Our Vision:

The Coal Creek Adult Education Center is a vital resource for our community and meets the educational needs of every motivated adult wanting to advance their education. Our high quality and professional classes empower our students to obtain their High School Equivalency, improve their basic skills, learn English, and become lifelong learners.


Our Values:

  • High expectations of instructors, staff, and students
  • Professional instructors and high quality classes
  • Empowered and motivated students
  • Good steward of resources
  • Positive member of the community

Bryan Holinka, Executive Director/Founder

Bryan founded Coal Creek Adult Education Center in 2014 in response to a local community colleges discontinuation of its adult education program seeing a vital need that was no longer being met in the north metro area.

  • Bryan has been teaching English as a Second Language since 1993 and directing adult education programs since 2002. He has worked as a teacher and administrator in intensive english programs both in Japan and in the United States as well adult and continuing education programs for non-profits and community colleges.
  • Bryan was president of the Colorado Adult Education Professional Association from 2006-2007 and currently serves as vice-chair of the Lafayette Public Library advisory board. He holds a B.A. in History from Boise State University, an M.A. in Applied English Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a certificate in TESOL from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed the Leadership Development Certificate Program with the TESOL International Association.


Our Board of Directors:

Michael Zekonis, President

  • Michael Zekonis teaches composition at Front Range Community College.  Prior to that Michael served as Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development for the college’s Westminster and Boulder County campuses.

Denny McCloskey, Vice-President

  • Denny McCloskey is currently a Realtor with Middleton Realty Group Inc. He previously served for eight years as a Broomfield City Council member. He has also worked as a teacher in secondary schools in Boulder Valley for 15 years. He currently serves on the Smart Commute Metro North Board and the Wellman Creek HOA. He previously served on the National League of Cities transportation committee, the NACo transportation committee, the DRCoG committee.

Holly Clarke, Secretary

  • Holly currently works as an academic advisor at Front Range Community College in Westminster. While she works with all students, Holly is the designated academic advisor for international students. Holly completed her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Vermont. More recently, she has been awarded a master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership.

Glenn Plagens, Treasurer

  • Glenn is the Senior Director of the North Metro Denver Small Business Development Center. He is a small business specialist with more than 25 years of experience as a small business owner and more than 35 years of experience in small business during his career. He currently serves as a board member for Adams County Economic Development, Brighton Economic Development and the Colorado Business Development Foundation as Treasurer.


Members at Large:
     Valarie Almanzar-Garcia

     Amy Downing

     Kristen Erby

     Gini McMahan

     Carolina Padilla

     Chue Yang



Our Teachers:

Kimberly Castro, English as a Second Language Instructor

  • Kimberly Castro has over 18 years of ESL experience in high school, adult and higher education. She has a Master’s degree in second language acquisition from the University of Arizona in Tucson, a Bachelor’s degree in English/Spanish Education from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, as well as experience teaching English in Japan, Korea and Italy. She is a dynamic and trustworthy ESL teacher committed to encouraging a passion for learning and creating multicultural awareness through teaching the fundamentals of the English language.

Eden Ellman, English as a Second Language Instructor

  • Eden Ellman has a Master’s degree in Linguistically Diverse Education from UC-Denver. During her graduate work she was lucky to have the experience of volunteering in the refugee program at Emily Griffith Opportunity School in Denver for two years, where she developed tremendous admiration and respect for her students. She taught ESL at Front Range Community College for five years before coming to Coal Creek in its first year. Her parents were both ESL teachers and she was raised in a home that fostered a love of the English language and of diversity. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Dance from Colorado State University and taught dance for over twenty-five years. She also has a Doctorate of Chiropractic and practiced chiropractic for twelve years. Her experience in dance and health care has helped her find many creative ways to connect with her students.

Chris McCloskey, English as a Second Language Instructor

  • Chris has been in the classroom for thirty years. She has taught ESL and college English for the last twenty years at Front Range Community College and still refers to this work as her “dream job”! For two years, Chris served as interim director for the FRCC ESL Department. She has recently published two middle-grade mystery books.

Jason Prantis, GED


Randy Rothberg, High School Equivalency Preparation Instructor

  • Randy was born and raised in Denver, attended George Washington High School, and earned a degree in English from the University of Colorado. He taught secondary level English for the Boulder Valley School System for 26 years, primarily at the high school level. Randy worked for a literacy program in Boulder County for 14 years where he taught ESL and GED prep classes. For several years Randy also worked for the Spring Institute, where he taught work readiness classes to recent refugees. He currently also teaches Spanish language computer classes for Boulder Housing Partners.




Many organizations and individuals support the work we do here at Coal Creek Adult Education Center. We can’t thank them enough for their financial and in kind support. With their help we are able to keep our professional English as a Second Language and High School Equivalency (GED, HiSET) classes affordable to those student that have chosen to invest in their future and achieve their goals. Thank you!



Coal Creek Adult Education Center also partners with local school districts, community organizations, and government agencies to provide English as a Second Language classes and High School Equivalency classes to their clients and members of the community. These partnerships allow us to reach more and more students and help them achieve their English and academic goals.

info@coalcreekadulted.org    303-819-4104



231 Main St. Brighton, CO 80601  •  (Almost Home Inc., for beginning ESL and GED Prep)

830 Bridge Street, Brighton CO 80601  •  (Heritage Academy, for Intermediate and Advanced ESL)


United Methodist Church 1605 W. 106th  Ave. Northglenn CO 80234


© 2019 Coal Creek Adult Education (501c3).      All Rights Reserved.