The official website for Colorado Senator Mike Johnston (D-Denver)

Our Team

Kojo Asamoa-Caesar, Director of Outreach and Operations

Kojo comes to Mike’s team after serving as an Urban Leaders Fellow in Atlanta, where he researched and proposed policy recommendations to the Atlanta Board of Education on how to improve early childhood education. Prior to that, Kojo taught kindergarten and third grade at Tulsa Lighthouse Charter School in Oklahoma as a Teach for America corps member. He was named Teacher of the Year by his peers at the end of his second year of teaching. Before joining Teach for America, he attended and graduated from William and Mary School of Law, where he was a staff editor for the Environmental Law & Policy Review. While attending undergrad at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, he co-founded and served as president of a non-profit organization called To Respect Unite Support & Teach (T.R.U.S.T.) to encourage youth volunteerism, and organized and expanded membership from 3 to over 700 students; it is now based on three college campuses. Kojo hopes to combine his passion for building community with his experience in the classroom and continue to develop a deeper understanding of the policymaking process in order to help advance policies and programs that provide equal opportunity for people to achieve their highest potential. Kojo can be reached at kasamoa@mikejohnston.org.

 

Kaycee Gerhart, Policy Director

Kaycee comes to Mike’s team from Teach For America – Colorado, where she developed financial strategy for the region. Her work informed the team’s expansion efforts, resource allocation decisions, and fundraising operations across three sub-regions and six school districts. Prior to that role, Kaycee taught math at a Denver Public Schools high school as a Teach For America corps member. During her time in the classroom, she executed the school’s first full-spectrum intervention program and earned Stand For Children’s Award for Outstanding Teachers. Kaycee currently serves on the education advisory of In This Together Media and as the Finance chair on the board at Wyatt Academy. Originally from San Diego, she graduated with honors from San Diego State University in 2009 with a B.S. in Finance. Kaycee can be reached at kgerhart@mikejohnston.org.

 

Katherine Marulanda, Program Director

A Florida native, Katherine Marulanda comes to Senator Johnston’s staff after spending her summer researching the NE Denver Collective Impact Initiative as an Urban Leaders Fellow and as a legal intern with Florida Legal Services providing legal aid to clients with cases concerning issues affecting people in institutions – prisons, jails, juvenile detention centers, mental health treatment facilities and immigration detention centers. Prior to that, Katherine taught as an elementary school Bilingual teacher in San Antonio Public Schools for two years as a Teach For America corps member. Katherine attended the University of Florida on a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship, where she graduated Cum Laude with a focus in Spanish Literature, Family, Youth and Community Sciences, and International Relations. Katherine can be reached at kmarulanda@mikejohnston.org.

 

Lani Young, Director of Partnerships

A native of Concord, New Hampshire, Lani Young comes to Sen. Johnston’s staff after working as the deputy campaign manager for Rep. Brittany Pettersen’s reelection campaign and spending a year traveling and teaching English in northern Japan. Prior to that, Lani taught early childhood education and kindergarten as a Teach For America Corps member at McMeen Elementary School in Denver and then joined Teach For America staff, where she worked to overhaul the support and hiring of new corps members for the Colorado region. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Psychology from Middlebury College (VT), where she was the captain of the Women’s Basketball team. In 2011, she completed a Masters of Education in Urban Leadership from the University of Colorado, Denver. Lani is a 2014 alumna of the Urban Leaders Fellowship. Lani can be reached at lyoung@mikejohnston.org.