Special Services

Debbie Comfort

Speech Language Pathologist

I was a speech-language pathologist in Denver Public Schools for 30 years, most of which included Carson Elementary School! I have also worked in a hospital setting, early childhood settings, and private practice. I have a masters degree in speech-language from the University of Cincinnati and a masters degree in audiology from Vanderbilt University. I have taught at Metropolitan State University and presented at both state and national conferences. I retired from DPS a couple of years ago, but continue to see clients in private practice. I am looking forward to returning to Carson for the remainder of the school year. My family is my greatest joy. My husband and I have two terrific sons, two fabulous daughters-in-law, and a wonderful 2-year-old granddaughter that we see every week. Family gatherings can also include 5 golden retrievers! Whenever possible, I enjoy hiking, skiing, gardening, Pilates, knitting, sewing, and reading.

Dylan L. Conklin

Dylan L. Conklin, a School Psychology Intern



I’m Dylan L. Conklin, a School Psychology Intern from Albany, New York. 

I recently moved to Colorado for my third, and final year of Graduate School. 

In December 2021, I received my Master of Science in Education. I am currently working towards obtaining my Certificate of Advanced Study. Before starting the School Psychology program at The College of Saint Rose, I worked in a Special Education High School for 10 years. 


When I’m not at work, I try to be outside running, hiking, camping, or fishing. I enjoy playing and watching soccer and Gaelic football. If there’s a good concert or live entertainment around, I’ll most likely be there. 


I look forward to working with the Carson staff, students, and community!

Danielle Drish


Hi! I am so excited to be the new school psychologist at Carson this year! I was born in Chicago, Illinois. My family moved to Longmont, Colorado when I was 5 months old.   This will be my 5th year in Denver Public Schools.  I earned my Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Fort Lewis College and my Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. Prior to coming to DPS, I worked in Morgan County School District for 2 years and 12 years in Adams 27J.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors adventuring with my chocolate lab, Huxley. I love camping, hiking, knitting/crocheting, brunching with friends, cooking and reading. I am also a HUGE Denver Broncos fan!!

Kayley Hoag

Speech Language Pathologist

My name is Kayley Hoag and I am the new speech language pathologist here at Carson. I am so excited to be a member of the Carson Cougar team! I am originally from Houston, Texas. I then moved to Austin and received my bachelor’s from the University of Texas at Austin with a minor in American Sign Language Studies. After graduating, I worked as a teaching assistant in an inclusive preschool. It was there that I discovered that I wanted to learn more about all aspects of communication. I soon moved to Colorado and graduated with my master’s in Speech Language Pathology from CU Boulder. There I gained clinical experience working with (and learning from) incredible individuals in areas including AAC (augmentative and alternative communication), speech, language, and multimodal communication! I decided to stay in the mountains (and avoid the humidity from back home). In my freetime, I like to explore all that Colorado has to offer, read, and connect with my friends and family.

Andrea Metzger


I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska until I made my way to Colorado to attend Colorado State University.  Although I had a brief stint back in the Pacific Northwest, I came back to Colorado to attend the Physical Therapy Doctorate program at University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.  I have been a Pediatric Physical Therapist for over 14 years.  Much of my career was spent in Early Intervention until I transitioned to Denver Public Schools two years ago.  I enjoy working with children and watching their independence, confidence and excitement grow when acquiring new skills.  


My efforts to keep a healthy work/life balance include running and spending time with my husband, our two daughters (7 yrs and 9 yrs) and our dog Otis.  We like to spend as much time outdoors as possible; camping, biking, skiing, listening to live music and spending time with friends and neighbors.

Espina headshot

Joelle Hernandez

MLE (multilingual education teacher) + Intervention/Acceleration Specialist

Hi! I grew up in Arkansas and received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville. I then graduated with my Master of Science in Education of the Deaf from Texas Woman’s University and moved from Texas to our beautiful state of Colorado. I am starting my 6th year at Carson and have enjoyed the incredible experience of teaching across K-5 grades.

In my downtime, I love playing with my three dogs: Atticus, Gracie and Shipley. I also enjoy reading, paddle boarding, hiking, going to concerts and spending time with my husband, Jesus.