Joe is excited to serve as the principal of Montview Elementary for a third year! He has been in education for 30 years as a teacher, assistant principal, program director, and principal. Originally from Louisiana, Joe has also taught and served in Arizona, Denver, and Aurora as an AP at Century Elementary. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Louisiana Tech University, principal licensure through the University of Phoenix and Adams State, and a Master’s degree in education from Goddard College. Joe currently lives in Denver with wife Carey and his two youngest children: Macland (16) and Addison (12). He also has three adult children and two grandchildren. In his free time, Joe enjoys skiing, running, reading, and being in nature!
Hannah LeCount serves as Montview's Assistant Principal. She taught 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades and also served as an IB Coordinator and an Instructional Coach. She has her M.Ed. from Boston University and a B.A. in Economics & Spanish from Bucknell University. She attended the University of Denver for her Educational Leadership license. What has always inspired Hannah to teach and lead in education is supporting and growing students and teachers so that they can achieve whatever it is they put their mind to. Students surpassing their goals and going beyond what they thought possible is a magical moment that makes this work inspiring and fulfilling.
Susan Gershwin is Montview Elementary’s Community School Coordinator. She is thrilled to be part of this community. Before joining the Montview team, she coordinated Paris Elementary School’s community hub from 2019-2023. She is passionate about supporting family voice and engagement, building enrichment opportunities for students, and developing a sustainable community of strategic partners.
Outside of APS, Susan has worked with refugees and immigrants in various education and advocacy roles for more than 20 years. She has a graduate certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy from Portland State University and a B.A. from the University of Puget Sound.
Celeste Richardson - Dean of Students
Bio coming soon!
Maria Gonzalez - Student Engagement Advocate
Maria Gonzalez is Montview Elementary’s Advocate Student Engagement coordinator. She is very excited to be a part of this community. Before joining Montview Elementary, Maria worked as the founding front office manager for DSST Conservatory Green HS in Denver, she founded that school from 2017 to 2023, she created a welcoming, comfortable, and loving school environment where students, parents and staff felt safe, heard, and appreciated. She is passionate about advocating, supporting and empowering students, parents, staff, and the community to be the best version of themselves.
Maria has worked with students, families, and the community outside of the school system in various areas of human services and mental health with a plethora of community resource knowledge for more than 20 years. She is a first-generation graduate with both a bachelor’s in human services and a master’s in counseling.
I love going on trips, spending time with my family and going on nature walks.
Front Office Support
I was born in California and have lived in different states but I’ve lived in Colorado for most of my life. I prefer the cold seasons and hate the summer heat! I’ve worked for APS for 11 years. I love all genres of music although I’m a rocker at heart. I also love anime and I’m well versed in movies. My favorite movie is Gladiator and my favorite character is Jack Skellington. The most important thing in my life is my baby named Zeus who’s a German Shepherd and my family.
I have 3 beautiful girls. I have lived in Colorado all my life. I love going on trips and spending time with my family. I was a medical assistant for 16 years, with the majority of those years in a pediatric practice. I enjoy doing photography on my free time and am always open to learning something new.
Jennifer Dunn RN serves as the school Nurse at Montview. This is Jennifer's 9th year working as a School Nurse. She specializes in caring for students with Type 1 Diabetes. Jennifer grew up in Scotland, where she attended high school and Nursing School. She has lived in Colorado for 25 years and loves the outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer. Jennifer and her dog Cosmo love to hike together.
Hello, My name Is Dawn Reese and I have lived in Colorado my whole life and would not change it for anything. I have raised two children and have the most amazing grandchildren, Jordan (12) and Jaedyin (3). I will be celebrating 31 years of marriage this year to a pretty wonderful guy. I have been working with the Boys and Girls Club for over four years. I was asked to join the family of Montview and know now where my purpose falls. I have a lifetime full of working with children off and on and love it. It is truly a Blessing and I am glad that I have this opportunity.
Danny was born in St. Louis, MO but was raised in Aurora and Firestone, CO. She has 10 years of teaching experience, most in preschool. She received her teacher's license at the University of Colorado Denver. She was inspired to become a teacher by her mom, a professor, and her two wonderful nephews, who have taught her the love of younger children. She is now motivated to earned a Master's in Educational Leadership with Special Education to help coach teachers in the art of leading a great classroom. She has worked at Montview for five years and is excited to be in Kindergarten again this year!
Jasmine Cruz was born in California and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a first-generation student. She was the first to graduate from high school and college in her family. She graduated from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs with a Bachelor’s degree in Inclusive Elementary Education and an endorsement in Culturally Linguistic Diverse Education. This is her third year teaching Kindergarten at Montview. Jasmine enjoys spending time with family and friends, going on hikes, and baking desserts.
My name is Kelli Mattox and I am so excited to join Montview as a First Grade teacher. I am a Georgia native, and I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Oglethorpe University and a Master of Arts degree in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder. I enjoy reading, hiking, and traveling. I am the mother of two adult sons and the sweetest English Bulldog, Gracie. I look forward to learning more about the Montview community and growing in the field of education.
Hello! My name is Heidi Zook. I am originally from Pennsylvania, but have lived in Colorado since 1981. I suppose teaching is in my genes as both my parents were teachers and my step-parents were also teachers! My journey to become an educator took some twists and turns, but in 2009 I received my teaching license in Colorado. Montview Elementary has welcomed me into its community and I am excited to be a part of the Montview Mustang family!
I have two grown sons, Jacob and Jeffrey, and currently have 3 dogs, Zeus, Honey, and Rocky. Most of my free time is spent doing home DIY projects and walking my dogs. Every other weekend, or so, I enjoy visiting with friends, meeting for coffee or lunch, walking, or shopping for our classrooms.
Katie is a Colorado native and an Aurora Public Schools graduate. She was born and raised in Aurora. She went on to attend the University of Northern Colorado to study Elementary Education. She returned to Aurora Public Schools where she completed her student teaching in her own kindergarten classroom. Then she graduated in 2009 and began teaching preschool. In 2012 she was hired as a kindergarten teacher at Montview. She taught kindergarten for five years, taught first grade for four years, and is now teaching second grade. She loves the students, families and staff here at Montview! Outside of teaching, she is a proud mommy and wife!
Emma Huisman grew up in central Iowa but traveled to Colorado with her family frequently as a child. Emma graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa with a degree in Elementary Education. During her senior year she had the opportunity to complete her student teaching with Denver Public Schools, and discovered a new found love for the state and city and decided to move to Colorado permanently after graduation. In her free time she likes to go on long walks, read, spend time with friends and watch movies. Emma is so excited for her first year of teaching and to be a part of the Montview family!
Dawn Medina has lived in Colorado her whole life and always wanted to be a teacher. She started playing ‘school’ when she was about seven years old and never stopped! She has been teaching for 33 years. After teaching at a private school for 20 years, she is excited to be starting her 13th year here at Montview. She loves to curl up in bed and read a good book as well as play with her three dogs. She has three children of her own and recently became a step grandparent to two fabulous children when her daughter got married this summer. Her children range in age from 22 to 28. She believes each child has their own unique gifts and talents and looks forward each day to bringing out the best in each child.
Grace was born and raised in the beautiful state of Michigan and moved to Denver, Colorado in 2020. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a focus on child development from Grand Valley State University and then completed an Alternative Licensure program through PEBC. This is her second year of teaching at Montview! She is looking forward to making connections with each and every one of her students.
Karlee Nasalroad grew up in Grand Junction, CO and is a Colorado native. Previously, she has been teaching informally in different nature and science centers all over the state, including the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Northern Colorado in 2017. Shortly after, she started exploring her passions for teaching, learning and the outdoors. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado Denver with her Master's degree in Teaching and elementary education endorsement. Karlee's favorite part about teaching is helping students explore their interests and opening doors for learning opportunities. She has two reptiles and has a passion for plants/gardening is unrivaled. Her favorite hobbies include traveling, drawing, and games of all types!
Brittany grew up in Phoenix, AZ and graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ (close to the Grand Canyon). She taught one year in 3rd grade on the Navajo Reservation before moving to Denver. Since moving to Denver she's been teaching in APS in 4th grade. Her favorite thing about teaching is building relationships with her students, watching them grow, and seeing the excitement they have when discovering new things. Outside of school Brittany loves hiking, cooking, dancing, and spending time with friends and family.
Emily Kouba is from Wheaton, IL. She taught seven years in Chicago. She then moved to Colorado. She has taught 21 years at Montview. She has a 21 year old son who attended Montview as a student. She has a dog, Yanni. She loves to hike, read and spend time with her dog. She thinks fifth grade is the best grade to teach.
Hello! I'm a 5th grade teacher with Aurora Public Schools in Aurora, CO. I received my Master's in education from the University of Colorado Denver School of Education and Human Development. I've previously worked as a Denver Math Fellow and ECE Paraprofessional in Denver Public Schools. I am a Black male abolitionist educator focused on equity on all fronts, and I love a good To-Do list. My goal as a teacher is personal growth every year and to co-create a classroom environment of critical thought and acceptance.
My name is Ashley Schindel. I am originally from Seattle, Washington but have called Colorado my home since 2012. I received my Bachelors Degree from Northwest University in Children’s Ministries and my Masters Degree in Elementary Education and P.E. certification from Western State Colorado University. My love for P.E. comes from my passion of empowering kids to find their authentic selves through a balanced lifestyle. I have spent a lot of time working in the outdoor education industry where we help kids and adults understand their potential through adventure based learning. I love spending time with my family including my two goldendoodles Bentley and Rainier. I enjoy the outdoors through activities including camping, sports, hiking and biking.
Sarah Butler grew up in the Chicago suburbs, but moved to Colorado in 2014 to find better teaching opportunities and to fulfill her dream of living near the mountains. She has a Bachelor of Music Education from Illinois Wesleyan University and completed a Master of Music degree in Music Education (with a Kodály Emphasis). Her primary instruments are the flute and voice. This is her 12th year of teaching elementary music, and has been at Montview since 2014. It has been an honor for her to be a part of this community and she looks forward to many more rewarding years here! Sarah enjoys doing outdoor activities with her husband, such as hiking and rock climbing, as well as reading, knitting, and doing puzzles. You might also spot her playing her flute and piccolo with the Denver Rock Orchestra.
I'm originally from Buffalo, New York but have called Colorado home for the past 9 years. This is my 15th year teaching. I love to teach because I love when my students get the courage and confidence in themselves, through growth in problem solving in art. They also create beauty in this world and I'm still amazed by the students' discipline in trying and making something new each time we work a lesson. The element of surprise is never ordinary or predictable and is the closest thing to magic that exists. In my spare time I love to go to art galleries, sew, see classic cars, or spend time going on walks or watching movies with my two basset hounds and my husband.
Beth Faulkner is a native of Colorado, born and raised in Pueblo. She comes from a family of teachers and actually never intended to be an educator (she always wanted to be a children’s book author). She discovered in order to write for children she would have to know about them, which led her into teaching. It has been over 20 years and she's still teaching and writing on the side. Beth has a dual licensure in Primary Education K-6 and Special Education K-12 with a Master’s in Special Education. She has taught in various schools but her heart belongs to the Aurora Public School System, where she has taught in high school, middle, and elementary school, because she loves the population, families and community. This is her fourth year at Montview working with grades K-3. She has been married for 21 years to her husband, Philip, and has two daughters: Annie, 16 and Claire, 14.
Daniel Storti is returning as a special education teacher at Montview after spending 10 years in other educational roles including working as a school bus driver and paraprofessional. Daniel grew up in Colorado and obtained his BA in Behavioral Science from MSU Denver. His interests include history, music, football, exercising, playing the guitar, and all types of games. He loves learning about different cultures, is actively acquiring Spanish, and once spent an entire year teaching English in South Korea. Daniel is licensed to teach special education (K-12), English language development (K-12), and social studies (6-12).
Hello, my name is Savannah Nelsen. I am originally from southern Illinois and spent three years as a Speech-Language Pathologist in Chicago, Illinois. I received both of my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Illinois State University. A lot of my family and most of my family vacations growing up were out west so I knew I would move out to the mountains eventually. Outside of work, I enjoy being outside as much as possible including hiking, biking, kayaking, and skiing. I am excited to be a part of the team at Montview and I’m looking forward to meeting and working with the students who have speech and language difficulties!
Support Staff and Mental Health
Brenda Bowman was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She is on her 21st year of teaching and this is her 18th year as part of the Montview team. Montview students, families and staff make it feel like home. She has taught kindergarten, first, second, fifth and is currently the CLDE teacher leader.
Rachel grew up in southwest Virginia right in the heart of the Appalachian mountains where she fell in love with nature and the outdoors. She attended Virginia Tech where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and her Masters of Arts in Education in Curriculum & Instruction (Go Hokies!). Rachel taught English as a Second Language in Virginia before visiting Colorado on a road trip and immediately falling in love with the Rocky Mountains. Since moving to Colorado, she has worked as a classroom teacher, CLDE teacher leader, and teaching partner. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, and relaxing with her cat, Pocahontas. Rachel is thrilled to be a part of the Montview community!
Sheryl Zarnowiec is returning to the Montview team this year as a CLDE Teacher Leader and a Math Instructional Coach. She finds teaching and coaching incredibly rewarding and enjoys working with the Montview community. She has her masters degree in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education from Regis and has been supporting teachers and students in this field since 2009. She is also an experienced math teacher. Sheryl is married, has 2 adult daughters and 3 amazing grandkids. (Okay - she might be biased.) She enjoys hiking, reading and yoga.
Kendra is excited to be the Literacy Interventionist at Montview for a third year! This is her 19th year as a teacher. She was born in Denver, but lived in Aurora as a child. She attended Wheeling elementary until the end of 2nd grade. She grew up in California, but made her way back to beautiful Colorado in 2005. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching and Learning with an emphasis in Bilingual Education from the University of San Diego. She went on to complete her Masters Degree from USD. She also earned her Orton Gillingham certification from the Dyslexia Training Institute/USD in 2020.
Janie Weiner grew up in Denver but has traveled and worked abroad extensively during her adult life. Her love of teaching came at an early age when she “taught” school to her stuffed animals lined up on her bed. These days, she delights in seeing her students take on new learning every day and especially appreciates when students she has previously taught return to Montview to visit. Truly feeling like part of the fabric of this community, Janie deeply appreciates all who comprise the Montview community. She came to Montview 16 years ago and has primarily taught 3rd grade and currently provides instruction as a reading interventionist.
Prior to teaching, Janie received her Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in Business with a Minor in Spanish. Years later, she also completed a Master’s degree in Business at the University of Denver. After nearly 20 years in the business world, Janie changed careers and completed her elementary teaching certification from the University of Colorado Denver in 2006. When not lesson planning, you can find her in the great outdoors.
I was born in Minnesota to an incredible family including my older sister, Maggie, and two parents. I left home in 2011 to do my student teaching in New Zealand and then I was off to Flagstaff, AZ for grad school. Once I graduated, I moved to Colorado and I just celebrated my 9th year here. I have been counseling in APS since I arrived in Colorado and I was formerly at Murphy Creek and Boston P-8.
Sara Baumann - Social Worker
My name is Sara Baumann and I am so excited to join Montview as a Social Worker. I am originally from Kentucky, and I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Social Work from Metro State University. I enjoy cooking, snowboarding and backpacking. I look forward to being part of this community and supporting the mental health needs of the community.
Hi everyone! I'm really excited to be a part of the team as a school based therapist again this year! I graduated from the University of Denver with a Master's in Sport and Performance Psychology with an emphasis in counseling. I am currently an LPCC and working towards full licensure. I'm looking forward to growing at Montview Elementary School.
Fun facts about me:
I'm from Baltimore and am a big Ravens fan! My boyfriend and I just got a puppy named Tucker. He's a blue heeler and lab mix with A LOT of energy! When I'm not working, I like checking out new restaurants and breweries, watching Grey's Anatomy, and hanging out at Wash Park!
Dina was born and raised in Lakewood, Colorado and moved to Aurora 17 years ago. Dina has been working as a para at Montview for 16 years. Dina has a 22 year old amazing step son attending UNC in Greeley Co. She also enjoys spending time in the mountains, reading and learning history. Her long term dream is to own an animal sanctuary.
Tinasia White - Paraeducator
Bio coming soon!
Erica Donkle - Paraeducator
I grew up in Mesa, Arizona right in front of the Superstition Mountains. I came back to Colorado and went to high school and I’m now attending college at UNC Lowry for my teaching degree. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, art, singing, and I am a HUGE Disney fan! I am thrilled to be a part of the Montview community!
I was born and raised and went to school in Baltimore, Maryland. I moved to Colorado and have worked with Nutrition Services for 30 years. I enjoy my job and the kids very much. I have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful grandson. I enjoy spending time with my family and my dogs, being outside, and doing crafts.
Amanda has worked for APS for 21 years in various schools as the Head Custodian. Amanda enjoys making flower arrangements and going to church on Sunday in her finest dresses. Amanda has 7 grandchildren. Amanda also loves her garden and likes getting out working in it.