Joseph Taylor - Principal
Joe is excited to be the new principal of Montview Elementary! He has been in education for 28 years as a teacher, assistant principal, program director, and principal. Originally from Louisiana, but 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 (14) and Addison (10). He also has three adult children and two grandchildren. In his free time, Joe enjoys skiing, running, reading, and being in nature!
Hannah LeCount - Assistant Principal
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.
Front Office Support
Susan Hamilton - Secretary
Susan has been with APS for 16 years. Susan enjoys anything outside. Riding bikes, gardening, fishing etc. Susan enjoys working with the students and Parents by helping them any way she can.
Jenny Ramirez - Clerk
Jenny was born in Los Alamitos California, moved to Colorado in 2001, and graduated from Smoky Hill High School in 2012. She has been at Montview for 4 years and enjoys helping staff, families and students. Outside of school, she loves spending time with her family and friends.
Ceci Lopez Villata - Health Para
Hedrine Tamajong - Pre-K Teacher
Dawn Reese - Pre-K Paraprofessional
Bio Coming Soon!
Jasmine Cruz - Kindergarten
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 recently graduated from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in May with a Bachelor’s degree in Inclusive Elementary Education, and an endorsement in Culturally Linguistic Diverse Education. This is her first year at Montview and is very excited to start off the school year with her Kindergarten class. Jasmine enjoys spending time with family and friends, go on hikes, and bake desserts.
Danielle Cason - Kindergarten
Danny was born in St. Louis, MO but raise in Aurora and Firestone, CO. She has eight 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 is has worked at Montview for three years and excited to be in Kindergarten this year!
Katie Heinzerling - 1st
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, and is in her fourth year of teaching first grade. She loves the students, families and staff here at Montview! Outside of teaching, she is a proud mommy and wife!
Dawn Medina - 1st
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 31 years. After teaching at a private school for 20 years, she is excited to be starting her 11th 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 20 to 26. She believes each child has their own unique gifts and talents and looks forward each day to bringing out the best in each child.
Brian Simmons - 1st
Brian Simmons grew up in Mansfield, Massachusetts. He received his Master's in Early Childhood Education at Cambridge College. After graduate school, he moved to Costa Rica to teach English for 2 years at a bilingual school. Brian taught 1st grade for 4 years in Charleston, SC before moving to Denver. The past 3 years Brian has taught 1st grade at a Charter school in Denver. He loves sports, exercising, snowboarding, rollerblading, going to the beach, live music, camping, and anything outdoors. He has a big, beautiful cat named Gizmo. Brian is really excited to make the move to Montview and be a part of this great community!
Daisy Jacobs - 2nd
I received my Bachelors from Metropolitan State University of Denver and received my Masters in Reading from Grand Canyon University. This is my 6th year teaching. I have taught Kindergarten, First, and Second Grade. I love seeing the growth in children and how they progress from the beginning of the school year to the end of the school year. I have a husband, two sons, and two dogs. I love spending time with my family and spending time in nature. I especially enjoy spending time near the mountains and near the ocean.
Samantha Eaton - 2nd
Flor Rodriguez - 3rd
Flor Estela Rodriguez is honored to be coming back into the classroom full-time after serving in leadership roles for the past six years ranging from Math Teacher Leader, Site Coordinator for CU Denver, to part-time CLDE Teacher Leader. She comes with a background in business and education. She has worked in both government and public accounting for a decade prior to pursuing her lifelong dream of serving children and families. Her 20+ years in education include teaching in both the Denver and Cherry Creek School Districts. She holds an M.A. in Education and is currently a doctoral student focusing on culturally responsive education. She is passionate about equity work in order to provide best learning opportunities for all students and hopes her future research work in this area can impact positive change!
Tessa Bechtel - 3rd
Tessa Bechtel is a new addition to the Montview team this year! She is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Ohio University. She then moved to Houston, Texas to pursue a Masters degree in Elementary Education from the Relay Graduate School of Education. She taught for four years there including 1 year in Kindergarten, 2 years in first grade and 1 year in third grade. Last year she moved to Denver with her fiancé, Paul and their dog, Bagby and cat, Loki. This past school year she taught third grade math at a KIPP charter school in Denver. She enjoys cooking, traveling, and enjoying the wonderful weather that Denver has to offer. She even tried skiing for the first time ever this year and loves it! Tessa is so excited to join Montview and become a Mustang!
Katie Ostrosky - 4th
Katie Ostrosky was born in Florida, but spent most of her life in Virginia. She taught 5th grade in Virginia for four years, and just moved to Colorado this summer with her new husband Drew, and her dog Miracle. Katie graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies and a Master of Arts in Teaching. She has wanted to be a teacher since she was in fourth grade herself, and loves to get to know her students and their families. Katie also loves to read, spend time with her dog, and cook new recipes. She is so excited for all her new adventures in Colorado, and she is especially excited to be joining the Montview Team!
Brittany Storch - 4th
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 and is very excited to be in 2nd grade now! Her favorite thing about teaching is building relationships with her student and watching them grow and 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 - 5th
Emily Kouba is from Wheaton, IL. She taught seven years in Chicago. She then moved to Colorado. She has taught 19 years at Montview. She has a 19 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.
Saladin Thomas - 5th
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.
Karlee Nasalroad - 5th
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!
Ashley Schindel - PE
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 - Music
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 just recently completed a Master of Music degree in Music Education (with a Kodály Emphasis). Her primary instruments are the flute and voice. She has been teaching elementary music for 8 years, and all but two have been at Montview. It has been an honor for her to be a part of this community and she looks forward to many more rewarding years here! When she’s not busy making music or teaching, Sarah enjoys doing outdoor activities with her husband, such as hiking and rock climbing, as well as reading, knitting, and doing puzzles.
Jon Olson - Art
Jon Olson was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He arrived in Colorado in 2001 and has been teaching at Montview for 19 years. Jon graduated with high honors in art from Augsburg college in Minneapolis and then earned a masters in education from the university of Minnesota. Jon is a ski maker, a printmaker, a gardener, a guitarist, an amateur architect and the father of Ruthie 14 and Gabe 12. Jon collects plaid shirts mainly from orvis, brooks brothers and pendleton that he purchases from ebay, the Minneapolis ragstock store and the stapleton goodwill. Some of mr Olson's favorite things are to buy groceries and take them home on his bike, to attract Colorado green toads for bug control in the garden and to listen/watch the Twins and the Vikings.
the Olson family motto is: rain is good.......snow is better
Farrah Nicole Martin - STEAM
Daniel Storti is a new 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).
Beth Faulkner is a native of Colorado, born and raised in Pueblo. I come from a family of teachers and actually never intended to be an educator. I always wanted to be a children’s book author. However, I discovered in order to write for children I would have to know about them and that led me into teaching. It has been 19 years and I’m still teaching and writing on the side. I have a dual licensure in Primary Education K-6 and Special Education K-12 with a Master’s in Special Education. I have taught in various schools but my heart belongs to the Aurora Public School System. I love the population, families and community. Here, I have taught in high school, middle, and elementary school. This is my second year at Montview. I work with grades K-3. In my personal life, I have been married for 19 years to my husband, Philip and have two daughters Annie, 14 and Claire, 12.
Savannah Nelson - Speech
Hello, my name is Savannah Nelsen and I am new to the Colorado area. I am originally from southern Illinois but I have spent the past 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 apart 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
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 joining the Montview community!
Sheryl Zarnowiec is joining the Montview team this year as a CLDE Teacher Leader and a Math Instructional Coach. She finds teaching and coaching incredibly rewarding and can’t wait to work 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.
Brenda Bowman was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Her love for teaching began when she started teaching tap dance to her dolls in the backyard. She is on her 17th year of teaching and this is her 14th year as part of the Montview team. Montview students, families and staff make it feel like home. She has taught kindergarten, first, second and currently is the CLDE teacher leader. Brenda earned her B.A. in Early Childhood Education, M.A. in Instruction and Curriculum in Literacy and an M.A. in Instruction and Curriculum in English as a Second Language. Brenda loves to travel, especially road trips! In her spare time, you can find her cheering on the Broncos, Rockies and Avalanche.
Janie Weiner - Intervention
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 14 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.
Sofia Kent - Social Worker
Sofia obtained her MSW from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social work and is also a Licensed Social Worker and Psychotherapist. She obtained her BA from Goucher College in Psychology and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies. Sofia loves working with children and she is so excited to continue her work as the School Social Worker for Montview Elementary!
Fun facts about Sofia:
She is adopted from China and has two sisters who are also adopted from China. She has her own private psychotherapy practice, Sofia Kent Therapy. Sofia has two cats, Luna and Nova. When Sofia isn't working, she's probably dancing, paddle boarding, or watching Star Trek!
Jess Carpenter - School-Based Therapist
Hi everyone! I'm really excited to join the team as a school based therapist! 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. I will be splitting time here and with Peoria 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!
Kelli Caswell - Para
Kelli has been a para with APS for 8 years. She has been at Montview for the past 6 years. She loves working with kids, especially Montview kids!!
Brian Cullen - Para
I am originally from Brooklyn, New York and moved to Colorado in 1993, and in 1996 I moved to Aurora for the diversity and culture this great city has to offer!
My wife Debra and I live with our two cats, Scout and Sadie and our two sons, Peter and Jack have branched out with their own homes; Peter is in NYC, Jack is in Lone Tree, Colorado.
Luckily, Debra and I share many of the same interests and hobbies including Music, Landscaping and Gardening, Science Fiction and Science Facts! We both enjoy the sciences and have great conversations discussing different topics on different days!
My professional background includes Marketing, Design and Print Production, Copy Writing, Photography and Illustration. My hobbies include SciFi Model Dioramas, Landscaping and Sharing what I know...!
I am so glad to be here at Montview and look forward to assisting the Staff in any way I can and watch every student grow to become their best!
Dina Rodgers - Para
Dina was born and raised in Lakewood, Colorado and moved to Aurora 15 years ago. Dina started working at Montview for 14 years ago as a para. Dina has a 20 year old amazing step son attending UNC in Greeley Co. She also enjoys spending time in the mountains, reading and learning history. Long term dream is to own an animal sanctuary.
Sakina Haidari - Para
Bio Coming Soon!
Tracey Prim - Educational Assistant: Library
Amanda has worked for APS for 20 years in various schools as the Head Custodian. Amanda enjoys making flower arrangments 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.
Claudia was born in Boulder Colorado and was raised in Mexico City. She has worked for APS for over 2 years and loves to travel to Mexico.