Founder and President
Location: Greenwood Village, Colorado
Kristina Scala keeps one thing in mind in her day-to-day mission to develop the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.
“It’s not about you,” the founder and president of Aspen Academy said. “Rather, it’s always, always about and for the people and purpose your organization serves. W hen we do what’s right in this vein, good always eventually follows.”
Founded in 2005, Aspen Academy in Greenwood Village, Colorado, is a national leader in innovative education. Through internationally acclaimed academics and the nation’s first integrated pre-K through eighth-grade leadership and entrepreneurial development program, its students are empowered to lead purposeful and extraordinary lives. Small classes are led by award-winning faculty who provide a foundation of academics and a personalized approach to instruction.
Scala and two co-founders launched Aspen Academy to equip students with the skills, habits, attitudes and content to successfully develop an extraordinary and purposeful life, the academy said. In 2020, Scala led Aspen Academy through a global pandemic with a commitment to continuity of learning, on campus learning and record enrollment.
Under Scala’s leadership, Aspen has developed intellectual-property assets that can be leveraged by other organizations to transform education, including an app marketed to schools, home-schools, and parents who want to equip their children with leadership and financial acumen skills. The academy’s Elevate Program provides coaching, intervention and professional development to teachers. Its MODI furniture line helps students to move and discover for improved memory, attention, mood and academic achievement. The revenue from those initiatives allows Aspen Academy to offer one the lowest tuition rates in the state, the academy said.
“Scala is constantly exploring additional ways to offset the cost of education by creating businesses within schools,” her team said.
Scala is most proud of the 350+ businesses that have been formed by students of Aspen Academy and the way these alumni show up in the world. Their future will shape the way businesses operate for generations to come and, as entrepreneurs, they will discover, innovate and inspire others, Scala’s staff said.
“Aspen Academy has and will continue to change the way people think about education,” Scala said. “Here, students and educators are creators, innovators, disrupters, change-makers and leaders. Our school and its community are cultivators and incubators and serve as fertile ground for children and adults to identify, strengthen and leverage their gifts, strengths and passions in order that we might all make the world better — together.”
Scala’s awards and accomplishments include being named among Thrive Global’s Top 15 Women to Watch (2018) and being recognized by The Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce as one of their Top 25 Most Powerful Women (2018). She is a Denver Business Journal Leadership Trust Member (2018-present).
The f lagship Aspen Academy has also earned numerous awards under Scala’s leadership, including: ColoradoBiz Magazine’s Top Company Finalist (2020); ColoradoBiz Magazine’s Top 100 Woman-Owned Companies (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021); Colorado Environmental Leadership Program Bronze Award (2019); Denver Business Journal Largest Denver-Area Private Schools (2019, 2020, 2021); Colorado Parent Top 5 Winner Family Favorites (2019); and the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Award (2020).
"It's always, always about and for the people and purpose your organization serves. When we do what's right in this vein, good always eventually follows."