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Faculty and Staff

St. Elizabeth’s Faculty

School Administrators and Faculty- 2017-2018

Head of School – Ramsay Stabler

Ramsay has worked in independent schools since 1979, as a teacher of History, Math, and English and a coach of various sports. He was Head of the Middle School at Greenwich Country Day School and then Headmaster of St. Anne’s Episcopal School in Denver from 1994 until 2006. He received his BA in History from Williams College in Massachusetts and his Masters in School Administration from Teachers’ College, Columbia University in New York. He has served on the board of a variety of local non-profits, including St. Elizabeth’s School. He and his wife, Holly, have been married for 37 years, and they have four grown sons and two grandchildren.

Principal K-5 – Kim Frantz

Kim has years of successful classroom teaching. She was nominated for Colorado State Teacher of the Year by the Littleton School District, was selected by her district to teach in-service classes to fellow teachers, was selected as a master teacher to supervise student teachers, and served in many other impressive leadership roles. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, as principal, Kim oversees the coordination of the curriculum and the academic progress of the students in grades K-5.

Administrative Assistant- Danice Giles

Danice came to SES from Atlanta, GA where she taught at Holy Innocents Episcopal School for nearly 30 years. She has been involved with the Horizons Student Enrichment Program in Atlanta and Denver for 16 years. Since 2007, she has served in numerous jobs and responsibilities while at SES.

Development Director – Susan Bross

Susan has 18 years experience working with social entrepreneurial, non-profit organizations. Her experience includes strategic and operational planning, fundraising strategy and execution, board development, external affairs, and strategic partnership development. From 2004-2011, Susan was the Executive Director for College Summit Colorado, part of a national non-profit organization focused on increasing college access for low-income students. For the past 3 years, she has been an independent consultant working with various non-profit, educational organizations including KIPP:Colorado and The Achievement Network. Susan holds a B.A. from Baylor University. She and her husband, Lance, have 3 daughters — two proud students at St. Elizabeth’s School, and one recent graduate of SES!

Director of Admissions – Diane Grove

Diane Grove spent her elementary and middle school years in a private Episcopal school in Houston, Texas. She graduated with Honors from Texas A&M University with a BA in History and Geography. After graduating, she worked in marketing for the telecommunications and medical industries. She is a published illustrator of children’s literature, and author of a number of essays on parenting stepchildren. Diane is an experienced event coordinator, group leader, and fund-raiser in the areas of environmental sustainability and education. As the mother of four, she has had many years of experience in navigating the admissions and education process for her own children.

Business Manager – Kim Johnson

Kim received her BA in Political Science/Law and Society cooperative degree from the Univ. of California at Riverside. She has worked tirelessly as a volunteer parent leader in her children’s schools, has extensive business and financial experience as a property manager for a variety of firms in California, and has held leadership posts with MOMS Club International. Kim lives in Arvada and is married with two children.

Middle School Dean- Kari Nichols

Kari graduated from the University of Vermont with a BS in Education. She coordinates middle school programs and activities and our all-school assemblies. She also teaches our English Enrichment classes in the middle school. Kari spent six years teaching middle school Language Arts and writing at Cherry Creek Academy , and she spent two years teaching middle school Language Arts and Social Studies at SES before the arrival of her son, Foster. Kari and her husband, Chad, spent a short time in NYC prior to their return to Denver and SES.

Faculty

Kindergarten Lead Teacher – Jessica Krueger

Jessica recently graduated cum laude from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She holds a BA in psychology, specializing in Early Childhood Education. She was our full-time Kindergarten assistant with Miss Rachel last year and completed student teaching hours to obtain her Colorado State Teaching License.  Following this she plans to pursue a Masters of Education degree. Jessica discovered her passion for teaching children through her experiences with her own children. She has two daughters: Hannah is a freshman at Colorado Academy, and Hailey is in 6th grade at SES. In her free time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and spending time outdoors. Jessica is full committed to the SES mission from many perspectives.

Kindergarten Assistant Teacher – Alex Valencia

Alex graduated from Clemson University with a BA in Sociology. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling, specializing in children and adolescents, through Northwestern University’s online program. In the evenings, Alex goes to her internship site where she works with children ages 9 – 12 in a group therapy setting. When she has some free time, she loves traveling to the beach, spending time with family, and cheering on her favorite sports teams.

First Grade Lead Teacher – Georgia Grey

Georgia received her BA in English Literature from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She completed the SMU Elementary Education teacher internship program and holds a Texas teaching license, EC-6. Outside the classroom Georgia loves to study nutrition through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition program, run, and practice yoga.

First Grade Teacher Assistant – Alexandra Alfaro

Alex graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish. She has studied abroad, and she worked in summer camps in Texas prior to her teaching career. She has taught grades 1 and 3 in North Carolina and most recently in Texas. She brings a great deal of experience, talent, and enthusiasm to the 1st grade classroom!

Second Grade Lead Teacher and Lower-School Principal – Kim Frantz(see Principal K-5 above)

Second Grade Teacher Assistant – Rebecca Marx

Rebecca Marx joins Kim Frantz in the 2nd grade classroom as Co-Teacher in the morning and lead teacher in the afternoons when Kim takes over as our LS principal. She graduated from Scripps College in California with a BA in International Relations and Politics. She has been teaching at Ashley Elementary School in their lower school and has been active in theater and Project C.U.R.E.

Third Grade Lead Teacher – Laurie Nakauchi

Laurie has close to twenty years of experience teaching in grades K through 4, in both public and private schools. She has spent the past 12 years at the Friends’ School in Boulder, which is a sister ACIS school. Laurie graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Mathematics, Emphasis in Elementary Education, and she has been actively engaged in mentoring teachers in her schools. Laurie has completed the Leadville 100 running race many times, played ice hockey, and she has been involved in protecting Jeffco Open Spaces. Laurie also founded a fresh produce delivery company, and she was recently married on the top of Mount Elbert!

Third Grade Teacher Assistant – Clara Nulty

Clara Nulty will stay with us as our 3rd grade Co-Teacher this year. Clara is a product of independent schools and graduated from Carleton College in MN with a BA in Studio Art. She is a professional artist, has taught art at summer camps and the Art Students League of Denver, and has been involved with the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.

Fourth Grade Lead Teacher – Chelsea Byrnes Grantham

Chelsea graduated from St. Lawrence University with a BA in English and later completed her MS in Teaching: Inclusive Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities. She has worked as a learning and reading specialist and a lead first and fourth grade teacher in both public and private schools.

Fourth Grade Teacher Assistant – Hannah Grimes

Hannah Grimes is a graduate of independent schools and received her BA in Fine Arts with a minor in Education and African Studies from St. Lawrence University in NY. She has worked in elementary schools in Korea and NY, and her recent work in the business world has reminded her how much she misses the school world. For the record, our own Mrs. McCoy was her third grade teacher!

Fifth Grade Lead Teacher – Tracy Wittmer

Tracy graduated with a BA from the University of Michigan in English and Psychology along with her secondary teaching certification in 1988. She taught middle school language arts and writing at University Liggett School in Michigan before staying home to raise her family. After moving to Colorado, Tracy worked part-time managing the Kent Denver Credit Union from 2007 until 2011. She earned her Elementary Teaching Certification through the SBPS Teacher Preparation Program in 2012. Following her certification program, Tracy taught pre-kindergarten at Willows Child Learning Center from 2012 – 2014. She is currently working on completing her master’s degree in elementary education. For the past 20 years, Tracy has tutored children from upper elementary through high school in all subjects. She has been married to her husband, Marty, for 25s years, and they have three sons: Sam, Mark and Brian. In her spare time, Tracy enjoys taking long walks, reading, and spending time with her family.

Fifth Grade Assistant Teacher – Gail Weller

Gail Weller will be working with Tracy Wittmer as the Gr. 5 Co-Teacher, and she will also take over the duties of teaching Gr.8 social studies. Gail has been a long-term sub for SES, and she has been a regular member of our substitute teacher crew. Gail has taught middle and high school English for over twenty years, mostly in private schools in South Carolina. She graduated cum laude with a BA in English and a minor in Philosophy from Our Lady of the Elms (MA). Gail has two grown daughters and loves her new Colorado life. Gail will also be our Extended Day Program Director.

Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Language Arts- Emily Baker

Emily is a Denver native and received her BA in Classics from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she was awarded the Ann Nichols Classics Scholarship. She completed the Stanley Teacher Preparation Program and holds a Colorado Teaching Certificate. Most recently, she received her MA in Educational Psychology from CU Denver. When she’s not teaching, Emily works as a freelance writer for Denver Life Magazine, and she has her real estate license. Emily was also the fourth grade teacher assistant for two years working with Mrs. Cooley. Outside of school, she enjoys horseback riding, volleyball, travel, reading, and writing.

Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Science and Sixth Grade Social Studies- Taras Wynar

Taras has taught science, social studies, religion, and math to middle schoolers for the past nine years, both in parochial schools and most recently in the Jeffco Public Schools. He is a graduate of Regis University, with a BA in history and fine arts, and he has two Masters degrees, in Education and History. Taras has two young children, and he loves volleyball and ice hockey!

Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Math; Seventh and Eighth Physical Education.- Ike Harvey

Ike Harvey graduated from George Washington HS and Metro State University. He worked in the corporate world for a couple of years and joined the formal teaching ranks working through Americorps in DPS. He has also worked for many years with Open Door Fellowship and Young Life, and he has coached middle school sports at Dora Moore. Ike is happiest when he is able to ride his bike to school!

Hammel Monroe- Director of Technology, Seventh Grade Social Studies, and Seventh/Eighth Grade P.E. 

Hammel Monroe, a Colorado native, has attended and worked in independent schools his entire career. He has lived in Italy, New Orleans, Tennessee, and Bozeman. After earning his Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education from Montana State University, Hammel began teaching 4th grade at Graland Country Day School here in Denver. Three years later, he was asked to be the Director of Technology at SES. Hammel has also taken hold of 7th grade social studies, as well as 7/8th grade PE. Hammel has coached MS sports, tutored, and has been a Gates Invention Lab mentor; he also has a Master’s Degree in Education from Regis University.

Specialty Teachers

Music and Choir Director – Jackolyn Ives

Jackie joined us as music teacher and choir director in August of 2011. She taught for ten years in Adams County elementary schools and has been the Director/Teacher of the Early Childhood Music Program at Trinity United Methodist Church for the past seventeen years. After serving for five years as the Director of the Primary Joyful Voices choir at Trinity, she has taken the coming year off, as that program goes through a revisioning process. Jackie has a BA in Human Development and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, and has done two years of graduate work at the University of Colorado, Denver leading to her teaching credentials. Additionally, she has completed her Level 1 Kodaly coursework in the graduate school of the music department at Colorado State University, as well as the first level of training in World Music Drumming at their summer institute in Oconomowoc, WI.

Art – Karen Kelly

Karen is a gifted artist and teacher and is ideally suited to foster our mission and focus on the arts. She has extensive experience teaching art to students ages three to adult. She has established highly successful art programs for over twenty public and private schools in the metro Denver area. Karen has created and implemented art curricula and age-appropriate art projects centered around famous past and present artists, cultural studies, architecture, landscapes, animals, still life, and many other subjects. For seventeen years, Karen was the owner/director/instructor of a fine arts school in Littleton, which she sold in 2007. She has an undergraduate degree from Colorado State College and a graduate degree from the University of Northern Colorado and has studied ancient architecture and sculpture in India.

Theater-Middle School- Reggie Gwinn

Reggie Gwinn graduated from Kent Denver School, where he was the starting quarterback and a real theater buff. He graduated from U. of San Diego with a B.A. in Communications and Theater, received his MA in Elementary Education from U. of Denver, and is working on his doctoral studies at DU, which makes this very part time job a great option for him. He has taught theater to grades K through 8, and he has been a lead teacher in 2nd and 4th grade in DPS. He is a truly passionate young man who believes that theater can be transformational for all kids, as it was for him. He enjoys music, writing, yoga, dance, golf, and playing the guitar. He has also led a successful Shakespeare club after school!

Physical Education/Health – Nico Viglione

Mr. V. holds a BA in Physical Education from SUNY Cortland, and an MAT in Physical Education: Curriculum Design from Manhattanville College. After teaching both Math and Physical Education in New York for 5 years, he decided to move westward to better pursue the outdoor activities that he loves so dearly. After spending a year with AmeriCorps Public Allies at the Eagle Rock School in Estes Park, Colorado, he decided to make the move down to Denver to return to his roots as a primary school teacher. During the fleeting moments of freedom he can find, he passionately pursues mountain sports of all kinds as well as his love of vegan cooking and photography.

Spanish- Naimah Simonson

Naimah Simonson received her BA in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin and will soon complete her Master of Arts in Education with a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learner Endorsement from Adams State University. Naimah taught Spanish in both Minnesota and Wisconsin before moving to Colorado. She has recently complete her work at the Stanley British Prep Program, and she has two school-aged children.

 

Chaplain / Faith Studies – Rev. Alwen Bledsoe

Mother Alwen is an ordained Episcopal priest who graduated from Iliff School of Theology with her Masters of Divinity in 2012. She is presently working as the Curate and Minister of Youth and Family Ministries at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Centennial, and has had a variety of experiences as a youth and family minister at St. Joseph and St. Barnabas Episcopal Churches here in the Denver area. Alwen is a writer and a poet, and she and her husband, Chris, have a ten-year old daughter, Jaydn. She enjoys rock climbing, dancing, reading, and collecting stray animals!

Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion- Dena Saleh

Dena Harry Saleh graduated from The New School in 2008 with a degree in both Fiction and Nonfiction writing. Originally from Denver, her nine years in New York City were formative, especially under the tutelage of the late Sekou Sundiata, with whom she began her work in issues surrounding racial and gender equity in America. She now also holds a Master’s Degree in Human Learning and Development, with a focus on culturally responsive classroom practices. In her free time she loves to be with her friends and family, including her wife, Lydia, and their son, Kian. She very much looks forward to another year at St. Elizabeth’s and Coordinator for Diversity and Inclusion. Equity is her passion, and she is thrilled at the opportunity to help bring these practices to life at such an amazing school. Dena teaches a class called Social Justice Studies to students in grades 4 through 8.

Library – Alima Blackwell

Alima Blackwell graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a BS in Elementary Education and then earned an MA from CU in Educational Psychology. She recently taught Elementary English at the International School of Denver for seven years, and she has been the school librarian at Visitation Catholic School. Alima brings a tremendous love of children and great literature with her to SES!

Individualized Literacy Program (ILP) – Elenora Archie

Eleanora has an English Degree from Colorado State University and a Masters of Teaching from Chatham University in Pittsburg, PA. She is also certified to teach K-6th grade in Colorado. Eleanora has over 14 years of experience volunteering, teaching, coaching and working with young people in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Belgium. She has been a fifth grade teacher at DPS, an assistant teacher, and a substitute teacher in many schools (private and public) with ages ranging from Pre-K to high school. Eleanora is very active with the non-profit organization Horizons at Colorado Academy where she manages most of the marketing and communications for the yearly auction, as well as teaching for the program, and serving on the board. She has three school-age kids, and enjoys spending time with her family and husband. Her hobbies include cooking, education reform, reading and writing.

School Counselor – Kirsten Barnard

Kirsten’s education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Denver. Her counseling career has included in-home family counseling, school counseling and parenting education. Before becoming the St. Elizabeth’s School counselor, she was a school counselor at Florence Crittenton High School in Denver. She has two children, ages 9 and 12, and enjoys cooking, reading and learning more about the latest research in the mental health field.

School Counselor- Lana Gollyhorn

Lana has 18 years of experience as a therapist, school counselor, and parent educator. Lana earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2001 and her B.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in biological studies from Michigan State University in 1995. Lana lives in Denver and spends her free time cooking, cycling, skiing, and scuba diving. She volunteers as a mentor to recent refugee families, teaching English and sharing with them the myriad activities and opportunities that Colorado has to offer.

Extended Day Program Director- Gail Weller     

(Please see Gr. 5 Co-Teacher above.)

Art Assistant- Rachel McKee

Rachel received her BA from the University of Denver and completed the Post Baccalaureate Elementary Education Program at Metro State. She has worked as an assistant and paraprofessional in local charter and public schools, and has worked as a Youth Program Coach for the Special Olympics. Rachel and her husband, Austin, have two young children, Jane and Eli, and an overweight Labrador. They love the outdoors, yoga, and painting.

Updated 8.15.17