Meet Our Dedicated Team

staff-2015

Administration

Lauren Tracey

Lauren Tracey

Principal

Lauren was born and raised in New Jersey, before moving to Boulder over thirty years ago. She has a BS in Molecular Biology from CU Boulder, earned her teaching license through Naropa University's School of Contemplative Education, and is currently a graduate student in UCD's School of Education. Lauren has taught in Boulder Valley for over ten years, and travels whenever possible with her husband and three children.

Kindergarten

Wendy Thoresen

Wendy Thoresen

Kindergarten

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 currently 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

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.

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.

Nichole Houser

Nichole Houser

1/2 Teacher

Nichole has had the pleasure of teaching at Horizons since 2008. She received her Elementary Education certification along with a degree in Spanish Language and Literature from CU Boulder. Nichole grew up in Carbondale, Colorado. She enjoys spending quality time with friends and family, listening to music, watching movies, and soaking in the summer sun.

Shannon Waugh

Shannon Waugh

1/2 Teacher

Shannon got her Elementary Education teaching license through the Friends' School Teacher Preparation Program, where she taught Kindergarten last year. She received her Bachelor's in Sociology from CU Boulder, and is currently pursuing her Master's in Educational Psychology from UC Denver. In her free time she enjoys hiking, biking and being outdoors in this beautiful state! Her other passions include musical theater, improv, and ultimate frisbee.

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.

3/4 Grades

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.

Kate Grant

Kate Grant

3/4 Teacher

Kate is originally from New York, where she earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Cortland State and a M.S. in Literacy from Potsdam State. She has taught in a variety of school settings as a Literacy Specialist (PK-6th), a preschool teacher, and a 1st grade teacher. During her free time, Kate enjoys reading, traveling, and adventuring outdoors, especially if she is running or hiking.

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. Since the grade reconfiguration of 2014-15, Lynn has been a member of the 5th/6th grade team helping develop and provide space for our Horizons students as they navigate their early adolescent years.  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.

Rachel Clionsky

Rachel Clionsky

5/6 Teacher

Rachel grew up in central Pennsylvania. She attended The University of North Carolina Wilmington where she studied biology, but the mountains of Colorado were calling her name. She moved to Boulder, site unseen, nine years ago and found her niche. She attended CU Boulder where she earned a degree in Elementary Education and through CU’s Partners in Education program, she earned an MA in Math and Science Education. The past six years she taught 4th and 5th grade in various public schools in Boulder, Denver, and Arvada. While working in Jefferson County School District for the past three years, she attended Regis University and earned an ESL Certificate. When Rachel is not teaching or studying, she can be found climbing, trail running, cycling, or cross country skiing. She and her fiance, also a teacher, love to travel to pursue their shared passion of rock climbing.

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).

Katie Miles

Katie Miles

Katie Miles, 7/8 English Teacher and Advisor

As a Boulder native, Katie loves sunshine and spending time outdoors. If not golfing, skiing or hiking, she might be found enjoying a book in her hammock. Katie is also a world traveler; having traversed the landscapes of Europe, Asia and Central America, she is always in pursuit of challenging experiences! While dreaming up her next adventure, she might be seen wandering the farmer's market or patronizing a local bookstore, always in search of bringing relevant life experience into the classroom. Katie earned her BA in English Literature from CU Boulder in 2008, then completed the teaching program in 2010. Last year she completed her Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She is passionate about researching new trends in education, and looks forward to learning alongside her colleagues at Horizons again this year!

Stacey Minster

Stacey Minster

Stacey Minster, 7/8 Science Teacher and Advisor

Stacey is originally from Ohio and received a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from The Ohio State University. After graduation, she moved to Tucson, where she completed a Master of Education degree at the University of Arizona. In addition to her time at Horizons, Stacey has had the opportunity to teach Chemistry and Biology in Tucson and on the Big Island of Hawaii. Stacey loves spending time outdoors hiking, camping, running, and skiing. When not outside, she can be found in the kitchen cooking or working on her food blog.

Pat Smalley

Pat Smalley

Pat Smalley, 5-8 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

A lover of learning and exploring, Teran is thrilled to be joining the Horizons team this year! She has a B.A. in Liberal Arts and World Religious Studies and an M.A. in Education. She comes to us with a diverse range of experience in education, having spent the last eight years teaching a variety of ages and subjects in Fort Collins. A curious soul, Teran considers herself a facilitator and co-learner alongside her students and is always seeking new perspectives and ideas to bring into the classroom. Among her favorite pastimes are reading, traveling, camping, enjoying theater, tennis, playing guitar, singing, and most recently, trying to teach herself to play the standup bass and banjo. She is looking forward to getting to know the Horizons community and to work alongside such passionate and inspiring colleagues, parents, and of course, students!

T.O.S.A.

Jaclyn Adley

Jaclyn Adley

Teacher On Special Assignment

Jaclyn grew up in New Jersey, but has always been a mountain girl at heart. She began her teaching career in 2001 in NYC public schools where she had the opportunity to truly embrace a diverse community of learners. She moved to Boulder, Colorado in 2005 to wear many different hats in the education world from classroom teacher, to interventionist, to student support services at a local charter school in Longmont. She holds a BS in outdoor education from Northern Arizona University and a MS in elementary education from Lehman College in NY. Outside of school Jaclyn enjoys spending time baking, hiking, and skiing with her two beautiful girls and her chef husband.

Math and Spanish

Diane Diesh

Diane Diesh

5-6 Math Teacher

Diane is embarking upon teaching after a fulfilling career as a software engineer. Her lifelong love of math steered her toward a desire to get students excited about STEM. Though originally from California, Diane and her husband have lived in Boulder since 1991, where they raised three children. Her outside interests include travel, hiking, calligraphy, and her two yellow labs, Charlotte and JJ.

Maria Semprum

Maria Semprum

K-4 Spanish Teacher

Maru is an Art teacher who was born in Caracas, Venezuela. She graduated from Universidad Catolica Andres Bello with an Education major and also received a degree of Masters of Arts in Aesthetics, at the Universidad Pedagogica Experimental Libertador, in Caracas. She taught Art and Art History for more than 15 years in Venezuela. In July 2012 she moved to Boulder with her husband and two daughters. She is a dedicated researcher in the field of aesthetic pleasure and the change of aesthetic patterns in the contemporary society, specially in children and teenagers. Recently she got her Spanish Teaching License from the State of Colorado.

Specialists

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 from Tufts University and a MA in Elementary Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Her teaching experience has been as a classroom teacher for grades 1, 3, 4 and 5 and as literacy specialist for grades K-5. She taught in Weld County and in St Vrain before beginning her work as a literacy specialist here at Horizons in 2011. 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!

Lis Duckworth

Lis Duckworth

K-4 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.

Kara Priest

Kara Priest

Visual Arts Teacher

Kara grew up in a family of professional oil painters – both parents had degrees from Minneapolis School of Art and were highly proficient in classical style oil painting. Kara studied Jacque Devand (professional illustrator for Hollywood), Frank Covino (Italian American artist and teacher), Italian Veradacio painting, and Berndt Savig (current Head of Red Rocks College Art Department). 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 has taught for about 15 years, including K-12 experience, private lessons for all ages, workshops and camps. Recently Kara taught Mandela workshops for local teacher groups and teaches each year to Masters of Education students. 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

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.

Carol Schwendener

Carol Schwendener

Computer Literacy and 7th Grade Math Teacher

Originally from California, Carol moved to Boulder in 2005 and began her teaching career. She has taught middle school science and math and currently teaches K-8 computers and 7th grade math. Carol loves teaching and learning from her students in the area of science and technology. She is especially passionate about sustainable food production and has worked with farmers in the Brazilian Amazon. She studied Biology at UC Berkeley and Soil Science at Cornell University before completing her teaching credential in math and science. Carol enjoys many outdoor activities, including swimming, skiing, tennis, gardening, and more recently, exploring Boulder’s playgrounds with her two daughters and husband. When stuck indoors, she enjoys baking, cooking, reading, and sharing a good meal with family and friends.

Para Educators

Nicoleta Simon

Nicoleta Simon

Kindergarten Para Educator and Kindergarten Enrichment Teacher

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.

Dee Dee Rice

Dee Dee Rice

1/2 Para Educator

I have been working at Horizons since 2002.  I am a special ed para in Shannon's 1/2 class.  My three sons graduated from Horizons.  My background is in Child Life, a program that works with hospitalized children and their families.  I have been the Health Coordinator for Head Start.  I have worked with Social Services providing emergency foster care, and worked with children in the Nurturing Program.  I've also volunteered with CASA as a court appointed child advocate.  I love hiking, yoga, cross-country skiing, art classes, spending time with my kids and snowy days!

Jen Chatel Rose

Jen Chatel Rose

1/2 Para Educator

Jen is a para educator in Nichole's 1/2 classroom. She previously taught 1st grade in BVSD. She loves to hike, do yoga, play tennis and spend time with her family; her 2 active boys, husband and their two dogs. Jen is excited to be back in the creative, enthusiastic environment of a classroom!

Leanne Lockhart

Leanne Lockhart

1/2 Para Educator

Leanne is a Para Educator in Aubrey's 1/2 classroom. Leanne is a licensed teacher and has previously taught in various capacities in BVSD elementary schools since 1999. Her love of teaching comes from her strong desire to make a difference in young lives. She has been a literacy teacher, limited term 1st Grade teacher, long-term substitute teacher in 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grades as well as math and science support for large classes. She currently works with I Have a Dream Foundation, teaching a 4th Grade class of Dreamers. She was a soccer coach for Nova Soccer for 5 years, thoroughly enjoying the mix of athletics and young energy! She has boy/girl twins in college. Having lived in the mountains for the past 25 years, Leanne loves nature, hiking, biking, skiing, wildlife- everything Colorado has to offer! She is very excited to join the Horizons community

Sally Holmes

Sally Holmes

3/4 Para Educator and Kindergarten Enrichment Assistant

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

Bede Kopp

Bede Kopp

3/4 Para Educator

Bede is a Para Educator in Julie's 3/4 classroom. Bede has been a teacher since 2001 working in the Denver area. She first became acquainted with Horizons during her teacher education when one of the founders taught a class at CU. After that experience, she knew that someday she would end up learning and contributing in the Horizons nurturing community. Bede has two wonderful young adult sons and a middle aged dog. In her time away from school, she likes to read, cook, hike, bead, travel, spend time with friends/family, and practice yoga.

Leslie Dunlap

Leslie Dunlap

5/6 Para Educator

Leslie is a Para Educator in Rachel's 5/6 classroom, Rachel's 5th grade academic lab, and Julie's 7th grade math class. In her spare time she enjoys dancing and teaching Nia, cooking delicious vegan food, and studying math.

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.  Following graduation, she found her niche at Anderson Consulting as a Process Engineer and Metrics Specialist.  7 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.

Jennifer Green

Jennifer Green

K-4 Special Ed Para Educator

Jenny recently graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with her Bachelor's in General Education Studies and Minor in Psychology. While living in NH she student taught in a 2nd grade classroom and worked as a paraprofessional in a 4th grade classroom. After graduating she discovered her passion for Montessori philosophy of teaching. Shortly after Jenny packed her bags and cats and drove out to Colorado to start a new chapter! In her free time Jenny mostly enjoys being in good company, hiking, camping, music concerts, traveling, backpacking, gardening, crafting, and snow boarding. 
 

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

Hope has been on staff at Horizons since it was a twinkle in the eye of several creative teachers and parents.  She has worked as a Para Educator, and in the office ever since the opening of the school in 1991.  She has been the registrar, the health room aide, the office manager, the Open Enrollment coordinator, the Principal's secretary and is currently, the school support assistant at Horizons.  She calls Horizons, "her middle child."  She is a former Miss Bronx.

Joan Truesdale

Joan Truesdale

Bookkeeper

Joan has been part of the Horizons community since 1996, as a teacher, a para, and now as a parent and 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 & Webmaster

Denise first became a part of the Horizons Community while earning her teaching license at CU back in the 90s. Counting her great fortune she was welcomed with open arms once again, but this time as a Horizon's parent. Denise is guilty of being a night owl, which provides ample time to feed her love of blogging and social media. She loves hiking, fixing things, crafting with her daughters, traveling, and is very passionate about clean eating.