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School Leader

Hometown: St. Paul, MN
Education: Grinnell College (B.A. Anthropology)
Previous experience: Rocky Mountain Prep 3rd grade teacher, teacher at KIPP Central City Primary, Corps Member at Teach for America – New Orleans
Hobbies: Hiking, practicing yoga, cooking, and gardening
Favorite children’s book: Charlotte’s Web

Sara Carlson, Director of School Culture
Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Sara was a corps members with Teach for America where she worked as a second grade bilingual literacy teacher in southwest Denver. She joined Rocky Mountain Prep in its founding year, teaching first grade and then second grade. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a dual degrees in both Geography and Political Science.

  • Hometown: Franklin, NC
  • Education: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (B.S. Geography and B.S. Political Science)
  • Hobbies: Hiking and reading
  • Favorite children’s book: My Abuelo Eats with his Fingers
Austen Kassinger, 3rd Grade Teacher
Director of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Hometown: Chevy Chase, MD
  • Education: Yale University (B.A. History) and Delta State University (M.A. Education Candidate)
  • Previous experience: Founding teacher at Rocky Mountain Prep, 2nd grade teacher with Teach for America – Mississippi Delta and various roles in charter and public elementary schools in Washington DC and New Haven, CT
  • Hobbies: Watching Baltimore Orioles baseball games, skiing and amassing children’s books
  • Favorite children’s book: Chrysanthemum
Director of School Operations
  • Hometown: Denver, CO
  • Education: Northwestern University, B.A. English
  • Previous Experience: Breakthrough Collaborative, STRIVE and Generation Teach
  • Hobbies: Skiing, basketball, indoor soccer and reading to his daughter
  • Favorite children’s book: The Sneetches
Daniella Gutierrez
Office Manager
  • Hometown: Porterville, CA
  • Previous experience: Founding Parent at Rocky Mountain Prep
  • Hobbies: Playing soccer and cooking
  • Favorite children’s book: Mother Goose Nursery and Goodnight Moon
Operations Coordinator

Hometown: Denver, CO
Education: Metropolitan State University of Denver,  B.S. Business Management
Previous Experience:  Project Manager and Co-Owner at Rising Time Investments
Hobbies:  Dancing, Traveling, Nature Walks, and Meditation
Favorite children’s book: I Am: Why Two Little Words Mean So Much by Wayne Dyer

Physical Education Teacher
  • • Hometown: Spokane, WA
    • College: BA Lewis & Clark College (Portland, OR) MA Fresno Pacific University
    (Fresno, CA)
    • Degree: Kinesiology w/ Physical Education/Coaching Emphasis
    • Previous Experience: 3 years coaching NCAA DIII Basketball (Whitman College,
    Macalester College, Linfield College), One year coaching HS Basketball Washington
    Technology HS
    • Hobbies: Basketball, volleyball, tennis, hiking, chess, reading, writing
    • Favorite children’s book: Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective


4th Grade Teacher
  • Hometown: Denver, Colorado
  • College: Santa Clara University
  • Degree: Philosophy
  • Previous Experience: 3rd Grade Teacher at Brilla College Prep, Bronx, NY
  • Hobbies: Playing the piano, shopping, running and listening to One Direction
  • Favorite Children’s Book: Because of Winn-Dixie
Pre-K Teaching Assistant

Hometown: Bloomington, IN
College: Earlham College
Degree: Psychology
Previous Experience: Harper has in childcare and development for 6 years in a number of
academic and recreational settings. She has worked as a nanny, teaching assistant in New
Zealand, camp counselor and volunteer teacher in Guatemala.
Hobbies: Hiking, swimming, playing ukelele, traveling
Favorite children’s book: The Giving Tree

Science Teacher

HometownCasar, North Carolina
Education: Appalachian State University, Relay Graduate School of Education
Previous experience: 3rd grade and 7th grade math in Queens, NYC; Middle school English in rural Bhutan
Hobbies: Climbing, cycling, reading, and watching movies
Favorite children’s book: My Side of the Mountain

Kinder Teaching Assistant

Hometown – Chicago
College – DePaul University
Degree – BSc Accounting and Finance (Honors)
Previous Experience – Business Developer (Food & Beverage), Entrepreneur (Singapore, Food & Beverage), PricewaterhouseCoopers (Public Accounting)
Hobbies – Gym, politics
Favorite children’s book – The Lorax, Dr. Seuss

Multi-Intensive Teaching Assistant

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado – Native!
College: University of Colorado at Boulder, Bachelor of Arts, Music Performance
Minor in Jazz Studies
Instrument: String Bass
Work experience: Doug worked at the record store Twist and Shout for 12 years and he
spent 7 years of long nights as a freelance musician before that.
Hobbies: Playing music, concerts, gaming, movies, NHL, reading, and city life.
Favorite Children’s Book: I read it in the fourth grade, I got it at the book fair in my
elementary school, it was “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien.

2nd Grade Teacher

Hometown: Rumson, New Jersey
Education: Colorado College- BA in Religion
Previous Experience: 2013 to 2014 RMP Fellow! 2014 to 2015 Denver Math Fellow, Campaign Manager for Lisa Flores School Board District 5
Hobbies: Cooking, Biking, Settling Catan
Favorite Children’s Book: “Oliver Button is a Sissy” by Tomie DePaola

Founding MI Classroom Teacher

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
College: Ohio University (Bachelor’s) and the University of Maryland (Master’s)
Degree: Secondary Social Studies Education and Special Education
Previous Experience: 6 years Special Education teacher in Montgomery County Maryland
Hobbies: rugby, hiking, reading, cooking
Favorite children’s book: To Kill a Mockingbird

5th Grade Teacher

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
College: Miami University B.A., Lipscomb University, M.Ed.
Degree: B.A. Psychology
Previous Experience: Cane Ridge High School – Algebra 1 and 2 (2009-11), LEAD Middle School – 5th Grade Math Teacher (2011-14), LEAD Southeast – 5th Grade Math Teacher (2014-16), LEAD Southeast – Instructional Coach (2015-16)
Hobbies: Traveling to new places, cooking, reading
Favorite children’s book: “Matilda” by Roald Dahl

Dance Teacher

Hometown:  Missoula, MT
College and Degree:   BS in Dance and Biochemistry from Beloit College; MFA in Performance and Choreography from University of Colorado Boulder
Previous Experience:  Rachel has taught dance courses and as a guest artist at public schools, dance studios, prisons and universities
Hobbies: dancing, yoga, hiking, crafts, reading
Favorite children’s book: the Harry Potter series!

Science Teacher

Hometown: Flagstaff, AZ
College: Northern Arizona University
Degree:  Elementary Education and SPED K-12
Previous Experience: 2 years teach fourth/SPED and 1 year teaching 5th/SPED
Hobbies: Reading, hiking, coloring, spending time with friends and family, and adding to my R2-D2 collection
Favorite children’s book:  Blueberries For Sal

Kinder Teaching Fellow

Hometown: Denver, CO
College: Metro State University
Degree: B.S. Biology, Chemistry Minor, Concentration in Botany
Previous Experience: Two years as a Denver Math Fellow serving 9th grade at Noel Community Arts School, and 6th/8th grades at West Generation Academy
Hobbies: Reading, knitting, sewing, cooking, drawing, yoga, biking
Favorite Children’s book : The Rainbow Goblins by Ul de Rico

3rd Grade Teaching Fellow

Hometown: Saratoga Springs, NY
College: Bucknell University
Degree: BA (double major in Psychology and Anthropology)
Previous Experience: JET program- taught high school English for 2 years at Amami Senior High School on the island of Amami Oshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Hobbies: violin (playing & teaching), soccer, traveling, listening to music
Favorite children’s book: Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel

Pre-K Teaching Assistant

Hometown: Golden, Colorado
College: CU Boulder
Degree: Studio Art & Technology, Arts & Media
Previous Experience: Teacher’s Assistant at Fort Logan Elementary
Hobbies: Singing, Guitar, Photography, Running & Yoga
Favorite Children’s Book: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Dorothy Hodges, Kindergarten Teacher
Kindergarten Teacher
  • Hometown: Concord, NC
  • College: New York University
  • Degree: English and American Literature
  • Previous Experience: Teach for America St. Louis – 2012 alumnae; Founding Kindergarten teacher at KIPP Victory Academy in St. Louis; Master’s in Education from University of Missouri – St. Louis
  • Hobbies: Running, dance, exploring new restaurants with my husband, and our two dogs, Murphy and Lou
  • Favorite children’s book: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
1st Grade Teaching Fellow

Hometown: Port Washington, New York
College: State University of New York at New Paltz
Degree: Early Childhood/Childhood Education (B-6), Concentration: Earth Science
Previous Experience: Student Teacher in Mastic and Center Moriches, Volunteer English Teacher-Guayquil, Ecuador, Nature Program Director at Agassiz Village Summer Camp
Hobbies: Rock/fossil collecting and identification, hiking, camping, reading, running, yoga, visiting the planetarium/observatory, and dancing.
Favorite children’s book: Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Multi-Intensive Teaching Assistant

Hometown: Aurora, CO
College: University of Phoenix
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Business/Management
Previous Experience: 2 years Paraprofessional at Traylor, DPS. 8 years at Goodwill Industries of Denver
Hobbies: Spending time with my family, learning new things, and anything crafty
Favorite children’s book: Where the Sidewalk Ends & The Secret Garden

3rd Grade Teaching Fellow

Hometown: Trenton, NJ
College: Wagner College
Degree: Sociology
Previous Experience: Jersey City Medical Center
Hobbies: Working out and anything sports related
Favorite Children’s Book: Cat In The Hat

Pre-K Teaching Assistant

Hometown: Baytown, TX
College: University of Texas – San Antonio
Degree: BA in Early Childhood Education
Previous experience: Preschool teacher for 13 years
Hobbies: taekwondo, running, reading, going to the movies
Favorite children’s book: Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Kinder Teaching Fellow

Hometown: Albany, NY
College: Stonehill College
Degree: B.A. Sociology
Previous Experiences: Professional Partner (behavioral health case manager), After School Site Coordinator, City Year New York ’14
Hobbies: exploring, yoga, writing, jogging, and reading
Favorite Children’s Book: Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, by Kevin Henkes

3rd Grade Associate Teacher

Hometown: Denver, CO
College: University of Colorado, Boulder
Major: Business Administration
Previous Experience: Teaching Assistant for Integrative Physiology at University of Colorado
Hobbies: kickboxing, photography, dance, rowing
Favorite Children’s Book: My Side of the Mountain by: Jean Craighead George

4th Grade Associate Teacher

Hometown: Fairfax, VA
College: James Madison University
Degree: B.A. Earth Science  MAT  – Secondary Education
Previous Experience: 1 year as a middle school math & science teacher
Hobbies: Strategy Games, Reading, watching TV and Movies, Ultimate Frisbee, Basketball, and Painting
Favorite children’s book: Harold and the Purple Crayon

Pre-K Teacher
  • Hometown: Centennial, CO
  • College: University of Northern Colorado (B.A.), University of Phoenix (M.A. Ed), and University of Northern Colorado (SPED Candidate)
  • Previous experience: Preschool Teacher, Child Care Center Director and Preschool Teacher in Aurora Public Schools
  • Hobbies: Reading, knitting, cooking, baking and spending time with her family
  • Favorite children’s book: Love You Forever
5th Grade Teaching Fellow
  • Hometown: Gig Harbor, WA
  • College: Yale University (B.A. East Asian Languages & Literatures and Global Affairs)
  • Previous Experience: Coordinator between Yale’s Council on East Asian Studies and the New Haven Public School Chinese Language Program; ESL teacher in New Haven; Pre-K and kindergarten counselor at Temple Beth El’s summer camp in Tacoma
  • Hobbies: Trees, languages, kayaking, mountains, water and reading
  • Favorite children’s book: Roxaboxen
Brooke Trexler, 1st Grade Teacher
1st Grade Teacher
  • Hometown: Denver, CO
  • Education: University of Colorado, Boulder (B.A. Political Science)
  • Previous Experience: 8th grade Social Studies teacher with Teach For America in South Louisiana and 7th grade Language Arts in Houston, TX and Aurora, CO
  • Hobbies: Skiing, reading and photography
  • Favorite Children’s Book: Children Make Terrible Pets and Charlotte’s Web
Kelly Wynveen, Science Teacher
4th Grade Teacher
  • Hometown: Osceola, WI
  • Education: Clark University (B.A. International Development and Social Change and M.P.A.)
  • Previous experience: Secondary math teacher and science teacher with Teach for America – Greater New Orleans
  • Hobbies: Biking, yoga, cooking and making lists
  • Favorite children’s book: The Little Prince
Caitlin Webb, Pre-K 4 Associate Teacher
Pre-K Teacher
  • Hometown: Denver, CO
  • Education: Parsons the New School for Design (B.F.A)
  • Previous experience: Rocky Mountain Prep Teaching Fellow & Associate Teacher, Program Development & Arts Instructor at the SPACE Arts Center, Teaching Assistant at Parsons the New School for Design in New York, ESL Teacher at S.O.S Oprovi Orphanage (Garin, Argentina), Arts Instructor and Muralist at Escuela de Gran Brough (Gran Brough, Argentina), Volunteer on the Board of Directors for the United Artists Coalition for Kids and Visiting Artist at Robert Fulton Public School 8
  • Hobbies: Illustrating, silkscreening, sewing, painting, book making and public art and driving through Denver with the windows rolled down while listening to some kind of instrumental/hip-hop while breathing in the radiant city sights
  • Favorite children’s book: The Day Crayons Quit
Jonathan Baker, Kindergarten Teaching Fellow
Pre-K Teaching Assistant
  • Hometown: Atlanta, GA
  • Education: Clayton State University (B.A. Middle Grades Education)
  • Previous Experience: Teacher Assistant at the University of Chicago Laboratory School
  • Hobbies: Music, traveling, cooking, biking and reading
  • Favorite Children’s Book: Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock
Cary Meyers, 1st Grade Associate Teacher
1st Grade Teacher
  • Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA 
  • Education: University of Wisconsin, Madison (B.S. Community and Nonprofit Leadership)
  • Previous experience: Rocky Mountain Prep Teaching Fellow and Americorps member of City Year – Miami
  • Hobbies: Being outdoors, reading, listening to music and spending time with family
  • Favorite children’s book: The Rainbow Fish
Becca Devlin, 2nd Grade Associate Teacher
2nd Grade Teacher
  • Hometown: Annapolis, MD
  • Education: Radford University (B.A. Communication)
  • Previous experience: Rocky Mountain Prep Teaching Fellow, Manager of Service Operations at Scholastic Inc. and high school and middle school field hockey coach
  • Hobbies: Movie fanatic, coloring and painting and being outside – hiking, biking, skiing and playing sports
  • Favorite children’s book: Superbabe
Mari Peterson, 4th Grade Teacher
5th Grade Teacher
  • Hometown: Minnetonka, MN
  • Education: University of Minnesota (B.A. Global Studies)
  • Previous Experience: 6th grade teacher with Teach For America– Mississippi
  • Hobbies: Camping, running, singing, art, hiking and volleyball
  • Favorite Children’s Book: Anything by Shel Silverstein or Roald Dahl
Megan Downing, 4th Grade Teacher
4th Grade Teacher
  • Hometown: Boulder, CO
  • Education: Scripps College (B.A. Politics and French) and University of Colorado – Denver (M.A. Curriculum and Instruction)
  • Previous experience: 4th Grade teacher at McMeen Elementary, Kindergarten, 2nd grade and Special Ed teacher at Excellence Boys Charter School in Brooklyn, NY and 1st grade teacher at Sabin Elementary
  • Hobbies: Running, yoga, cooking
  • Favorite children’s book: Thank you, Mr. Falker
Caitlin Maher, Special Education Teacher
Special Education Teacher
  • Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
  • Education: Loyola Marymount University (B.A. Psychology)
  • Previous experience: Corps Member with Teach for America – Denver and Vice President of the Associated Students of Loyola Marymount University
  • Hobbies: Going to concerts, hiking, camping and swimming
  • Favorite children’s book: Love You Forever
Elizabeth Grimes, Pre-K 4 Teacher
Art Teacher
  • Hometown: Davey, NE
  • Education: University of Nebraska, Lincoln (B.A. Spanish and B.A. Psychology)
  • Previous experience: Bilingual Pre-K teacher with Teach for America – Rio Grande Valley and Child/Youth Development Research Assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Hobbies: Running, baking, exploring the outdoors and enjoying music
  • Favorite children’s book: Chrysanthemum
Kaila Twomey, Pre-K 4 Teacher
Pre-K Teacher
  • Hometown: Nashua, NH
  • Education: University of New Hampshire (B.A. Communications)
  • Previous experience: Rocky Mountain Prep Teaching Fellow and Americorps member of City Year – Miami
  • Hobbies: Cooking, reading, going to the beach and watching Netflix
  • Favorite children’s book: The Rainbow Fish
Mahala Proch, Kindergarten Teacher
Kindergarten Teacher
  • Hometown: Evergreen, CO
  • Education: University of Colorado – Boulder (B.S. Journalism and B.A. Spanish Literature)
  • Previous experience: Rocky Mountain Prep Teaching Fellow and English teacher in Thailand
  • Hobbies: Dancing, running, hiking, biking and yoga
  • Favorite children’s book: Goodnight Moon
Jessica Clancy, Kindergarten Teacher
Kindergarten Teacher
  • Hometown: Zumbrota, MN
  • Education: University of Minnesota (B.A. Global Studies and B.A. Economics) and Delta State University (M.A. Elementary Education)
  • Previous experience: Kindergarten teacher with Teach for America – Mississippi
  • Hobbies: Biking, canoeing, and traveling around the world (as long as she has a good book to bring along)
  • Favorite children’s book: Strega Nona
Katherine Morrow, Kindergarten Teacher
SPED Teacher
  • Hometown: Savannah, GA
  • Education: Duke University (B.A. Public Policy Studies with a Certificate in Child Research Policy) and Relay Graduate School of Education (M.A. Teaching, Elementary Education)
  • Previous Experience: 1st Grade Teacher with Teach for America – New York City
  • Hobbies: Watching Duke basketball games, running and reading
  • Favorite Children’s Book: The Rainbow Fish
Darbi Scherer, 1st Grade Teacher
1st Grade Teacher
  • Hometown: Basalt, CO
  • Education: University of the Pacific (B.S. Athletic Training) and University of Arizona (M.A. Teaching and Teacher Education)
  • Previous experience: Rocky Mountain Prep Teaching Fellow, Athletic Trainer at the University of Arizona and Special Education Para and Assistant Athletic Trainer at Eaglecrest High School
  • Hobbies: Reading, going to the mountains to visit family and friends, cheering on the Broncos and Rockies, watching hockey and spending as much time as possible with her boyfriend and his daughter
  • Favorite children’s book: The BFG
Katie Carmody, First Grade Teacher
3rd Grade Teacher
  • Hometown: Champaign, IL
  • Education: Yale University (B.A. Ethics, Politics and Economics)
  • Previous experience: Rocky Mountain Prep Teaching Fellow, tutor at New Haven Reads Community Book Bank and volunteer at schools and children’s nonprofits in Illinois, Taiwan and the Mississippi Delta
  • Hobbies: Hiking, cooking, piano, scuba diving and baseball
  • Favorite children’s book: Winnie the Pooh
Amy Karanfilian, 2nd Grade Teacher
2nd Grade Teacher
  • Hometown: Oakland, CA
  • Education: University of California – Berkeley (B.A. Psychology)
  • Previous experience: Rocky Mountain Prep Teaching Fellow and Math Fellow in Montbello
  • Hobbies: Spending time with friends and family, reading, going to the movies, hiking and eating ice cream
  • Favorite children’s book: The Giver
Ginny Gibson, 3rd Grade Teacher
3rd Grade Teacher
  • Hometown: Andover, MA
  • Education: University of Massachusetts Amherst (B.S. Marketing)
  • Previous Experience: 1st and 3rd grade teacher with Teach for America – Washington D.C.
  • Hobbies: Practicing and teaching yoga, running, swimming, hiking, finding farmer’s markets and coffee shops, adventuring and exploring new places
  • Favorite Children’s Book: The Giving Tree
3rd Grade Teacher

Hometown: Rahway, NJ
Education: Rutgers University (B.A. English), Kean University (M.A. Early Childhood Education)
Previous experience: Eight years at Rahway Public Schools
Hobbies: Yoga, hiking, camping, writing, and traveling
Favorite children’s book: Holes by Louis Sachar

Alex Fechner, Pre-K 4 Teacher
Pre-K­ Teacher
  • Hometown: Aurora and Parker, CO
  • Education: Metropolitan State College of Denver (B.A. Human Development)
  • Previous experience: Rocky Mountain Prep Teaching Fellow and Pre-K Teacher at the Early Childhood Center at the Robert E-Loup Jewish Community Center
  • Hobbies: Spending time with friends and family, reading, bike riding, cooking, traveling, sewing and attending concerts
  • Favorite children’s book: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs