Head of School – Adriana M. Murphy
Adriana Murphy has worked in independent schools for 22 years, serving both as a teacher and an administrator. Prior to joining St. Elizabeth's, she was as the head of middle school at Friends Community School in College Park, Maryland, a Quaker K–8 independent school, a role she excelled in for eight years. Under her leadership the middle school increased enrollment by 50%. She was also responsible for high school outplacement, as well as teaching 8th grade seminars and overseeing faculty training, developing advisory and orientation programs, and creating block scheduling. Adriana has Master’s degrees in Private School Leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University in New York City, and in Peace and Development Studies from Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain. She has a BA from Bishop’s University, Pr. of Quebec, Canada. She presents regularly at conferences on a wide range of educational topics, including equity in hiring, supporting LGBTQ faculty and students, cultural competency, and middle school development. She is a native Spanish speaker, and proud of her Nicaraguan heritage. Raised Catholic, educated at an Anglican university, and later taught at a Quaker school, Adriana embraces the importance of spiritual development for students. She shares with us the strong commitment to equity, diversity, integrity and inclusion. Previously, Adriana also served in Americorps as a wildland firefighter and can hold her own on the basketball court.
Head of Lower School – Christian Cloud
Christian Cloud is a leader focused on literacy, diversity, and student engagement through innovation. He has created the Lower School Robotics program at The Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia, PA and reimagined the early childhood program to be more inclusive and focused on 22nd century skills. At Episcopal, Christian has served as part of the school’s leadership team and as an instructional technology coach. He has assisted with hiring, admissions, and advancement. He has been awarded the Hirtle Innovation Prize and the Oxford University Fellowship for Leadership. Christian’s Master’s degree is in Reading and School Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and he is pursuing a second Master’s degree in Curriculum. Traveling and hiking are his favorite activities to enjoy with his family.
Head of Middle School – Kari Nichols
Kari Nichols has spent her entire career teaching and leading middle school students. After graduating from the University of Vermont with a degree in Middle Level Education, Kari spent the first portion of her career teaching middle school English at a distinguished Cherry Creek charter school, recognized as Colorado's best middle school during this time. Kari has been with St. Elizabeth’s School since its inaugural middle school year in 2014. She began her time here as our founding 6th grade teacher and has expanded her responsibilities and our middle school program each year since. Kari has a commitment to belonging and relationships at the core of an inclusive and vibrant middle school program. In her free time, you can find her enjoying the Colorado sunshine with her husband and their two sons.
Administrative Assistant & Extended Day Program Director – Loree Lindsey
Loree Lindsey graduated from Indiana University at South Bend with a B.S. in General Studies with a concentration in Behavioral and Social Studies and a Minor in Women's Studies. She manages the Front Office and EDP. Loree spent more than nine years working at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, IN as a Ward Clerk/Unit Secretary and Nursing Assistant. She knows St. Elizabeth's from the inside out as she was an SES parent for 10 years; her son, Quinn Pack, and her daughter, Peyten Pack are both alums of St. Elizabeth's.
Development Director – Susan Bross
Susan Bross has over 20 years of experience working with social entrepreneurial, non-profit and educational organizations. Her experience includes strategic and operational planning, fundraising strategy and execution, board development, external affairs, and strategic partnership development. From 2002-2011, Susan was the Development Director (2002-04) and then the Executive Director (2004-11) for College Summit Colorado, part of a national non-profit organization focused on increasing college access among students from under-resourced settings. Before joining St. Elizabeth’s School in 2014, Susan was an independent consultant working with various non-profit and 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—all graduates of St. Elizabeth's School!
Director of Admissions and Engagement - Jamika McNally
Jamika McNally joined St. Elizabeth’s School in May 2022 from The Nueva School in San Mateo, California where she was the Assistant Director of Admissions. She brings to us more than six years of related experience which includes several other admissions-centric roles, including posts at The San Francisco Art Institute and The Los Angeles Film & Recording School. She holds an M.A.T. in Elementary Education from National-Louis University and a B.F.A. in Playwriting and Film, Television and Radio from DePaul University. She cares most about helping diverse families find the best educational opportunities for their children, so her values align perfectly with St. Elizabeth’s mission. As a new transplant to our state, Jamika is soaking up all the outdoor opportunities Colorado has to offer with her husband and two young children.
Director of Equity and Belonging – Nikki Winans
Nikki Winans’ passion for advancing students’ understanding of social justice issues is motivated by her lived experiences. Growing up in upstate New York, she was one of very few Hispanic students in her school district. Because of this experience, she was drawn to the education field because she realized that education is indeed a tool for liberation. In 2019, she joined Teach for America and spent two years teaching 6th-8th grade social studies at Isna Wica Owayawa in the land of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe in the Pine Ridge Reservation. Nikki comes to us from the STEM Preparatory Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. She holds a B.A. in History with a minor in political science from Brooklyn College and a M.Ed in Education Policy & Leadership with a focus on culturally responsive and anti-racist education from American University. When Nikki isn’t busy changing the world, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, and taking spontaneous road trips across the country.
Director of Finance and Operations – Kim Johnson
Kim Johnson has extensive business and financial experience as a commercial property manager for a variety of firms in California. She has worked tirelessly as a volunteer parent leader in her children’s schools and brings her passionate value of education to our business office. Continuing community volunteer work, she is the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Jefferson County Public Library. Kim received a cooperative BA degree in Political Science/Law and Society from the University of California at Riverside. Kim is also our Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator.
Director of Learning Support/Lower School Learning Support Specialist – Julie Dani
Julie Dani has held a longtime dream of joining the St.E's community. Julie received her undergraduate degree in K-8 general and special education from the University of Texas and a Master's degree in special education from the University of Kansas. Beyond specializing in a wide array of complex learning profiles, Julie has also pursued extensive graduate level work and training in school leadership, progressive education, social/racial justice and equity in education. Julie is a certified Orton Gilligham therapist with advanced training. Julie has served as an educator, learning specialist and in leadership roles at preK-postsecondary public, private, and non-profit settings for over 20 years. Julie is passionate about partnering with students, families and teachers to find an effective path to learning that empowers every student to thrive. One of Julie's most important jobs is as a mom raising two strong girls. She loves being in nature and spending time with family. Julie is also a dedicated volunteer with Colorado Feeding Kids, Soul2Soul Sisters, and the Denver Public Libraries-Plaza Program for immigrant and refugee families.
Faculty and Staff
Claudine Buchanan begins this school year in a new grant-funded Middle School Student Support Teaching Associate and After School Coordinator. In this role, Ms. Buchanan will be assisting our Middle School Student Support Team in providing academic and social emotional support to students who benefit from an alternative approach to learning, are experiencing social-emotional struggles, and/or who have limited access to resources outside of school. She comes to St. E’s with over a decade of classroom experience, including posts at Gilpin Montessori School and North Middle School. She studied Early Childhood Education at the University of Northern Colorado, and it was there that she developed her strong passion for education and student success. Growing up with nineteen aunts and uncles, her life has been surrounded by faith and family, and, even today, she doesn’t like to miss family game nights. She is very active in her church and when she has a free moment, you’ll find her hiking, swimming, or practicing yoga.
Jenna Canning graduated from the University of Michigan with a masters in Social Work with a concentration in Interpersonal youth/families and a minor in Community engagement; she also received a school social work certification. Currently, she holds an LSW and SSP license and is on track to receiving her LCSW in a year. Over the last 4 years, Jenna has worked in a variety of different settings both in schools and communities, such as Detroit Prep, Friendship circle and DSST public schools . Jenna has a passion for working with youth who identify as LGBTQ+, have mental health concerns and disabilities. She also loves to understand how community cultures and structures shape individuals; and how that then impacts the community. Jenna uses techniques like TF-CBT, motivational interviewing and solutions focused therapy to support students & families overall well-being and growth. On her time off, Jenna enjoys going for hikes in the mountains with her pup Zuli and decompressing with some hot yoga.
Carletta Cowans graduated from Clarke University in Iowa with a BA in Psychology and Sociology. She is a Colorado native who has worked with youth for over two decades. She has a passion for social justice and education. Carletta enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hanging out with her dogs, and dedicating any possible free time to her two amazing children Brooklynn ('25) and Bryson ('27). She believes it is important to provide families with a fun, safe, and nurturing atmosphere full of laughter and learning.
Laura Cummins holds St. Elizabeth’s near and dear to her heart not only because she sees how our values and mission touch the lives of children in her classroom every day, but also because her own two children attended St. Elizabeth’s through the fifth grade (her daughter was a student in the inaugural year at St. E’s). She is happy to be a part of this special community again in the new role of faculty member as the 2nd Grade Co-Teacher. Laura earned a B.A. in Science in Interior Design from La Roche University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and worked in the field earlier in her career. She truly cares about making sure that everyone feels welcomed, valued, and included and that’s what has drawn her to teaching at our school. Following this passion, she recently completed an Occupational Therapy Assistant degree. We’re thrilled to have Laura working with our 2nd grade students this year, bringing her nurturing and values-driven approach to teaching. Welcome back to St. E’s as a teacher, Laura
Welcome to Alexis Hebner, St. E’s new Office Assistant. Alexis is a Colorado native and a proud mom of two little girls, ages three and five. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Northern Colorado and she aspires to be an elementary school teacher one day. Alexis works mornings at St. E's, helping Loree to manage the front office, work with students that are ill, answering phones and checking in visitors to the school, and serving lunch. When asked about our school, Alexis said, "What I love most about St.Elizabeth’s is how much it feels like a family here."
Kira Hellyer brings her love of learning and creative mind to the practice of teaching at St. Elizabeth’s School. She earned a B.A. degree in Environmental Design from Texas A&M University, and enjoyed a career in residential design and tenant planning. At St. Elizabeth’s, we believe that educators like her who come to us with a strong business background are an invaluable resource to our students. Kira’s experience in the design world brings a unique level of critical thinking skills to real world applications and she shares that perspective each day in the classroom. She began her teaching career at an Episcopal School in Louisiana until her family decided to relocate to Colorado. She cares about meeting her students where they are and appreciating them for who they are, so we’re happy to welcome her to our staff. She loves spending time with her husband, friends, and dog, plus she enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking a wide variety of cuisines. When she is not in the classroom, you can find her on a walk, spending time in her backyard hammock, or being creative.
Jeffrey Koehler joined St. Elizabeth's this year as the 5th Grade Lead Teacher, and his collaborative teaching approach shines through every day. He loves that 5th graders have so much to say about the world, and he believes that they can take on very challenging topics and still be kids. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science and history from the University of Colorado Denver and his Masters of Arts in elementary education from Metro State University. He has a wealth of experience teaching 5th grade at Peabody Elementary, Littleton Academy, and MPB Catholic School. He believes that teaching at our school affords him the chance to live in a world of learning, peace, community, and creativity. In his free time, he likes to have no plans but also enjoys being outdoors, spending time with his family, and making music. Welcome to St. E's, Jeffrey!
Becky is a middle school teacher at heart. Her degree is in Middle Childhood Education with Concentrations in Math and Science. She has worked with a variety of middle school teams in myriad ways. She has been both a team member and a team leader. Becky was fortunate to be a building math team co-leader; she was able to shape the curriculum selected by the Cherry Creek School District for its middle schools. She has taught a variety of subjects from American Sign Language to health and history, but math and science have been the two subjects she has focused on the most. Spending time exploring cool parts of the city like the zoo and various museums with her son and husband is her favorite thing to do on the weekends. Becky also enjoys making quilts and other sewing projects—she’s made a lot of masks this past year.
Christine Knox joined the St. Elizabeth School family in October, 2021 as a fourth grade co-teacher and is currently working in this capacity with first grade students. We’re lucky to have her positive energy and demonstrated professionalism in the classroom each and every day. Christine comes to us from Chicago where she worked in the Chicago Public School System (CPS) as a Classroom Assistant, Paraprofessional and Special Education Classroom Assistant (SECA). She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Southern Illinois University with a dual focus in Social Work and Speech Communications and is now in the eighth year of serving in her profession. She finds her work energizing, bringing her passion for working with children to school every day. Outside the classroom, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling and engaging in outdoor activities.
Jessica graduated cum laude from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She holds a BA in psychology, specializing in Early Childhood Education. 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: both graduates of St. Elizabeth's School. In her free time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and spending time outdoors. Jessica is fully committed to the St. Elizabeth's mission from many perspectives.
Bio Coming soon!
Rebecca loves the St. Elizabeth’s community and its mission of equity, inclusion, and excellence. She brings that enthusiasm and commitment each and every day to her 2nd grade students. Rebecca is always willing to serve her community, recently sharing her expertise on the Technology Support Team, which was instrumental in enabling St. E’s to continue to serve its community throughout the Covid-19 pandemic through appropriate and effective use of technology. Rebecca has completed a Master of Arts Degree in Learning Design and Technology at the University of Colorado. She has a particular interest in game-based learning. Rebecca loves to travel and looks forward to having an opportunity to refresh her Italian language skills. She grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, and in her free time enjoys reading (especially mysteries!), sunshine, and spending time outside.
Alexandra Meallet is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Miss Alex has a BA in Linguistics and Global Studies. She also has an Orton-Gillingham literacy certification. She comes to us from Stanley British Primary School, where she has spent the last two years as a K–2 Associate Teacher and Teaching Resident of the prestigious Public Education and Business Coalition’s (PEBC) Teacher Residency Program. As part of this program, Alex earned her professional teaching license and developed and taught lessons for grades K–2 in literacy, math, social studies, and science. In addition, she has implemented phonics instruction based on the Science of Reading. She was co-chair of the multicultural affairs committee for two years at Stanley British Primary School and won the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Educator of the Year Award in 2021.
When she’s not planning or teaching or finding materials for “Discovery Time,” you might spot her hiking, doing yoga, or talking shop with her mom—a lifelong educator.
Laura Pruett joined St. Elizabeth's this year as the co-teacher for Third Grade and our K-Gr. 5 Spanish teacher. She brings to us a wealth of teaching experience as a Lower School Spanish teacher since 1998 at Parke House Academy in Winter Park, Florida and the Newmeadow School in Clifton Park, New York. She is a former Registered Behavior Technician who worked for five years with kids impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) because she is passionate about helping and teaching all children, no matter what their skill level or abilities are. She holds an Associate of Arts degree with a focus on Business Administration from Seminole State College. In her spare time, Laura loves sewing and spending time with her family and her two adorable Chihuahuas.
Ellen Parman began her teaching career seventeen years ago as an outdoor educator with Denver Public Schools and continues to harness the wisdom of nature to increase student engagement, achievement, and overall well-being to this day. She comes to us from the Aurora Public Schools where she was a Reading Interventionist and Early Literacy Specialist for the past eight years. She is trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach and has supported teachers and parents with utilizing research-based literacy interventions. Ellen received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and History from Bowdoin College and earned a Master’s degree from the University of Colorado, Denver. She holds a Professional Teacher License with endorsements in Elementary Education and Special Education. Ellen enjoys reading, digging in the dirt, and puppets. She and her partner Jordan have two children; Martha, a 3rd grader at St.E’s, and Alice, a kindergartner.
Emily Randall came to St. Elizabeth's at the start of the 21-22 school year. She has six years of experience in various fundraising roles, and has worked at several different nonprofits supporting causes from affordable health care to preservation of public land. She has a particular interest in database management and data analysis. In 2016, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology with a minor in French from Hamilton College, where she also played on the women's lacrosse team. She moved to Denver from Boston in the summer of 2021, and is enjoying the mountain access and the lack of humidity. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, crocheting, baking, and spending time with her family.
Erin Rupe comes to us from Stanley British Primary School, where as a learning resource specialist for grades 3-5, she created and implemented Learning Support Plans for students with disabilities and complex learning needs, developed interventions and organizational systems to support students’ needs, and collaborated with teachers and parents on student supports. Beginning her 26th year as an educator, her depth of knowledge and experience is unequaled. She has worked as a special education teacher (early childhood-5th grade), a teacher of the blind/visually impaired (infants-high schoolers), a classroom teacher, and a curriculum coordinator. Erin holds a B.S. in Child Development and Family Relations from the University of Texas at Austin, and a M.A. in Teaching/Special Education from University of Puget Sound. Erin lives the value of being a lifelong learner having pursued numerous hours of professional development and teacher certifications, including Early Childhood Special Education, Elementary Education, and Special Education (K–21). When she’s not engaged in these pursuits, you can find her hiking, hanging out with her family, or generally enjoying the great outdoors.
We welcomed Hilario Garfio-Sanchez back to the St. Elizabeth’s community this year. He comes to us from Stanley British Primary where he was a long-term substitute in their Middle School with extensive work experiences at both Knapp Elementary and Colorado Academy. He is a big fan of teaching math and science and enjoys “connecting the dots” for students with relevant and meaningful lessons. For the last seven years, he taught science and math to Middle School students at the Horizons Summer Program, a direct community impact program for under-resourced students in Denver. He is proud to be graduating with a B.S. in Biology from Metropolitan State University this year. He cares deeply about the creativity and independence that comes from teaching and is dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming space for all students. In his free time, he enjoys hiking with his dogs, gardening, and visiting art museums and galleries. Welcome back to St. E’s, Hilario!
We’re so happy to have Griffen Stabler back in Colorado after he headed east for his schooling. He graduated from Williams College with a degree in English and Leadership Studies and then spent five summers earning his Masters in English at the Bread Loaf School of English in the mountains of Vermont, while also teaching Middle School English during the school year. This experience of being both a student and a teacher at the same time reminded him of the need to keep joy and excitement at the center of the classroom, which is uber important when working with middle school students. After spending 10 years working and learning at an independent school in Connecticut, he was excited to move back to Colorado with his young family to be closer to the mountains, his family, and schools like St. Elizabeth’s. He loves reading, stories, being outside, and anything sweet (besides chocolate!).
Taras has taught science, social studies, religion, and math to middle schoolers for the past 16 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 in History. Taras has two young children, and he loves volleyball and ice hockey!
Jackie joined us as a 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.
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.
Quinn, or Mr. Q, has been a member of our St. Elizabeth's community for over 10 years. He served as one of our very first SES Parent Association presidents, organizing the first St. E's Fun Run. He believes in the mission of St. Elizabeth's so much so that his own two children are graduates of the school. He comes to us with a background in special education as well as elementary education, in which he is currently completing certification. Quinn also coaches basketball and cross country, but primarily, track & field, where he has had multiple Colorado State champions. He's also an expert birder and avid outdoorsman enjoying telemark skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, mountaineering, and the art of being a backpacking guide.
Luis graduated from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. He has two years of experience teaching Spanish as a second or foreign language. He has taken professionalization courses and is in constant training. He worked as a private teacher at The Art of Spanish Institute and currently teaches online as a private teacher. He loves being with his family, he is married and has a stepson.
Tory holds a BA in Religion/Bible/Youth Ministry from Bethel College, KS and a Masters of Divinity from George Fox University, OR. He has worked with children and youth ministry for 15 years in Kansas, Oregon, and Denver, and is currently the part-time Director of Children and Youth Ministry for Park Hill United Methodist Church (a diverse and social-justice oriented church in Denver). Tory is trained in Godly Play, a faith-formation program grounded in hands-on learning to help young people develop and engage in understanding the values of the Episcopal faith. Formerly our Middle School Chaplain, Tory has now stepped in as the school's Interim School Chaplain, leading our faith-based mission and values until a permanent chaplain joins our community.
Stephanie has worked in the SES library since 2014, starting as a regular parent volunteer, and took on the formal leadership of the library program in 2018. She is a passionate advocate of reading as a means to explore the world around us and to cultivate empathy for others. She has an amazing love for and knowledge of great children’s literature. Her three sons have been at SES since 2013; her oldest, Joey, graduated with the Class of 2018. She received her BA in Political Science & Economics from the University of Colorado.
Alphabetical List of Faculty & Staff
Director of Development
6th & 7th Grade Language Arts Teacher
Head of Lower School
3rd Grade Lead Teacher
2nd Grade Co-Teacher
Lower School Learning Support Specialist
Interim School Chaplain
Fourth & Fifth Grade Co-Teacher
4th Grade Lead Teacher
Title IX & Section 504 Coordinator
Middle School Math Teacher
4th Grade Co-Teacher
Lead Teacher, Fifth Grade
Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Co Teacher, Kindergarten
Extended Day Program Director
2nd Grade Lead Teacher
Director of Admissions and Engagment
Lead Teacher, First Grade
Head of School
Head of Middle School and 8th Grade ELA
K-5 Literacy Interventionist
3rd Grade Co-Teacher
Gr. 6-8 Learning
Middle School Language Arts
Gr. 6 Homeroom
Luis de la Torre Lopez
Middle School Spanish Teacher
Director of Equity & Belonging
Gr. 4-5 Social Justice Studies
Gr. 7 Social Studies; Advisor
MS Science & 6th Grade Social Studies