Teaching Staff

AllEngineeringLanguage ArtsMathParaprofessionalPhysical EducationScienceSocial StudiesSpecial EducationVisual and Performing ArtsWorld Languages

Abby Vining

7th Grade Language Arts

Abby Vining

7th Grade Language Arts

I was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but decided to get away from the sun and attend Lewis and Clark College in rainy Portland, Oregon. When I graduated, I moved to Helena, Arkansas, a small town on the banks of the Mississippi River, and taught elementary music. After teaching music for a few years, I was lucky enough to receive a Fulbright grant to teach and research in Bergen, Norway. There, I taught high school English and American studies and backpacked or skied nearly every weekend! After my year in Norway, I earned a master’s degree in Learning and Teaching from Harvard Graduate School of Education. I am excited to be living in Denver because I have missed being close to the mountains and my family in New Mexico. My hobbies include hiking, skiing, knitting, and exploring bookstores! I can’t wait to be a member of the McAuliffe community!

Adriana Gonzales

Spanish

Adriana Gonzales

Spanish

Hola, my name is Adriana Gonzales, and I am from Artesia, New Mexico. My first language is Spanish since both my parents migrated from Mexico. I studied Secondary Education and Spanish at the University of New Mexico. During college, I studied abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico. After college, I lived in Spain for 2 years and taught students English. While living in Spain, I traveled all over Europe. Then I decided I wanted to conquer Denver. When I’m not teaching, I love to spend time with friends, bike ride, take walks, eat and sleep.

Alexandra Lee

Paraprofessional

Alexandra Lee

Paraprofessional

Alyssa Smith

Paraprofessional

Alyssa Smith

Paraprofessional

Amber Holthus-Pera

6th Grade Language Arts

Amber Holthus-Pera

6th Grade Language Arts

Cheyenne, Wyoming, is where I was born and raised, and it’s also where I started my teaching career. Needing a change, I moved to Denver and haven’t looked back! I love to spend time outdoors enjoying activities like hiking, camping, walking our dogs, or working in the garden. Reading, cooking, and spending time with loved ones (including the furry, four legged kind) are also things I enjoy. I live in Park Hill with my wife Amy and our two-year-old twin sons. I am passionate about education and feel so lucky to call McAuliffe home!

Anner Angulo

Spanish

Anner Angulo

Spanish

Ashleigh Cook

Engineering

Ashleigh Cook

Engineering

I have a degree in environmental engineering from Utah State University. Before becoming a teacher, I implemented engineering-based projects such as dormitory construction, solar panel installation, and wastewater disposal system installation in Peru, Uganda, and Mexico. I have taught science and math to middle and high school students, and am thrilled to educate the engineers of our future at McAuliffe. I plan to incorporate environmentally-conscious principles this year as my students and I explore green architecture. In my free time, I can most likely be found in the mountains or on a yoga mat.

Askari Adams

Physical Education

Askari Adams

Physical Education

I moved here from Florida, but am originally from Pennsylvania where I received a football scholarship to Penn State University. I graduated with a B.S. in Kinesiology. After college I was given an opportunity to play professional football, which inspired me to coach. I’ve been a football coach for ten years and a teacher for six years.

Becky Middleton

French, GT Coordinator

Becky Middleton

French, GT Coordinator

Bonjour! I'm excited to be a part of McAuliffe as your French teacher. I was born and raised in Iowa on my parents’ farm and moved to Colorado in 1986 where I met my husband. We have been married for 22 years and have raised 2 wonderful children. My love of French runs deep and started when I read Le Petit Prince and then traveled to France for the first time with my junior class. My teaching career began with French and 8th grade English at a middle school in Boulder. From 2005-2013 I taught IB French, both Diploma Program and MYP, in Adams School District 50. I received my BA in French from Metropolitan State College of Denver and my teaching licensure from Regis University. I have studied at the University of Illinois taking courses in translation, and I have studied French in Hyères France to complete my BA. I am currently working on my Master’s degree from CSU Global Campus. In my spare time I love to read, quilt, do yoga, travel and spend time with my family.

Brandon Gilbert

8th Grade Math

Brandon Gilbert

8th Grade Math

Hello! Teaching and learning have always been my greatest interests, and I’ve had the opportunity to learn and teach through vast and varied experiences in my life. I currently hold an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a masters degree in curriculum and instruction, and have been able to apply this learning in multiple capacities. I’ve taught people how to snowboard in Vail, taught English language learners in Poland, Bolivia, and Argentina, and have been teaching middle school mathematics for the past 5 years. When I’m not problem solving with students, you would most likely find me in the Colorado backcountry skiing 14ers, backpacking with my wife, fishing, or just enjoying nature. The Denver area has always been my home, and I’m incredibly excited to be a part of the community that’s closest to my heart.

Brittany Johnston

Special Education

Brittany Johnston

Special Education

Hello! I am so excited to be a part of the McAuliffe team! I am originally from Winter Park, Colorado, where I spent my childhood outdoors and staying active with sports. I attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, where I continued to ski race and play volleyball, and I spent time abroad in China. In 2013, I moved to Denver to teach at Noel Community Arts School as a Special Education teacher. This year, I am really looking forward to making the transition to the MI setting. Outside of teaching, I enjoy traveling, camping, reading, skiing, and spending time with friends and family in the mountains.

Carlene Madsen

6th Grade Science

Carlene Madsen

6th Grade Science

I was born and raised in Salt Lake City but wanted to move to Colorado ever since 7th grade when I decided to be a veterinarian and go to college at CSU. I joined the Army in high school to help pay for my college, and along the way I met my husband (a Colorado native) while we were both deployed to Kuwait. I attended University of Colorado Denver for my biology degree, and I loved being in the science classroom so much I decided to become a science teacher! I think it is so fun to work with middle school students all day. I love being able to complete fun labs and show students all the awesome things science can teach us. When I’m not at school, I love spending time at home with my husband Joe and our bulldog Dozer, cooking and trying out new recipes, and traveling back to Utah whenever I can to see my family and hang out with my adorable nieces! I love working here with the amazing McAuliffe community every day!

Chin-Chin Fan

Mandarin

Chin-Chin Fan

Mandarin

Hello! Nihao! I am excited to be part of the McAuliffe team as your Mandarin Chinese teacher. I am a native Chinese speaker born and raised in Taiwan. I came to the States in 1993 for my graduate study at Colorado State University in Fort Collins where I met my husband and settled in the Front Range area since then. I received my MA in design, merchandising and consumer sciences from CSU and currently hold a Colorado teaching license with a Mandarin Chinese endorsement (K-12). Inspired by my daughters as their Mandarin tutor, I found my second talent and passion in teaching. With almost a decade of teaching experience, I have taught Mandarin to small groups and large classes and worked with a diverse range of students from Chinese kindergarteners with American parents to college students from Ethiopia. I enjoy spending time with my family going hiking and biking, skiing, playing tennis and golf, and traveling to discover all the different places and cultures around the world. In my free time, I also love to cook authentic home style foods,

Collin Verner

Science

Collin Verner

Science

I’m looking forward to starting my first year at McAuliffe International School and my sixth year teaching science in Colorado. I received my BFA from Southern Illinois University in 2000, my Middle School Teaching Certification from Appalachian State University in 2007, and my Masters Degree in Science Education at CU Denver in 2010. I love the outdoors, my lovely wife, and our baby daughter.

Cris Cardenas

Visual Arts

Cris Cardenas

Visual Arts

A native of Virginia, I graduated from the University of Virginia with my Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and my Master’s Degree in Education. Art has always been a passion of mine, though what serves as inspiration in working with middle schoolers is my middle/high school experience of exploring the arts in depth, discovering my voice and passions, & learning to be more analytical and open to different perspectives. While I create my own art outside of class, I also love exploring the music/art scene of Denver, reading/sketching in local coffee shops, playing in parks, rock climbing, and adventuring into the great outdoors!

Diego Andres Pulgarin Bermudez

Spanish

Diego Andres Pulgarin Bermudez

Spanish

I was born in Bogota, Colombia, graduated from La Salle University in Bogota, and earned a TESOL Diploma from Edenz College in New Zealand. I am passionate about teaching and learning languages, which opens windows to explore different cultures and can show us many different ways to understand our world. I have been teaching Spanish, French and English for almost 9 years in different parts of the world, including England, New Zealand and Colombia. I am an animal lover and I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, meeting new people, and traveling to different places as much as possible. I am thrilled to be part of McAuliffe and I know this journey is going to be a challenging and rewarding experience for all of us.
“One language sets you in a corridor for life, two languages open every door along the way” -Frank Smith

Dusty Starr

6th Grade Math

Dusty Starr

6th Grade Math

There are endless opportunities in life to learn something new, which is why I love teaching so much and being a part of the McAuliffe math team! My teaching career began in 2001 after graduating from the University of Northern Colorado. In 2004 I graduated from CU Denver with my MA in Curriculum and Instruction. When I’m not teaching you’ll find me skiing, hiking or outdoors enjoying some Colorado sunshine. My summers are often spent traveling near and far. I’ve had some amazing experiences in Peru, Costa Rica, Europe and Africa.

Emily Fuller

Math

I am very excited to teach mathematics at McAuliffe and help students think in ways that they are not accustomed. One of my favorite mathematicians, Georg Cantor, said that “in mathematics, the art of proposing a question must be held of higher value than solving it.” In math this year, we will work to generate questions, reason and think through them, and prove our conclusions. We will learn mathematics not because it will help us with a job or because it will help us do well on a test but because loving learning and loving thinking makes us better human beings. Outside of school, I’m probably somewhere in a forest, on a trail, atop a mountain, on a slope, or in a lake with my two favorite mammals – Mr. Fuller and Professor Enzo, the canine.

Emily Hartford

Engineering, 6th and 7th

Emily Hartford

Engineering, 6th and 7th

Hello, my name is Emily Hartford, and I grew up just north of Ann Arbor, MI. I studied mechanical design with a concentration in CAD (computer-aided design) at Schoolcraft College. At Eastern Michigan University, I majored in Technology and Design Education with a minor in vocational technology (engineering). I worked as a project assistant for a structural engineer in Long Island, NY. Many of our projects were in New York City and involved many areas of engineering. I moved to Colorado three years ago and have been enjoying this city every minute. When I’m not teaching, you can find me exploring this beautiful state. My husband, pup (Murphy) and I love any water sports, camping, hiking, and fishing.

Hanan Al-Naqeeb

6th and 8th Grade Theatre Arts

Hanan Al-Naqeeb

6th and 8th Grade Theatre Arts

I love being part of the McAuliffe community. Teaching theatre is my passion and I am thrilled to share this with your children. Drama instills in students a belief in their own creativity and provides a sense of belonging. I want students to feel proud of their abilities, to stretch beyond their perceived limitations, and to explore their wild imaginations! When I am away from the classroom, I can be found traveling, rock climbing, biking, and having fun with my wonderful daughters, Livia and Gemma.

Jen Carabetta

7th Grade Theatre Arts

Jen Carabetta

7th Grade Theatre Arts

I have taught theatre and dance in the Denver area for over 15 years, specializing in acting techniques and musical theatre. As a theatre teacher at McAuliffe since 2014, I’ve enjoyed directing productions of “Hairspray” and “High School Musical,” as well as taking kids on trips to New York City and London. I love sharing the joy of theatre with students! When not teaching, I enjoy skiing, yoga, traveling, and spending time with my husband and two children.

Jennifer Braun

Science

Jennifer Braun

Science

Hello! I was born and raised near Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Marietta College where I received my bachelors in Middle School Education with a concentration in math and science. After I graduated, I moved to Marion, Ohio, where I taught 7th grade math. A year later I moved to Denver where I have been teaching at McAuliffe. When I am not in the classroom you can usually find me outside enjoying Colorado’s beautiful weather. A few of those activities include hiking, reading, and playing with my dog Annie.

Jennifer Fox

Math

I was born in Colorado but raised in Portland, Oregon. Once I graduated from Portland State University, I hustled to return to my roots, extended family, and blue skies here in Colorado. I love teaching math and am truly thrilled and proud as I see my students’ progression. I enjoy connecting with kids this age, and I am dedicated to helping all kids learn and feel safe and accepted in my classroom. When I’m not at school, I’m enjoying my kids and my husband where we live in Stapleton. We love to ski, camp, swim, and play outside. Any time I get to steal for myself is spent exercising, reading a novel, or roasting (and drinking) coffee.

Jennifer Snodgrass

Language Arts

Jennifer Snodgrass

Language Arts

I grew up on the East Coast and completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia, but Colorado has been my home since 1992. I moved here to attend graduate school at the University of Colorado at Boulder and never left. Since graduating with my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, I have taught sixth through eleventh grade in a wide variety of settings, with most of my experience in middle school language arts. In addition, I worked at McREL (Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning), an educational research organization, where I developed curriculum for clients such as NASA and McDonalds. Teaching gives me the kind of mental challenges I love: determining powerful content, finding effective instructional techniques, and adjusting the delivery of curriculum to meet the needs of my students. When these factors fall into place, all students learn and grow, and nothing is more fulfilling than witnessing that. In our free time, my husband Tom and I spend as much time as possible enjoying the beautiful Colorado outdoors with our children.

Julie Chen

Affective Needs

Julie Chen

Affective Needs

Hi everyone! I am thrilled to be a part of the McAuliffe team as the AN Center Special Education teacher. I am originally from Tallahassee, Florida, home of the Florida State Seminoles where I earned my Bachelor’s in History and Political Science. While attending, I had the opportunity to study abroad in the beautiful Irish city, Galway where I studied social justice and immigration. After graduating, I relocated to Charleston, South Carolina where I earned my Master’s in History from the College of Charleston. I recently moved to Denver in the summer of 2013. I previously taught special education at a youth treatment center for at-risk female youth. When I’m not working with my students, I enjoy cooking, spending time with the people who matter most, and traveling as much as possible.

Kaeli Donaldson

6th Grade Social Studies

Kaeli Donaldson

6th Grade Social Studies

I am so excited to join the McAuliffe Community! This is my sixth year teaching Social Studies for Denver Public Schools. I attended Colorado State University to receive my Bachelors in History and Secondary Education, and more recently I completed my Masters at Regis University in Literacy Instruction. Before making the jump to middle school, I taught Early Childhood Education for four years. I am a Colorado native that enjoys being outdoors with my pup, traveling, and a good book! I am looking forward to an exciting year of teaching and learning with students!

Katherine Kopp

6th Grade Math

Katherine Kopp

6th Grade Math

I attended the University of Missouri and received a Bachelors of Journalism as well as a Juris Doctor.  During college and law school I had the opportunity to live and study in London, Great Britain where I interned at USA Today International and in Cape Town, South Africa.  I knew that I wanted to work with children, and after graduating I practiced family law for several years in Chicago and St. Louis.  I came to the realization that my calling was to work with children in an education setting, and before I knew it I was making a final geographic and career transition – to become a math teacher in Denver!  Outside of teaching, I spend my time traveling with my husband, reading, doing yoga, and playing with my dogs Izzy and Pokey.

Katherine Shea

8th Grade Math

Katherine Shea

8th Grade Math

I am originally from Western Massachusetts and came out to the beautiful state of Colorado in 2001 to earn my undergraduate degree from the University of Denver. I received a degree in Business with an emphasis in Accounting, but realized that was not a career path I was interested in pursuing. In 2007, I returned to DU to get my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary Mathematics. I have not turned back! Since then, I have been teaching 7th grade math, and I am excited to make the transition to 8th grade math this coming year. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, traveling with my husband, hosting dinner parties and listening to smooth rock. I am excited to be part of the McAuliffe community!

Kendra Collings

Physical Education/Club Sports and Intramurals

Kendra Collings

Physical Education/Club Sports and Intramurals

Hi! I am so excited to be a part of the McAuliffe community as a Physical Education and Health Teacher.  For as long as I can remember, physical activity, playing sports and fitness activities have always been a part of my life and teaching PE and Health happened organically.  It did not take me long to realize how movement and nutrition are integral to my success in anything that I want to do, this is what I hope to share with the students and the community.  I grew up in the Finger Lakes region in New York State where we still spend time in the summer.  I have a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Cortland and a Masters from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For the past 18 years I have called Denver my home. This is where I met my husband, and we have 2 children who attend McAuliffe. As my children have grown, I went back to teaching PE and Health after owning my own personal training and nutrition business for 12 years and teaching at the post- secondary level.

Kristie Airis

6th Grade Language Arts

Kristie Airis

6th Grade Language Arts

I was born and raised in Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I got my degree in Elementary Education. When I graduated, I moved out to Colorado Springs where I have taught third and fifth grade for the last six years. In my free time, I love to explore all that Colorado has to offer in hiking, skiing, and camping with my friends and dog, Harper. My summers are spent on the lake in Wisconsin where I enjoy boating and water skiing.

Linsey Olesiak

Visual Arts

Linsey Olesiak

Visual Arts

My love for the arts and athletics started early on in my childhood and continue to be a large part of my life today. I earned my undergrad from Bemidji State University while playing soccer for the Beavers. Eager to start my teaching career, I moved to Austin MN where I taught for three years. This year I will teach students ways to explore their creativity as they draw, paint, design and collaborate in Visual Arts and Stagecraft. I will also help students identify the importance of physical activity in PE and on the field while coaching our athletes.

Logan Keeney

Physical Education

Logan Keeney

Physical Education

Hello, everyone! First, I would like to say how excited I am to be a part of such a distinguished program. I come from a big family in a small town in upstate New York. I earned my degree in physical education at State University of New York at Cortland, where I am also finishing my graduate degree. My enthusiasm for physical education began when I was middle school aged. I took to working at my home elementary school’s after-school and summer programs all while coaching soccer. I loved it so much I never looked back, and I have since spent the past 10 years working with children and young adults in a range of different settings from physical and adapted physical education to coaching and ski instructing. Soccer and skiing are my two biggest passions, but I love to participate in almost any sporting activity.

Maggie Flynn

Language Arts

Maggie Flynn

Language Arts

Hello! I am a proud native to the windy city Chicago. I moved to Denver in the spring of 2014 with a passion for teaching and outdoor adventure. I attended the University of Kansas­ – go Jayhawks! – and completed a year-long Masters Program in Curriculum and Instruction while teaching 7th grade Language Arts in Kansas City, Kansas. In January of 2013, I decided to return to South America, where I studied Spanish in 2009, to teach English. I lived independently in Cuenca, Ecuador, and taught English Language Learners of all ages at the Center for Interamerican Studies. I immersed myself in Latin American culture, traveled the continent, expanded my understanding of local culture, and formed relationships with people from around the world. Ever since I was a little girl visiting my mom’s classroom, I have wanted to be a teacher. It is with great enthusiasm that I join the supportive and innovative learning community at McAuliffe International School. I am an outdoor enthusiast, bookworm, huge music/art fan and have a definite case of the travel bug.

Maggie Leshin

6th Grade Language Arts

Maggie Leshin

6th Grade Language Arts

I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, but have called Colorado home since moving to Boulder for school in 2006. I graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in psychology and elementary education, then went on to teach 6th Grade Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science in Thorton, Colorado. In 2013, I picked up my life and followed my quest for adventure down to Costa Rica, where I spent two years teaching 5th grade Language Arts at an American International School just outside of San Jose. I returned home this past summer and am excited to be a part of the McAullife team!

Marcus Palmer

Paraprofessional

Marcus Palmer

Paraprofessional

Maria McGovern

Spanish, World Languages Team Lead

Maria McGovern

Spanish, World Languages Team Lead

Hello, Bonjour, Hola, Marhaba! I was born and raised in wonderful Michigan, but spent most of my summers abroad visiting family and friends in Europe and Lebanon. Growing up in a multilingual family, I was surrounded by languages and speak English, Arabic, French and Spanish. I went to school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where I completed a Master’s Degree in Educational Studies with certificates to teach French, Spanish and Psychology. My love of language and culture has taken me on numerous adventures where I had the opportunity to live abroad in France and Spain. Finally, the mountains called to me and I moved to Colorado. I spent two years teaching at an International Baccalaureate school in Colorado Springs, and I have been a teacher at McAuliffe since its first year! While I am not teaching, you will see me outdoors with my husband and dog, traveling to new destinations, cooking delicious ethnic foods, hiking, practicing rock-climbing, discovering new music and working on my volleyball skills!

Marjie McGarry

Engineering and 7th Grade Science

Marjie McGarry

Engineering and 7th Grade Science

I’m so excited to be a part of McAuliffe and the Engineering and Science teams. My family recently relocated to Denver from Baltimore, Maryland. Having grown up in Taos, New Mexico, I’m so happy being back in the Rocky Mountains! I enjoy anything outdoors, especially with my daughters. My experiences include being a middle school Science Teacher, Department Chair, and STEM Coordinator. I’m looking forward to the opportunity for students to apply science, math, and technology in the engineering setting and teach them how to come up with solutions to relevant engineering problems.

Matt Schwieterman

Engineering

Matt Schwieterman

Engineering

I am an Ohio native, but the west was calling, and in 1995 I came to the University of Colorado to complete my MS in mechanical engineering. I became a teacher in 2008 and have taught all levels of math and multiple engineering courses at Loveland High School for the past six years. I am excited to teach at McAuliffe and share my passion for math and engineering. When I’m not in the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my wife, two kids and our strange cats, especially if it involves food, the outdoors, or exploring the West.

Matthew Koscove

Special Education/Athletic Director

Matthew Koscove

Special Education/Athletic Director

I was born in Colorado Springs and also spent time living in Indiana, one time during my senior year of high school and the second time to coach college basketball at St. Joseph’s College in northern Indiana. I moved back to Colorado in 2004 and began work as a para-professional at Mountain Ridge Middle School in a special education classroom. From 2005-2012, I taught special education at Rampart High School and was recognized as Teacher of the Year by my school district in 2010-2011. My special education team was awarded Team of the Year in 2011-2012. I graduated in 2012 from Western State College of Colorado with my Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Special Education Law. I have been married for 6 years and have one son named Easton, age 5. I love to golf, camp, fish, garden and spend time with my family.

Maureen Harcourt

Math

Maureen Harcourt

Math

I am so excited to be part of the McAuliffe faculty. Born and raised in Boulder, I have called Colorado home for most of my life. After attending Cornell University in New York and earning a degree in Mathematics, I returned to teach in Denver. I spent six years as a bilingual math teacher until the birth of my son, Alex. During my time away from teaching, I earned a Master’s degree in Mathematics from University of Colorado at Denver. In my free time, I enjoy running, hiking, baseball, and taking advantage of the 300 days of sun we get in Colorado. Formerly a high school teacher, I am ready for a new challenge as part of the McAuliffe community. I love math and hope to spread that passion to another generation.

Melissa Ryabik

7th and 8th Grade Social Studies

Melissa Ryabik

7th and 8th Grade Social Studies

I’m joining the McAuliffe team as a 7th and 8th grade Social Studies teacher this year. I went to Taylor University for my undergraduate in Upland, Indiana. While I was there I decided to study abroad in Lithuania my sophomore year, which affirmed my decision to become a teacher. Upon graduating, I returned to my home state of Georgia and taught at a private preschool for one year and then began my teaching career at Manchester High School. After two years, I decided to venture out west to beautiful Colorado, and I couldn’t be happier! For the past four years I’ve been teaching at KIPP Denver Collegiate, and I’m extremely excited to start my 7th year of teaching at McAuliffe! In my free time, I attempt to refinish furniture, craft, be outside, and play indoor soccer. I absolutely love History and cannot wait to share my passion with our students!

Micah Klaver

6th Grade Social Studies

Micah Klaver

6th Grade Social Studies

I am thrilled to be a part of the McAullife community as your 6th Grade Social Studies teacher. I have lived in S. California, New York and Michigan, but Colorado is where I call home. I come to McAuliffe after a variety of great experiences with Americorps, City and Non-Profit Outdoor Recreation Programs and as an Expeditionary Learning Teacher. My passion is facilitating and creating learning experiences that challenge and empower students to dig deeper, ask questions and become positive leaders in their communities. My wife Kate, also a teacher, and I have lived in the City Park neighborhood for about six years, and we spend as much time as possible backpacking, skiing, hiking and camping.

Mindy Loughhead

Theatre and Stagecraft

Mindy Loughhead

Theatre and Stagecraft

I always knew I wanted to be a teacher! Growing up in Pennsylvania, my bedroom was my stage and my stuffed animals my audience as I "taught" them basic grammar and addition. My family relocated to North Carolina, where I earned a degree in Teaching Theatre Arts from Appalachian State University. After teaching theatre at the high school level for a few years, I followed my parents to colorful Colorado. Fully immersed in the world of dramatic arts, I furthered my education by earning a master’s degree in Theatre Education from the University of Northern Colorado. With seven years under my belt in Denver Public Schools, I am eager to join the talented team of arts educators at McAuliffe. When I'm not in the classroom, I love to travel, cook, take photographs, read, sing show tunes, and explore our beautiful Rockies with my two favorites — Andrew and our crazy mutt Roscoe.

Molly Walsh

Journalism

Molly Walsh

Journalism

I’m  teach Journalism at McAuliffe and help our students create our yearbook each year! I taught for several years in fifth grade at Park Hill Elementary and another 4 years at Blessed Sacrament and then Journalism and Language Arts at McAuliffe. I have my degree in Elementary Education and an Endorsement in Secondary Language Arts. I have always had a passion for writing and photography, due to the encouragement of my grandmother, who was a photographer in Baltimore. I grew up in York, Pennsylvania, and went to college at Mount Saint Mary’s in Maryland. My free time consists of watching my two children, Zoe and Jake, in their various sports and spending time with my kids and husband traveling, skiing, biking, shooting hoops in the backyard, and just hanging out!

Mui Lee

8th Grade Science Teacher

Mui Lee

8th Grade Science Teacher

Hello! I am excited to be a part of the McAuliffe community. I received my B.S. in Biology and my M.A. in Secondary Teaching from Wayne State University. I have taught two years at the high school level and six years at the middle school level. Outside of school, I love to read, travel, and spend time with family and friends.

Nikki Steffen

Math

I was born and raised in Iowa and after graduating with a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa and teaching for a few years, I made the move with my husband to Colorado. I live in Stapleton with my husband and daughter, Lily. I have a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and 16 years of experience teaching middle school students in mathematics.  Teaching mathematics is my passion and creating a positive, engaging and challenging learning environment is my goal each day. When I am not teaching you will find me running, reading, and spending time with my family and friends. I am excited to be a part of this wonderful community.

Nina Esch

Instrumental Music

Nina Esch

Instrumental Music

Originally from Chicago and Minneapolis, I moved to Vail five years ago after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with my Bachelor’s of Music Education degree in Instrumental Music Education, with an emphasis in violin performance. While in Vail, I taught alpine ski lessons, maintained a private music studio and substitute taught in Eagle County Schools. I absolutely love being in Denver sharing my love of music with my students and also conducting the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Orchestra. When I’m not in the classroom, you can most likely find me backpacking, skiing, longboarding or at the park with my dog.

Patience Seybold

6th Grade Language Arts

Patience Seybold

6th Grade Language Arts

My name is Patience Seybold, and I am a Denver native.  I recently graduated from Colorado Christian University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education: Magna Cum Laude. My joy has always been children, and I believe every student can succeed if they are met and nurtured where they are individually. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my husband Scott, watching Fixer Upper, learning how to cook, and sipping tea.

Rachel Graham

6th Grade Math

Rachel Graham

6th Grade Math

I grew up in Oregon and love the outdoors so I am very excited to live in Denver. My hobbies include backpacking and running, and on weekends if I am not in the mountains you will probably find me curled up with a book and a cup of tea. Previously, I taught mathematics in New Mexico and Massachusetts. My undergraduate degree is from the University of Oregon and I have a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard. I am excited to join the McAuliffe community and I look forward to facilitating a positive and engaging learning community in which to explore mathematics.

Ruth Wilgus

8th Grade Language Arts

Ruth Wilgus

8th Grade Language Arts

I was born and raised in the Denver area and attended Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. I earned my BA in Global/Multicultural Studies and Spanish and studied abroad in both Costa Rica and Spain. After graduating, I headed west to Seattle where I continued my education and dream of teaching at Seattle Pacific University, earning my MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). I have been teaching high school Language Arts in Westminster Public Schools for the last four years in addition to coaching JV girls’ basketball. I have a passion for teaching and coaching and enjoy having a job that promotes lifelong learning for both my students and for myself. When I am not teaching, I spend my time reading, traveling, and staying active through CrossFit and various local sports leagues.

Sara Lemmon

7th Grade Science

Sara Lemmon

7th Grade Science

Hailing from New Jersey, I grew up getting muddy and asking the timeless question, “I wonder what would happen…”.  I bring this sense of wonderment and inquiry into the classroom with my goal being that every student sees themselves as a scientist. I love teaching middle school and have since 2008. I am a graduate of CU-Boulder and hold a hold a Masters in Secondary Reading and Writing from the University of Colorado-Denver.  I have a passion for science, and I can’t wait to help students explore their full potential in this field.  During my free time I love to camp, travel, play volleyball, and spend time with family and friends. When not in the classroom, I can be found in the Park Hill neighborhood chasing after my two daughters, attempting to tame my wild garden, running with my husband or making a mess in my kitchen.

Sarah Frederick

8th Grade Social Studies, Literacy Intervention

Sarah Frederick

8th Grade Social Studies, Literacy Intervention

Hello! This will be the start of my 7th year in Denver Public Schools, and I truly love teaching at McAuliffe International School. I have taught 7th-10th grade History, and I love teaching middle schoolers! I completed my Undergraduate Degree at Metropolitan State University of Denver with a Degree In History, and I received a masters in Reading Instruction from Regis University. When I’m not teaching, I spend time with my husband and my dog hanging out or spending time outdoors hiking, snowboarding, or camping. I look forward to teaching our amazing students this school year!

 

Shannon Wood Rothenberg

8th Grade Math

Shannon Wood Rothenberg

8th Grade Math

I am a Colorado native and a proud graduate of both CU Boulder (bachelor’s degree in Philosophy) and CU Denver (master’s degree in Architecture). Before teaching Honors math, I spent 10 years as a residential architect. Through the Denver Teaching Fellows program, I made this final career change and am blessed to be able to spend my time and energy empowering and inspiring young people. My love of math borders on “nerdy” and it’s infectious – you’ll see! Outside of teaching, I foster dogs for a local animal rescue group, referee my teenage twins, and help coach the McAuliffe Math Club. Not necessarily in this order, I adore nonfat lattes, Vivaldi’s oboe concertos, and all things Scottish.

Sherri Kochinka

7th Grade Language Arts

Sherri Kochinka

7th Grade Language Arts

Originally from Upstate New York, I found my way to Denver after a two-year tour as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia. I’ve lived in Denver for over 10 years, and we’ve recently moved to the Stapleton area. Even in high school I knew that I wanted to teach, so I pursued both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in English Education at SUNY Oneonta. I taught Language Arts for 14 years with Jefferson County Public Schools before joining the McAuliffe team. Outside of school, I love to read, watch movies, walk around town, and spend time with my family.

Stephanie Gronholz

Language Arts, MYP Coordinator

Stephanie Gronholz

Language Arts, MYP Coordinator

I love living in Colorado, but I was born and raised in Spokane, Washington, where I earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Teaching from Whitworth University. After moving to Boulder in 2006, I began my teaching career in Adams 50 high schools. I started teaching at McAuliffe when it first opened in 2012. When I’m not teaching, I like to travel, cook, read, and spend time with my family. My husband teaches philosophy at CU Boulder, and he helps me chase after our dog, Benny, and our son, Max.

Steve Foster

7th Grade Social Studies

Steve Foster

7th Grade Social Studies

Hello! I am excited to be a part of the McAuliffe community. I love teaching history because I truly believe we must understand our past in order to improve the future. I love incorporating geography, economics, government, math, and especially literacy into my social studies classes. I taught 7th grade social studies in the Cherry Creek School District for three years, and before that I taught world geography to high school freshmen in the Mapleton School District. I received my bachelor’s degrees in History and International Business at the University of Tampa, and my master’s degree in Urban Education at the University of Denver, where I was a part of the Botcher Teacher’s Program. I am a Colorado native and avid Denver Broncos, Nuggets and Rockies fan! I enjoy mountaineering and wake boarding and have a beautiful baby daughter.

Steven Guydo

Engineering

Steven Guydo

Engineering

Hello, McAuliffe International community! I grew up in western Pennsylvania and attended the University of Pittsburgh (Hail to Pitt!). While at Pitt I earned a degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering and also received certification to be a secondary educator in Mathematics. I began my professional career as an engineer working on environmental projects, with a focus on waterways, sanitation, and wetland delineation, mitigation, and design. While engineering is a great profession, I’ve always had the desire to teach and have been teaching secondary STEM-related courses for the past 8 years and working with FIRST Robotics. I came to Colorado because of my desire to explore the great outdoors and and love being on the trail, camping in the mountains, or taking in a show at Red Rocks. I enjoy traveling the country and would love to visit every National Park. Being from the Steel City, I bleed black and gold and am an avid Pittsburgh sports fan.

TJ Jackson

Paraprofessional

TJ Jackson

Paraprofessional

Tony Chapman

Physical Education

Tony Chapman

Physical Education

Hello, Sun Devils! I have over 14 years of middle school PE experience, and I am excited to be a part of the McAuliffe team. I grew up in York, Nebraska, where I enjoyed playing sports throughout my High School career. I went to college at the University of Nebraska – Kearney, where I earned my undergraduate degree in Health and Physical Education. After graduating, I took my first job in Denver Public Schools and I have been here ever since. While teaching in Denver, I continued my education at Lesley University where I got a Masters degree in Technology in Education. I met my beautiful wife Casey while she was working for DPS as a Sign Language Interpreter. We have two awesome children, Jase and Teagan. We enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, and visiting family in Nebraska and Arizona.

Tyler Fuller

Math, French

Tyler Fuller

Math, French

I am very excited to be a part of the McAuliffe community teaching my two favorite subjects – Math and French! I love mathematics because I believe it to be the most creative and artistic form of thinking. I love teaching mathematics because I love watching students think, create questions, challenge themselves, and prove their thoughts. In a completely different way, studying a foreign language makes you become more open minded towards other cultures, ideas, and people. Before teaching in Denver, I taught in Arkansas, France, and Venezuela. When I’m not at school, Mrs. Fuller, our beautiful canine Enzo, and I enjoy running, skiing, hiking, climbing, and most other “ings” that take place outdoors. We also love to travel.

Vanessa Vencato

8th Grade Language Arts

Vanessa Vencato

8th Grade Language Arts

Hey, ya’ll! I’m a small town gal who moved from Michigan to Denver looking for a city full of action and adventure. I have always wanted to be a teacher, even back to when I was 5 years old when I would play ‘Parent-Teacher Conferences’ with my Grandmother. This will be my third year teaching English Language Arts in Colorado. My passion for being in the classroom is giving this generation an opportunity to be heard and a voice for what they believe matters through writing, discussion, and reading novels with powerful themes. If you were to find me somewhere that should not include a book, it would definitely be exploring or hiking our beautiful city with my husband and my little pup’ Cooper.

Denver Public Schools