Administration

Joseph Taylor - Principal

Joe is excited to serve as the principal of Montview Elementary for a second year! He has been in education for 29 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 (15) and Addison (11). 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.

John Blanco-Losada - Dean of Students

John was born in Maryland and lived in Northern Virginia for over 20 years before he and his family moved to Colorado in 2013. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Rochester and his Master's degree in Elementary Education from George Mason University. John taught second and third grade for 14 years in Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia and the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado. He is excited to join the Montview and APS team this year as a Dean and is looking forward to developing his leadership experience and getting to know every student in the school!

Front Office Support

Susan Hamilton - Secretary

Susan has been with APS for 17 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.

Maricela was born in Mexico and grew up in Los Angeles California. She moved to Colorado 15 years ago. She enjoys a cup of coffee, shopping, and spending time with her family.


Barbara Atilano - Health Para

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.



Preschool

Hedrine Tamajong - Pre-K Teacher


My name is Hedrine T Tamajong, I was born in Buea, in the South West Region of Cameroon. I am married with three beautiful children: 16, 14 and 10 years old, who are presently attending Aurora Public Schools. We came to the USA in 2008 and settled in Colorado, where we have been living all these years.

I went to the Community College of Aurora and University of Northern Colorado, where I obtained my Associate Degree and Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood education. I have been working as a classroom Para –educator since 2015.



Dawn Reese - Pre-K Paraprofessional

Dawn's bio is coming soon!

Kindergarten

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 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 second year teaching Kindergarten at Montview. 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 was raised in Aurora and Firestone, CO. She has 9 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 four years and excited to be in Kindergarten again this year!

1st Grade

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 32 years. After teaching at a private school for 20 years, she is excited to be starting her 12th 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 21 to 27. 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 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, then taught 1st grade at a Charter school in Denver for 3 years. 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 be teaching 1st grade at Montview again this year!


2nd Grade

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!

Samantha Eaton holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from the University of Northern Colorado, with an elementary teaching license and a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education endorsement. She worked in education as a Paraprofessional, substitute teacher, home-bound teacher, and classroom teacher with students in kindergarten through 8th grade for 8 years. This is Samantha’s second year teaching at Montview!


3rd Grade

Flor Estela Rodriguez is honored to be teaching 3rd grade again after serving in leadership roles for six years (ranging from Math Teacher Leader, Site Coordinator for CU Denver, to part-time CLDE Teacher Leader). Flor has a background in business and education. She 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 great learning opportunities for all students and hopes her future research work in this area can impact positive change!


Flor is blessed to have been married to her college sweetheart for 32 years. They have three amazing grown children and five beautiful grandbabies! In her spare time, she enjoys spending time reading, walking, gardening, cooking, and just hanging out with friends and family. She looks forward to providing her utmost best for you and your families, too!

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. Over the course of last year she completed an Alternative Licensure program through PEBC. Although this is her second year with the Montview family, this is her first official year of teaching! She is looking forward to making connections with each and every one of her students.

4th Grade

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.




5th Grade

Emily Kouba is from Wheaton, IL. She taught seven years in Chicago. She then moved to Colorado. She has taught 20 years at Montview. She has a 20 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.

Specialists

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 9 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.

I'm originally from Buffalo, New York but have called Colorado home for the past 8 years. This is my 14th 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.


Special Education

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).



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 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 third year at Montview working with grades K-3. She has been married for 20 years to her husband, Philip, and has two daughters: Annie, 15 and Claire, 13.

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 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

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.




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 18th year of teaching and this is her 15th 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 15 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.

Mallory Kennedy - Counselor

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 8th year here. I have been counseling in APS since I arrived in Colorado and I was formerly at Murphy Creek and Boston P-8.


I truly love being a part of the Montview community and I am proud to be a Mustang! My goal is to shape the student experience by helping students reach their academic and personal goals all while being a support for them along the way. When I am not at school I love hiking, camping, and connecting with my friends and family.



Jess Carpenter - School-Based Therapist

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. 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!



Paraprofessionals

Kelli has been a para with APS for 9 years. She has been at Montview for the past 7 years. She loves working with kids, especially Montview kids!!

She is blessed to have a wonderful family and loves spending time with them. She has been married to her husband for 35 years. They have two adult daughters, 7 grandkids, and 3 great-grandkids.

As a whole, she genuinely wants the people around her to know that they are valuable by doing her best at treating them with kindness and respect. Her heart is to help the kids grow and work through the tough times in learning and encouraging them to treat others with kindness and respect.


Brian Cullen - Educational Assistant

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 was born and raised in Lakewood, Colorado and moved to Aurora 16 years ago. Dina has been working as a para at Montview for 15 years. Dina has a 21 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.



Nicholle Beckert - Educational Assistant: Library

Nicholle's bio is coming soon!


Food Service

I was born and raised and went to school in Baltimore, Maryland. I moved to Colorado and have worked with Nutrition Services for 29 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.

Lillian Baldivia

Hi! My name is Lillian Baldivia. I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. I went to George Washington High School. I like to have fun with friends and go to sports games.

Custodial Staff

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.

Maria's bio is coming soon!

Claudia was born in Boulder Colorado and was raised in Mexico City. She has worked for APS for 3 years and loves to travel to Mexico.