Advisor Team

Stephen H. Chou, Psy.D. • Co-Founder • Director of 2e Assessment and Research

Stephen H. Chou, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and Director of Training at the Summit Center. He is also the owner of and a licensed clinical psychologist within his private practice in Burlingame, CA and Boulder, CO. Dr. Chou is a former adjunct professor at the Alliant International University – California School of Professional Psychology at the San Francisco Bay Area campus, and current adjunct professor at the University of Denver. He has specialties in Family/Child and Multicultural/Community counseling and neuropsychological assessment, especially within the field of giftedness/2e/multi-e. Dr. Chou has been delighted with the myriad of fascinating mind, heart, and soulful presentations of gifted and talented children, youth, and their families; not only with their intelligence but also with their unique socio-emotional development over the lifetime.

Dr. Chou graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a BA in Integrative Biology and a minor in music, Johns Hopkins University with a BS in Nursing, and from Alliant International University – California School of Professional Psychology with an MA and PSYD in Clinical Psychology.


FlexSchool_Advisor_Maryellen_Butke

Maryellen Butke, MSW, PhD

Maryellen is an educational advocate and strategist deeply committed to ensuring all children reach their highest potential. In her educational consulting practice, Maryellen has cultivated expertise in disrupting the traditional educational model and building demand for change. Maryellen is an advisor with the Untapped Potential Project, whose mission is to advance public policy that optimizes educational outcomes for children with unique abilities as well as a consultant to Teach For America for their Philanthropic Leadership Circle.

Previously, Maryellen was a Partner at Impact for Education, a philanthropic advising firm in New York City, working with individual clients as well as foundations and strategic partners. One aspect of her work was elevating Black and Latino leadership among the philanthropic community. Before joining the Impact team, Maryellen was the founding executive director of RI-CAN: The Rhode Island Campaign for Achievement Now, where she successfully fought to expand high-quality public school options for children and advocated for an equitable school funding policy. Maryellen also worked as a high school administrator across six “Met Schools”–the first Big Picture Learning Schools in RI. Prior to her 15 years of work in education, Maryellen was a small business owner, entrepreneur, and psychotherapist. A graduate of Providence College with an MSW and Ph.D. in Social Work from Smith College, Maryellen also received a fellowship to attend Harvard Kennedy School’s international program for State and Local Leaders. Maryellen is the mother of two children–both with unique abilities–an ordained minister, committed partner and an avid political junkie, who loves a full house of passionate people committed to changing the world for our children.


FlexSchool_Advisor_Elaine_Christensen

Elaine Christensen, M.Ed.

Elaine is the Director of Professional Development and the Director of the Middle School at Lakeside School, an independent school in Seattle, Washington. She has held multiple roles in the middle and high school divisions since 1992, leading initiatives and developing policies that directly impact faculty expertise and student growth in both intellectual and social/emotional domains. Elaine holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University (1986), an M.A. in English Literature from the Breadloaf School of English at Middlebury College (1994) and an M.Ed. in Private School Leadership from the Klingenstein Program at Columbia University (2005). Elaine lives in Seattle with her husband.


Norma Lu Hafenstein, PhD

Dr. Hafenstein is the Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences Department, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver. Dr. Hafenstein is lead faculty for gifted education, Full Clinical Professor in the Teaching and Learning Sciences department. She advises masters and doctoral degree students in education of the gifted and teaches graduate courses including Creativity: Theory and Practice, Psychological Aspects of the Gifted, Curriculum for the Gifted, Program Development, Leadership and Communication in Gifted Education, Instructional Strategies for the Gifted, Twice Exceptional Learners, and Research as Problem Identification, Intervention, and Application.

Dr. Hafenstein serves as a member of the Colorado Department of Education’s Gifted and Talented Endorsement Standards Committee. Dr. Hafenstein established the Institute for the Development of Gifted Education in 1998 through support from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. In 1984, Dr. Hafenstein founded the Ricks Center for Gifted Children at the University of Denver and was director for 29 years. Dr. Hafenstein was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Emporia State University in 2012. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented in 2006 and in 2005, was presented with the Founder’s Day Distinguished Service to the University of Denver Award. Currently, Dr. Hafenstein is coprincipal investigator for the Right4Rural Project, a Javits federally-funded initiative to identify and serve giftedness in rural Colorado communities. Her research interests include identification of giftedness in underrepresented populations, information-processing styles, social and emotional development, program effectiveness, and adult and generational giftedness.


Carolyn Kottmeyer, MS Computer Science

Carolyn Kottmeyer is a leading international figure in giftedness as the founder and director of the powerful 1,100 page gifted resource website, Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page and Hoagies’ Kids and Teens Page where she manages a parent and teacher community over 35,000 followers. A software engineer by training, since 1998 she has written for gifted newsletters and journals around the world, including Our Gifted Children, Gifted Education Communicator, The SENGVine, and a variety of state and local gifted newsletters. She is the winner of the NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) Community Service Award and Annemarie Roeper Award, the SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) Service Award and the PAGE (Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education) Neuber-Pregler Award. Carolyn frequently speaks at conferences including World Gifted Council, National Association of Gifted Children, Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education, New Jersey Association of Gifted Children and many other state and local gifted associations, National Association of Gifted Children in Malaysia, and others. Carolyn earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Shippensburg and an M.S. in Computer Science from Villanova. She is the parent of two profoundly gifted adult daughters.