Office & Support

Vanessa Acevedo-Lugo – Principal

Vanessa is a Teach for America alumna who received her bachelor’s degree in mass communication studies and political science from the University of California-Los Angeles. She began her teaching career teaching early childhood education ELA-S/E in the Denver Public Schools at Cole Arts and Science Academy.

During her time at Cole she served as team leader of the ECE, K and First grade team, facilitated professional development for teachers around culturally responsive pedagogy, served as a peer observer for the school’s LEAP roll out and was a member of a DPS pilot program that worked on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

In 2012 Vanessa was one of 10 educators to be honored by the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics as a Champion of Change. She has recently completed her Masters in Educational Leadership at Columbia University in New York, NY.

Room 102C | 47637 |

DCIS at Fairmont

Rebecca McKay – Assistant Principal

Becky is a Guatemala/US bi-national, and a bilingual and bicultural educational leader with a passion for working with diverse student populations.  She was born in Guatemala and lived there through age ten.  Her professional career has included teaching at the American School of Quito in Ecuador for three years and serving as a Department Coordinator and Literacy Coach at Colegio Nueva Granada in Bogota, Colombia for six years.  In Colorado, Becky has directed an Early Childhood Center, worked as a Teacher Effectiveness Coach and Dean of Instruction for Denver Public Schools, and now an Assistant Principal at DCIS at Fairmont.  She is thrilled to be working with such a vibrant community of students, families, and teachers this year!

Becky has a passion for literacy instruction and has worked closely over the years with Staff Developers at Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (Lucy Calkins).  She has also worked as a literacy consultant for schools in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Poudre School District in Colorado.

Becky earned a Bachelors of Arts in International Development from Bethel College, her Colorado K-6 Teaching License from Regis University, a Masters and Director Qualification in Early Childhood Education from CU Denver, a Post-Masters Certificate in Literacy and Coaching from the University of Dayton, and her Principal’s License from Colorado State University.  She also earned a Professional Developer Certificate with an emphasis in supporting students with special needs from the Center for Research on Learning at Kansas University.

During her free time, Becky enjoys spending time with her daughter and two sons, traveling, and reading.    

Room 102c | 47626 |

Christine Johnson – Nurse

Christine Johnson received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Metropolitan State University in May 2012.  She worked at Lutheran Medical Center on a busy surgical/orthopedic floor for three years. She most recently received her asthma educator certification in July of 2017.  Her passion is working with children and became a school nurse with DPS in August of 2015.  She loves her new role working with students while promoting health and decreasing health barriers so children can be at school.  In her spare time, she loves mountain biking, sailing and spending time with her husband and daughter!

Room 101A | 47624 |

Dayana Rebollar – Secretary

Dayana Rebollar is a Colorado native, she graduated from West High School and has worked with Denver Public Schools since 2009.  She started working as a paraprofessional in a ECE classroom, then after 6 years transitioned to working in the office.

Dayana loves carne asada fries, adventures, traveling, her family, and horse back riding.

Room Office | 47637 |

Lizzette Sanchez – Secretary

Lizzette Sanchez is a Colorado native and has worked with Denver Public Schools since 2007. She started working as a paraprofessional in a Kindergarten ELA-S classroom, then transitioned to working in the office.

Lizzette has worked in the office as a secretary since 2008 at the former Fairmont Elementary School and is very excited to be part of the new DCIS at Fairmont team. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and friends.

Room Office | 47621 |

Sherri Slaymaker – Psychologist

Sherri is a 10-year veteran of the Denver Public Schools system, where she has worked on teams focused on Reading Assessment as well as Development Kindergarten/Early Childhood Special Education and serving charter schools. Before joining DPS, she taught first grade for two years at the Jakarta International School in Indonesia and kindergarten and first grade for five years in the Guam Public School system.

Sherri holds her educational specialist degree from Seattle University and is a nationally certified school psychologist. Additionally, she holds a Master of Arts degree in reading from the University of Guam and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in secondary social student education with certification in elementary education.

Room 105B | 47680 |

Meg Zimmerman –  ISC

Meg grew up right outside of San Francisco, California. She grew up with a love for music, sports, and the outdoors. In middle school Meg started playing water polo. She played water polo and was on the swim team all through high school, and got a scholarship to play Division 1 water polo at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. Meg grew up wanting to be a teacher, and graduated with a degree in liberal studies with minors in urban education and sociology. After college Meg went to graduate school to get her teaching certification and masters in teaching at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. She joined Teach For America in Baltimore and taught 1st grade for 1 year and 5th grade for two years. In looking for a job closer to her family, Ms. Zimmerman found DCIS at Fairmont. She was a part of the founding staff as a third grade teacher. After 2 years in the classroom, Ms. Zimmerman took the position of International Studies Coordinator. She loves planning trips for students, attending overnights, and getting to know all of the kids at DCIS at Fairmont. On the weekends Ms. Zimmerman loves to travel, be outdoors, watch sports, read, and listen to music. She is an avid San Francisco Giants fan, Indianapolis Colts fan, and Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Room 102D | 47622 |

Amanda Brinton – Social Worker

Amanda is a proud Denver Public Schools (DPS) graduate from Smiley Middle School and Manual High. She will be working as our School Social Worker three days a week. Amanda worked as our Community Liaison for two years prior to this position. Amanda completed two years as an early Childhood Mental Health consultant with the Denver Great Kids HEAD Start program. She worked with staff, families, and students to prepare children to enter kindergarten confidently with the social, physical, emotional, and cognitive skills and competencies necessary for continued school success. Amanda brings an in depth knowledge of the family dynamic to DCIS with over 8 years of experience as an in-home family therapist working with adolescents and families involved in the juvenile justice system. She holds a Master of Social Work from Denver University and is a fluent Spanish speaker with 3 years of experience as a Youth Volunteer with the United States Peace Corps in Ecuador. Amanda is eager and enthusiastic to support all of our students and staff with the focus of social and emotional health.

Room 114B | 47686 |

Mark Davenport – Technology Specialist II – Website

Mr. Mark has a BA and MA in English with focuses on Philosophy, Literature, and Film.  He has worked as a Professional Writing Consultant and Instructor at the university level teaching Composition and Rhetoric and Introduction to Film.  After a short stint in academia, he was compelled to explore the world and he hit the road with an 80L backpack, best friend, and a bunch of preconceived notions.  His computer and camera kept him afloat for the better part of 3 years while he journeyed, journaled, took pictures, designed websites, and learned what the world was really about.  After a few year jaunt of living and traveling in South America and Mexico, Mr. Mark returned to Colorado to continue carrying on with his friends and family, all of whom have been here for many generations.  During his travels, studies, and employment, Mark has nurtured a continual love for technology, gadgets, computers, and cameras.  A DPS grad. himself, he loves DCIS the community, culture, and staff; it has been an easy transition back and a homecoming from his nomad life.

Room 104 | 47633 |

DCIS at Fairmont

Jillian Campbell – Community Liasion

Jillian was born in Connecticut but moved to Colorado when she was five years old.  She has spent almost all of her life in Colorado and loves it!  She loves the mountains in the summertime, especially when she gets to go camping, hiking, or horseback riding with her family.  She has had the privilege to travel to Italy, England, Australia, Fiji, Costa Rica, and Bolivia and has lived in Spain and Mexico.  She is excited to take more trips with her kids now that they are old enough!

Jillian has spent most of her professional career as a language teacher.  She has taught both English and Spanish to a wide range of ages, both here in Denver and abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico.  After teaching English classes for parents here at DCIS for the past few years, she is excited to be a part of the team as the School Community Liaison.  She is passionate about helping families feel connected to the school and will work hard to ensure that everyone feels included, informed, and welcome here at DCIS at Fairmont.

Room 105B | 47680 |


Nellie Barrett – ECE 3-4

Nellie grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. She attended the University of St. Thomas master’s program in early childhood special education. For the past five years, Nellie has lived in Chicago teaching in an early childhood special education classroom. She is excited to become part of the DCIS at Fairmont community.

Room 147 | 47656 |

Liliana Celis – ELA-S

Liliana Celis is a passionate teacher from Colombia in South America who enjoys hanging out with friends, going to the cinema and traveling. Her love for teaching started when she was very young and grew during her studies at the Universidad del Valle.

In 2010, Liliana came to Colorado and realized she wanted to spend time in this beautiful state. A few years later, she moved to the lovely and amazing city of Denver, where she teaches ECE children and enjoys learning every day about new things from the city and its people. Lily currently resides in Denver with her husband, Alexander, their dog Brissa and their new cat Ginger.

Room 149 | 47660 |

Caylee McCormick – ELA-E

This is Ms. Caylee’s third year at DCIS Fairmont. She has been teaching ECE for 5 years and spent time working with even younger children in the daycare setting before that. Ms. Caylee is from Cincinnati, Ohio. She loves being at DCIS because she has developed an appreciation for world studies through her own travels. In high school, she went on two separate mission trips to Nicaragua, where she found a love for the Spanish language. She attended college at Ohio University but spent 3 months traveling and studying abroad in Merida, Mexico. Now she lives in Evergreen and spends her time away from school fishing and floating on the river.

Room 150 | 47661 |

Karine Pitts – ELA-E

This is Karine Pitts 2nd year at DCIS Fairmont.  She has been teaching for DPS for over 25 years, mostly in the primary grades where her heart is held captive. She earned a degree in Elementary Education from Metropolitan State College and holds an Early Childhood Director credential from the State of Colorado. Teaching is Karine’s passion.

As a native to Colorado, Karine enjoys hiking, gardening and just being outdoors. She lives in Evergreen where she can take advantage of everything this beautiful state has to offer. Karine also enjoys exploring the world and spending time with family. She has been married for 27 years and has two adult children and 3 furry ones! Her daughter is a nurse and her son works in hospitality.

Karine loves animals and people of all kinds! Her home seems to be full of both most of the time. Karine helps stray animals find homes and has hosted many foreign exchange students over the years.

Room 131 | 47641 |


DCIS at Fairmont

Claudia Muñoz – ELA-S

!Hola!  I’m Claudia Muñoz and I’m the ELA-S kindergarten teacher here at DCIS at Fairmont.  I graduated from Regis University with a degree in elementary education and this is my first year teaching.  I was a paraprofessional for a few years while attending college. My first career was in finance but I felt compelled and called to follow a different path in life.  I was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and came to the United States at the age of five. I understand first-hand the struggles of not only learning a new language, but a new culture and in my everyday practice I try to insure that my students feel safe and welcomed. I’m married; my husband teaches at DCIS at Baker, where my daughter is a seventh grader.  When I’m not planning lessons or doing school related work I enjoy cheering my daughter on at her soccer games.  I also enjoy playing indoor soccer. My other hobbies are reading, writing, hiking, drawing, painting and Netflix.   I’m super excited for this year!


Room 134 | 47640 |

Kaitlin Morris – ELA-E

Kaitlin Morris has lived in California, Australia, and Texas but considers Colorado to be home now. This is Kaitlin’s second year at DCIS teaching Kindergarten. Before teaching, she worked for non-profit organizations in the Denver area. Kaitlin enjoys kayaking, traveling, reading and spending time with her family.

Room 135 | 47683 |

Maureen Sherlock – ELA-E

I am a Colorado native and grew up in the Denver Metro area.  I have lived in downtown Denver for many years and I enjoy city life but I also have a great appreciation for the mountains. I graduated with a B.A in Business Management and Economics from Western State Colorado University, in Gunnison, CO.  I held a corporate job for many years and decided I was ready for a change.  I took a job as a kindergarten paraprofessional and discovered a true passion, teaching! I went back to school and I earned an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Denver. Outside of teaching I enjoy traveling, cooking, dancing and spending quality time with family and friends.

Room 133 | 47642 |

1st Grade

DCIS at Fairmont

Leticia Arroyo – ELA-S

Leticia Arroyo was born and raised in Denver, CO.  She is a product of DPS and attended Valverde Elementary, Rishel Middle school and graduated from South High School in 2003.  She received her Bachelors Degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado in 2008.  In 2012 she received a Masters Degree in Educational, Equity, and Cultural Diversity from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  She has worked for over 10 years with DPS as a paraprofessional, ECE/Kindergarten teacher, and a reading interventionist. She enjoys spending time with her husband Vicente and their two boys Arturo and Hector.  They enjoy going to the zoo, museums, and anything to get out of the house.  She is also part of a Mexican Folkloric Group Semblanzas de Mexico. She loves to travel with her family and spend time with friends. Leticia is excited to be a part of the DCIS at Fairmont team this year!

Room 141 | 47662 |

DCIS at Fairmont

Anai Cervantes – ELA-S

Anai was born in Denver, Colorado raised in El PasoTX, and Juaréz , Chihuahua. She moved back to Denver with her family and followed her mother’s footsteps in becoming a teacher. She studied at the University of Northern Colorado with an endorsement in teaching English as a Second Language. Anai is delighted to be a part of the DCIS at Fairmont team. She enjoys traveling and visiting her family in Mexico. When she is not teaching she loves spending time with her husband and three kids going to the theaters watching the latest super hero movies and having fun outside wasting energy.

Room 141 | 47662 |

Mollie Horch – ELA-E

Mollie is from Marysville, Ohio. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in both International Studies and Spanish from Miami University. She fell in love with investigating the world when she had the privilege to study abroad her junior year in Madrid, Spain. She moved out to the great state of Colorado to serve as an AmeriCorps volunteer with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, where she realized her passion for working with little ones. She earned her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver through the Denver Teacher Residency program. Mollie loves traveling, exploring the outdoors and spending time with family and friends.

Room 139 | 47654 |

Lauren Seyfarth – ELA-E

Lauren Seyfarth grew up in Denver and Littleton, Colorado. She is always eager to learn more about the larger Denver community and feels that teaching in DPS is the best way to do that! Lauren’s interest in teaching developed through tutoring and volunteering for afterschool programs and a child advocacy center while in college at the University of Missouri. Other than just across the borders of Canada and Mexico, Lauren has only traveled to Haiti, but the relationships she has formed there influence her vision for living and teaching. As a teacher, Lauren hopes to make learning fun and meaningful, to help students understand the world by first understanding where they come from, and to develop relationships with all parts of the DCIS at Fairmont family. Some of the things that bring Lauren joy include kids, running along the Platte, sunsets, clouds, family, reading, dancing, Denver Broncos, Mizzou Tigers, sharing laughter, coffee, and being a part of DCIS at Fairmont!

Room 140 | 47655 |

2nd Grade

DCIS at Fairmont

Noha El-Shall – ELA-E

Noha El-Shall grew up in Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2011. Go Hokies! Upon moving to Denver, Noha worked as a Math Fellow for a year and then went on to earn her master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Denver. Noha is thrilled to now be a part of the DCIS community!

In her free time, Noha enjoys spending time with her friends and her fiancé and going to concerts. Noha’s family is scattered around the world. Whenever given the chance, she loves to travel both internationally and domestically.

Room 143 | 47657 |

Charley Ryder – ELA-E

Charley is a Colorado native (born and raised in Colorado Springs) and graduate of the University of Colorado — Boulder. Upon completing his undergraduate in English and Anthropology, he joined Teach For America’s 2009 corps in Phoenix, AZ. He taught for five years, as a 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th grade teacher. Through his time as an TFA corps member, Charley solidified his love of teaching and commitment to educational equity for all students. In 2011, he earned his Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University. During his summers, he has worked as a curriculum specialist for Teach For America, training incoming corps members to be effective teachers. Charley has worked in dozens of schools in many capacities for the past six years, and DCIS at Fairmont stands out to him as having the most positive school culture he has seen thus far!

Room 146 | 47659 |

DCIS at Fairmont

Karina Muro – ELA-S

Karina Muro grew up in NorthWest Denver and is a proud Denver Public Schools (DPS) graduate.  She studied at the University of Northern Colorado and has been teaching in DPS ever since. Karina is so excited to be a part of the DCIS Team!

When she is not at school, Karina loves spending time with her family camping and having picnics. She loves arts and crafts and has recently taken up photography and cross-stitching as hobbies.

Room 145 | 47658 |

Tiffany Vail – ELA-E

Tiffany Vail is a Colorado native and recently moved back to this wonderful state after a 10 year hiatus in Southern California. She attended Colorado State University and spent a semester abroad in Costa Rica. It was then that she discovered a love for traveling and experiencing new cultures. She has since spent time teaching English in Peru, traveling extensively throughout Central America, soaking up the unique culture of Cuba, and visiting countries in Europe.
Tiffany’s professional path started in Southern California where she taught various grades and then decided to make the move back to Denver and has been teaching in DPS ever since. She believes that the key to success for every student is a strong relationship between school and home. Every year she looks forward to getting to know every student and their family.
In her free time, you can find Tiffany skiing, running through the parks of Denver, attending any sporting event, traveling, or spending time with family and friends.

Room 146 | 47659 |

3rd Grade

DCIS at Fairmont

Sarah Al-Haj – ELA-E

Sarah had a very unique path to teaching. After studying nursing at James Madison University, she joined the U.S. Peace Corps and served two years in Fiji as a Community Health Empowerment Volunteer. During her time in Fiji, she found her passion for teaching and decided to change her career path upon returning home. She moved to Colorado and joined Denver Teacher Residency. Sarah was lucky enough to spend her residency year in first grade at DCIS at Fairmont with an incredible mentor and received her Masters in Education in June 2016. She believes in teaching her students about the world around them with a specific focus on social justice. This is her 2nd year teaching third grade at DCIS at Fairmont.

When she is not teaching, she enjoys hiking, gardening, yoga and learning new things. She loves poetry, traveling to new places, and trying new foods.

Room 208 | 47677 |

Amanda Mitchell – ELA-E

Amanda is a Colorado and Mile High City native. She studied political science and philosophy at the University of Colorado in Boulder. As an undergraduate, she worked as a legal intern at the U.S. Department of Justice assisting attorneys who fought to maintain Native American’s water and fishing rights.

Amanda earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of Denver and worked as a Denver Teacher Resident at Ellis Elementary School in a kindergarten classroom during the 2012-2013 school year. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys climbing mountains, practicing yoga, listening to music, and spending time exploring the many corners of the world. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for global exploration with her students at DCIS at Fairmont.

Room 209 | 47678 |

DCIS at Fairmont

Germaine Padberg – ELA S

I was born and raised in South Texas, and am now happy to call Colorado home! When I’m not teaching, I enjoy going for a hike in the mountains with my fiancé and dog, running, catching a live music show, traveling, yoga, and visiting family.

I am so excited to be the 3rd grade ELA-S teacher at DCIS at Fairmont, and am eager to work at a school that strongly believes in global perspective and awareness. Last year I taught in Montbello, and before that, in Austin, TX for 3 years. I’ve also taught Kindergarten, 1st, and 4th grade.

I received my Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Bilingual Education from The University of Texas at Brownsville. I’m looking forward to an excellent year at DCIS!

Room 207 | 47676 |

4th Grade

Jody Hunt – ELA-E

I am from Highlands Ranch, Colorado. I attended the University of Colorado (go buffs!) where I received dual degrees in Finance and Elementary Education. I spent the last year teaching Kindergarten in Thailand. I loved getting to experience new cultures, people, and delicious food in a foreign country and I’m excited to be part of an International School which values global perspective. I firmly believe that everybody is a student and everybody is a teacher. This is a vision I strive to uphold in my classroom each day. I am so happy to be a part of the DCIS team and can’t wait to spend the year in 4th grade!

In my free time I enjoy hiking, reading, running, and spending time with friends and family. I love to travel whenever I have the opportunity, and hope to visit as many countries as possible in my lifetime!

Room 202 | 47632 |

Darrick Hyland – ELA-E

Darrick is a Stanely British Primary alum who received hi bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He has taught 3rd – 5th grade for six years and also taught ESL for six years in Guatemala, Spain, and Japan. Darrick earned his master’s in Educational Psychology form the University of Denver.

Room 212 | 47672 |

Leeann Sain – ELA-S

My name is Leeann Sain and I am originally from Memphis, Tennessee. I moved to Colorado in 2012. Before I moved to Colorado I lived in the Dominican Republic for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I completed my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Denver in 2013.

I love the outdoors, and I really enjoy traveling and experiencing different cultures. My favorite things to do outdoors are rock climbing and trail running. I have traveled to many different states in the U.S and many different countries in the world. My favorite states to travel to are Wyoming and Montana, and my favorite countries I have traveled to are Ghana and the Dominican Republic. I also love animals and spending time with my family.

Room 201 | 47639 |

5th Grade

DCIS at Fairmont

Courtney Forman – ELA-S

Courtney Forman is originally from Southern California. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, a Master’s of Education, and is certified in the Strategic Instruction Model Learning Strategies. She has 15 years of experience teaching English Language Learners in grades 4th-8th in four different countries. She began her journey abroad as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay and remained in Latin America teaching at international schools in Paraguay, El Salvador, and Colombia. Courtney is very excited to be back in the United States with her family and to join the DCIS at Fairmont team as both a teacher and a parent.

Room 302 | 47631 |

DCIS at Fairmont

Amanda Heath – ELA-E

I was born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. I completed my Bachelors of Arts in Education at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City. I recently moved to Colorado, in July of 2017. I have had a blast learning about DPS and Denver through my experiences preparing to teach here. I was immediately drawn to DCIS at Fairmont and the welcoming community that is present here. I’m super excited to be a part of the DCIS at Fairmont team!

In my spare time I like to do anything that will get me outside and up in the mountains, as well as experiencing new cultures – especially through their food. Most of my spare time is spent rock climbing, hiking, wandering farmers markets and flea markets, and reading anything that I can get my hands on.

Room 205 | 47674 |

DCIS at Fairmont

Kate Simmons – ELA E

Kate hails from Fairfax, Virginia, a town just south of Washington D.C. She grew up in a large, loud, historically-sound family who encouraged her spirit of adventure and wanderlust. Before attending college, Kate took a gap year and moved to Melbourne, Australia and it was during this year that she learned teaching was the career path for her. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Inclusive Early Childhood Education and her Master of Arts in Teaching, both from James Madison University. (GO DUKES!) Over the course of her college years, Kate was able to have international teaching and internship experiences in Peru, Czech Republic, Mozambique, Uganda, and South Sudan. The mountains had always been calling her, so after graduation, she moved to Denver and taught 4th grade for three years in Denver Public Schools. This is her first year at DCIS at Fairmont and she is thrilled to join a community of such committed and globally focused individuals! Kate loves a good vanilla latte, slippers, travel writing, chocolate covered pretzels, snowshoeing, laughing, storytelling, camp fires, and the brilliant light bulb of a kid finally understanding a new learning!

Room 204 | 47673 |




DCIS at Fairmont

Kim Tarte – ELA-E

Kim was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to finish high school and then moved to the NC Blue Ridge Mountains to go to college for Special Education. After graduating, she taught in NC for a couple of years and then moved to Germany to teach as a reading interventionist for 9 months. When she returned from Germany, she moved to Denver with her husband and joined the DCIS at Fairmont team. She has a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and hopes to open a special education school one day! In her free time, she likes to play volleyball, snowboard, and do yoga.

Room 110 | 47647 |


Brooke Reeves – PE

Brooke Reves is a DPS graduate with a degree in education from the University of Kansas. After college, she played professional basketball in Europe for nine years. Brooke helped start a nonprofit girls basketball and leadership camp in northern Uganda called Gulu GO.

Brooke is passionate about connecting young people to their physical potentials, and incorporating fitness and health into fun activities. She loves to travel and teach others about the world we live in. She is excited about teaching physical education and being connected to the DCIS at Fairmont community.

Room 107 | 47666 |

Jessica Stellish – Art

I am practically a Colorado Native, as I was born in Minnesota but spent my teenage years and beyond here in the beautiful mountain air! I received my Bachelors of the Fine Arts from Colorado State University with my Certification to teach from Metropolitan State University of Denver. I have been an art educator in Denver Public Schools since 2010 and I love bringing joy, building confidence and spreading the creative spirit through the process of art-making.  In my own time, I enjoy dancing, crafting, painting, playing games and spending time with my husband, my son and our three dogs: Naes, Electra and Sassy.

Room 206 | 47675 |

DCIS at Fairmont

Kegan Warring – Music

My name is Kegan Warring and I am the new music teacher here at DCIS at Fairmont.  I studied Jazz Studies and Music Education at the Conservatory of Music and Dance in Kansas City. I’ve been having an absolute blast teaching here and I can’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on.
A little about me, I grew up on a small vineyard in eastern Kansas and go back every summer to help my family. Last summer we built a barn! I spend most of time writing and performing music but when I’m not doing that I am usually drawing, rock climbing or skiing.

Room 111 | 47646 |


DCIS at Fairmont

Elizabeth Buddenhagen – Intervention


Hometown: Silver Spring MD – Washington, DC
Education:  BA Spanish, BA Education, MA Education: ESL. Earning a doctorate of education (EdD) in Leadership for Educational Equity – Latino Learners & Communities
Interests: Reading, socializing, gardening, spending time with family and pets
I became a teacher because I struggled in elementary school and I wanted to help children who had similar difficulties. I love working with culturally and linguistically diverse students and families. I am married to a fellow DPS teacher. Together we have three children in middle and high school. I am thrilled to be a new member of the DCIS at Fairmont team, teaching bilingual students and supporting ELA-S teachers!

Room Basement | 47636 |

Kori Leaman-Miller – ELA-S

Kori Leaman-Miller, born and raised in rural Ohio, always longed to see more of the world. She has been fortunate to have lived in Haiti, China, France and Greece. In the late 1980s, Kori also lived for four years in war-torn El Salvador, serving, along with her husband, as a volunteer with Mennonite Central Committee.

After the war, the Leaman-Millers moved in Denver to raise their two boys. When her youngest started second grade, Kori began teaching in DPS. Years later, Kori still delights in working with and learning from inquisitive kindergarten children and their families. Kori also enjoys traveling with her family, playing volleyball, falling asleep while reading, and trying to keep up with her husband of thirty years on her bike. (She can’t.)

Room 134 | 47640 |

Gina Livingston – Reading

Gina Livingston has been teaching early elementary school for nine years.  Gina has her Bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire and her Masters of Education from the University of Colorado. She joined Teach for America in 2008.  After her two year commitment, she decided to make a life long career out of teaching.  Gina currently is a reading interventionist here at DCIS at Fairmont. Gina loves inspiring young minds to be life-long readers and learners.  When not at school, Gina enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling!  She spends lots of time with her 9 year old soon and her dog, Wisco.  On Sundays you can definitely find Gina cheering on her Green Bay Packers!

Basement | 47638 |

Renee Nabors – Math

I am so happy to be back for a second year as a math fellow at DCIS at Fairmont. I am a Denver native who attended Lakewood High School. I graduated from CU-Boulder with a Bachelor’s in International Affairs with a minor in Education and I’m currently pursuing elementary certification and a Master of Arts in Teaching with Relay Graduate School of Education. On the weekends, I love disc golfing, cooking, adrenaline-seeking, and reading. I’m learning so much from DCIS at Fairmont and look forward to seeing my students every day!

Room 104 | 47633 |

DCIS at Fairmont

Bette Roberts – ELD

This is my first year working at DCIS at Fairmont, and I couldn’t be happier to be part of this amazing community. It will be my fourth year in DPS, but my sixth year as a teacher. I am from a small farm-town in Illinois, but life has taken me to many places. I’ve lived in Florida, Spain, Arizona, and finally Denver, where I plan to stay. In between, I’ve traveled to over 20 countries and almost every state! I love learning about and experiencing different cultures, speaking new languages, and eating delicious foods around the world.

I went to Florida Gulf Coast University where I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish with a minor in Education. I spent my first year out of college teaching first grade English in a public school in Murcia, Spain. When I returned to the U.S.A., I strengthened my teaching skills and taught 8th grade Reading for a year in Phoenix, AZ. Afterwards, I moved to Denver, Colorado where I continued to pursue my passion for teaching English to second language learners.

As an educator, I am committed to keeping learning fun and interesting, to teach students to be inquisitive and explore the world around them, to embrace diversity, to reach their goals, follow their hearts, and to never give up, to help the community and the world we live in become a better place, and to make sure they feel safe and cared for every day.

When I’m not teaching, I enjoy reading, gardening, hiking, biking, yoga, running, climbing, camping, cooking, singing and playing my ukulele, spending time with family, playing with my rescued dog, Gustav, and traveling to distant lands!

Room 104 | 47633 |

Stephanie Thielen – GT

Stephanie Thielen is a Colorado native and has been in working education for over 10 years.  She played volleyball for Regis University where she earned her undergraduate degree in English and Psychology with minors in Elementary Education and Special Education.  She earned her masters degree from the University of Colorado at Denver in Math and Science Curriculum and Instruction. Her experience includes a variety of different teaching positions ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade.  She has a passion for finding enriching ways to bring learning to life for her students.  She loves building strong lasting relationships with students and their families.

In her free time she can be found outside exploring with her husband, daughter, and dog.  Her favorite activities include hiking, camping, skiing, volleyball, riding her bike, gardening, organizing and baking.

Basement | 47643 |

Stephanie Walker – Reading Intervention/Literacy Specialist

Stephanie Walker is originally from Maryland and has been teaching at DCIS at Fairmont for 9 years (4 years in reading intervention and the rest in ECE/kindergarten). She graduated from Wake Forest University with an undergraduate degree in Nonprofit Business Management, and earned an MA in South Asian Studies from the University of London and an MA in Teaching and Curriculum from the University of Colorado.
Her two children, Frank (age 3) and Joanie (age 4) attend ECE at DCIS at Fairmont. She and her husband have been in Denver for 9 years and previously lived in London, New Zealand, and Japan. Outside of school, she loves being outdoors, traveling and of course, reading. She loves being a part of the DCIS community and having the opportunity to work with our amazing students at all grade levels.

Basement | 47629 |


Betsy Chappell

“Ms. Betsy” is from the small southeast Kansas town of Coffeyville. She attended the University of Kansas (KU-the home of the Jayhawks!!) where she received her Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) with a minor degree in Audiology. She graduated in 1987. Ms. Betsy and her husband Jim and their family of six children (plus one adopted daughter) lived in Lawrence, Kansas until 2002 when they moved to Colorado. Ms. Betsy spent sixteen years as an at-home mom before returning to her practice as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the fall of 2009 when she joined DPS and was assigned as the SLP at Fairmont Dual Immersion Academy. As Fairmont has transitioned to become DCIS at Fairmont, Ms. Betsy is honored to be continuing in her ninth year there as an SLP working with students of all ages who need extra support with speech, language and communication skills.
Being part of an international community has always been important to Ms. Betsy. She was a college exchange student in Japan and she has hosted exchanged students from Germany and Korea throughout the years. She has also chaperoned high school students travelling throughout Italy.
Little known facts about Ms. Betsy:
*She has 5 grandkids.
*She loves baseball and basketball and is a serious University of Kansas Jayhawk college basketball fan!
*She lives in downtown Denver and works part-time during weekends for the Denver Convention and Visitor’s Bureau in the Tourist Information Center, advising visitors about things to see and do in Denver and the surrounding areas.
*Her favorite hobbies are cooking and exploring new recipes, reading good books, crafting and bargain hunting at garage sales and thrift stores.

Room 108B | 47665 |

DCIS at Fairmont

Matthew Thornton – Mild Moderate

This is Mr. Thornton’s 5th year in DPS and he is extremely excited to join the DCIS @ Fairmont team. Mr. Thornton has been a teacher for 15 years and has taught everything from Kindergarten to Physical Education. Mr. Thornton Graduated in 2000 from Colorado State University with a degree in Exercise and Sport Science and a minor in Education where he was on the dean’s high honor roll from a 4.o GPA. Additionally, Mr. Thornton received his Master’s degree in Special education from the University of Northern Colorado in 2010. Mr. Thornton was even nominated for Boulder County Teacher of the Year in 2002. Mr. Thornton is originally from Irondequoit, NY and moved to Colorado in 1995. Mr. Thornton has 3 young daughters and enjoys spending time with friends and family.  At DCIS @ Fairmont, will be working as a Mild/Moderate special education teacher and is passionate about supporting children with various needs and abilities to tap into their full potential.

Room 136 | 47653 |

DCIS at Fairmont

Rebecca Stephan – Mild Moderate

Rebecca grew up in Littleton, Colorado and this is her first year at Denver Public Schools. She is a member of Teach for America Colorado. Rebecca enjoys studying languages, anthropology and history and is also learning how to sew, garden, read music, and speak Arabic and Spanish! Rebecca has traveled throughout northern and eastern Europe with her family, as well as Central America and Southeast Asia, and is so excited to be a part of an internationally-minded community like DCIS at Fairmont.

Room 142 | 47685 |

Jenny Leon – Mild Moderate

Ms. Jenny is super excited to begin her second year teaching at DCIS at Fairmont.  Jenny was born and raised in Southern California but loves the Rocky Mountains as much as she loves the Pacific Ocean! Jenny obtained her undergraduate degree from California State University, Northridge and her MA in Education from Loyola Marymount University.  Prior to joining DPS, she taught multiple grades in Los Angeles, California.  When not teaching, Jenny enjoys reading, traveling, biking, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Room 142 | 47685 |


Sheri Armijo – ECE

Room 150 | 47661 |

Yeni Garcia – MI-S

Room 110 | 47647 |

Kathy Givan – Library

Kathy is the librarian at Fairmont. She was previously a 5th grade teacher and a media specialist at Phillips Elementary in the Park Hill area. She was lucky enough to have Mark Davenport as one of her 5th grade students.
She was also a technology teacher at Slavens Elementary in the Southern Hills area.

Room 105 | 47667 |

Megan Honeywell – ECE 3-4

Room 147 | 47656 |

Johanna Honma – ECE 4

I’m Johanna Honma. I was born in Lima, Peru. My grandparents inmigrated from Japan to Peru during the WWII. I moved to Denver in 2007.  I love Colorado even though I miss the my friend and food.
I’ve been an ECE para since 2007.
In my free time i like to watch movies, I enjoy hiking and grilling with my family.
We are 5 in my family, my husband, my 2 sons and my dog.

Room 149 | 47660 |

Gabrielle Kennedy – MI-S

Room 110 | 47647 |

Tina Mendoza – ECE 4

I’m Tina L. Mendoza. I was born in Pueblo, CO.  I moved to Denver when I was 2. I have 2 brother and a sister. I came to Fairmont for Kinder and 3rd grade. I graduated from West high school and did my general studies at Metro state. I worked with at risk youth at Youth Passages  and then worked with pregnant teens at Florence Crittenton and then decided try 3-4 year olds. I love working with this age group.  I have 3 kids, Carlos my oldest is 19. Jacqueline is my middle child is 14 and my youngest is 11 and he’s Jorge.

Room 131 | 47641 |

Roxana Recendiz – 1st Grade

Room 139 | 47654 |

Rosa Sanchez – ECE 3-4

Room 147 | 47657 |

Darlene Sandoval – MI-S

Room 110 | 47647 |

Valeriana Sloan – ECE 3-4

Room 147 | 47656 |

Lance Subia – Kinder

Room 133 | 47640 |

Virginia Winn – Kinder

Room 135 | 47683


Guadalupe DeHernandezCastillo – Facilities

Basement | 47628 |

Jeffery Leija – Facilities Manager

Basement | 47628 |

Amanda Vigil – Facilities

Basement | 47628 |


Lilian Romero – Lunchroom Manager

Lunchroom | 47627 |

Discovery Link

Lupie Nunez – Coordinator

Room 121B | 47627 |