Meet Our Dedicated Team

 

Kindergarten

Beth Coleman

Beth Coleman

Kindergarten Teacher

Beth's Horizons career began in 1993 when she ran the Wednesday afternoon program. Since that time, she has taught Kindergarten through 3rd grade. Prior to receiving her Masters Degree in Elementary Education from CU, Beth taught at various preschools and at an alternative private school for children ages 8-18. In her "free" time Beth loves to run, do construction projects, and spend time with her sweet girls and husband.

Wendy Thoresen

Wendy Thoresen

Kindergarten Teacher

Wendy has a BA in Art History, a BFA in Fine Arts and a Master's Degree in Architecture.  After a long career in architecture, she began teaching and has been at Horizons for 10+ years.  Wendy has taught First Grade, a combined K/1, and is delighted to be teaching Kindergarten.  When not at Horizons, Wendy loves to spend time in the mountains with her family, hiking, boating, skiing, drawing and painting.

1&2 Grades

Aubrey Demmon

Aubrey Demmon

1/2 Teacher

Aubrey has been teaching since 1999. She has taught high school English, elementary Spanish, and K-8th grade students. Most of her teaching has been grades 2/3 and she is currently working with a 1/2 class. Aubrey received her BA at Bradley University and her Masters in Literacy at Lesley University. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two boys and her daughter, snowboarding, reading, and playing with her pets.

Natalie Bauer

Natalie Bauer

1/2 Teacher

Natalie is thrilled to be joining the Horizons K-8 family this year. She received her BA in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Then she immediately moved out to Colorado after graduation for sunshine and mountains. She received her Masters in Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education and Special Education from CU Boulder. She has taught K-5 English Language Development, kindergarten, 1st grade, and K-6 multiage classes. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, hiking, and camping with her family.

Traci Bushnell

Traci Bushnell

1/2 Teacher

Traci began her career in education in 1992. Over the course of her 26-years as an educator, Traci has helped to found three schools, and has worked as a teacher and an administrator with Pre-K through 8th grade students. She earned a BA in Elementary Education and Psychology and a MA in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in the Integration of the Arts. Traci’s passions include her family, friends, yoga, health and wellness, hiking, running, reading, dance, travel, and learning and teaching from the heart.

3&4 Grades

Adam Brink

Adam Brink

3/4 Teacher

Adam joined the Horizons community back in 2000. He first started teaching in Maine as an outdoor educator, taking kids climbing, backpacking, and canoeing. When Adam is not wrapped up in the world of school, he is traveling and rock climbing with his wife, Jessi, and dog, Arlo.

Julie Cohen

Julie Cohen

3/4 Teacher

Julie has a BA from Grinnell College, an international Montessori teaching license, and a M.A. in Instruction and Curriculum from CU Boulder. She has been teaching in Boulder since 1992. Julie enjoys spending time with her family, playing outdoors, and traveling.

Emmy Kurtz

Emmy Kurtz

3/4 Teacher

Born and raised in Boulder, Emmy is a true Colorado girl. She obtained a BA in sociology and music and a MA in elementary education, both from the University of Denver. She taught at Isabella Bird Community School for 2 years in ECE and 1st grade and also has experience as an Expeditionary Learning teacher. As a graduate of Horizons K-8, Emmy is fortunate to work side-by-side with her mentors and childhood teachers. In her free time, Emmy can be found singing, traveling, cooking, hiking with her family’s Golden Retriever, practicing her Spanish, appreciating music, and finding shapes in the clouds while relaxing in a hammock.

5&6 Grades

Lynn Dobransky Pence

Lynn Dobransky Pence

5/6 Teacher

Lynn has been happily learning and growing with her students, colleagues and parents here in the Horizons K-8 community since 1998. She takes pride in creating learning environments that help students challenge themselves outside their comfort zone, in the academic, social, and critical realms of thinking - she believes that all students are capable of accomplishing great things. Lynn has a BA in Sociology and a MA in Education specializing in Multicultural Foundations of Bilingual Education from CU- Boulder and maintains 5 different teaching licenses.  When she is not working on her own professional development or being inspired by her students, she can be found hiking the trails around Boulder, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.

Peter Hegelbach

Peter Hegelbach

5/6 Teacher

Peter has taught all grades from K-12 in areas from special education to film making. After a brief stint as an ocean lifeguard, he began teaching in 1987 and has taught exclusively in multi-age settings during his career. Peter graduated with a BA in architecture from Princeton University and a MA in elementary education from the University of Colorado – Denver.  Recently, he authored publications for the Center for Teaching International Relations on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, illegal diamond trade in Sierra Leone, and a teacher's guide to the “State of the World Atlas.” When not with his family, Peter can be found running the hills and trails of Boulder.

Annie Blankenship

Annie Blankenship

5/6 Teacher

Annie grew up in Texas and studied Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Elementary Education. She started her teaching as a fourth grade math and science teacher. She is passionate about teaching the whole child, focused on individualizing learning for students, and feels strongly about helping students adopt a growth mindset and 21st century skills so they can develop the grit they need to be successful. Her intention is to create a safe classroom in which students feel comfortable taking on challenges, making mistakes, and growing as learners and thinkers.  When she is not teaching school, she can be found teaching dance, dancing herself, reading, or spending time outside.

Lisa Kihn

Lisa Kihn

5/6 Teacher

Growing up in Colorado, Lisa was inspired by the outdoors and the natural wonder of our beautiful environment.  She has a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and started her teaching career working for CU's Science Discovery Program.  She has been a middle level teacher in BVSD for over 15 years and loves meeting the unique needs of all students with experience teaching in talented and gifted programs as well as academic support classes.  When not teaching, you can find her hiking, traveling, reading and spending time with her husband and three (almost grown) children. She is so excited to join the Horizon's community!

7&8 Grades

Jim Freund

Jim Freund

7/8 Math teacher and Advisor

Jim has been married to his lovely wife, Lynda, for over 25 years. They share their lives with two wonderful children, Darcy and MacLean, both of whom are in college. Jim has a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.A. in Education. He has been teaching at Horizons/Paddock since 1993. He taught kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade for three years and has taught 5th through 8th grade since.  He has sung in local area choirs and directed musicals at a local theater company.  He also enjoys biking, hiking, camping, most sports, reading, writing, traveling, and, most certainly, teaching.  Look for his young adult fiction book coming out soon (he hopes).

Pat Smalley

Pat Smalley

7/8 Spanish Teacher and Advisor

Pat has been teaching Spanish in Boulder for seven years. His love for the language began while studying at La Universidad de Lenguas Modernas in Granada, Spain, and since then has spent time traveling through various Spanish-speaking countries. When not teaching, Pat enjoys spending time with his family, furthering his language study, and being outdoors.

Teran Sittner

Teran Sittner

7/8 Social Studies Teacher and Advisor

Teran has a B.A. in Liberal Arts and World Religious Studies and an M.A. in Education. A curious soul, Teran considers herself a facilitator and co-learner alongside her students and is always seeking new perspectives and ideas from the world at large to bring into the classroom. Among her favorite out-of-school passions are reading, traveling, camping, all things cats, enjoying and making music, and yoga.

Ryan Conrad

Ryan Conrad

7/8 Language Arts Teacher and Advisory

Ryan is overjoyed to be joining the Horizons team as both a teacher and a parent. Ryan's areas of passion include special education, social studies, literacy,  talented and gifted, and serving diverse learners. Ryan completed his undergraduate work at Western State University and received a teaching certificate in secondary social sciences and special education. Ryan earned two master's degrees at Northern Arizona University, one in Bilingual/Multicultural Education, the other in Secondary Social Sciences. Ryan enjoys hiking, camping, swimming, biking, and traveling with his wife and two young sons.

Specialists

Lis Duckworth

Lis Duckworth

K-5 Special Education Teacher

Lis (pronounced Liz) grew up in Missouri and attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She then taught at an outdoor education center in the Santa Cruz mountains of California for two years. From there she moved to Boulder and began teaching children at the Denver Botanic Gardens. After deciding to pursue a career in special education, she began Master's in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado and worked as a paraprofessional in Erie, Colorado. In her free time, Lis loves to camp and hike with her husband and dog, Banjo, rock climb, garden and read.

Stephanie Landrum

Stephanie Landrum

K-5 Special Education Teacher

Stephanie Landrum has recently moved to Boulder from the San Francisco Bay Area but is originally from Upstate New York.  She has received a BA in Applied Behavior Analysis from Binghamton University and earned both a multiple subjects teaching credential as well as a special education credential from California State University at Eastbay. When not in the classroom, she can be found camping, biking, walking her dog and spending time with her family.

Fran Orman Cohen

Fran Orman Cohen

MTSS Coordinator and Literacy Interventionist

Fran returns to Horizons to collaborate with families, staff and students as the MTSS coordinator and Literacy Interventionist.  Fran’s background in Elementary and Special Education, coupled with her Masters Degree in Literacy, and licensure in Administration, Leadership and Policy have enabled her to serve in a variety of roles such as: special education teacher, consultant, Literacy Interventionist, and general education teacher.  Most recently, Fran was a Building Team Leader, supporting administration with special education, MTSS and coaching general education teachers around inclusive practices for students with special needs. Fran enjoys spending time with her family outdoors hiking, biking, camping and skiing. She also loves yoga and dancing.

Christy Shoemaker

Christy Shoemaker

K-5 Literacy Specialist

Christy is so grateful to be a part of the Horizons community. A Colorado native, she enjoys the fresh air during her daily walk to school, no matter the weather. She received a BA in Sociology and a MA in Elementary Education. Her teaching experience has been as a classroom teacher for grades 1, 3, 4 and 5 and as literacy specialist for grades K-5. Her interest in helping the struggling students in her classroom led her to pursue additional training in literacy development and intervention. Christy is committed to supporting the diverse needs of learners and of honoring the diversity in our school and in our world. She loves spending time with her amazing boys and her husband, swimming in the wee hours, practicing yoga, cooking healthy foods and learning how to sew again.

Karen Dimetrosky

Karen Dimetrosky

K-5 Literacy Specialist

Karen started teaching literacy and CLIP (a one on one reading intervention for first graders) at Horizons in 2010.  She received her Masters in Experiential Education at CU Boulder in 1991.  After teaching in the classroom 2 years in Denver, she went back to graduate school in Boulder for literacy.  Karen has been teaching literacy and CLIP in Boulder since 1998.When not teaching, she spends time with her family: two daughters Madeline and Emma,  her husband Scott and black lab Tashi. Her favorite activities are trail running, hiking, skate skiing and cycling.  When not doing those things, she is cooking healthy gluten-free meals and bake goods!

Kara Priest

Kara Priest

Visual Arts Artist-in-Residence

Kara grew up in a family of professional oil painters. Kara studied Jacque Devand, Frank Covino, Italian Veradacio painting, and Berndt Savig. Other studies include drawing, painting, sculpture, composition and history. Kara has done illustration and design work for books, CD covers, and private businesses. She has been involved in multimedia productions, creating installations and designing artwork. Kara designs nearly all of her own curricula and has lately been teaching some of them to other educators

Jeremy Dion, MA, LPC

Jeremy Dion, MA, LPC

School Counselor Consultant

Jeremy Dion is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a background in play therapy, music therapy and Gestalt therapy. He is also a father and a professional musician, and has been working with children, adolescents, adults and families since 2000.

Sherry Davis

Sherry Davis

Counselor & Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Coordinator

Sherry is excited to join the Horizons educational family as the school counselor and social emotional learning (SEL) coordinator.  With a background in school counseling and family & consumer studies, she began her education career in 1997.  As a resource to students, families and staff, Sherry’s passion is collaborating to build student leadership skills and improving the educational experience for all ages.  She enjoys cooking, spending time with her family, hiking and traveling with her husband.

Para Educators

Nicoleta Simon

Nicoleta Simon

Kindergarten Para Educator

Nicoleta Simon joined the Horizons' community in 2011. Her childhood dream was to become an English teacher. So, she got a BA in Language Arts (English and French) and is now helping teach kindergarteners how to read and write. In the afternoon, she is doing cool messy projects and having fun leading Enrichment. While not at school she likes to read, watch movies or cook.

Jen Chatel Rose

Jen Chatel Rose

Kindergarten Para Educator

Jen has been part of the Horizons’ community since 2014, as a para educator, in kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade classrooms. She enjoys hiking, yoga, home improvement projects and spending time with her family.

Dee Dee Rice

Dee Dee Rice

1/2 Para Educator

Dee Dee has been working at Horizons since 2002, her three sons graduated from Horizons.  She is a para educator in Traci's 1/2 class. Her background is in Child Life, a program that works with hospitalized children and their families. She has worked with Social Services providing emergency foster care, and worked with children in the Nurturing Program.  She also volunteers with CASA as a court appointed child advocate.  Dee Dee loves hiking, yoga, cross-country skiing, art classes, spending time with her kids and snowy days!

Lisa Leftakes

Lisa Leftakes

1/2 Para Educator

Lisa has been part of the Horizons’ community since 2001, as a teacher, para, substitute, and parent. She earned her BS in Elementary Education and MA in Curriculum and Instruction. She has more than ten years of teaching experience. She loves spending time with her husband, Brad, her three daughters, Nikki, Alexandra and Sophia, and her dogs, Huggins and Tinkerbell. Her other passions include spending time with friends, watching basketball, hiking, enjoying musical theater, attending the Shakespeare festival and traveling.

Nicola Gilbert

Nicola Gilbert

1/2 Para Educator

Nicola is originally from the Isle of Man, she has a B.S in Elementary Education from West Chester PA, previously teaching Kindergarten and 5th Grade in London, Virginia and New Jersey. Nicola recently returned to the US after living overseas for eight years, in Moscow, Singapore and S. Korea. She loves spending time with her three children, husband and rescue pup and exploring her new home of Colorado. Nicola is extremely excited to be working with Beth as a paraprofessional in the 1/2 classroom.

Sally Holmes

Sally Holmes

3/4 Para Educator and Special Education Para Educator

Sally has been a para, parent, and  substitute teacher at Horizons since 2001. She currently works as a Para Educator in Kate's 3/4 classroom and K-6 student support in the afternoon. She enjoys supporting all of the teachers, students, and parents. Her past teaching experience enhances her classroom contributions.

Jamie Hegelbach

Jamie Hegelbach

3/4 Para Educator

Jamie is a native of Southern California and grew up in Redondo Beach. Jamie left the beach for the mountains of Boulder in 2006. For the next eleven years, she worked as a special education para at Boulder Community School of Integrated Studies (BCSIS). Her heartful moments are when she is with animals, children, or in nature. Jamie has a lovely daughter who is a sophomore at CU majoring in journalism.

Lillian Craze

Lillian Craze

3/4 Para Educator

Lillian has worked with children in teaching, caregiving and coaching roles, and feels grateful to be a member of the Horizons community.  She is a connector and developer who enjoys helping kids learn more about themselves, supporting them as they try new things, and encouraging lifelong lessons. She loves kolaches, polka music, falling snow, hiking, photography, soccer and camping adventures with her husband, daughter and son.

Kateri Saeks

Kateri Saeks

5/6 Para Educator

Kateri is a native to Minnesota, and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison (Go Badgers!).  She spent multiple years living and working abroad, teaching English and studying during her college years.  Years later, she discovered her love of volunteering and teaching at Horizons.  She is a proud parent of 2 Horizons graduates and has worked subbing para and teaching A&S at Horizons for over 8 years.  Her hobbies are hiking and yoga.

Melissa Spirko

Melissa Spirko

5/6 Para Educator

Melissa graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in English Literature and American Studies.  After 12 years as a technical writer and software trainer, she moved to elementary education which is where her heart lies. Outside of school, Melissa loves spending time with her husband and daughter, who is a happy Horizons student.  She likes to snowboard, golf, kayak, and hike.  She is also a huge fan of all things puzzling - jigsaws, word puzzles, Sudoku, and riddles.

Michelle Iturrate

Michelle Iturrate

5/6 Paraeducator

Originally from Maryland, Michelle moved to Colorado in 2001 to combine her teaching career and mountain hobbies. She holds degrees in design and art education, and spent several years as an art teacher in a variety of schools, including IB, gifted magnet, Title One, and international. Being mom to two Boulder boys has been her busiest and most proud accomplishment. After a decade at home, she is thrilled to be back to her profession and part of the amazing Horizon’s community.

Teresa Kneale

Teresa Kneale

5/6 Paraeducator

Teresa is originally from Miami, Florida.  Teresa is a native Spanish speaker and has taught Bilingual elementary and middle school ESL. She and her husband, a dentist, live in Boulder and have two daughters currently attending Fairview High School. Teresa is excited to be at Horizons K-8 School and back in the classroom as a paraprofessional after years of volunteering and raising her daughters. She spends her free time reading, attending fitness classes, doing yoga, hiking with her golden retriever, and camping in the beautiful Colorado mountains with her family.

Dana Levin

Dana Levin

7/8 Special Ed Para Educator

After 8 years as a kindergarten, first, and second grade teacher, Dana took some time off to hone her skills as a paleo personal chef and baker. She is excited to be back in the classroom as the seventh and eighth grade para. Dana has degrees in psychology, elementary education, and early childhood education and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a special focus on literacy. When she’s not working with kids Dana loves to swim, hike, camp, snowshoe, bake, and cook.

Jeanne Kipke

Jeanne Kipke

After Care Coordinator

Jeanne Kipke has worked at Horizons since 1998 teaching everything from Arts & Sciences, Exploratories, Kindergarten, K/1, 1/2, and now is the After Care Coordinator. She graduated from CU with a BA in Sociology along with Elementary Teacher Certification.  Jeanne has a passion for writing and art and loves to dance and walk to school as often as possible. She also has a daily goal of experiencing one big belly laugh every day with her students and is happy to announce that this is one goal that is easily accomplished!

Office Staff

Hope Nelson-Roohr

Hope Nelson-Roohr

School Support Assistant & Registrar

Hope Nelson-Roohr has been with Horizons since 1990 and was part of the original group of teachers and parents that envisioned this program.  She is the School Support Assistant- supporting the whole of Horizons...teachers, principal, staff, students & parents.  She manages the front office, is the school registrar, produces Skylines and assists in the health room.  Hope is a Springsteen groupie, a movie buff and an avid walker.  She is most proud of her two daughters and her grandson, all Horizons students, past and present.

Joan Truesdale

Joan Truesdale

Bookkeeper and Budgeting

Joan has been part of the Horizons community since 1996, as a teacher, a para, and now as the school bookkeeper. Originally from the Midwest, she moved to Colorado for college and just never left. She earned degrees from Colorado College and CU. She loves spending time with her nuclear and extended family, traveling anywhere, learning and trying all sorts of crafts, and still feels like she's on vacation in colorful Colorado after all these years.

Denise DellaRocco

Denise DellaRocco

Payroll, Budgeting, & Webmaster

Denise first became a part of the Horizons Community while earning her teaching license at CU back in the 90s. Most recently at Horizons Denise has embraced her love for putting numbers in their place and creating digital based systems. She can be found at her standing desk in the business office updating the website on one screen and navigating a 10 page excel budget spreadsheet on the other. She loves hiking, fixing things, blogging, crafting with her daughters, traveling, social media, yoga, and is very passionate about clean eating.

Kelly Wawrzynek

Kelly Wawrzynek

Health Room Paraprofessional

Kelly's varied career in software engineering, veterinary surgical assistance, and serving on non-profit boards has landed her at Horizons as the Health Paraprofessional and School Support Assistant.  After having three students at Horizons and working here as an office assistant, she just could not stay away so has returned to take care of student's health room needs. Meeting the students and making them feel cared for in the health room is immensely satisfying.  Her passions include knitting, skiing, camping, and her family.