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Learning Specialist

Ashley Pankey

Meet Ms. Ashley!

Hi Crew!  My name is Ashley, and I’m incredibly excited for another year as a crew member.  Here is a little more about me...


  • I love lists.

  • Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, I spent a lot of time boating, eating hot dogs, eating pizza, wishing Illinois had mountains, and playing competitive sports.

  • I have five siblings back in the midwest.  Some of them are step-siblings, but we don’t roll that way in our blended family.

  • For ten years, I traveled the country with my competitive cheerleading team.  I spent so much time at the gym, my coach eventually just started paying me to work with the younger teams.

  • For my final five years as a cheerleader, I volunteered to work with the special abilities cheerleading team at my gym.  This is where I developed my passion for working with individuals who have disabilities.  There is nothing more rewarding than seeing an individual grow with independence and confidence.

  • When I aged out of cheerleading at 18, my dad said, “Go get a job.”  Naturally, I applied at our neighborhood Walgreens so I could get an employee discount on my frequent shopping sprees.  I started off as a Beauty Advisor (still don’t really know anything about makeup), and then worked as a pharmacy technician.

  • My first major in college was Fire Science.  My dad is a Fire Chief, and I have spent lots of time at the firehouse.  After 50 hours of clinical time working the graveyard shift in the ER, I decided it just wasn’t my jam.  My heart was set on being a Special Educator.

  • After I graduated from Illinois State University as a Learning and Behavior Specialist, I packed my life into my car and moved west.

  • I have been living and teaching in the country's best state since 2015.

  • In September of 2019, I married my husband, Charlie.  Each year that we have been together, we rescue another pet to add to our family.  We are only about a year or two away from needing a farm for all these animals.

  • In April 2022, Charlie and I had our first baby girl, Hadley Jo. She has been the greatest addition to our family. Haddy loves making silly faces, eating, and shopping at Trader Joe's!"

  • I enjoy camping, working out, playing sports, spending time with friends/family, trying new foods, fly fishing, snowmobiling, traveling, baking, buying things on Amazon, and being outdoors. Oh, and I’m addicted to Diet Coke and chocolate.

  • I chose to become a crew member because I feel my teaching philosophy lines up seamlessly with the culture at REMS.  I’m deeply passionate about building relationships with students and their families, as well as, creating lessons that are functional and meaningful to foster independence. 

Feel free to contact me via email at or to my direct office line at (303) 387-8010.  WE ARE CREW!

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