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AXL Leadership Team

Who We Are

Mehran Ahmed

Executive Director

Why AXL: I have a passion for working with scholars of all ages and a conviction for watching people grow. Being in Aurora and having an option for scholars like AXL will support the growth of our community. AXL is a place where committed stakeholders are coming together to help our scholars thrive and that is energizing. 

What I love: I love traveling, collecting art, eating good food, and spending time with my loved one. I also am an avid sports fan... I played rugby for 15 years and love watching baseball games. 


Jack Bissonnette


Why AXL: I choose to serve the AXL community because I highly value the diversity of the community, the expeditionary instructional practices, and the mission's emphasis on promoting social equity

What I love: I love reading and learning new things, building strong connections, being physically active, and most of all I love my family and friends.

Nick Assaf

Instructional Coach

Why AXL: Everyday AXL gives me another opportunity to do good work worth doing with people who pride themselves on being on the frontlines of building a better future for kids.

What I love: coffee, party games, all things NBA, cooking, jersey aesthetics, Kafka, brainstorming sessions, looking after the GOAT pen, podcasts, spending time with family, not looking at my phone for extended periods of time.

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Rich Crockett

Director of Operations 

Why AXL: AXL provides me with a professional purpose. I know that what I can do in my daily work can offer support to teachers and scholars. That is huge to me. I'm honored to be a part of a great educational organization that is making a difference. I love the diversity here at our school and how our future leaders are taught through the expeditionary learning model. I have two children that attend AXL and love seeing them learning in their classrooms and hallways from time to time. Go Owls!


What I Love: I love my family and friends most of all. Board games and game nights are one of my favorite activities! I enjoy watching the Denver Broncos and the Denver Nuggets. I love being a Dad to my two girls and showing them love and appreciation. I like having thoughtful and impactful conversations.

Marissa Caine

Crew Culture Leader

Why AXL: I have a passion for being in an environment where both students and staff have the opportunity to grow and achieve excellence. I value diversity, creativity, relationships, and a place where one can bring their true authentic selves to a space, and add to their community. I want to serve AXL and its community because this is a place that values students, families, and thinking outside the box.


What I Love: I am a huge foodie, and love to travel to experience the different cuisines and cultures this beautiful world has to offer. I am a huge reader, especially fantasy and fiction. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, especially playing games, I can be pretty competitive. I enjoy being physically active and trying new things, including boxing. I love, love, love getting to know my students and watching them grow.


Lizzie Zavala

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Why AXL: Creativity is highly valued here, and we have the freedom to explore innovative approaches in education, making it a unique space for growth and learning. AXL is a fun, fast-paced place to work.

What I love: I love my family, my dog, friends, traveling, watching baseball games, game nights, and trying new restaurants. 

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