach, team leader and educator, with a rich background in multicultural issues, community work, conflict resolution and workshop facilitation. Her training includes extensive study on self-expression, power, and communication. She holds a Professional Life and Business Coach Certificate from Accomplishment Coaching and is a certified Art of Coaching trainer. She also maintains a professional Teacher License in Colorado, and is a qualified English Language Development and Bilingual Instructor. Lettecia holds a BA in French from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is fluent in Spanish. Located in Denver, Colorado, she enjoys the mountains, spending time with her family and community, dancing, meditation, gardening, and cooking.

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Noelle Apostol Colin, Senior Associate

Noelle has been a teacher, coach, and leader in education for some 17 years. Her experiences living and working in diverse school settings deeply influence her work with coaches and leaders today. Noelle is masterful at delivering professional development, facilitating team retreats and meetings, guiding leaders to manage change. Noelle holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin in Latin American Studies and Spanish Literature, and an MA in Education Administration from the University of California at Berkeley. She also holds a California Administrative Services Credential, is a certified Art of Coaching trainer, and is fluent in Spanish. Although Noelle grew up in Houston, TX, she now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. When she is not working, she is having fun with her husband and toddler, lost in a novel, hiking or running.

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LesLee Bickford, Program Designer 

LesLee honed her design, teaching and consulting skills over the past 15 years working in education. She began her career teaching and coaching in Philadelphia public schools before relocating to the Midwest and moving from working within the public school system to partnering with educators and the staff members who support them. Over the past 12 years she has imagined, designed and executed learning experiences for individuals and groups in both school and non-profit settings. LesLee holds a BA in Political Science from Western Washington University and an MS in Elementary Education from Saint Joseph’s University. She was trained by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey as a facilitator of the Immunity to Change coaching method, has completed Cognitive Coaching training and is certified in the Art of Coaching. LesLee’s home base is Minneapolis where you’ll find her constantly on the move with her husband and two young sons.

Jessie Cordova, Director of Client Experience

Jessie has worked in education for over a decade as a bilingual and ESL teacher, team leader, and instructional and leadership coach to both teachers and their coaches. She earned a BA in History from Syracuse University, an MA in Education from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX., and is a Certified Professional Coach through Leadership That Works. She is passionate about designing and facilitating learning experiences that help people rediscover who they are and want to become. Jessie lives in Brooklyn, New York. You will often find her reading, meditating, traveling, doing Zumba and eating delicious vegan food.

Janet Baird, Associate

Janet has been in education for over 20 years, teaching, coaching, and designing and facilitating professional development. She holds a BA from Loyola Marymount University in English and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction, Secondary Education from San Francisco State University. She is a certified coach in the Art of Coaching. In addition, she has been a certified yoga instructor for the past 15 years. Her work in Transformational Coaching, yoga, and education feed her passion for helping people cultivate resilience to lead happier lives. Janet’s work focuses on developing the content for the Onward website and facilitating the Onward workshops. Janet lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons. You will often find her with Starbucks chai tea in hand cheering on her boys at the baseball field or the basketball gym.

Maya Haines, Director of Operations

Maya has a knack for administrative organization based on her experience as the manager of a small business. She brings order, systems and organization to Bright Morning. Maya double majored in Dance and Sociology at Mills College, graduated in 2015, and is now studying American Sign Language. She hopes to become an interpreter in the future. Maya lives in Oakland, California.

Jeanne Carlson, Administrative Assistant

Jeanne has been a dog trainer for over fifty years and is the author of the internationally acclaimed Good Dog, Bad Habits and the training video, “Good Puppy!” The skill set she uses in her dog training business is invaluable to Bright Morning: the ability to listen carefully to what clients need, to attend to the big picture as well as the details, and most important, the skills and commitment to cultivate healthy relationships with others. Jeanne lives on Lummi Island, Washington, and is also Elena’s aunt.

Robert Noakes