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Alumni Spotlights

Bennett Edgerly, ’98: Clinical Director of Residential Treatment Center

Bennett Edgerly started in middle school at DA in 1993 and graduated from DA’s Race Street Campus in 1998. We asked him some questions about how his DA education has impacted his life.

What work do you do now? I am the clinical director of a residential treatment center working with teen boys struggling with mental illness and substance abuse. We work with twice-exceptional kids, much like DA has always served. 

How did DA help get you to where you are now? The kids I work with are often the same kinds of kids as those who attend DA. As a former DA student, I can relate to those kids — these kids blossom only when they’re in the right system. I hear my own story echoed by my clients every time they're in my office, and the fact that I can relate to them around educational difficulties gives me a leg up. 

What is the biggest thing you learned while attending DA? If you have an uncommon or atypical learning profile, that is nothing for which you should feel ashamed. You must learn the strategy that works for you and learn to replicate the playbook once you leave DA. This carried me all the way from DA through my doctoral training and is something I repeat to kids in my profession to this day. 

Who were your favorite teachers? Paul Maes, Jim Lester, Aimee Twarogowski, and Leigh Ann Jensen. Mark Twarogowski was never my teacher, but he felt like one. 

What was different for you at DA? I felt intelligent for the first time. I liked that people understood I was capable. I was frustrated in a typical learning environment.

Tell us about your life after DA graduation. I attended the University of Northern Colorado for undergrad and then joined the Marines after 9/11. Once I got out of the Marines, I went to Northern Arizona University for my Master’s in Education, Master’s in Clinical Mental Health, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Health Psychology. Now I am using my education as the clinical director of a residential treatment center in Greeley, CO. My partner Dominique and I have two sons, Atticus and Lincoln.