Tom Tillapaugh, President
Tom Tillapaugh is the founder and administrator of the Denver Street School System and President of the StreetSchool Network™. An educator with a heart for the inner-city, he has spent more than twenty years sharing the Street School Model. During that time, he has not only offered hundreds of Denver’s inner-city kids a second chance to earn their diplomas, but has helped to start Street Schools all over the nation. In the summer of 1996, Tillapaugh saw a decade long dream come true as the organization held its first annual conference in Seattle, WA. Tom received his Master’s from Oral Roberts University and was awarded an honorary doctorate from American Pathways University in 2008. He continues to pursue a doctoral degree in school administration from the University of Denver. Tillapaugh has been a frequent speaker and guest at White House summits and policy briefings on the drop-out epidemic. In Colorado, he served on congressman Bob Bepreauz’s Education Committee, has been nominated to Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who among American Teachers and received the Teacher Who Makes A Difference Award from Newscenter 4 and The Rocky Mountain News. Additionally the Street School Movement has been featured in Education Week, Newsweek, Philanthropy Journal and the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Education Innovator. Tom is married to Yvonne Tillapaugh and they have four children: Cherie, Rebecca, Rick and Neil. They also have six beautiful grandchildren: Joseph, Savannah, Hayden, Hailey, Mya, and Esperanza.
Laurel Christensen, Director of School Services
Laurel serves as the Director of School Development for the StreetSchool Network™. In this position, she coordinates all network schools on their improvement processes and accreditation as well as working on the Infusionomics economic literacy program. After graduating from Trinity Western University with a degree in History, Laurel went to work in the corporate world in human resources and then started a family. She went on to complete her teacher certification at Calvin College and taught high school for 10 years in a school devoted to serving the needs of diverse students. While teaching she went on to earn her master’s in education from Grand Valley State University. Laurel’s parents both grew up in the Netherlands during the German occupation. Her father left school and home at the age of 13 to join the merchant marines. He later immigrated to Canada, where he met her recently immigrated mother. Her parents moved to Michigan when her father bought an existing store and developed it into a major retailer and importer of Dutch products supplying markets around the country. It was her work with Potters House Christian School and her parent’s commitment to hard work, education, and her father’s entrepreneurial nature that inspired her passion for helping disadvantaged students succeed.
Lauren Orozco, National RenWeb Director
Lauren is currently serving as the national RenWeb Director for the StreetSchool Network. A Colorado Christian University alum and Denver transplant, Lauren works out of the main office of the StreetSchool Network in Denver and has a passion for working with inner city youth.