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Our Consultants

Meet Our Team

Shondra Carpenter
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Shondra recognized the ongoing need for direction in the college admissions process. She formed Steele Street College Consulting (SSCC) in 2014 in order to utilize her expertise and passion for working with students as they find the right fit for their future. Shondra believes that the right fit for a student is the most important factor for success in finding a college, as it becomes the student’s home for the duration of their study.  Shondra attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln where she received a BA in History & Spanish, UNLV where she received a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, and the University of Phoenix where she received an MA in School Counseling. She has 26 years of experience working in the high school setting, first as a Spanish and Social Studies teacher, and since 2002, as a high school counselor.  Shondra is an associate member of the Independent Education Consultant Association (IECA) and an active member of the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC). She has served on Counselor Advisory Boards to several universities and has developed professional relationships with college and university representatives from across the country. Her experience working with students, visiting college campuses, and studying the world of college admissions, has helped her recognize what it takes to support students and families achieve success throughout the college planning process.  When not working with students, Shondra can be found traveling (most often visiting college campuses), practicing yoga, enjoying time with her husband & two adult children now in college.

Abby Reynolds
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Abby became passionate about the college consulting profession while her oldest daughter worked with Steele Street on her college journey in 2017. Abby completed the Independent Education Consultant (IEC) Certification through the University of California at Irvine in 2019 and is a current member of several professional organizations including the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), the Rocky Mountain Association for College Admission Counseling (RMACAC), the National Association for College Admission counseling (NACAC) and the College Consultants of Colorado (CCC). Abby continually participates in professional development training and workshops and visits colleges as often as possible. Abby attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and received a BS in Journalism with an emphasis in Marketing. Following graduation, Abby spent the majority of her professional life as a project manager for Global Crossing. Abby is an active member in her Denver community and has fostered strong relationships with several public, private and charter schools. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the University of Colorado Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center and helps promote the importance of mental health and suicide prevention. Abby believes in finding the “right-fit” school for each student, and that is seen through her own three children who collectively attended three different elementary schools, three different middle schools and two different high schools. Abby’s passion for mental health and finding the “right fit,” combined with her education has helped Abby understand how to be successful in the college admissions process. Abby and her husband, Morgan, are long-time residents of the Central Park neighborhood where they have raised their three children. In addition to helping high school students find the “right fit” college and spending time with family and friends, Abby enjoys skiing and hiking in the Colorado outdoors, traveling and walking her two goldendoodles.

Michele Doll
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Dr. Michele, a Doctor of Education, obtained her Ed.D. from the University of Southern California in the field of Educational Leadership. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Master of Education in Teaching and Administration from Loyola Marymount University. With an extensive educational career spanning three decades, Michele has taken on various roles, including High School Teacher, High School Assistant Principal, Middle School Principal, High School Principal, District Office Administrator, and her current position as Assistant Superintendent of a TK-12 Unified School District. Michele is a results-oriented professional who places great emphasis on cultivating collaborative partnerships to maximize opportunities for students. Her wealth of experience in educational leadership, coupled with her unwavering commitment to the academic, social, and emotional development of students, has been instrumental in her professional achievements and has afforded her a comprehensive understanding of the most effective means of supporting students. Michele firmly believes that there exists a college or university suitable for every student. As an educator, she has provided invaluable guidance to numerous students, aiding them in navigating both the college application process and the transition from high school to college. Michele's perspective extends beyond the mere selection of a college; she places significance on the reasons behind the choice and emphasizes the importance of identifying the right fit and actively engaging in student life during the entire four-year college experience. Outside of her professional commitments, Michele and her husband can be found passionately supporting the USC football team, enjoying snowboarding excursions in Mammoth Lakes, visiting her daughter in Austin, Texas, who is an Elementary School Teacher, and spending time with her other daughter, who is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts and Illustration at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design.

Dawn Taylor Owens
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Dawn began her career in college counseling after seeing the positive reaction her son had when he worked with a Steele Street college counselor during his last two years of high school. Having spent 11 years working in higher education, Dawn found helping high school students with their college planning was a perfect fit. Dawn is also the founder and president of DTO Strategies, a full-service, bi-partisan public affairs firm providing clients with expertise in public and media relations, K-12 and higher education policy, brand development and marketing, multi-issue writing and editing, government relations, strategic communications, issue management, team building, public outreach and stakeholder engagement, and policy and political insight. Prior to founding DTO Strategies, Dawn served as Executive Director of College In Colorado for the Colorado Department of Higher Education for 11 years under Governors Owens, Hickenlooper, and Ritter. In this role, she led a statewide initiative, including outreach and Web site services, to help Colorado students plan their future and help ensure that they are postsecondary and workforce ready when they leave high school. Dawn also served as Director of Communications for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources where she was called upon to write opinion editorials, press releases, newsletters, issue papers, and articles for publication. This experience capitalized on her earlier role as Speechwriter and senior staff member for Governor Bill Owens. Appointed in August of 1999, Dawn researched, wrote, and edited all of the Governor’s speeches. She was also charged with various writing assignments, including speeches for members of the Governor’s Cabinet and staff. Before moving to Colorado, Dawn lived in Washington, D.C. where she served as Legislative Assistant to Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming, as Deputy Press Secretary to Senator Frank Murkowski of Alaska, and as Press Secretary to Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon. Additionally, she served as guest host and moderator of “Ask Your Senator,” a weekly syndicated television program featuring United States Senators. During her time in DC, Dawn was also a freelance television producer for AP Sports Television, where she wrote copy and produced video for the AP’s clients, including ESPN, the NFL Network, and FOX Sports. A Wyoming native, Dawn was raised in Laramie and currently resides in Denver. She is a graduate of the University of Wyoming with a degree in Broadcasting. She resides in Denver with her husband Jim, their two boys, Harlan (19) and Taylor (17), and their French Bulldog Touchdown (7).

Molly Walsh
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Molly enjoys provoking interest in writing through teaching journalism to teens. She has been a teacher for over 20 years and her students are truly her passion. Building relationships throughout her time in the classroom continues to be valuable to her students’ accomplishments. Her past students have asked her for college essay editing help, which made her recognize the need for more guidance throughout the sometimes stressful college application process. She knows she can provide an ease to the applicants and make essay writing fun! Molly attended Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland where she received a BS in Education. After many years of teaching elementary school, she changed paths by teaching journalism part-time at McAuliffe International School in Park Hill. This led her to a MA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Kent State University in Ohio. She is a member of the JEA (Journalism Educators Association) and is a CJE (Certified Journalism Educator). Molly is also a member of Rocky Mountain Association of College Admission Counseling (RMACAC) and National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Molly believes everyone has a story to tell. Many students don’t think they have accomplished something great enough to write about, but a story doesn’t have to be a major impact in life. It just needs to be unique to the person and told in a way that shows who they are. It’s fun for Molly to pull ideas from students and loves to experience the “ah-ha” moment when someone realizes they truly have a story worthy of an essay. During her free time, Molly enjoys hiking with friends, jogging, reading, and playing Rummikub with her husband, Brian. She also plays duplicate bridge competitively and travels to national tournaments with her bridge group. Molly and Brian have two children, Zoe (21) who attends Bucknell University and Jake (20) who attends Gettysburg College.

Lesley Brophy
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For the last 15 years, Lesley has worked in admission and enrollment at a selective independent school, meeting with prospective high school students and encouraging engagement with the admission process. As a member of the small committee that determines admission decisions, she has read literally thousands of applicant files and essays! Lesley also has advised the school’s award-winning newspaper, working closely with high school students on generating story ideas, researching, writing and editing. Lesley’s early career focused on communications, and she was a freelance writer and editor for a wide range of clients. For several years, she also served as the Student Media Adviser at the University of Denver, overseeing the school’s student newspaper and yearbook. Lesley has a B.A. in English from Dartmouth College and an M.A. in Communication from Stanford University. She is a voracious reader who is most drawn to memoirs and “debut” novels — that is, she loves the art of storytelling. This is why she enjoys working with students on their application essays. Lesley's hobbies include hiking, word games and puzzles, and playing tennis and pickleball. Her volunteer work centers on animal welfare: She’s an adoption counselor at the Denver Animal Shelter and serves on the Denver Animal Protection Advisory Committee. She and her husband have two grown children living in Denver.

Rachael Kessler
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With thirty-one years of teaching experience, Rachael Kessler has dedicated herself to working with teenage students specializing in gifted and talented education, as well as high-achievers, neurodivergent students, and those with executive functioning challenges. Beyond earning her Master's Degree in Education from the University of Colorado and Bachelor's of Science Degree from Miami University (Ohio), Rachael has accumulated over 90 hours of post-graduate studies. Rachael is a highly creative, motivated, and accomplished educator who is deeply student-centered and holds high expectations for all students' academic growth. She demonstrates empathy and places great importance on students’ social and emotional development. Rachael's move from the classroom to working with college-bound students represents a natural evolution. She understands the crucial role of finding and collaborating with the best college admissions consultants, as demonstrated by the success of her two college-aged daughters. Rachael's wealth of knowledge, experience, resources, and compassion will undoubtedly benefit your student's success during this pivotal period. Rachael will complete her studies at the University of California—Irvine as an Independent Educational Consultant in the fall of 2024. Professionally, she belongs to both the national organizations HECA (Higher Education Consultants Association) IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association), and the local organization CCC (College Consultants of Colorado). On a personal note, Rachael and her husband, Dan, have lived in northeast Denver, both in the Park Hill and Central Park neighborhoods, for the last 30 years. She finds joy in spending time with family and friends, indulging in her passion for writing and reading, practicing yoga, exploring different corners of the world, playing with her fur babies, and tending to her garden. The famous words of Lao Tzu, "The journey of a 1000-mile begins with a single step," should encapsulate the college admission process. This is exactly what Rachael Kessler aims to do for your student: serving as a guide every step of the way.

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