I am very excited to serve on the DPS Board of Education as I dedicated my entire adult life to teaching in Denver Public Schools. My 33 year career has included elementary, middle, and high school education. From 1985 – 1988, I worked at Mitchell Elementary School as a Grade 3 ELA-S teacher. From 1988-1989 I worked as a Grade 3 ELA-S teacher at Force Elementary School. From 1989 – 2000 I worked at Munroe Elementary School as a Grades 4 – 5 ELA-S teacher. From 2000 – 2014 I worked at Kepner Middle School where I taught Grades 6 – 8 in a variety of subjects including math, reading, English Language Acquisition, and a travel class. Since 2014 I taught at West Leadership Academy on the West Campus where I taught an advisory class as well as social studies in Spanish and English Language Development to students in Grades 6 – 12.
I received my B.A. in Elementary Education and Spanish from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa in August 1985. I received my M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis is Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of Colorado at Denver in August 1990. I received my PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from the University of Denver in August 2016. My dissertation, The Meaning of Educational Travel in the Lives of Urban Middle School Students: A Transformative Mixed Methods Study, examined quantitative data from DPS and qualitative data from interviews with former travelers and a focus group chaperones. In addition, I hold a Colorado Professional Master Teacher License and am a National Board Certified Teacher (Middle Childhood Generalist) since 1999. I am certified in English Language Arts, Social Studies, Linguistically Different (ESL), and Spanish.
From 2004 – 2014, I held the position of Executive Director for the Kepner Educational Excellence Program, a supporting nonprofit of Kepner Middle School. KEEP supported student educational travel at Kepner Middle School and provided mini grants for teachers to assist in building relationships and strengthening academic achievement. From 1993 – 2014, my team and I traveled with over 800 students from the Westwood neighborhood to Washington, DC and Europe. Since 2006 I am a Museum Teacher Fellow for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and run conferences and seminars for teachers and professors regarding Holocaust and genocide education. Currently, I am working with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and the Ministry of Education in El Salvador to train teachers in Holocaust and genocide education. In 2008, I began work with EF Tours as a Global Education Ambassador where I have trained teachers and have given talks on my dissertation.
My daughter Ekaterina (Katya) is a DPS graduate having attending Denison Montessori, Kepner Middle School and George Washington High School. She is a junior in college at Bryn Mawr. I am a northern Minnesota native and I love to canoe in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area with Katya and my family. Other hobbies I enjoy when not working with my quirky adolescents, are reading while walking on my treadmill, traveling anywhere, skiing in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, and cooking vegan food for anyone willing to try it. In 2004, I fell in love with a rescued Belgian Draft mix horse named Nick at Nite who I now own. We are retired from jumping and enjoy trail riding through the beautiful open spaces in Franktown, Colorado.