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Staff Members

  • Jarrae Newell

    Kindergarten Teacher

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    Jarrae was born and raised in Colorado and graduated from Colorado State University where he earned a BA in Journalism and Media Communication with an additional major in Communication.  Jarrae is a first-year teacher through the nonprofit organization Teach For America. Previous to becoming a part of Academy 360’s staff, Jarrae served as a mentor to 17 first year college students, many of whom were first generation and came from a low -income background. Before going to college, Jarrae worked for Cope Boys & Girls Club, which he also attended as a member before working there – he is a proud alum.  He also is a proud brother of his illustrious fraternity – Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated.

  • 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 has been living and exploring in the southern part of the United States the past 4 years, and just recently moved to Denver this summer. She has taught Kindergarten for three years, and 2nd grade for one year. She is very excited to be joining 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.

  • Jazell Aldridge

    Kindergarten Interventionist

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    Jazell is thrilled to return to the Academy 360 family. Last year she had several tasks within the 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). 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!

  • Alyssa McMillan

    Lower Elementary Interventionist

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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! 

  • Ronnie Kenfield

    1st Grade Teacher

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    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 recently completed his Masters of Education in Teacher Leadership from Walden University and holds a Bachelor’s 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. 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.

  • Arizona Alli

    2nd/3rd 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. Last year she had the privilege to work with a wide range of students at Academy 360 as the Literacy Interventionist, 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.

  • Nicole Sawick

    3rd/4th Grade Teacher

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    Nicole is from the suburbs of Chicago and went to school at Indiana University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She is a big college basketball fan – Go Hoosiers! She moved to Denver 4 years ago and doesn’t ever want to go back to the Midwest! She taught 2nd grade in Denver Public Schools for two years and this will be her second year at Academy 360 teaching 4th grade. She loves working with children and helping kids become leaders. She hopes to go back to school within the next couple of years to receive her Master’s degree. When she’s not in the classroom, she loves spending her time outside when it’s nice out either hiking or playing games at the park. Nicole finally bought a ski pass and is excited to become a better skier this winter. She also enjoys snuggling with her cat, Lucy, while watching Netflix.

  • Lyndsey Scales

    5th Grade Teacher

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    Lyndsey has lived in Colorado for the last 18 years. During her time in Colorado, she obtained her B.A in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado and her M.A. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Reading and Writing from the University of Colorado Denver. For the last 13 years, Lyndsey has taught elementary education in the Denver Metro area. She taught first grade for 6 years, third grade for 4 years and fifth grade for 3 years.  Lyndsey is a very student centered teacher who is dedicated to getting students ready for their future college and career experiences. Lyndsey is also very determined to integrate technology into the classroom on a daily basis to provide students with the necessary 21st century skills. When Lyndsey is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband, seven year old son, and her two dogs. She also loves creating art, running, biking, gardening and being outdoors in general.

  • Deborha Haywood

    ECE Lead 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 three 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.

     

  • Amanda Schmidt

    ECE Lead 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, two 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, watch movies with her fiance Scott and plan their upcoming wedding in July 2019.

     

  • Miriam Cervantes

    ECE 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 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.

  • Cinthya Salas

    ECE Assistant

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    Cinthya is a founding family at Academy 360 and is the proud mother of Dorly, Meleny, and Xochilt, all students at Academy 360.  She was born and raised in Jalisco, Mexico and has lived in Colorado since she was 14.  Cinthya has served in many different roles at the school since 2013; she helped found the ECE program and continues to serve A360’s littlest students.  In her spare time, she loves to dance, cook, camp, and be with her family.

  • Alondra Banuelos

    ECE Assistant

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    Bio coming soon!

  • Marvin Williams

    PE & Health Teacher

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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 has completed some requirements for MA in organizational management with the University of Phoenix; however is currently pursuing his Health Coach Certification through the American Council on Exercise and his alternative teaching license.

    Marvin joins the Academy 360 team via 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).

  • Josh Coraci

    Special Education Teacher

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    Originally from Michigan, Josh recently moved to Denver from New York City where he lived the last 7 years. While in New York, he worked in NYC public schools, and received his masters in Special Education from LIU Brooklyn. He is excited about being part of the A360 community, and building strong, positive relationships with his new students.  When not working with students, Josh enjoys active time in the mountains, sports, and traveling with his wife, Amy.

  • Ginny Adams

    Special Education Interventionist

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    Ginny grew up in Dallas, TX and graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder where she earned a BA in Psychology and completed the Elementary Education Program. This past May, she graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with a Masters in Special Education. Ginny has been working at Academy 360 since January 2014 and has taught 1st and 2nd grades. She has enjoyed watching students grow in mind, body, and character throughout the years and looks forward to the school year ahead. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys spending time in the outdoors and exploring this beautiful state! She especially enjoys hiking in the summer with her husband, Chance, and dog, Timbo, and snowboarding in the winter. She is also very excited to be welcoming a new member of the family, a baby boy, this September!  

  • Grace Ritchie

    Upper Elementary Interventionist

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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 2018-2019 school year will be her fourth year as an intervention teacher and seventh year as a Denver educator. 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.

  • Jose Tamayo

    Building Custodian

    Biography coming soon!

  • Nicole Grzybowski

    Academic Instructional Coach

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    Nicole has been working on behalf of charter schools and their students since 1999, serving in various roles, including: ELA-T teacher, ELA Coordinator, Student Achievement Director, Vice-Principal, and Charter School Co-Founder. She most recently served as the Director of School Quality and Support at the Colorado League of Charter Schools. She has been a constant champion for quality educational options for students and families throughout Colorado.  Nicole received her Bachelor’s Degrees in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and holds a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix. She holds certificates from Denver Public Schools for English Language Development Administrator and is a Certified Trainer for Year 1 and Year 2 English Language Development Teacher Courses. She is also recognized as a National Common Core State Standards Trainer for English Language Education. She lives in Denver with her husband and children.

  • Cait Partyka

    Whole Child Supports Manager

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    Cait supports academic and behavioral interventions for the Academy 360 community by blending her background in social work and education. Cait grew up in Connecticut and studied Nutrition and Public Health at the University of Connecticut and was awarded a scholarship for her contributions to the University of Connecticut’s Center for Public Health. After working in community nutrition, Cait received her Masters in Social Work from Boston College. Cait was named a Schweitzer Fellow and was recognized for her work developing community health programs for underserved youth in the Greater Boston Area.  She has experience teaching kindergarten and first grade in Denver and has also worked as a high school administrator in the Bay Area. Cait recently completed a 200-hour yoga certification training and looks forward to integrating yoga into her intervention work with students. Cait loves adventuring with her daughter Sariah and hosting family dinners that her husband Hao cooks

  • Shannon McKinney

    School Psychologist

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    Shannon is very excited to be joining the Academy 360 team four days a week this year. She received her B.A. in Theatre Studies in 1999 from Kent State University, then went on to receive her M.Ed. in 2006 while working for Akron Public Schools in Akron, Ohio. Shannon worked as an Intervention Specialist for six years while completing her Educational Specialist degree at Kent State in School Psychology.  After completing her degree in 2012, she worked as a school psychologist for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Cuyahoga Falls City School District in Ohio. Shannon presented on the role school psychologists play supporting teachers in co-taught classrooms at the National Association of School Psychologists Conference in 2011. In her spare time, Shannon enjoys running, hiking, yoga, meditation, volunteering at the local animal shelter, as well as serving at community meals. Shannon just completed her move from Akron to Denver this summer and is looking forward to all the new opportunities for personal and professional growth this year.

  • Sierra Pagel

    Social Work Graduate Student

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    Sierra was born and raised in Alaska, but later moved to Idaho where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Child Development. After college, she moved to Texas where she worked for Casa de Esperanza de los Ninos, which is a non-profit emergency foster care organization. Sierra then moved to Denver to pursue her Master’s in Social Work. Sierra is currently in her concentration year at the University of Denver and is excited to be joining A360 for her final year in her Master’s program. Sierra is excited to meet and learn more about the students and staff at A360. In her free time, Sierra enjoys exploring Colorado with her friends, and traveling to new places!

  • Brynn Wiessner

    Social Work Graduate Student

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    Brynn is a Minnesota native who recently moved to Denver, Colorado for graduate school.  Brynn is passionate about creating and facilitating positive experiences for youth.  She has a background in wildlife ecology in her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison, and worked for two years as an environmental educator in southeastern Minnesota before going back to school for social work.  Brynn has worked with youth in a variety of settings including summer camps, therapeutic horseback riding programs, outdoor instruction, and as a farm and wildlife intern at Green Chimneys Children’s Services, a residential and day program for children with social, emotional, and behavioral needs.  She is passionate about combining her love of the outdoors and animals with her social work studies and learning more about how outdoor and animal assisted interventions build resiliency and foster caring, confidence, and connections in youth.

  • Eric Brucz

    Director - Academics & Culture

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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 - Wellness & Operations

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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. 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 the First Lady’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.  She loves running, cycling, hiking, and camping throughout Colorado, is an accomplished Ironman, an Orangetheory Fitness fanatic, and enjoys walking her dog Fyfe alongside her husband Andy.  Becky is a proud graduate of the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership (RIHEL) and volunteers with the Montbello Organizing Committee.

  • Rosie Esparza

    Front Office Manager

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    While Rosie is a new staff member at Academy 360, she has been a part of the family for the last four years as both of her children attend A360 – Romeo is a 3rd grader and Emilio is in Kindergarten. 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.

  • Sally Sorte

    Founder

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    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.  She enjoys running, skiing, yoga and exploring the Colorado wilderness with her husband Austin and their dog Moxie.