Meet Our Dedicated Team

 

Administration

Lucas Ketzer

Lucas Ketzer

Head of School

Lucas has been working in Denver area schools for the last 15 years. He is deeply committed to social justice and has a passion for serving and working with young people. Lucas started his career in education teaching middle school math and science. He earned his Principal license through the University of Colorado-Denver and opened RiseUp Community School, a DPS charter school to serve students that had dropped out or were counseled out of school. Lucas is extremely honored to join the Horizons community and is looking forward to empowering students, teachers, and parents to drive the mission and vision of the school. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, mountain biking, cross country skiing, and cooking.

Karen Wolfer

Karen Wolfer

Assistant Head of School

Karen is thrilled to be joining the Horizons Family as Assistant Head of School this year.  Karen has more than 20 years of teaching and leadership experience in education, but this is the first year she won’t be teaching in addition to leading.  A native of Colorado, she grew up in New Mexico and calls both states home. She is proud of her family which includes her husband, four teenage kids, and four dogs.  Together they enjoy the outdoors in the form of hiking, camping, baseball, softball, and football. A rabid Avalanche, Bronco, and Cubs fan, if Karen isn’t cheering on her teams she is probably running or reading.  She can’t wait to meet every member of the Horizon community and see how she can serve and support our students and families.

Maggie Anderson

Maggie Anderson

School Support, Office Manager, Registrar & Webmaster

Maggie is so grateful for the opportunity to serve the Horizons community this year in the front office. She loved getting to know everyone as the Health Room Para last year and is looking forward to learning this new role and all of its complexities. Maggie has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with minors in Religious Studies and Business from Missouri State University. She completed her master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Tennessee. When she isn’t working or chasing her kids, she enjoys hiking, biking, reading, writing, music, and exploring the world around her.

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.

Fran Orman Cohen

Fran Orman Cohen

1/2 Teacher

Fran Orman Cohen is joining the 1-2 team with over 20 years in education!  Her 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, school facilitator and consultant, literacy interventionist, and general education teacher.  Most recently, Fran served as Horizons’ MTSS coordinator/GT advisor/504 and Literacy Interventionist.   She is grateful to be returning to the simple joys of the classroom.  Fran enjoys spending time with her family outdoors hiking, biking, camping and skiing.  She also loves yoga and dancing and recently became a Registered Yoga Teacher and SEL facilitator.

Tali Shapiro

Tali Shapiro

1/2 Teacher

Tali received her BA in Elementary Education and English as a Second Language at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Last year, she moved to Boulder and had the opportunity to join the Horizons community teaching Kindergarten! This year, she is teaching first and second grade. She is so grateful to be at Horizons again and celebrating her fifth year teaching! Tali is also pursuing her Masters at CU-Boulder in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity.  In her free time, Tali enjoys running, hiking, climbing, and spending time with friends and family.

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

Emmy has been teaching at Horizons since 2016.  She has a B.A. in sociology and music and a M.A. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Denver.  Her teaching career started in 2014.  She was born and raised in Boulder and is a graduate of Horizons.  Emmy spends her free time hiking, traveling, enjoying music, cooking, and reading.

Mia Seymour

Mia Seymour

3/4 Teacher

Mia is originally from NY and has been living in CO for over 10 years. She has a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction and has been in education as a classroom teacher (grades 3-8) and instructional coach for over 15 years teaching in Mexico, Thailand, TX, and CO. After taking some time off to raise her daughter, Liana, she is excited to be back in the classroom. Mia also teaches group fitness classes at Mecha and runs Spartan races for fun. She loves adventures of all kinds, traveling, hiking, cooking, and playing with her daughter.

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.

Rachel Clionsky

Rachel Clionsky

5/6 Teacher

Rachel joined the Horizons community in 2016. She has twelve years in the classroom that have given her time to discover her passion for student-centered education with a focus on social and emotional learning. Rachel earned a BA in Biology from UNCW and an MA in Math and Science Education from CU. Her husband, Amir, is also a teacher and they love to play outdoors climbing, hiking, biking, and trail running.

7&8 Grades

Jim Freund

Jim Freund

7/8 Math teacher and Advisory

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 Advisory

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 Language Arts Teacher and Advisory

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.

Caley Gallison

Caley Gallison

7/8 Science Teacher & Advisory

Caley is passionate about helping young learners experience the world through a scientific lens. She loves asking questions and has a curiosity for the natural world. She has a BA in Biology from Colorado College and first entered the education world in the field of environmental education in multiple national parks and countries. Caley enjoys spending time outside in numerous capacities including skiing, hiking, swimming, biking and reading.  

Ryan Conrad

Ryan Conrad

7/8 Social Studies 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

Kate Bachtel

Kate Bachtel

SPED Teacher/Gifted Coordinator

Kate is passionate about individualized and meaningful instruction. Her parents were educators and she inherited their whole child approach to teaching and social justice genes. She has a master's in education from CU Boulder (educational equity and cultural diversity) and a doctorate from DU (curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in gifted). Kate also loves hiking, cycling, and writing poetry. She meditates daily.

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.

Shoshana Zerbock

Shoshana Zerbock

Middle School Special Ed. Resource Teacher

Shoshana is excited to join the Horizons team after moving to Boulder from Gainesville, Florida! While in Gainesville, they received a bachelor's in special education and a master's in early childhood education from UF. Shoshana is passionate about disability justice and equity in education and seeks to create learning experiences that are accessible to all. In their spare time, they enjoy reading, live music, spending time with their cats, and being outside.

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!

Music Teacher

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

Carlye Cole

Carlye Cole

Physical Education teacher

Carlye is an experienced teacher who loves to travel and play games. She previously taught in Taiwan as a kindy and ESL teacher and has taught yoga locally and abroad since 2014.  She has a B.S. in Health and Human Performance and is an E-RYT 500.  Students can expect during P.E. to have positive experiences being physically active, problem solving with their peers, and demonstrating leadership.  She spends much of her time outdoors with her dog and husband and enjoys disc golf, playing chess, and trying to keep plants alive.

Maegan McCardle

Maegan McCardle

Math Interventionist

Maegan is excited to be joining the Horizons community as a ParaEducator in Emmy’s 3/4 grade class and proud parent of a 6th grader.  She holds a B.A. in Ecology and Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont, as well as a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University.  She has an extensive background in classroom teaching (Grades 2-8), private tutoring, curriculum development, and environmental education / program directing.  Maegan grew up in Maine and has lived in many different states including Georgia, Vermont, California, Virginia and now Colorado.  She loves hiking, dancing, skiing, and spending time with her three children.  

Carol Schwendener

Carol Schwendener

STEAM Coordinator

Originally from California, Carol began her career teaching middle school math, science, and K-8 technology after moving to Boulder in 2005. Prior to pursuing her teaching credential, Carol studied Biology at UC Berkeley and Soil Science at Cornell University. While soil science may not sound exciting to everyone, studying soils and sustainable agriculture in the Brazilian Amazon allowed for plenty of adventures, including learning Portuguese and spotting anacondas. Carol loves problem-solving with her students, creating authentic learning opportunities, and teaching students to be risk-takers in their learning.  Outside the classroom, she enjoys swimming, skiing, tennis, baking, or reading, especially when accompanied by her husband and two daughters.

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.

Kim Welch

Kim Welch

Counselor & Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Coordinator

Kim is delighted to join the Horizons community as the School Counselor and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Coordinator. Kim has her MA in Counseling Psychology and School Counseling. She began her work as a counselor in 2010 and is passionate about supporting the social emotional wellness of children and families. She is excited to bring her skillset to the Horizons community as a resource to students, families and staff. Kim believes that social emotional learning is important in education, and that providing opportunities for social emotional growth and development is an integral part of helping students learn to successfully navigate school and life. In her free time Kim enjoys spending time in the beautiful outdoors of Colorado with her husband and two children, hiking, paddleboarding, swimming, and skiing.

Speech Language

Kal Stumpf

Kal Stumpf

Occupational Therapist

Kathleen (Kal) Stumpf received her Occupational Therapy doctorate degree from Thomas Jefferson University in 2014 with a specialty autism practice certification and research around Skill Building for Parents of Children with Disabilities. She has worked for over 30 years as an occupational therapist in a variety of settings, primarily in schools, though she has both professional and personal experience in assisting caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease. Kal also worked for over 6 years in a large hospital in a pediatric acute/rehabilitation setting. In addition to her OTD, she earned an M.S. in Educational Psychology-Learning and Development in 1989. Kal teaches a course for CSU in the OT department to ensure professional connections in the field. Kal was born in Milwaukee, WI and spent 25 years in the state after growing up in the Chicago area. Kal and her husband enjoy cycling on the gravel and road, hiking, and their German short hair, Jake. They travel back to Wisconsin every summer to enjoy the lakes and visit their 3 adult children  

Para Educators

Jamie Hegelbach

Jamie Hegelbach

Kindergarten 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.

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.

Sarah Arabian

Sarah Arabian

1/2 ParaEducator

Sarah & family traded Chicago skyscrapers for the mountains of Colorado. She joined the Horizons community as an eager parent volunteer, liaison, and even para substitute from kinder through 8th-grade before joining as paraeducator during one of the craziest of school years. She holds a BBA in Accounting and is also a certified EFT (Tapping) Practitioner. She believes deeply in the whole-child learning approach, as experienced through her eldest children’s start with Montessori, and continues to see this need met here at Horizons. She loves supporting students with a mindful, heart-centered way of becoming critical thinkers and readers always striving to improve themselves and our world. Outside of school Sarah can be found cooking, gardening, or diving into another pile of books or docuseries.
 

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.

Melissa Spirko

Melissa Spirko

1/2 Para Educator

Melissa loves being part of the amazing Horizons community!  She joined the team as a 5/6 Para in 2018.  The following year she moved to the 1/2 team where, in addition to being a classroom Para, she’s been fortunate to have the rich experience of teaching small groups in math intervention and OG literacy.  Melissa graduated from Rutgers in 1998 with a BA in English Literature and American Studies, and she is passionate about reading and literacy.  She is trained in Orton-Gillingham and takes great joy in witnessing young learners transform into independent readers. When not at school, Melissa loves to garden with her husband and her daughter (who attends Horizons), see live music, kayak, read in her hammock, and spend hours solving all types of puzzles.

Sally Holmes

Sally Holmes

1/2 ParaEducator

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.

Brooke Bell

Brooke Bell

3/4 Paraeducator

Brooke joined the parent community in 2011 and currently has an 8th-grade daughter and 5th-grade son at Horizons. She co-founded the Horizons Community Group and was a substitute teacher at Horizons for many years before joining Adam’s 3/4 classroom.  She holds an initial CO teaching license and a masters in Educational Psychology from CU Denver. She strongly believes in supporting a child’s growth through their own passions, giving them voice and choice, while maintaining an emotionally supportive and caring learning environment. When she is not at school she is most likely chauffeuring her children to activities, cooking, or attempting to meditate.

Jannell Eagan

Jannell Eagan

3/4 Para Educator

2020 is Jannell's first year as a paraprofessional for grades 3/4.  She is helping in Mia Seymore's class and is delighted to be able to meet and help support the teachers and students at Horizons. She graduated from High School in Ohio and attended college at Indiana University where she studied Psychology and Linguistics.  She taught English as a Second Language and trained to be a yoga teacher. Jannell has 4 grown children, ages 30, 28,26, and 22.
She lives in Louisville and loves the Boulder County Community of people and all the beauty of being near the mountains. Currently, she is teaching yoga to Veterans at VA hospitals all over Colorado, as well as for different support groups through hospitals for people with cancer and other afflictions.

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.

Ellen Hatch

Ellen Hatch

3/4 Para Educator

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 Arts & Sciences at Horizons for over 8 years.  Her hobbies are hiking and yoga.

Cynthia Yost

Cynthia Yost

5/6 ParaEducator

A veteran 6th grade social studies, language arts and reading teacher at one of Colorado's largest, most diverse middle schools, Cynthia made the decision to stay at home this year to support her 5 very active kiddos. After one summer of running those active kiddos all over Boulder County to sporting events and band camps, obsessing over the cleanliness of her house and spending way too much time (and money) at Target, she (and her husband) rethought the decision to stay at home. They are both thrilled that she has decided to stick with what she loves: education and is now a member of the Horizons K8 staff as a 5/6 paraeducator! In addition to her teaching experience, Cynthia brings a passion and enthusiasm for guiding diverse populations of students to recognize their academic and personal potentials. She loves dancing (Zumba these days), decorating her home, and date nights with her husband, as well as the usual teacher interests: reading and traveling, especially about and to historical places.

Lucie Uhr

Lucie Uhr

5/6 ParaEducator

Lucie has lived in Boulder her whole life and is both excited and grateful to be joining the Horizons community this year as a 5/6 Para. She is currently working towards getting her BA in elementary education before one day becoming a teacher! She has been working as a nanny and childcare professional for 5 years and is passionate about facilitating a safe, engaging, and supportive learning environment!

Drew Card

Drew Card

5/6 Para Educator

I grew up in Colorado and studied Philosophy at CU. I love learning and am of the mindset that there's always something to learn or gain from our experiences. I want to teach someday and aim to teach philosophy at the high school level. I believe that it's best just before young adults set out into the world on their own to tackle existential questions and other philosophical issues. In my spare time I still really enjoy talking to others about abstract ideas and life in general, but I also like to play video games with friends, read, and simply enjoy nature.

Noga Yakobi

Noga Yakobi

K-5 Special Ed Paraeducator

Noga Medini Yakobi grew up in Israel and has called Boulder home for the last four years, along with her husband and three boys. She holds a bachelor's in education and teaching (and also majored in teaching dance) and a master's in movement therapy. She is a creative and enthusiastic teacher who has experience teaching diverse learners in a variety of contexts. She loves working with kids of all ages from early childhood through teenagers (and even adults) and has formal classroom experience working as a teacher for special needs. She also has experience working with kids as a youth counselor and a dance teacher. Her approach to education is focused on the student, helping to create personal identity and a sense of community. 

Shailaja Subramanian

Shailaja Subramanian

7/8 ParaEducator, 7/8 SpEd ParaEducator

Shyla is thrilled to be continuing her journey with the Horizons community this year! She holds a Bachelors degree from Georgia State University with a major in Finance and a Masters degree from CU Boulder with a major in Telecommunications. She brings over 7 years of experience working as an instructional para educator and also a substitute teacher in BVSD. Educating and interacting with young minds is where her heart truly lies! Shyla continues to inspire and teach students to have their own freedom to learn and be a responsible and compassionate citizen giving back to their community to the best of their abilities. Apart from being a paraprofessional Shyla is also a certified yoga instructor who truly believes in the healing benefits of yoga and she enjoys teaching yoga to her amazing clients and around her community! Outside of school, Shyla enjoys cooking, watching movies, hiking and loves spending time with her husband and daughter.

Chandra Hardwicke

Chandra Hardwicke

Health Para

I grew up in British Columbia, Canada but have called Colorado home since 1996. Shortly after graduating from the University of Victoria with a BA in Political Science and Fine Arts, I headed to Colorado to live the dream. I have spent over 20 years in the field of Outdoor Education, culminating in a stint as the Program Director for Outward Bound California. I am best described as a developer of human potential - my passion is helping people recognize their abilities and empowering them to reach new heights! After moving to Boulder to start a family in 2012 (I have two boys in Elementary School) it was clear my adventuring needed to happen closer to home. I started my own business and after volunteering in the classroom, began working as a paraeducator at Community Montessori in the Children's House. I love skiing, trail jogging, open water swimming, and watching the antics of our two cats, Blitzen and Magic Muffin. I am thrilled to be joining the team at Horizons and look forward to offering caring and compassionate care to our school community.

Office Staff

Kimberly King Poplawski

Kimberly King Poplawski

K-8 Classroom Support Teacher & Substitute

Kim has been a part of the Horizons community since 2008, both as a parent and as a teacher. She has two graduates of the school, and helped to co-found the Horizons Community Group while they were there. Kim currently serves as a classroom support teacher and substitute teacher in all grade levels, K-8. She earned her B.A. in English and German from Colby College, and her M.A. in Instruction and Curriculum from CU-Boulder. Kim enjoys spending time with her family bicycling, playing games, hiking, and camping. Other interests include creative writing, photography, embroidery, travel, and reading.

Hilary Merina

Hilary Merina

Payroll Tech & Budget

Originally from Redondo Beach, California, Hilary spent 9 years as a Financial Analyst at Harvard's teaching hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. She earned an economics degree from Colorado College and knew, at some point, the incredible mountains would draw her back. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, exploring the outdoors, and trying to keep up with her three growing kids.

Desiree Slavick

Desiree Slavick

School Finance & Budget

Desiree is a new employee here at Horizon's and will be filling the bookkeeping and budgeting role for us.  She recently joins us from the Division of Banking where she audited banks and trust companies.  Previous to returning to her professional career as a regulatory banker, Desiree worked at another Boulder Valley elementary school as a para-educator primarily helping the children with their literacy skills.  Her fond experience with nurturing children is what brought her back to the school district.  Desiree's favorite hobbies include tennis, hiking, horses as well as spending time with her two grown sons, husband, and pets.

Enrichment

Jeanne Kipke

Jeanne Kipke

Enrichment Coordinator

Jeanne Kipke retired from teaching at Horizons at the end of the 2015 school year. Since retiring, she has been delighted to run Horizons' after school program, allowing her to continue to connect with former students as well as meet more and more each year. Jeanne's other interests include all things related to art. She is the current president of the Boulder Art Association, loves to paint, draw and sculpt with various mediums. and loves encouraging artistic expression with students of all ages. Jeanne also writes fantasy and poetry (and occasionally fills the school's Poetry Door with an assortment of poetry). She is looking forward to connecting with Horizons' children each year - and enjoying each day as much as possible!

Kree Thawley

Kree Thawley

After Care

Kree is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area but has been in Colorado for 13 years now. She holds a Bachelor’s in Art History from CU Boulder, a Bench Jeweler Technician Diploma from Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, and she is currently working toward a Master’s in Art Leadership and Cultural Management from Colorado State University. Through her coursework, community projects, and volunteer + internship opportunities, she has found a passion for exploring creativity as a tool for empowerment in informal and experiential learning environments and aims to continue navigating concepts of equity, advocacy, and accessibility in the realm of arts and culture. In her free time, she enjoys making art, seeing live music, adventuring outdoors, and traveling the world.

Drew Card

Drew Card

Enrichment Teacher & 5/6 ParaEducator

I grew up in Colorado and studied Philosophy at CU. I love learning and am of the mindset that there's always something to learn or gain from our experiences. I want to teach someday and aim to teach philosophy at the high school level. I believe that it's best just before young adults set out into the world on their own to tackle existential questions and other philosophical issues. In my spare time I still really enjoy talking to others about abstract ideas and life in general, but I also like to play video games with friends, read, and simply enjoy nature.

Custodial

Daniel Acosta

Daniel Acosta

Head Custodian

Daniel Acosta was born in Guadalajara Mexico. He came to the United States of America in 2007. He graduated from Boulder High School to later join a landscaping work team where he worked for six years. Daniel likes to run out to the mountains with his wife. and son.  He likes to play soccer He enjoys every day with positivity

Marcos Trujillo

Marcos Trujillo

PM Custodian