centering marginalized voices

our  team


mission statement 

Sparks Ignite is a 501c3 nonsectarian comprehensive youth development organization and educational resource center. Our purpose is to provide empowering, educational and community building experiences, opportunities, resources, and support to non-traditional learners and underrepresented and/or marginalized communities.

We promote multi-age, open classrooms that embolden students to be responsible for their education. We support student-centered classrooms that prioritize the student over the curriculum and balance facilitator-led instruction with self-directed exploration. Our mission is to spark curiosities that ignite a lifelong passion and a love for learning.

We cultivate relationships and understanding through a collective of learners that include students, facilitators, families, and outside resources. Invigorating those communities to nurture and grow a hopeful view of the world, their place within it, and their ability to improve it.


Callie Cale "She/her" 

Tara Carter "She/her"

Julie Price "She/her"


Spark Curiosity. Cultivate Community. Ignite Learning. 


If you’re going to have diverse people in your school, you have a responsibility to build inclusion. This starts with recognizing three things. 

1)  Supremacy and Patriarchy are real and the majority of oppression is a spin-off of these 2 systemic issues.
2)  Diverse people have differing world views, experiences and needs that have to be acknowledged for them to be optimally successful in their              learning.

3)  People harbor a lot of unconscious bias and bring it to school with them daily.

Building a culture of inclusion is hard work. It takes deliberate, continuous effort and a lot of difficult conversation. Sparks Academy is a secular community. At Sparks we routinely engage in Critical Thinking discussion across all subject areas, including religion, sexual orientation, politics, social justice, and other controversial topics. This is a core aspect of the Sparks philosophy working toward fundamental changes to the existing power structure of our society. We believe these conversations are essential and will not be edited for the comfort of those with power and privilege. 

We recognize that systems of oppression exist in every facet of our society, and we all must continue to strive to dismantle them within ourselves, within our communities, and within the world. We pledge to center marginalized and minority people within our community. We understand that it is not the responsibility of marginalized or minority people to make those who are more privileged feel comfortable. It is the responsibility of those who are more privileged to do the continual work of learning and growth and change.

Cathy Ledjte-Piancone "She/her"