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Staff Members

  • Eric Brucz

    Principal

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    Prior to joining the Academy 360 team, Eric worked at Denver Public Schools in several capacities – as a Special Education teacher, a School Psychologist, and in the Office of Social Emotional learning as a network support partner for charter schools. He has a Bachelor degree in Special and Elementary Education, and an Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology, and over a decade of experience in education. Eric is excited to implement a true 360-education at Academy 360 that allows students to maximize potential through social-emotional skills, high expectations, and rigorous academics. When he’s not working, Eric enjoys research, cooking, and taking road trips.

     

  • Becky McLean

    Director of Wellness & Operations

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    Using student data and assessments, Becky plans and implements health and wellness programming using the Whole School, Whole Child, Whole Community model, an evidence-based strategy originated by the CDC.  Being an energetic “morning person”, Becky leads students in daily morning movement to prepare them for their day of learning.  Over the last three years, Becky has worked 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 the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign.  She is a proud former youth triathlon coach with Achieve Kids Tri in Washington, DC where she taught 9-12 year olds how to swim, bike, run, and the importance of a healthy diet.  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 various gyms throughout Denver and Aurora.  She loves running, cycling, hiking, and camping throughout Colorado, completed the Boulder Ironman last summer (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run) and enjoys walking her dog Fyfe in Cheeseman Park alongside her husband Andy.

  • Sally Sorte

    Founder & Executive Director

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    Sally Sorte 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 part of the Leadership Denver class of 2017 and looks forward to learning about Denver to identify more opportunities to contribute to the community. She enjoys running, skiing, yoga, exploring the Colorado wilderness with her dog Moxie, and learning new things everyday from students and team members.

  • Aubreigh Ford

    Front Desk Manager

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    Aubreigh has been in Colorado for most of her life after coming from Dallas, TX. At age 4 she began school in a Private district until her 8th grade year when she transitioned to East High School, where she graduated with 4 years of Honors and a certificate in Nursing. Aubreigh has been working in education for 4 years as an instructor & an assistant. She is furthering her education at Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Practical Nursing Program. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family & friends. DPS education runs in her family — Aubreigh’s grandmother worked for DPS, her mother has worked for DPS for 20 years, and her sisters have both been with DPS for over 6 years. Aubreigh enjoys every bit of what she does in life; she enjoys the feeling she gets when she knows she has done something that will help a student to prepare for life choices in the future. This is Aubreigh’s third year at Academy 360.

  • Valerie Ireland

    ECE Lead

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    Valerie Ireland is excited to return for a second year on the Academy 360 team. She brings over 15 years of early childhood teaching experience as well as 10 years of work with English Language development. She and her husband Dave are avid campers and hikers as well as students of permaculture and sustainability. Valerie is the founder and past board chair of Mountain Friends Camp. She has two college-aged children, two dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and a turtle. She is happy to bring her passion for teaching and learning to Academy 360.

  • Deborha Haywood

    ECE Lead

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    Deborha Haywood is part of the Academy 360 Early Childhood Education (ECE) team. Deborha has taught preschoolers for seven years and is Director qualified in ECE. 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.

     

  • Erin Deskin

    ECE Lead

    Originally from Colorado, Erin earned her BA from Boston University before moving to the Big Island of Hawai’i to teach kindergarten. During this time, she also earned a Master of Education degree from Chaminade University of Honolulu. After leaving Hawai’i, she has spent the past two years teaching English in South Korea on a Fulbright grant. Erin is so excited to return to her home state this year, and can’t wait to get in some quality hiking and snowboarding time! She is thrilled to join the A360 team, and is looking forward to helping our scholars grow their minds, bodies and characters!

  • Miriam Cervantez

    ECE Assistant

    Miriam Cervantes is a twenty-three year old mother of two girls (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, working with  Dermatologists, Physiatrist, and the Elderly. As a mother, she had to take a break from her career and attend her daughter Annabella, who was diagnosed with bronchitis and had to be put on oxygen support for a period of six months. From that point on she was offered a position as a Preschool Teacher Assistant, at University Children’s Center. The experience brought her a significant amount of knowledge in getting to know different personalities and how to treat each one individually. Not only as a care provider but as a mother, I know that is crucial to treat children with an open mind and a kind heart. It always brings me joy to be able to help and assist the children’s growth and development. This upcoming school year will be her first year at Academy 360 and she is very excited to be part of the team. She plans to continue her education and attend 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.

  • Temira Lofton

    ECE Assistant

    I am a native of Colorado, lived here my whole life. I am the youngest of four siblings, and a mother of the “Magnificient 7”. I started working in ECE as a teacher assistant at the age of 16 and moved up to a group leader after three years and worked in this area for a total of ten years. After graduating from Aurora Central High School in 2001 with a certificate in nursing from T.H Pickens Technical School. I started  working as a Paraprofessional with Life skills/ severe needs special education in 2003 with Aurora Public Schools. APS trained me to become highly qualified paraprofessional. I have now been with the school system 13 years. I will be continuing my education in Nursing with Colorado Christian University. In my free time I love spending time with my children, and singing in church.  My purpose in life is to help those who cannot help themselves in areas of health and education it calms my heart knowing I made a change.

  • Liz Woolford

    Kindergarten Crew Leader

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    Liz earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and human development from Eckerd College in Florida. Soon, she’ll receive her masters degree in educational psychology from the University of Colorado. Before joining the Academy 360 community, Liz student-taught kindergarten at Boulder Country Day and worked at a therapeutic school in Denver. She also served as an applied behavioral analyst at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta. Outside the classroom, Liz enjoys reading, trying new recipes in the kitchen and playing in the Colorado sunshine!

  • Mariah Walker

    Kindergarten Lead

    Mariah received her bachelor’s degree and teaching license through the Urban Community Teacher Ed Program at the University of Colorado. She has joined the Academy 360 team after teaching 2nd grade in DPS. Mariah also has several years of previous experience teaching preschool. She was born in Australia and has lived in Maine, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, New Orleans and now Denver for the past 5 years. Mariah values authentic relationships and experiences, creative expression and life-time learning. Her hobbies include reading and dancing. She is a  single mother of three young children and lives in the local neighborhood. Mariah describes herself as “silly and passionate”.

  • Ginny Adams

    1st grade Crew Leader

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    Ginny was born and raised in Dallas, TX. She graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder where she earned a BA in Psychology and completed the Elementary Education Licensure Program. Ginny has always loved working with children and is so excited to be a part of the Academy 360 community and watch each student grow in mind, body, and character. When she is not in the classroom, she loves spending time in the outdoors, especially hiking in the summer with her golden retriever Buddy and snowboarding in the winter.

  • Traci Hangen

    2nd Grade Crew Leader

    I come from the great state of Montana where I also received my bachelors degree for elementary education at Montana State University. Immediately after college, I moved to Denver to experience a more urban lifestyle. I spent two years teaching early childhood education where I then moved up to kindergarten for two years as well. I am continuing moving up the grade level ladder and 2016-2017 will be my first year teaching second grade and first year at Academy 360. I really enjoyed my time working in early childhood and kindergarten but am looking forward to the refreshing change second graders will offer me. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy being outside skiing, hiking, biking, running, and cooking delicious dinners. I also love to travel and spend time in the mountains or explore areas I’ve never before. I also try to get back to Montana and Minnesota to see family and friends whenever possible.

  • Cassie Aten

    3rd grade Crew Leader

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    Cassie is so excited about being a part of the A360 team this year! She is originally from NE Iowa and attended school at the University of Northern Iowa where she earned a bachelors degree in Elementary Education. During this time, she taught at a local preschool for 3 years. She hopes to begin working towards her masters in Elementary Education in the near future. Cassie moved to Colorado Springs with her husband Michael in June of 2014 where they adopted their amazing puppy Scout and she taught a 1st grade class. She moved to the Denver area over the summer and can’t think of a better place to be teaching! Cassie loves hiking in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, biking, and reading. She has a passion for helping others and showing kids that they have a purpose.

  • Hollie Brooks

    4th grade Crew Leader

    Passionate about empowering students, Hollie began teaching in 2011. She has a Bachelors in Elementary Education with a minor in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado. Hollie has been enjoying teaching for the past four years. As a fourth and fifth grade teacher she has impacted the lives of her students by utilizing positive reinforcement strategies, and creative engaging lessons that increase learning in and out of the classroom. Hollie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, roller blading with her dog Ezra, and cozying up with her kitten Cleo.

  • Emily Stelling

    5th grade Crew Leader

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    Emily is originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland. She just moved to Colorado from Indianapolis where she taught for the past 2 years. Her favorite subject to teach is Reading but loves to see her students succeed in anything they are passionate about! Emily received her degree in Elementary Education from the University of Oklahoma and her Masters Degree from Marian University. She also just finished her commitment to Teach for America and strives to always continue learning about how better to teach her students. When she is not studying, grading, or at school, she is hiking in the mountains with her parents and dog, Gavin, or reading a really good book!

  • Hope Lawrence

    Special Education Teacher

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    Hope Lawrence is a special education teacher with a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M University. She is born and raised from a small town near Dallas, TX and just recently moved to the Denver area. Her background includes experience working with students with mild/moderate to severe/profound disabilities, co-teaching in Kindergarten, providing in-home therapy to students with autism, before and after school tutoring, ABA therapy, and preschool health and fitness coaching. When Hope is not teaching, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her family and friends, going out to eat, and dancing to a good beat.

  • Danielle Alley

    1st/2nd Grade Interventionist

    Danielle is new to Colorado and happy to join the A360 team. She has three years experience as a Special Education teaching assistant in the public school system in Nashville, Tennessee. Danielle studied performing arts at The New School in New York City and earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston. She is in the process of completing prerequisite coursework for a degree in occupational therapy. Danielle is dedicated to helping students realize individual potential and meaningfully engage with the world. Originally from Florida, she is excited to explore the beautiful Rocky Mountains!

  • Alex Valencia

    3rd/4th Grade Interventionist

    Alex was born and raised in the Maryland/Washington DC area. She graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. In the fall, she will further her education as she begins a Masters of Counseling program (specializing in children and adolescents) through Northwestern University. Alex is new to Colorado, and is looking forward to being a part of the Academy 360 team for a second year. When she is not at school, she loves traveling to the beach, spending time with family, and cheering on her favorite sports teams – the Washington Redskins and Washington Capitals!

  • Ronnie Kenfield

    SEL Coordinator

    Ronnie was born and raised in Colorado. He attended Chatfield Senior High School where he was an athlete in the sports of football, baseball, and rugby. Ronnie holds a Bachelors degree in Human Development with a minor in Elementary Education from Metro State University of Denver. Before joining A360, Ronnie combined his love for athletics and health with his passion for working with young people while working for youth programs at Denver’s local park and recreation districts. Ronnie is excited to now partner up with students, families, and teachers in refining and executing a positive school culture at Academy 360. He believes that every child has the potential of achieving even more than they think possible through the support and guidance of positive role models. On his days off you will find Ronnie, and his wife, with their two dogs, Elly and Cooper, fishing and hiking up at their mountain property. While in the city, Ronnie enjoys golf, trying new restaurants, and finding ways to further his education through conferences and courses.