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2017 Staff Additions and Farewells

WE PROUDLY WELCOME:

Serena Arnold, Community Engagement Assistant

I am absolutely thrilled to join the PRA team as the new Community Engagement Assistant! I feel privileged and honored to apply 10 years of experience in the field of education, and a strong passion for organizing large-scale fundraising events, in a way that can truly impact the students and parents of our Community. I hold a B.A. in Communication Studies, and a M.S. in Public Health. When I am not working, I enjoy traveling, discovering new trails in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, and chasing my favorite munchkins, ages three and five around the neighborhood pool.

 

Jordyn Dewey, Kindergarten Teacher

My name is Jordyn Dewey and I will be the new kindergarten teacher this coming fall. I am very excited to be starting my first year of teaching at PRA. I did my student teaching at PRA and was in Mrs. Zieschang's 1st grade classroom. I learned so much, and I am very honored to be continuing my career right down the hall from my mentor. 
 
I am married and have a 3 year old son. I have coached volleyball for three years and love to play volleyball in my spare time. Thank you for having me here at this beautiful school. 

 

Cindy Dixon, Nutritional Assistant

 

James “Spencer” Edmunds, HS English

A native of Virginia, Spencer Edmunds grew up in the blue ridge mountains and loves the rockies!  He holds a B.A., M.A.L.S., and Ph.D., all in areas of English, and he has taught English and served as an administrator for over twenty years in independent schools and universities in Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and Colorado.  Spencer celebrated his twenty fifth anniversary with his wife, Kara, last June, and he has four children, including triplets!  In his spare time, he loves running and playing guitar. 

 

Catherine Elliot, MS Special Education

 

Christina Head, Interventionist

 

Meredith Hughes, HS Math

 

Sara Huls, MESA Director

 

Katie Knight, ES Technology

 

Jody Kuhn, HS Math

 

Jonathan Leach, HS Theater/Yearbook/English

 

Thomas, LeCarner, HS English

 

Andy Lewton, PE Teacher

 

Stephanie Martin, 1st Grade Teacher

 

Eileen Miller, HS Science

Hello, Prospect Ridge Academy!  My name is Eileen Miller, and I'll be joining the high school science team this fall, teaching Biology and Honors Chemistry.  I studied Biology (with a minor in Chemistry) in college at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, then went on to get a Masters degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  Following graduate school, I taught secondary science for five years (four in Colorado, and one in Monteverde, Costa Rica) before taking a break to raise my two sons, Liam and Isaac, who will also be joining PRA this fall in first and fourth grades.  I have just recently moved back to Colorado after eight years in Utah, and am excited to get back to this beautiful state, and back into the classroom!  In my free time, I love trail running, biking, playing bluegrass music with friends, and hanging out with my boys.

 

Kelsey Miner, HS Math

Kelsey is a native of Lyons, CO and a proud Lyons Lion. She was first introduced to charter schools as a student at Twin Peaks Charter Academy in Longmont, CO. As a recent graduate of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa she graduated as the Outstanding Mathematics Education Senior with a degree in Secondary Mathematics Education. While in Iowa, Kelsey ran track and cross country for Wartburg and worked as a math tutor on campus. She is very excited to be returning home to the Front Range.

 

Karen Stansifer, French Teacher

 

Michael Storer, HS Social Studies

 

Krista Stowell, Library Media Assistant

I am excited to join PRA as a Library Media Assistant.  I have a degree in Elementary Education and previously taught 4th and 5th grades, but I have spent the last 16 years at home with my own children.  Reading and books have always been a passion of mine and I am excited to share that passion with the students who come into the library.  My 4 children attend PRA and are in 2nd, 6th, 9th, and 11th grades.

 

Ashley Tipton, HS Counselor

Ashley Tipton began her career in education at Overton High School in Memphis, TN in 2004 as a Visual Art and Graphic Design teacher. During her time in the classroom, Ashley realized she was not able to impact as many students’ lives as she wanted and realized her love for helping students would mean finding another role in the school.  It was this desire to work with more students that led Ashley to go back to school and earn a Master’s of Science in School Counseling and Guidance from the University of Memphis.

In 2010, she was promoted to the position of Professional School Counselor and two years later became the department chair. In this role, she worked with students in grades 9-12 to ensure they received up to date college and scholarship information, encouraged academic success, and prepared them for life during and after high school. She was also the sponsor for Interact club, Dual Enrollment coordinator, manager of the scholarship and FAFSA reports, master scheduler, and held several administrative roles at the school.

Ashley and her husband Matt are very excited about relocating to Colorado.  Ashley is overjoyed about continuing her counseling journey at Prospect Ridge Academy beginning in the 2017-2018 school year and looks forward to all the new challenges that will be coming her way. 

 

Jennifer West, Health Aide

 

Jennifer Winter, 5th Grade Teacher

 

 

STAFF ROLE CHANGES:

Lori Castelano - Current Health Aide will become a Library Media Assistant

Jordan Nardy - Current 5th Grade Teacher will transition to 6th Grade Math

Alison Travis - Current Kindergarten Teacher will move up to 1st Grade

Tamra Zieschang - Current 1st Grade Teacher will become our Literacy Specialist

 

 

WE BID FAREWELL TO:

Amy Barnett

 

Anais Bovagnet

Thank you for allowing me the pleasure of educating some amazing students throughout this wonderful school year. Due to personal circumstances, I have decided to go a different direction in regards to my career, and that unfortunately means having to part ways with PRA. I wish you all the absolute best. 

 

Brogan Cheevers

It’s with mixed emotions that I announce that I’m leaving PRA. I’ve been offered my dream job to run youth programs for a Parks and Rec department that I just can’t pass up. It has been such a great pleasure getting to work with all of you this year. I wish you and PRA the very best!

 

Charity Crim

I hope you are all having a lovely summer!  I'm writing to let you know that I have accepted a first-grade teaching position at a school in BVSD.  While I have truly enjoyed my last 6 years at PRA, there has always been a part of me that has missed being in the classroom.  I will miss you all but am excited to get back to teaching!  

 

David Gaytan

 

Kelsey Geske

I have been presented with an amazing opportunity to teach first grade at a brand new school called Flatirons Academy out of Flatirons Church in Lafayette. My son, Rowan, will be entering kindergarten in the fall and will be attending Flatirons Academy as well. I will finally have the opportunity to merge my passion for Jesus and my passion for teaching, while supporting my family through the journey of blending a family together. 

 

Carly Gibson

It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing to let you know that I have resigned from my position at PRA. This decision was not made lightly, as I absolutely love what I do. It just became very apparent to me that it was time to pass the baton to someone new and put my time and energy back into my family, especially my three PRA students, who are growing up so quickly.

During the last four years, I have worked alongside many talented and passionate colleagues and have greatly appreciated the support and flexibility that was given to me, especially as I forged ahead with new volunteer programs and parent engagement opportunities. 

With many of you, I have shared a unique camaraderie, which I hope will continue in the years to come, though it will be outside the hallways of school.

I wish Prospect Ridge Academy continued success and look forward to supporting and serving the school as a both a parent and volunteer.

 

Matt Hofkes

I will be taking a new job next year much closer to home.  I have very much enjoyed working at Prospect Ridge and found the faculty and staff to be some of the best people I have worked with. Thank you for a great semester!  Enjoy your summer.

 

Michelle Jensen

 

Apryl Leonard

I will be taking a new job next year much closer to home.  I have very much enjoyed working at Prospect Ridge and found the faculty and staff to be some of the best people I have worked with. Thank you for a great semester!  Enjoy your summer.

 

Dawnyal Martin

I have decided to stay home next year and focus on my family.  I am by no means saying goodbye to PRA. I will still be around volunteering and helping in any way I possibly can.  

 

Rebekah Pajka

I have loved coming to work every day for the last five years. The chance I have been given to support, help and sometimes just listen to the students here at PRA; is time that I will always cherish as great memories. Although it was a difficult decision, I have an opportunity to take a full-time position with our family business and look forward to new challenges ahead.

 

Corrina Stokes

I'm moving back east to be near my family. I will be starting up grad school this summer to get my Masters of Library Science, which is exciting! 

 

Jeremy Stout

It is with deep sadness that I send to you this letter informing you of my resignation as the elementary technology teacher at Prospect Ridge Academy. The many years I have spent teaching your children have been the most rewarding of my life, but now my wife and I must focus on the next step of our adventure. 

Your children were all a joy to teach and their interactive interest in technology made the days and years fly by. But as fast as the years seemed to go by, I still retain many wonderful memories from my years.

I will miss all of your children and wish you all very well.

 

Darren Thomas

The past two years at Prospect Ridge Academy have been two of the best of my ten years in education. It is bittersweet then to announce that this school year will be my last at PRA. I have decided to pursue some exciting teaching opportunities and the warmer weather of Southern California, so I will be moving at the conclusion of the school year.

Part of my decision to announce my resignation so early is that I care deeply about the students and the community here. I am looking forward to serving to the best of my ability in all of my capacities as teacher and coach this spring semester; however, I also wanted to ensure that our hiring committee is able to select my replacement from the broadest and most qualified pool of applicants possible. 

I would like to sincerely thank all of the administration, staff, teachers, parents, and students at PRA. The opportunity to be a part of PRA’s founding years has been an experience I will always see as a part of my own foundation as a teacher. PRA truly has rejuvenated me professionally and personally, and I look forward to applying everything I’ve learned here wherever I end up in the future. I also look forward to watching the continued success and evolution of this school and your students. Great things are happening and will continue to happen in this school, and I am grateful that I was able to contribute to and experience the love and growth of this community.

 

Shelly Warga

 

Ashley Yeh

It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter letting you know that I will not be here next year. I have enjoyed getting to know you all so much. I will miss working with all of you and watching the students grow and learn. I will be working at a school closer to home and I am excited to start a new journey. I hope you all have a wonderful summer. 

 

Vanessa Zimmermann

After spending my recent spring break sifting through all of my teaching materials, I realized that I am longing for the classroom and will be pursuing that dream and calling again after this year.