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Staff Members

  • Ginny Adams

    Special Education Teacher

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    Ginny grew up in Dallas, TX and graduated from high school in a small mountain town in Colorado. She graduated from University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. While attending CU Boulder, she also completed the Elementary Education Program. Ginny also earned a Masters Degree in Special Education from the University of Colorado Denver. Ginny has worked as a general education teacher as well as a special education teacher. This will be her 6th year at Academy 360 (she left briefly during 2019-2020) and she is beyond excited to watch all of the students grow in mind, body, and character and be part of such a wonderful, supportive community! In her free time, Ginny loves spending time in the mountains hiking and exploring with her family. She has an almost two year old son (will be two in September) and just welcomed a daughter this past June! Ginny can’t wait for an incredible school year!

  • Jazell Aldridge

    ECE Assistant

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    Jazell is thrilled to be in her fourth year at Academy 360. Previously, she was a Lower Elementary Interventionist with additional duties, such as: school lunchroom/recess/car line duties, floating amongst the amazing three ECE classrooms, and managing the afterschool program. She is proud to have been born and raised in Denver, Colorado; growing up she was the only girl out of the four boys. She was a member of the graduating class of 2016 at Florence Crittenton High School and is the loving mother to her son, Theophus (Theo as a nickname), a Kindergartener at A360. In her spare time, Jazell finds pleasure getting lost in our downtown skyline. She also enjoys being outside playing at the park with Theo or watching him dance – he’s got the moves!

  • Ron Allen

    Family Therapist & Social Emotional Specialist

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    Ron worked for Families Forward Resource Center in Montbello for over 15 years.  Ron’s experiences are in Trauma Informed Parenting, Behavioral and Mental Illness, Fatherhood Training and Family and Community Resources.  He has his Masters in Family Counseling with a Minor in Psychology from the Aspen Christian College & Seminary and has conducted social work on behalf of Denver Human Services.  This summer, he started “yardwork”, which consists of meeting with students and their families in the front yard of their homes, providing them with whole family therapy, addressing the needs of both the child and the adults in the home. 

  • Arizona Alli

    2nd Grade Teacher

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    Arizona grew up on the Olympic Peninsula in Port Townsend, Washington. She moved to Southern California and obtained an Elementary Teaching Credential and a BA in Graphic Design from the University of Redlands.  After living abroad for a year, Arizona moved to Colorado where she worked as an Outdoor Education Instructor and joined the A360 family. This is Arizona’s fourth year at Academy 360 and she is so excited to continue being a part of this community.  During the summer, Arizona travels around the world leading international service-learning trips for high school students. Most recently, she led a trip to Ecuador and The Galapagos! In or out of the classroom, she loves the individual passions and creativity that each student brings. When she is not teaching, she enjoys camping, hiking, swimming, or setting up her hammock in the park.

  • Alondra Banuelos

    ECE Assistant

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    Alondra grew up in Aurora, Colorado, having moved there at a very young age; she is a proud graduate of Hinkley High School. She has a younger sister and in their spare time they enjoy going on late night drives, hiking, swimming, and just exploring the beautiful places around Colorado. She is very close to her family and enjoys having get-togethers with them; she is the niece of one of A360’s founding families and former ECE teaching assistant – Cinthya Banuelos. This is Alondra’s third year at Academy 360 and she enjoys working alongside Ms. Debbie with the three year olds. She enjoys taking in and learning from all the joy and exciting moments her students bring to class every day.

  • Sammie Belter

    5th Grade Teacher

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    Sammie is originally from New Berlin, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. She attended the University of Minnesota for her undergraduate degree with a major in Global Studies and Human Rights and a minor in Spanish. She moved to Colorado in 2016, and got her teaching license through UC Denver. Sammie is in the process of getting her Master’s degree in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity through CU Boulder. This is her second year on Team A360; she loves getting to know her students both in and out of the classroom. In her free time, Sammie enjoys seeing live music, exploring Colorado, and petting every dog she meets.

  • Amanda Brandel

    ECE(3) Teacher

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    Amanda grew up in Michigan and is a recent Colorado transplant.  She graduated from Rochester College with a Bachelors of Science and Early Childhood Education.  Amanda has taught preschool for four years, three of which have been at Academy 360.  She strongly believes children are the building blocks of the future and there is nothing more rewarding than watching them grow academically and socially.  Outside the classroom, Amanda likes to go to the gym, travel to see family and friends and watching movies with her husband Scott.

     

  • Rosie Esparza

    Front Office Manager

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    Rosie is in her third year at Academy 360 and has two sons at the school – Romeo (5th) and Emilio (2nd).  Rosie was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico and has been in raised in colorful Colorado. Professionally, over the last 11 years, Rosie worked in food banking, focusing on helping to end hunger amongst families and seniors through a variety of federal programs. While she loved the work, she was equally as excited to be closer to her boys while at work. On her days off, she hangs out with her kids, mostly at arcades, the movies, and at stores buying Hot Wheels & Legos.

  • Ramsey Ferro

    2nd Grade Teacher

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    Ramsey has been teaching elementary students since 2012, utilizing his strong organization and collaborative communication skills to help coach and mentor both students and families through the academic process, helping to provide an overall positive educational experience. Prior to teaching, he had a previous career in sales and now brings almost 20 years of blended experiences in sales, training, education and development to Academy 360 (although, in hindsight, he knew back in third grade that he wanted to be a teacher). Ramsey attended the University of Colorado, Boulder where he received a BA in Communications.  He later pursued and completed his Post-Baccalaureate Licensure in Elementary Education with an emphasis in English as a Second Language from Metro State University. Ramsey looks forward to bringing his heart and soul into the A360 classroom for a second year!

  • Kristen Freeman

    Gifted & Talented Coordinator

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    Kristen grew up in a small town in Central Texas and attended Texas State University in San Marcos Texas. She majored in interdisciplinary studies and received a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. A few years later Kristen returned to Texas State to complete a Masters degree in Talent Development with a minor in Reading Instruction. Kristen has taught in public and private schools throughout Texas. She has had the privilege of teaching a multi-age primary classroom, a mixed age 1st – 3rd grade classroom, and several self-contained 2nd grade classrooms. Additionally, she has two years experience as a reading specialist for struggling readers in grades kindergarten through 5th grades.  Kristen believes that each child has a specific set of skills and talents and as an educator it is her job to help students find and grow those talents. When she is not teaching, she enjoys playing with her dogs, going on hikes, of settling in with a good book. Above all Kristen believes in the power of YET, if you do not know what that is, just ask her, she would love to tell you!

  • Debbie Haywood

    ECE(3) Teacher

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    Deborha has taught preschoolers for over ten years and is Director qualified in ECE; she helped open A360’s ECE program six years ago. She is a strong believer in the power of knowledge and critical thinking that can empower young minds to grow and blossom to their full potential. She graduated from Colorado Christian University, Lakewood, Colorado with a Bachelor of Science and is in the process of completing her Masters in Counseling.  Deborha is very active in her church; she enjoys reading and just relaxing in the park.

     

  • Garritte Hitchens

    Teacher & Student Support Specialist

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    Garritte is starting her second year as a staff member at Academy 360, but has been a member of the family community since 2014. She currently has three children at the school: Zo’Ryan (1st), Annika (ECE-4), and little Amayah, who helps with composting, eagerly awaits starting ECE-3 in the 21-22 school year.  Her oldest son, Deondre, graduated in May 2020.  Prior to starting at Academy 360, she graduated from Emily Griffith Opportunity School with her CNA certificate and GED in 2005.  She later enrolled in and earned her medical assistant diploma from Everest College in 2015. Garritte has spent 15 years as a CNA and Medical Assistant. Garritte is a fun loving Colorado native and has yet to find an outdoor activity she does love, from hiking to raising chickens.  Garritte’s motto is: Let’s make someone’s day!
  • Raven Kershaw

    1st Grade Teacher

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    Raven grew up moving around the world because her father was in the Marine Corps. This was an experience for which she is extremely grateful! Upon graduating high school, she followed suit and joined the Air Force to serve her country. She has a Masters of Arts in Teaching and is passionate about investing in the lives of her students to help them realize their full potential in life. She firmly believes a healthy relationship is foundational to a positive learning experience and wants all of her students to know they are loved, valued, and important. She isn’t a Colorado native, but she and her fur-baby daughter sure did get here as fast as they could! Raven is married to a wonderful man and they are raising their two boys and fur-baby daughter together. In her free time, Raven loves to spend quality time with her family. Her hobbies include traveling, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, camping and pretty much any other kind of outdoorsy adventure with her family!  Raven is in her second year at A360.

  • Shelly Martinez

    ECE Assistant

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    Biography coming soon!

  • Anna McCabe

    School Psychologist & 504 Coordinator

     

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    Anna was born and raised in Prescott, Arizona. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Northern Arizona University and her graduate degree in School Psychology from University of Arizona.  During graduate school, Anna worked part-time as an in-home behavior therapist; she has very fond memories of working with families. In 2015, Anna moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where she worked as a school psychologist for three years. She then moved to Denver, Colorado in 2018. She enjoys traveling, hiking, spending time with loved ones and lining in Colorado. Anna is passionate about working directly with students, families and staff to support health and wellness, skill acquisition, and learning. Her goal is to help students thrive at home, in school, and in life.  Anna is in her second year at Academy 360!

  • Becky McLean

    School Director

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    Becky champions health and wellness programming and strategies using the Whole School, Whole Child, Whole Community (WSCC) model, an evidence-based strategy originated by the CDC.  Over the last few years, she helped form the Montbello Collective, a community-based partnership with eight organizations all residing at A360, offering various wraparound services for the Montbello neighborhood and greater Far Northeast Denver. Before helping open Academy 360 in 2013, she spent three years working on issues related to nutrition policy and healthy food access. She has also been involved in childhood obesity prevention programming, including a semester with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN), working in partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign.  She is a proud former youth triathlon coach with Achieve Kids Tri in Washington, DC.  Becky received her B.A. in Law & Society and Philosophy from American University in Washington, DC and her Masters in Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health in Aurora, CO.  She is a group exercise instructor at the Anschutz Health & Wellness Center.  Becky is a proud graduate of the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership (RIHEL) and volunteers with the Montbello Organizing Committee (MOC).  She loves camping throughout Colorado, is an accomplished Ironman, an Orangetheory Fitness fanatic, and enjoys running her dogs Fyfe & Islay with her husband Andy.

  • Alyssa McMillan

    Kindergarten Teaching Assistant

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    Alyssa is a Colorado native who loves everything about this beautiful state!  Originally from Broomfield, Alyssa now lives in Arvada with her boyfriend Jeremy and their kitty Jorah in their first home they recently bought. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, being outside, and hanging out with family and friends. Alyssa is currently going to college to be a lead teacher and cannot wait to have her own classroom one day.  This is her fourth year at Academy 360!

  • Thomas McNiff Rueschhoff

    1st Grade Teacher

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    Thomas is a Colorado native who grew up in Littleton. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado Denver in Music Recording Arts. Thomas continued his education at UCD earning a Masters of Elementary Education with a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education endorsement. He has taught 5th grade and 2nd grade in Denver for the past two years. Thomas believes that through culturally responsive practices and student driven classrooms every child can be successful. In his free time, Thomas enjoys getting outside. He loves to hike, climb, and camp with his wife and stepson, and enjoys getting into the backcountry with his snowboard. Thomas is in his second year at Academy 360 and is a new father to twin boys!

  • Miriam Oliva

    ECE(4) Teacher

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    Miriam is a founding family at Academy 360 and is the proud mother of two Academy 360 students – Destiny and Annabella. She was born in Los Angeles, California and moved to Denver, Colorado at the age of seven. She is the first child in a family of seven to attend and graduate college. She attended Pima Medical Institute where she proudly received her Medical Assistant Degree. She has experience in a variety of fields, including: working with dermatologists, psychiatrists, and the elderly.  Miriam helped open Academy 360’s ECE program in 2015 and is a former Preschool Teacher Assistant at University Children’s Center.  Miriam is continuing her education and is attending college to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education. She enjoys spending free time with her daughters, husband, and family. She love to cook, dance, and sing, bringing out her Hispanic culture.

  • Katie Renwick

    3rd Grade Teacher

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    Katie is excited to be joining the A360 team for her 7th year of teaching, with previous experience teaching middle school as well as 3rd and 5th grades. Originally from Illinois, Katie moved to Colorado shortly after her older sister, and then her mother both moved, making commuting home for the holidays a lot shorter! Katie started her college career at the University of Iowa in Art and Art History. Shortly thereafter, she realized education was her true passion and decided to make the change. In 2014, Katie graduated from DePaul University in Chicago with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a concentration in her two favorite subjects: History and Art. During her spare time, Katie enjoys being outdoors with her adorable Golden Retriever – Ajax, chasing around her little niece and nephew, playing trivia with her boyfriend and friends, geeking out on Superhero movies (Captain Marvel rocks!) or cheering on her favorite college football team, University of Iowa – Go Hawks!

  • Grace Ritchie

    Literacy Interventionist & Art Specialist

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    Grace grew up in Boulder and received her bachelor’s degree from Boston College. After graduating and trying her hand at life in San Francisco, she caved again to Colorado’s siren call. The 2020-2021 school year will be her sixth year as an intervention teacher and eighth year as a Denver educator. She is excited to bring Electives to Academy 360’s academic schedule!  She is dedicated to closing the achievement gap that plagues our education system and fostering equitable opportunity for all students. In addition to teaching, she serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (for youth victims of abuse and neglect) and as a dog-care volunteer for Maxfund Animal Shelter.  She uses her spare time to paint, hike, read, and watch movies with her two dogs (about whom she talks constantly) and husband Brian.

  • Emily Stelling

    Data & Intervention Manager and 4th Grade Teacher

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    Emily grew up in Maryland, then attended college at the University of Oklahoma where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. After staying in Oklahoma for a couple years after graduation, she was accepted into Teach for America and began her teaching career in Indianapolis, IN in 2013. During her first two years of teaching in Indianapolis, Emily also obtained her Master’s degree in teaching. Since her parents had relocated to Colorado, when her TFA commitment ended in Indianapolis, Emily decided to move to Colorado. She began working at Academy 360 as a 4th grade teacher in 2015. Emily continued to work as a teacher and leader for Academy 360 until moving to Austin in 2018. Emily served as a 5th grade science teacher in Austin and held a few leadership positions at her school. Emily is returning to Academy 360 because of her belief in the school, its mission and values, and the staff culture.

  • Jose Tamayo

    Building Custodian

    Biography coming soon!

  • Hannah Vanuk

    Kindergarten Teacher

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    Hannah is from a small town in Arizona, and graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. She majored in Elementary Education and is endorsed in Early Childhood Education. Hannah explored the southern part of the United States for a few years and moved to Denver in the summer of 2018. She has taught Kindergarten for six years, and 2nd grade for one year. This is Hannah’s third year on the Academy 360 team, and is passionate to teach the foundational skills every child needs in Kindergarten. Hannah believes that children learn best through hands on activities, opportunities to learn through play, and being nurtured and cared for by each of their teachers. In her free time she loves to go on hikes with her dog, Mae, spend time with her family and friends, and travel to new and exciting places as much as she can.

     

  • Marvin Williams

    PE and Health Teacher & Sports Coordinator

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    Marvin was born in Virginia and has lived in Denver for over 48 years, including high school in the Montbello/Park Hill/Montclair neighborhoods.  Marvin is an Upward Bound graduate from Metro State University which led to his Manual High School diploma.  Marvin graduated from Hastings College, Nebraska earning a BA in Human Resources Management and Business.  In 2016, Marvin was named to the of the Hastings University’s Hall of Fame for his many tenured individual athletic and coaching accomplishments in track and field.  Marvin is in his third year at Academy 360; he previously was with EXOS where he worked six and half years as a fitness specialist, wellness advisor and coordinator at University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Aurora, Colorado.  He served people involving research programs with nutrition, exercise and behavioral health.  Marvin promotes a variety of community youth fitness which includes being a CHSAA certified official (basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball) and coach; he holds a Certified EXOS Performance Trainer Certification.  Marvin enjoys any time with family especially with his wife (Renee)  traveling, studying the bible, or attending special events such as a grandson’s football games or weddings. He is father of two daughters (Kayla & Opheal), two bonus sons (Brandyn Bordeaux & Collin Bordeaux), and two bonus grandsons (Davion and Kenton).

  • Anthony Wright

    Special Education Manager

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    Anthony joined Academy 360 in December 2019 after having worked within Special Education for the past decade in a variety of roles. Most recently, Anthony worked as an educator at Aurora Mental Health Center supporting students in a therapeutic day treatment setting. He has vast experience incorporating instructional and behavior strategies into his teaching practices and values a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) approach. While Anthony has worked with students of all ages from early childhood through high school, he is thrilled to be back in an elementary school setting as a Special Educator. Anthony is passionate about incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusionary practices into his teaching and wants to partner with families and community resources to ensure student success. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Anthony has lived in Colorado since the early 2000s. He received his undergraduate degree in Public Policy from the University of Denver and has a Master of Education (M.Ed.) focused on Special Education instruction from Regis University. When not working, Anthony can be found hiking, biking, snowshoeing, or away in the mountains with his wife Spring, if he isn’t relaxing at home with a good book or catching up with friends.

  • Sally Sorte

    Founder

    Sally founded Academy 360 through a partnership with the Catapult (formerly Get Smart Schools) Fellowship and the Colorado Health Foundation because she fervently believes that every child deserves an excellent education, so that every child may pursue his or her dreams.  She has teaching and business experience through her tenure with Teach for America and Google, respectively. Sally earned her Bachelors degree from Whitman College, Masters in Education and Teaching from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, and Masters in Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver. Sally is a 2017 graduate of Leadership Denver and is currently a student at Harvard Business School.  Sally enjoys running, skiing, yoga, and traveling with her husband Austin, daughter Olivia Moon, and dog Moxie.

     

    Thank you to Jake Myles Photography, for capturing the spirit of the Academy 360 staff!