Teaching at Valdez Elementary, Kindergarten
Julio completed his residency year training at Munroe Elementary in a Kindergarten classroom. He joined the Denver Teacher Residency from the mental health field and has worked as a clinical case manager at the Mental Health Center of Denver. Julio saw DTR as an enriching opportunity to learn how to be an effective teacher that would truly help his students learn and grow and reach their fullest potential. As a product of DPS, Julio would like to take part in closing the achievement gap by helping the school system that helped him as a child.
“I’ve seen how rigorous the kids’ work is.”
Julio recognizes that teaching is an incredible opportunity to help the community and positively impact the lives of children. For this reason, he hopes to teach for several years and one day, become an administrator in order to continue to improve Denver’s schools for years to come.
Teaching at Munroe Elementary, 1st Grade
After moving from Ecuador, his country of origin in South America, Paul has lived in Colorado for over 10 years now. Teaching has been one of his passions and after his professional growth as a manager in the Marketing and Construction field in the Denver area, he joined Denver Teacher Residency with a strong feeling and need to give back to the community, especially its children. Paul completed his residency year training in a first grade classroom at Greenwood K-8.
“I know that I’m going to be a big contributor to the education system.”
It was through his volunteer experience working as a mentor with a student of the Denver Kids, Inc. that he decided to get actively involved in the education field with a clear goal of helping students to reach their highest potential.
Currently teaching at Farrell B. Howell.
Gretchen joined Denver Teacher Residency from an extensive and varied career with outdoor and experiential education. She has worked for Outward Bound as a wilderness instructor, coordinated a G.E.D. program, and taught environmental education on the Heifer International Ranch. It was through these experiences that she found her passion and commitment to serving and educating at-risk youth.
Gretchen sees Denver Teacher Residency as more than a five-year commitment, and plans to dedicate her life to teaching and helping students reach their highest potential.
Completing residency at Gust Elementary, 5th Grade
I am a Denver native. I graduated from University of Colorado Boulder in 2006 with a BA in English. After college I spent two years teaching English to elementary students in Guayabo Abajo, Costa Rica with the Harvard-based volunteer program, WorldTeach. I spent a year pursuing a Masters in Social Work at University of Denver and interned at Skinner Middle School in Denver Public Schools. I discovered then that I preferred being in the classroom so I withdrew from the program and began working full-time at the Denver Dumb Friends League while I searched for the best route into teaching.
I chose the Denver Teacher Residency because I think it will best prepare me to serve my students in the future. I like that the master’s program takes only one year and that the majority of the time is spent in the classroom gaining real-life experience and support from a mentor teacher. Finally, I like that the whole program is geared specifically toward serving DPS students, as I plan to stay in Denver. I look forward to strengthening the relationships I’m developing with my colleagues, mentor teacher, and most of all with my students. This will help prepare me to address the individual needs of a very diverse group of learners.
Teaching at Cheltenham Elementary, 5th Grade
In 2007, I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with honors and a double major in Art History and Spanish. I spent my final year at CU studying Spanish in Guadalajara, Mexico. The year after graduation, I received a grant to teach English and develop bilingual curriculum in a public high school in Algeciras, Spain.
After returning to Denver, I knew I wanted to continue to teach and I began researching teaching programs. The DTR fit my hands-on style of learning and provided an opportunity for me to make a real, positive impact in my community, so I signed up.
I spent my first year as a DTR resident at Montclair Elementary with my mentor, Jennifer Shindoll. She modeled not only effective classroom practices, but also how to navigate an often-challenging assortment of obligations meted out to a public school teacher. As it turns out, our role as teachers is not limited to planning and teaching. I learned from Jen how to support a child in their education, as well as how to provide for them in their social development. She also continued to support me through the many challenges of my first year in my own classroom.
After two years in DPS teaching at Cheltenham Elementary, I have begun to see the actual breadth of my role as a fifth grade teacher. For some students, I may be their only connection to education. I have just one year to make an impact that will engage them and prepare them for the steps they’ll make on their own when they leave my classroom. For this reason, I am continually seeking ways to improve my practice in order to make every lesson count. This role of teacher is as difficult and multifaceted as it is rewarding, and it is one that I am proud to fulfill every day.
Completing residency at Montclair School of Academics & Enrichment, 5th Grade
I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and Graphic Design from Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. I also completed a Master’s Degree in Business from Argosy University in March of 2011. Prior to joining the Denver Teacher Residency, I worked as the Alumni Coordinator at The Art Institute of Colorado.
I chose DTR because I like that the program trains teachers to succeed in a specific demographic, those students in Denver Public Schools. I am enjoying the teaching practicum in the classroom, and looking forward to learning more about how to teach despite a constant transition of students and the enduring politics of education.
Teaching at College View Elementary, 4th Grade
I was very active in sports growing up, and played on an inner city youth competitive basketball team in high school. This experience allowed me to see different places and see college as an attainable goal. Despite becoming a mother shortly after high school, with support from a very large family, great friends, coaches, and teachers, I was able to go to college and become successful. I feel that one of my greatest accomplishments has been completing college while raising a young child. I hope I can be inspiration to other teen parents and prove that goals can still be achieved despite having a child at a young age.
I aspired to be a teacher, but chose the path too late into my college career. The DTR program fit me perfectly because of the hands-on experience it provided as well as the challenging coursework through the University of Denver.
I love spending four days of my week in the classroom with kids. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and provides training that could not be obtained from a book and coursework. Every day is a new experience with challenges and successes. It’s always wonderful to see the children in my classroom learn and grow.
There have definitely been surprises – balancing all of the non-academic challenges that come with being a teacher, as well as the vast difference in abilities that are all in one classroom is a huge challenge. I enjoy the challenge of keeping all the children engaged and learning across their academic differences.
Rhianna completed her residency year training at Archuleta Elementary.
Completing residency at Montclair School of Academics & Enrichment, Kindergarten
I am from Atlanta, GA. I have two sisters, one who teaches in Atlanta and the other one lives here in Denver and works for The Boys and Girl Club. My mother was a teacher and now works for Georgia Independent Schools. My father is from Hong Kong and owned a Chinese restaurant in Marietta, GA. I grew up in Atlanta and lived there until I went to college in Tuscaloosa, AL. I recently got married and my husband and I moved to Colorado back in September. We love Colorado! It was the best decision we’ve made yet! I love to ski, run, and be outdoors.
I graduated from The University of Alabama in 2006. I graduated with a BS in Health Studies and a minor in Nutrition. I worked for three years at a private school, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, in Atlanta. I worked in the Admissions office and was the Director of Outreach. I also taught dance class to K-5th graders and was the high school’s Varsity Dance Team and Swim Team coach. After I moved to Meridian, MS two years ago, I worked at Stifel Nicolaus financial company. When I moved to Colorado back in September, I started working at Encana Oil & Gas Company.
I chose Denver Teacher Residency because of the program’s motto. I believe that every child deserves a great education and I think that DTR reaches out to every child. I think that this program is an amazing one because it really prepares us as teachers with the experience in the classroom. I am looking forward to all the learning, the experiences, and the growth that we still have ahead of us.
Completing residency at Montclair School of Academics & Enrichment, 1st Grade
I moved to Colorado six years ago from Milwaukee, WI, after visiting and falling in love with the active mountain lifestyle. I finished my B.A. in psychology at the University of Colorado while heading up research on adolescent substance abuse. I took an introductory course to teaching while at CU, and realized how much I loved teaching kids. I am now a very happy Denver Teacher Residency resident and proud mother of an awesome 4-year-old boy. My hobbies include reading, debating current events, trail/mountain running, mountain biking, rock climbing, and conquering every Fourteener in Colorado.
Once I knew teaching was for me, I searched the internet for licensing options. I found out about DTR through the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) website. When I attended a DTR information session, I was impressed by the opportunity to earn an M.A., be placed in a high-needs classroom with a mentor teacher, the tuition reimbursement program, and the excellent job prospects in Denver Public Schools upon completion.
This year, I am most looking forward to my son beginning to read, climbing some mountains, graduating with my Master’s Degree, and ultimately getting my own classroom!
Completing residency at Montclair School of Academics & Enrichment, Kindergarten
I am from Michigan and grew up the oldest child of two teachers. I grew up camping with my family and playing in the lakes of Michigan. I graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Social Work, and moved west, spending a summer in Yellowstone before moving to Steamboat Springs. I have been in Colorado for 13 years now, and in Denver about 7 years. I am a passionate about playing outside; I love to garden, swim, run, ski, and hike. I am three years married with a daughter Cassidy Anne, who will be two in October.
For the last six+ years while in Denver, I worked for Goodwill Industries in the Youth Services Department. I started out in a part-time, temporary position helping youth with disabilities find employment, and worked my way up to Manager of Youth Services for the last four years. A good friend of mine who I had worked with at Goodwill, Sarah Grant, was accepted into Denver Teacher Residency last year. She knew I wanted to get into the classroom and shared the website. She has been an amazing coach to me as I went through the application process and really encouraged me to pursue this opportunity. She has always spoken very highly of her experience with DTR.
I have always wanted to be a teacher! I spent the first half of my career teaching through alternative venues – outdoor education, job and career readiness, and working as an outside community-based organization in a school. Finally, after the birth of my daughter, I knew I needed a change and after Sarah told me about DTR, I put my whole heart into the application process. The resources, training, and support DTR provides is exceptional and rare in teacher prep programs. Plus, I knew I wanted to work in DPS schools and that I would need more training and support then just a six-week summer seminar. I want my teaching career to be effective and impactful, and this is the program that will train me to be the kind of teacher I want to be.
My residency year brings so many new things – getting to know my mentor teacher, walking into work every day to a classroom of students, receiving ongoing feedback, coaching, and development, being invested in, and fulfilling my dream of, becoming a teacher and learning new information!
Teaching at Valdez Elementary, Literacy
I am 31 and grew up in New Jersey and moved to Colorado as a teenager. I graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Journalism. I worked for eight years as a reporter for several newspapers in Colorado and Florida on the crime beat. My husband, daughter and I live in Denver.
I was pursuing a teaching certificate when I heard about Denver Teacher Residency and its commitment to students in urban schools, particularly “at-risk” students. The more I learned about the program, the more I felt that it had been custom designed for me. The mentoring, specially-designed master’s coursework and residency model were highlights. It was everything I wanted and more in a teaching program.
As a resident at Montclair Elementary, the thing I enjoyed most about my residency year was being paired with a mentor teacher who mentored and helped me develop my own teaching style, rituals and routines. Her support was invaluable and key to my learning process. I also love the students! There’s nothing better than a bunch of eager kids – they are awesome little people. The biggest challenge I see is the need for more one-on-one time with students, especially those who struggle academically whether it be because of language or pacing.
Completing residency at Archuleta Elementary, 1st Grade
I am originally from Michigan. I earned a master’s degree in communications from American University in Washington, D.C. For years I was fortunate to have the opportunity to share inspirational stories from non-profits to the public. I also am the author of a book “Trail Mix: Stories of Youth Overcoming Adversity” about young people who found new hope and awareness through programs based in the wilderness. After graduating from Michigan State University, I loaded up my car and drove to Washington, D.C., where I lived for seven years until I decided to relocate closer to the mountains. I’ve lived in Colorado for 16 years and call this home. I am married and am a mother of two awesome, active boys.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation hired me to look at what can be learned from the community organizing for education reform work going on in Denver. Through a series of interviews with parents, teachers, and leaders, I learned about the achievement gap and the innovative efforts of our community and Denver Public Schools in closing the gap. I was drawn to be a part of that change. With that aim in my mind, I was fortunate enough to discover DTR’s website.
The cohort and residency model strongly appealed to me. I like the idea of learning with a group coupled with the first-hand experience of being in an elementary classroom. I appreciate being connected to a mentor teacher for a whole year to learn and experience things books can’t necessarily explain. I am looking forward to putting the skills we learn in our university classroom to work in the DPS classroom. My hope is to help young people find fulfillment and excitement in learning.
I am finding that there is so little time and so much to do! There’s so much for children to learn, master, and experience. Yet, our efforts are in competition with television, video games, along with more significant life distractions, like poverty. As I continue this year, I will look for ways to overcome this challenge.
Completing residency at Archuleta Elementary, 2nd Grade
I am from California. I love photography and traveling. I believe I caught the “teaching bug” while teaching English as a second language in Romania. I am a graduate of Vanguard University where I received my B.A. in Religion, Cross-Cultural Ministry. I have worked as a missionary, a counselor in residential treatment facilities for at-risk youth, and as a para-educator in special education programs.
I found out about Denver Teacher Residency through a Craigslist posting when looking for ways into teaching. I chose the DTR program because of the focus on mentorship and immersion. The residency model is proving to be rigorous and a solid way to train to become a teacher. I am enjoying working with my mentor teacher and gleaning as much as I can from my colleagues and first-hand experience working with students. I think one of the biggest challenges for urban teachers is reaching into the individual lives of students from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, and learning styles while also adhering to the educational mandates to bridge the achievement gap. DTR is preparing me to meet that challenge.
Completing residency at Cole Arts and Science Academy, 1st Grade
I am originally from St. Louis, MO but my family moved to Colorado Springs when I was a child. I’ve always loved all that Colorado has to offer and I am excited for the opportunity to stay in Denver with Denver Teacher Residency. I received my Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in Business Administration, concentrating in Marketing and Management. After college, I went to work in marketing for a large television provider in Denver for several years. I have always been interested in the field of education and made the decision to transition to a career where I could make a positive impact on the future of our country.
I first heard of DTR when several friends and family members emailed me links to the DTR website, thinking it sounded like the perfect opportunity for me. Upon learning more about the program and attending an information sessions I knew it aligned well with my goals for the future. I chose Denver Teacher Residency for many reasons. I was excited for the challenge of teaching in an urban school. I also really liked the idea of working alongside a mentor teacher and learning practical knowledge in an actual classroom while simultaneously earning my Master’s degree.
In the coming year, I’m most looking forward to the time spent in the classroom alongside my lead teacher and continuing to form strong relationships with the other residents in my cohort. I think the biggest challenge for urban teachers today is finding and developing new and innovative methods of instruction to effectively reach all students. I believe this is a crucial component in closing the achievement gap, and am excited to learn how to be a teacher who does this for my students.
Completing residency at Grant Beacon Middle School, Secondary Math
I was born in Denver, Colorado and have been proud to call it home ever since. I graduated in 2009 from Colorado State University with a degree in Statistics. From there I worked in a hospital as a Program Assistant and saw how the providers change and affect lives every day. I was really inspired by this and wanted to make a difference so I went in search of what would help me do that. Then I stumbled upon this program on craigslist and saw it as a way to make a difference. I have always enjoyed working with kids and have a strange love for math so why not be a math teacher?
The DTR program supports a great cause, ,and has an actionable challenge: put effective teachers who were prepared by Denver Public Schools into DPS classrooms to make a positive difference in every student’s life they encounter. Working with the students in the classroom I learn not only from them but also my mentor teacher, the teachers in my master’s classes, and also the other residents in the cohort. I’m hoping to increase the graduation rate through teaching. I find this idea encompasses all of the challenges urban teachers encounter. The goal is to help every student graduate and in the process help them to understand why that goal is important to them.
Teaching at Teller Elementary, 1st Grade
I am 54 and recently married. I come from a military family, so growing up we moved around a lot and I went to many different schools. We moved to Colorado in 1972 where I completed high school at William J. Palmer in 1975. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and my Master’s in Corporate & Industrial Communications.
I spent 23 years working in telecommunications in the area of sales, contract administration, and finance. I was an accountant for five years at DPS and decided to make a career change and was a substitute teacher for six months. I’ve also done freelance writing for two local publications, Women’s Edition and the Denver Urban Spectrum.
I come from a big family, love kids, and have always been a mentor throughout my professional career. Although I’ll be the first certified educator in my immediate family, educators come from both sides of my family – on my father’s side there are several retired and active school teachers, and a current elementary school principal; on my mother’s side there are also retired and current teachers, as well as another elementary school principal, and a college professor. Linda completed her residency year training at Gust Elementary.
Completing residency at Cole Arts & Science Academy, 3rd Grade
I grew up in West Texas. I earned my bachelors in Spanish from the University of Denver and have taught English in Costa Rica. I enjoy playing sports, specifically soccer. I like to spend my free time doing anything outdoorsy.
I chose Denver Teacher Residency because I believe that the training I am receiving from DTR coupled with the master’s in education from DU will prepare me to be the successful and effective teacher I wish to become. I see the biggest challenge that urban teachers face as the diversity of the classroom, both culturally and academically. To be working in the classroom and being directly involved with the students is helping me prepare to be a teacher who can address these challenges.
Teaching at Montclair Elementary, 1st Grade
I am 35 and a Denver, Colorado native. I am a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Bachelor’s of Music), the University of Michigan, and Southern Illinois University (Master’s degree in Music Performance). I am an accomplished teacher, soloist, and orchestral musician. My musical travels have spanned the United States, Mexico, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Canada, and Australia.
I was formerly on staff at Southern Illinois University and have performed for college and grade school classrooms, as well as corporate firms across the United States. I held principal oboe positions with the Orquesta de Sinaloa de las Artes in Culiacan, Mexico as well as the New York Repertory Orchestra, Harlem Symphony Orchestra, and the Greenwich Village Orchestra.
I particularly enjoyed traveling to small pueblos in Mexico performing and teaching classical music to people who had never been exposed to it. I continue to teach private lessons for flute and oboe in the Denver Metro Area. I live in northeast Denver with my 3-1/2 year old daughter. I grew up in Denver Public Schools and am happy to be learning and teaching in the DPS system.
Teaching at Holm Elementary, 2nd Grade
I grew up in West Texas and attended the University of Texas at El Paso where I earned my Bachelor’s of Art Degree in Criminal Justice in December, 2000. I went on to work for the U.S. Pretrial Services Office as a government contractor and then as a case manager in a Federal halfway house. After moving to Denver in 2002 I worked for Adams County School District 14 for five years, first as a Migrant Education Recruiter and then as an Adult English as a Second Language Instructor.
I chose the Denver Teacher Residency because it gave me hands-on experience in the classroom, and the opportunity to earn my Master’s degree from the University of Denver at the same time. I was impressed with the extensive support network that I received as a resident, and surprised at how progressive DPS is in implementing new ideas, like this residency.
I’m looking forward to working with families to overcome the challenge of lack of parent involvement. As I work on my teaching skills, I enjoy making a difference in the kids’ lives and watching them grow as students. Rosa trained at Archuleta Elementary.
Completing residency at Archuleta Elementary, 2nd Grade
After many years of travel and exploration of foreign languages and cultures, I was ready to serve the diverse population of my local community. I heard about Denver Teacher Residency from a friend who currently teaches Spanish in high school, and she recommended the program as a great way to get a lot of hands-on experience while simultaneously earning my master’s degree. DTR is proving to be a great opportunity to infuse my personal experience and enthusiasm into a multi-cultural classroom and help Denver students get the quality education they deserve.
I am looking forward to collaborating with all the other residents in my cohort as we learn and grow in the experience, and to combine masters level theory and discussion with actual classroom practices several times a week. Together we see real world applications and results. I see trying to offer a standardized education to an increasingly diverse student population that represents so many different languages, cultures, backgrounds, and learning styles a distinct challenge. I’m learning that creativity and flexibility is key in ensuring that the needs of so many different students are met.
Completing residency at Montclair Elementary, 2nd Grade
I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. I earned by BA from Connecticut College in 2011. I worked as an intern in the Denver Teacher Residency office during the summer of 2010 and I was very impressed by the program so I applied.
I chose the Denver Teacher Residency because I believe this program will help me make a difference in education. I have an amazing opportunity to learn from a mentor teacher while also learning in the classroom. I think these two things combined will help me to be the best educator I can. I am excited to be in the classroom and be working with my students and fellow teachers. I think the biggest challenge is engaging all of the students in the classroom. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and it is important to make the classroom a place where everyone feels comfortable.
Teaching at Gust Elementary, 3rd Grade
Jessica fell in love with teaching when she moved her life to Málaga, Spain, to work in a bilingual elementary school for one year on the Mediterranean Coast. She was heavily involved in the primary classrooms at the school, teaching English lessons, translating curriculum, and generally helping to move the bilingual initiative in the region forward.
Upon her return to the states, Jessica could not have found a better fit in terms of a Master’s program, than the innovative model of the Denver Teacher Residency. She is nothing short of honored to be an agent of real change dedicated to closing the student achievement gap in Denver Public Schools. She completed her residency year at Knapp Elementary in a second grade ELA-S classroom, and begins her teaching career at Gust Elementary as a third grade teacher.
Teaching at Cole Arts & Science Academy, Kindergarten
Claudia’s passion to advocate for youth and their families led Claudia to join the Denver Teacher Residency program. She comes from the human services field in which she served urban youth who experienced violence within their families. She saw education as a critical arena for supporting the empowerment of children and making a big impact. The Denver Teacher Residency program and the University of Denver have prepared Claudia well for the challenges ahead; she completed her residency at Archuleta Elementary. She is dedicated to serving the youth in the Denver community.
Teaching at McMeen Elementary, 2nd Grade
Shannon joined the Denver Teacher Residency Program after 12 years working in the field of federal legislative policy in Washington, D.C. A Denver native and Denver Public Schools graduate, Shannon is thrilled to be back in her home town working to close the achievement gap in DPS and helping all students reach their maximum potential. Shannon complete her residency year at McMeen Elementary.
Teaching at DCIS at Ford Elementary, 1st Grade
Sarah comes to Denver Teacher Residency from the non-profit field. After facilitating high school mentoring programs in Denver Public Schools through Goodwill Industries Youth Services and several years of volunteer with at-risk youth, Sarah realized that she wanted to become an elementary school teacher to help students reach their highest potential.
Sarah found that Denver Teaching Residency provided the opportunity to become a licensed teacher focused on the specific needs of students in Denver Public Schools. She completed her residency year at Archuleta Elementary and in her first few months of teaching already credits the program for spending a lot of time reflecting and reaching out to her former mentor teacher for support. Sarah is already enjoying working in an urban school district and providing students with the opportunity to have a quality education, particularly meeting the challenge of impacting students who have not had high expectations set for them in the past.
Completing residency at Gust Elementary, 2nd Grade
I consider myself a Colorado Native, although I was born in Michigan. My parents are natives and except for short stints in Florida, Australia, and Maine, I’ve lived here my entire life. I enjoy everything Colorado has to offer from theatre to hiking to snowboarding and am looking forward to staying here with my commitment to Denver Public Schools. I hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Marketing and worked in advertising for just over 14 years. I originally went to UNC for teaching but decided I just wasn’t ready at 19. So 17 years later I’m jumping in!
Completing residency at Grant Beacon Middle Schools, Secondary Math
I was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1973 where I lived with my parents and sister until I was three years old. We moved to Mesa, AZ and remained there until I went to college. During high school, I met my wife and the two of us moved from Arizona to Boulder, Colorado after our undergraduate studies for post graduate work. We have moved several times since but now live in Denver with our two children. I received my BS degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Arizona and a MS in Structural Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. I worked for 12 years as a licensed Structural Engineer where I designed buildings and other structures.
I first learned about the Denver Teacher Residency program while looking for options for obtaining my teaching certificate. Several programs offered certification but the DTR program, with its master’s coursework and working with a mentor teacher in the first year, presented itself with opportunities that were not available with other teaching programs. After looking into several different options, the DTR program aligns the most with the opportunities and challenges that I was looking for in becoming a teacher.
I am now working with my mentor teacher in the classroom and learning about classroom environment and cultural diversity. This is one of the biggest challenge facing teachers in an urban environment, and I am working to advantage cultural diversity in the classroom. To be a successful in an urban environment, teachers need to be respectful and understanding of the student’s home and cultural environment.
Teaching at Green Valley Ranch Elementary, 2nd Grade
Growing up, I spent a lot of time in Mexico because my father, then a Mexican citizen met and later married my mother, an American, while he was touring the United States as a professional wrestler in Lucha Libre. They settled down and live in the States, but I was fortunate to have spent most summers and holidays in Mexico. Since then, my father has become a U.S. Citizen and my parents have been married for over 40 years.
I am 38 and bilingual in English and Spanish, and for six years prior to joining Denver Teacher Residency, I worked as an Interior Designer, primarily working in commercial space planning. Before starting interior design, I worked with Continental Airlines, where I got to travel extensively. I had planned on building my career there, but had to adapt my plans after major and immediate changes within the company and across the industry after 9/11. My husband and I originally moved to Denver from Colorado Springs, where he was stationed at Peterson Air Force Base; he is a Denver Firefighter, serving since 1998.
I was interested in DTR because I felt the program could be life changing for me and the students that it is meant to help. I was looking for a way to become more involved in my community and have a more meaningful career. My son is also a student in DPS, so I feel I have a personal stake in DPS’ success. I think the program gave me a unique glimpse into the future challenges of urban educators, which is realizing and understanding all the underlying challenges that many urban students wrestle with outside of school. Sometimes kids are trying to survive the best they can in their everyday world, so it’s hard for them to grasp the importance of studying and what a positive impact it will make on their future.
I did my residency at Archuleta, and preparing for these challenges has been easier with the huge amount of support I got from all the teachers and staff.
Completing residency at North High School, Secondary Math
I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA but have been working as a community organizer in Chicago for the past two years. I studied Mathematics at Colorado College and am excited to be in a program that unites two things I love: Mathematics and Social Justice!
I chose Denver Teacher Residency because of the quality of authentic discussion about real challenges for educators and larger issues in the public education system I witnessed, even in just the interview process. Our reading for the interview was about power in the classroom, how liberal educators differ from educators of color, and how everyone can work together to assure the academic success of our students. I didn’t feel that anybody else was talking about these issues so frankly and practically.
As a resident, I am most looking forward to building a strong bond with my cohort and forming a team of support that I know we are all going to need, especially in our first year. I anticipate that the biggest challenge for me is to not get caught up in all the factors that I can’t change and instead disregarding all other factors, and focus on strong teaching and support for my students.
Completing residency at Montclair Elementary, 5th Grade
I was born and raised in California, where I knew early on that I wanted to be an educator. My childhood was filled with made-up lesson plans and dry erase markers because all I wanted to do was teach. Although I dabbled in a few other directions along the way, my desire to teach was true then, and it’s especially true now. I spent the past several years in the corporate realm of the restaurant industry. I eventually found myself working with the training department in a non-traditional learning setting where I rekindled my desire to teach. After volunteering at a local elementary school for a semester to further explore my passion, I made up my mind for certain that education was where I needed to be. As I’ve gained personal and professional experiences, I have been able to better solidify this desire to educate.
Finding the Denver Teacher Residency was a very fortunate accident for me. Having just taken a weekend trip to Denver, I was curious to see what teaching opportunities might be available. So after what felt like endless days of searching on Craigslist, a posting popped up from DTR. It sounded too good to be true – as I learned more about the opportunity, however, I knew I had to apply. Like I’m sure most people entering the profession would say, I want to help. I want to make a difference. But even more so, I want to work towards improving the quality of education so that every student has a fair chance. I was particularly drawn to the Denver Teacher Residency for this reason because the program seemed so focus on always putting the student first and closing the achievement gap. I also really liked that the program provides the chance to develop alongside a mentor teacher. None of the others programs I looked into could even compare – everything was so well organized and accessible with DTR, it was no contest for me. I am honored to be a part of a program that is adamant about putting students first. Just being a teacher is a privilege in itself, but being a part of this program is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I am so eager to get soak up all that I can in the classroom. I am getting my “feet wet” right away and learning from my mentor teacher. I feel I learn best by doing, and I think the benefits of a congruent and interactive classroom environment are immense. Getting the opportunity to work with students four days a week for an entire year is a gift. I have become increasingly aware of the need for betterment in education, and not only do I believe it is possible, I get to be a part of it. With this program, I get to join the school community right from the start. I year ahead is proving to be challenging, but I am looking forward to mastering what it means to be a truly effective teacher.
Teaching at Maxwell Elementary, Kindergarten
I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Sociology from Taylor University (Upland, IN) in 2008. Prior to beginning my residency, I had been working for a year as a paraprofessional in Denver Public Schools at Maxwell Elementary. During my junior year of college I spent a semester in Tanzania where I first developed an interest in Urban Education, and throughout college my interest in Public Policy grew which led to a focus on educational policy.
I left college with a desire to gain experience in public education in order to enter the education policy arena. However, once I began working in a school last year I discovered a love for teaching. This led to my pursuit of a teaching program. I looked at a number of alternative teacher certification programs. I was drawn to Denver Teacher Residency because it addresses the civil rights issue of our time – the achievement gap – in an intentional way. It creates life-long teachers who are fully equipped to meet the foreseeable challenges. Beyond that, I’ve been surprised at the level of innovation DPS is cultivating. DPS is in a time of self-examination and honesty which I greatly value as an employee and community member.
During the residency year, I loved the practical learning in our courses and residency experience. Everything I learned could be applied the next morning when I walked through the doors, from strategies to help English language learners to strategies on how to holistically develop my students. This fed my passion for being able to develop the unbelievable talent and potential found in my students. I also enjoyed watching the growth of my students, and always look forward to finding myself as a teacher. I’m out to prove that our student’s stories have NOT been written before they enter our classrooms.
Teaching at Green Valley Ranch Elementary, 3rd Grade
Troy joined Denver Teacher Residency shortly after college. Prior to joining DTR Troy was a special education paraprofessional at McKinley Thatcher Elementary and at Corey Elementary. It was through his experience as a paraprofessional that Troy discovered that he wanted to become a teacher. He completed his residency year at Greenwood K-8 in a Special Education assignment.
Troy sees teaching as an opportunity. After having worked with many students with learning or behavioral difficulties, he believes that education is the best chance for every child to reach his or her potential. Troy has, and plans to continue, dedicating his life to this ideal by providing the best possible education for students.
Teaching at Valdez Elementary, 1st Grade
Before joining Denver Teacher Residency, Anna worked for a teen pregnancy prevention project. During this time, she was immersed in Aurora Public Schools and Cherry Creek Schools, teaching a pregnancy prevention curriculum and facilitating support groups for teen mothers. Through these experiences working with high risk youth, Anna solidified her desire to be a classroom teacher. She joined Denver Teacher Residency to continue her work in urban schools and to give back to the school district she herself attended.
Anna completed her residency year in a second grade classroom at Montclair Elementary and is committed to implementing best practices in order to move student achievement forward, ensuring that all students reach their highest potential.
Amy L. Johnson
Teaching at Beach Court Elementary, 2nd Grade
After a successful legal career, Amy spent several years raising her young son. She became an active parent volunteer at his preschools, where she rapidly developed great respect for quality teaching. As a “founding parent” in a struggling Title I DPS elementary school following revitalization efforts, Amy resurrected the defunct Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and dramatically increased parent involvement. While volunteering many hundreds of hours at the school, she was struck by the observation that every child, regardless of background, flourished under the attention and guidance of a caring adult. Amy launched her nascent career in education as a substitute teacher and as a paraprofessional specializing in reading and writing for several years. She then joined the Denver Residency Program in June 2010.
Amy believes her experiences as a DPS parent, volunteer, and employee offer a unique and comprehensive perspective on the challenges facing today’s urban schools. She recognizes that when a family entrusts a faculty with the education of their child, it is at once a tremendous privilege and a sobering responsibility. As a lifelong learner, Amy continually hones her teaching skills to deliver the most effective instruction possible. She is wholly committed to serving all DPS students equitably, and to closing the achievement gap within the district.
Teaching at McGlone Elementary, Mild-Moderate Special Education
Maren Joined the Denver Teacher Residency from the non-profit sector where she worked mentoring and counseling teenagers for Young Life International. It was through her experience volunteering in a school in Guatemala that Maren realized she wanted to teach younger children. Maren plans to dedicate her life to teaching students to become lifelong learners and to obtain knowledge and skills that will help them reach their highest potential and contribute to our world.
Two of the most valuable learnings that she credits to her residency year are: learning how to write specific, measurable learning objectives, and sheltering my content and language instruction for my English Learners. Maren began her first year teaching with very few surprises. “Expectations at McGlone are extremely high,” she says. “I feel that DTR has helped me be well prepared to take on the challenges of full time teaching.”
She continues, “I have had the privilege of being trained by some of the very best teachers and trainers in the district. The men and women that have mentored me in specific areas of expertise have been a wealth of knowledge and experience and have continued to support me as I have begun teaching full time.
Teaching at Swansea Elementary, 3rd Grade
Lindsay joined Denver Teacher Residency from medical and beverage sales field, and has worked for PepsiCo, Samuel Adams and Pacific Pulmonary. It was through her experiences as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters that Lindsay realized she wanted to dedicate her career to educating children.
“One of the greatest things I learned from DTR is that students will rise to high expectations. It takes guts and determination to set high goals with students, but with measurable benchmarks and the buy-in of students and their families, even the most ambitious goals can be attained. I am indescribably grateful for the mentorship and exemplary example of effective teaching I witnessed during my Residency year. As I begin my teaching career on my own, it is hard to distinguish what ‘my’ teaching style is and what I picked up from my lead teacher because her good teaching habits so easily transitioned to me. Now that I have my own classroom, I enjoy the freedom and responsibility of knowing that the kids on my roster sheet are 100% my responsibility and it feels natural and comfortable to be THE ONLY teacher in the classroom. All in all, I feel prepared and I feel like an… effective teacher!” “I like many things about teaching at DPS. Along with my appreciation for the diversity of the DPS student population, I am thrilled to be a part of the new movement to improve the education system and applaud the initiatives taken by DPS to ensure that every student, regardless of what neighborhood they live in, will receive an exemplary education. It is the civil rights movement of our generation and DPS is taking action.” “I won’t sugar-coat it: Teaching is incredibly hard work. I think the biggest challenge for urban teachers is sustaining the amount of passion and energy it takes to be the most effective teacher possible. The best teachers are dedicated, reflective, open to feedback, yearning to improve every day, and overall they are hungry life-long learners. I don’t know an urban teacher that does not love what they do – but they are a special breed. Every day has its challenges, but the best teachers work every day to conquer the big goals they set with students to ensure academic achievement and, in turn, close the achievement gap.
Teaching at Valdez Elementary, 3rd Grade
Before joining Denver Teacher Residency, Katherine worked for Outward Bound as an outdoor educator and served in AmeriCorps VISTA as a service-learning coordinator. Realizing that she can make the biggest impact in the classroom, her prior skills and experiences have built a foundation for her to engage students as leaders, critical-thinkers and good communicators while meeting academic goals. Katherine is dedicated to creating a just world and committed to being an exceptional teacher and leader within the Denver Public Schools.
Katherine says that through her lead teacher and learning rotations, she learned a lot about having high expectations for the students. This is immediately transferable to her own classroom, where she’s increased the rigor of the content and academic language. She credits DTR to teaching her to ask deeper questions and require more of my students. She says, “Starting off my residency year with fresh eyes, I was unaware of truly how much my lead teacher already had in place. From what to do with supplies to homework policies, there are many details to consider. As a full-time teacher I am realizing more and more the constant decision making that occurs and how it affects a learning environment. As a teacher, I love the support of my school community. I know I can rely on other staff members for ideas, help, a good laugh, and inspiration. I could not ask for a better working environment.”
“One of the biggest challenges of working in an urban district is meeting the vast array of needs. It is important that teachers differentiate their instruction to respond to the individual situations and needs of each student. It is essential to be invested in the success of every student; it takes a tremendous amount of time and dedication!”
Teaching at Johnson Elementary, 5th Grade
Enna is passionate about the field of education and closing the achievement gap. After her work with middle and high school students, it became quite clear to her that educational gaps need to be closed in elementary school if we hope to offer every student the opportunity to go to college in the future. Enna joined the Denver Teacher Residency to personally address the glaring gap in our students’ academic abilities.
Through her full-year residency at Gust Elementary School working with master-teachers, and engaging in Master’s level courses at the University of Denver’s School of Education, she is prepared and excited to provide students in Denver Public Schools with the high quality education they deserve.
Completing residency at Montclair School of Academics & Enrichment, 3rd Grade
I grew up in Lakewood, CO and attended University of Colorado Denver where I earned a degree in political science/pre-law and Spanish in 2011 with honors. I have one sister and I love to go snowboarding, exercise, and play volleyball. I like to travel and my favorite destination is Mexico. I enjoy going to the mountains and river rafting in the summer and snowboarding in the winter.
I’ve always been interested in teaching and helping underprivileged students, so when the Denver Teacher Residency recruiter spoke in my Spanish class, I knew I had to apply. I’m getting to know my mentor teacher and our students and having new experiences at the school every day I’m there. The language barrier is a big challenge, and DTR is equipping me with linguistically diverse education teaching strategies.
I moved to Denver in 2008 after completing my BA degrees in music and theater. My deep interest in the performing arts serendipitously led me to Denver Teacher Residency. I have been engaged in a number of children’s theater productions and have taught singing lessons to middle schoolers. Watching and helping eager young performers find their voices and learn and grow into theatrical parts convinced me to pursue education.
I chose Denver Teacher Residency because the program seemed to be the most enriching, comprehensive, and sensible path to becoming an effective teacher. I’m looking forward to spending the entire school year with a teaching mentor. I learn from this dedicated, experienced, and impassioned teacher and instill my values and hopes in the Denver Public School system. Programs like DTR show that change is coming, and that perhaps the biggest challenge is the here and now. Students already struggling have no time to wait. Urban teachers face the immediate challenge of catching up current students affected by the achievement gap.
Teaching at Knapp Elementary, 2nd Grade
I am originally from Des Moines, Iowa and earned my Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications with a minor in Business Management and Women’s Studies from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. Following graduation, I moved to Denver where I worked for four years in legal marketing, two at the Colorado Bar Association and two as Director of Marketing at Westin Consulting.
I chose the Denver Teacher Residency program over others I looked at because I felt that they were looking for people who wanted to see long-term success in the classroom. It was a much better fit for me than other programs aimed at college aged students because they were looking for someone who had professional experience that would serve them well in the classroom. I stand behind the program because I feel that DTR has recruited some of the finest and most professional people that I have ever met. The inaugural cohort of residents has an amazing amount of dedication and vision for the program.
I absolutely love teaching and going to work every day to work with the kids. They have incredible ideas and are so impressionable at this age. As a resident, I learned from an amazing mentor teacher who astonished me all the time and was an integral part of preparing me for success in my own classroom.
Completing residency at Cole Arts & Science Academy, Primary Special Education
I grew up in New Berlin, Wisconsin and graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee. Colorado has been home for the past 22 years. I am a husband and father of two wonderful children, 8 and 5. Together we njoy activities as a family, long bike rides, xeric gardening, cooking, and golf. Prior to joining the Denver Teacher Residency I was a Sales Representative with two pharmaceutical companies, an airline pilot, and a Naval Aviator.
I heard about DTR from a friend who is a retired Denver Public Schools teacher. I chose DTR because I wanted to help students by being an effective teacher and I believe that the education and one year residency I’m receiving through DTR will build the foundation for my and my students’ success.
Teaching at Gust Elementary, 3rd Grade
I’ve worked as a member of a youth leadership team at a family camp on the Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada, where I managed the work and day-to-day activities of 18 teen staff members. I also interned at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children over the Summer in 2008.
Teaching at Farrell B. Howell Elementary, 5th Grade
I am a Denver native. I am a Women’s Vision Foundation Scholarship Recipient for the Women’s College at the University of Denver, where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Law and Society with a minor in communications in 2008. Prior to that, I spent 16 years in the work force with non-profits, banks, and as a domestic engineer.
I have defied statistics. Latino males have an incredibly high drop-out rate in Colorado and across the nation, but my oldest son just graduated from high school and is already attending college. I was pregnant with him when I graduated from high school. Because of this experience, I am committed to education and change. I am a proud single parent and believe that you can do anything you put your mind to. Nothing can stop you – not being a teen parent and not being a single parent. If you want something you have to work hard for it, and believe in yourself. I am not solely defined by my errors, but my choices to create change. I will either be part of the problem, or part of the solution, I have chosen the latter.
I completed my residency year at Harrington Elementary in 2009-10. During this year, I learned that the connection between parents and educators is essential to the success of each student. Now a full-time teacher with own classroom, my respect for educators has grown leaps and bounds. I like that every day I’m inspired by my students, who teach me far more than I will ever teach them.
Teaching at Fairview Elementary, Kindergarten
I am 25 and a proud product of DPS (go JFK!). I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications in 2007. I spent the semester before graduation traveling the world through the Semester At Sea Program where I was able to visit and perform service projects in 10 different countries.
I have worked and volunteered with various organizations over the years, including Girls Incorporated, Boys and Girls Clubs, Mi Casa Resource Center, and Healing Waters Family Center (to name a few). I am proud to be a part of the inaugural residency class and feel very fortunate that I have the opportunity to do what I love and to make a difference in my community. As a product of DPS, I feel that Denver Teacher Residency is a perfect fit for me, and I am happy to have begun working and sharing my passion with Denver’s students.
As a DPS grad, I feel that I am familiar with many of the challenges that this unique group of urban students brings with them. I think that the structure of the program is unique, and the time that residents spend in the classroom during the residency year is invaluable. Residents are constantly working toward reaching goals that I am passionate about – closing the achievement gap and ensuring that all students have access to a quality education with superior educators. I feel that this program is truly one of the best.
As a resident at Montclair Elementary, I loved learning alongside a mentor teacher who helped prepare me for teaching. I learned so much and feel very fortunate to have been able to observe and teach with individuals who are so very talented and passionate about what they do.
Finding a way to differentiate instruction is one of the biggest challenges I’ve encountered thus far. DPS classrooms have a variety of students who are all at different levels academically. Finding time to prepare and teach several different lessons so that all students are challenged and set up to achieve at their full potential while maintaining a productive whole group atmosphere is a challenge. The amount of time and preparation that it takes to be an effective teacher for all of your students is startling. This job goes way beyond the 40-hour work week, but the time put in is well worth it!
Teaching at Green Valley Ranch Elementary, 3rd Grade
Kate grew up outside of Chicago and lived in Portland for the previous seven years. She studied English and Hispanic Studies at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR. Then, she worked in public relations for three years. Kate chose DTR not only because of its mission to close the achievement gap, but also because it offers an unparalleled support structure to ensure that all residents are set up for success in the classroom. She loves the sense of collaboration with the other residents and appreciates learning so much from each other on a daily basis. She enjoys the opportunity to make a difference in students’ lives each day the most about teaching. She’s looking forward to applying the strategies the residents have learned about and designing her own classroom in a way that fosters a unique classroom culture and sets students up for success. The biggest challenge that she sees facing urban teachers today is catering to students with many diverse needs simultaneously.
Completing residency at Gust Elementary, 1st Grade
I am a Colorado Native. I love the outdoors and all the wonderful things that Colorado has to offer. I enjoy skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. I can usually be found in the company of good friends and family. My biggest hobby is traveling – within Colorado, the United States, and abroad.
I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2009. Before I was accepted into the Denver Teacher Residency program, I was a contract employee for the Cherry Creek School District teaching Spanish before and after school for grades K-5. I have worked with kids my whole life and have a wide array of experience when is comes to working with kids. Some previous work includes: childcare, teaching and overseeing swimming lessons, and tutoring.
After I graduated college and finding it very difficult to find a job, I began to look anywhere and everywhere for jobs that included teaching and first heard of DTR while looking for jobs on Craigslist. I chose the DTR because it seemed perfect for what I wanted to do in life. I want to become a teacher and this was a perfect opportunity to obtain a teaching license and receive effective training in the competitive teaching career field.
I think the biggest challenge for urban teachers today is not getting discouraged. The language barriers, poverty levels, and transitions of students always coming and going make it really difficult for urban teacher to make a difference and provide the best education those students deserve. In the coming year, I am most looking forward to the bonds I am going to make with my cohort, mentor teacher, peers, and the students I will be teaching. I also look forward to the wealth of knowledge I am about to gain that will stay with me throughout the rest of my life.
Teaching at Holm Elementary, 5th Grade
I am 42 and spent 20 years at the Rocky Mountain News as a reporter, writer and editor, covering everything from Aurora City Hall to late-night murders to the city’s concert scene. For the last nine years I was editor of the Weekend Spotlight section, one of the paper’s largest and best-read sections. I’m fairly certain I’m the only staff member in the News’ 149-year history to have interviewed both Oliver North and Carrot Top (although not at the same time).
Like 200 other News employees (and millions more in other industries) I had to plot a new course midstream. I thought, “If circumstances demand a change, why not make a real change – one that shifts how you think and ultimately makes a difference?”
After devoting half my life toward a product destined for the recycling bin, I was looking for a career that delivered lasting value. With teaching I knew each day’s work would build toward something bigger. At my age, I didn’t want to mess around, and DTR was the ideal program. It promised to load me up with experience and purposeful coursework with a very specific mission: helping urban children get the education they deserve. Michael completed his residency training at Archuleta Elementary.
Teaching at Henry World Middle School, Special Education
Craig found the Denver Teacher Residency after relocating to Colorado in the spring of 2009. A sales and management professional for thirteen years, Craig has been coaching youth sports for several years in preparation for the transition to teaching. Craig’s coaching experience led him to investigate DTR and uncovered his strong desire to work with children, focusing on students with special needs.
Teaching at Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy, 1st Grade
I am from East Brunswick, NJ. I attended undergrad at Rutgers University and majored in Spanish and Anthropology. I graduated four years ago, and moved back to Merida, Mexico, where I had studied abroad and fell in love with the culture. While down there I dabbled in archaeology, but spent most of my time volunteering at a local orphanage teaching English.
After returning to New Jersey, I spent a year or so bouncing between sales jobs. None of which I felt were as rewarding as my brief teaching experience in Mexico. And that’s what turned me on to the prospect of being a teacher, and eventually, to find Denver Teacher Residency.
I completed my residency at McMeen Elementary in a third grade classroom. The most important thing I learned during my residency year was how to manage a classroom. I entered into teaching knowing next to nothing about kids, so this gave me a solid foundation from which to work. As any teacher knows, good classroom management is the key to success!
At the beginning of my DTR journey, I thought teaching would be so easy. I have had many high-stress jobs in various fields prior, but there is nothing like teaching. I didn’t know at the time that teaching is a lifestyle, not just a job. What I like most about teaching in Denver Public Schools is that I can actually see that I am doing good for my students. I see them at the beginning of the year and the end of the year and to see their progress is amazing.
Completing residency at Gust Elementary, 1st Grade
I am a Colorado native and have lived here all my life. I have a wonderful family with whom I am very close. My parents live in Aurora, and I have an older brother living in Denver, and an older sister living in Maryland. I live with my English Bulldog, Tulo, and love living in the city and enjoy all of what Colorado has to offer! I attended Metro State for my undergrad and earned my degree in Behavioral Science. For the past three years I taught Head Start in Denver and loved every minute of it. Teaching Head Start made me fall in love with urban education.
I was looking to pursue my Master’s and came across the Denver Teacher Residency program on the Denver Public Schools website. Once I attended an information session, I began my application process. I chose DTR because it is truly an incredible program that offers many amazing opportunities. I have a true passion for Special Education and urban education, so this is the perfect program for me.
I am excited to be learning best practice from an amazing university like University of Denver, and then have the unique opportunity of putting that learning in action in a DPS classroom. I think the biggest challenge facing urban teachers today is closing the achievement gap. Statistics show that there’s quite a challenge ahead of us; however, change is possible. Through amazing programs like the DTR, we have the ability to drastically impact the lives of urban Denver students. I am so grateful to be on this amazing journey!
Completed residency at Archuleta Elementary, 2nd Grade
I have been involved with education in various ways for since I graduated from Colorado State University. After teaching in Spain for a year, I returned to Colorado to serve in AmeriCorps with the “I Have a Dream Foundation” as a Tutor/Mentor.
I first heard about DTR at the Colorado State University Job Fair last fall. After looking at all the different options to become a certified teacher in Colorado, I decided that DTR was the program that gave the best preparation to be an quality teacher in DPS.
I am looking forward to working in a classroom for an entire academic year and partnering with a mentor teacher who can share so much knowledge with me. I am committed to closing the achievement gap as well as creating a classroom culture that is inclusive, engaging, and motivated by success.
Teaching at McMeen Elementary, Kindergarten
Jennifer joined the Denver Teacher Residency from the construction field. She is a Denver Public Schools graduate who is passionate about working in Title 1 schools. It was through the volunteer experiences with elementary students that Jennifer realized that she wanted to work with primary aged readers and writers. Jennifer completed her residency year at Munroe Elementary and is excited to devote her time and energy to McMeen and promotes highly effective teaching.
Completing residency at Archuleta Elementary, Kindergarten/1st Grade
My background is in research and data. I studied developmental psychology at the University of Oregon. After I graduated, I worked as a research assistant on psychology studies at the Oregon Social Learning Center in Eugene, Oregon, and later at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (now CU-Denver). I enjoyed working in research but I wanted to find a career where I could have a more immediate impact on people’s lives. I spent four years working in the Jefferson County Public Schools Assessment Department, working with school personnel to coordinate state-required assessments.
I heard about the Denver Teacher Residency from the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education website. I was interested in the hands-on, intentional training that will teach me the strategies and skills that I will need to work in the high-impact schools where I hope to teach. I’m really looking forward to learning how to create a positive, supportive learning community in my classroom so that I can help every student prepare to successfully contribute to 21st century society. I am excited about this next step in my career, which allows me to work directly with students and, I hope, be a positive influence on their lives.
Completed residency at Grant Beacon Middle School, 6th Grade Math
I earned my BA from Colorado Christian University and my MA University of Denver in Religious Studies. I’ve had many previous jobs, including administrative assistant, adjunct professor, sales girl, and pastry chef. I wasn’t finding much meaning in my job at the time, so started looking around to see what my options might be and ran into DTR online in a non-profit job board posting.
I am really impressed with the DTR’s residency model and the Praxis-oriented coursework. How better to learn a skilled profession than to spend a lot of time interacting with people who do it well? I am most looking forward to getting to know my lead teacher and working alongside her in the classroom. I look forward to learning how to creating an environment that provides for the unique needs of traditionally underserved students.
Completing residency at Cole Arts & Science Academy, 1st Grade
I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and was exposed to the world of teaching growing up while my mom worked as a first grade teacher. More recently, I have lived in Omaha, NE for the past four years while attending college before moving to Denver. I am very passionate about traveling and have had amazing opportunities to learn about education abroad – especially during a study abroad trip to Peru. While on this trip, I was able to live in both rural Andean settings as well as in an Amazonian village where I helped to teach English and documented the education that children were receiving so that the government could provide them with more funding. Being in these settings has made me very passionate about ensuring that all children receive a quality education in a setting where they feel secure and can develop their own confidence and life goals. From this background, I became very committed to empowering others through education and hope to continue that in the Denver Teacher Residency.
I graduated in May from Creighton University with a degree in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish. While in school, I had the opportunity to teach Spanish classes at an elementary school in rural Iowa that really helped to ignite my love of teaching. Through this experience, I also became involved in urban education programs in Omaha and used my background of Anthropology to research child preparation and other family situations within this realm. This research really worked to expand my view of education and I have loved getting involved in special education initiatives as well as English as a second language programs.
I chose Denver Teacher Residency because it seemed like the perfect fit for me. It not only completely prepares residents with best practices and plenty of hands-on learning in the classroom, it also focuses on wider issues such as closing the achievement gap and delving into situations specific within an urban setting. In addition to this focus on specifically urban education, I also really love the attention it gives to English language learners and how it teaches us specific strategies to help make these students more successful. Overall, the goal of the program – to provide all students with an excellent education – really fits in with my own personal mission to teach the whole child in the most effective way possible.
I am very excited to be in the classroom setting and developing my own teaching style and classroom culture. Urban teachers today have the amazing opportunity to offer a holistic education to children that not only teaches them academic content, but that also instills in them the confidence to create and pursue their own dreams because they know they have all the support and necessary preparation to succeed despite any challenges that may exist in their lives.
Teaching at Cheltenham Elementary, 3rd Grade
I am 24 and graduated with academic distinction from University of Colorado Boulder with dual degrees in Spanish and English Literature. I have always had an interest in serving those in need in my community and abroad, and have participated in a variety of volunteer opportunities during the past five years, including Hurricane Katrina relief in New Orleans, work with school-aged children in the projects of New York City, work with the homeless in Boulder County, and finally a summer-long service trip to Cochabamba, Bolivia, where I spent time with some of the city’s many abandoned children. I also worked for the Housing Authority of Boulder County as a translator for families seeking affordable housing opportunities.
After spending time with a group of Bolivian orphans during the summer I spent there, I became aware of the huge impact that just one intentional adult influence can have on the trajectory of a child’s life; for this reason, I decided to go into education. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to teach in a high-needs, urban school, to fight the institutionalized racism that has doomed so many of our nation’s youth to poverty and a substandard education.
I knew that, in order to be effective in such a challenging teaching environment, I needed support and excellent preparation. For this reason, I chose the Denver Teacher Residency. This program stands for everything that I believe to be true about education and about the educator’s crucial role as an agent of change. It prepared me in the most effective way imaginable to succeed as a teacher – and most importantly – to help my students to succeed. A huge challenge that I see for the beginning teachers at my school is a lack of thorough preparation. I feel that most traditional teaching programs fail to emphasize the importance of building a culturally responsive classroom that celebrates students’ racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity. Without such instruction, teachers aren’t fully equipped to face the challenges of an urban classroom, and may burn out prematurely.
The support that I received as a Denver Teacher Resident has been unparalleled. The program staff and faculty at DU ensure that we receive training related to every unique aspect of teaching in an urban school setting, and have meticulously designed each step of our residency year to accomplish the end goal of preparing excellent classroom teachers. I could not ask for a more supportive learning environment, and feel confident of my own future success as a result of DTR’s crucial investment.
Likewise, I have been impressed by the proactive approach that DPS is taking to close the achievement gap by focusing on data-driven instruction, increased teacher support, and increased parent involvement. My fellow residents and I have the unique privilege of participating in the first year of a program specifically designed and implemented with the support of DPS as a genuine, proactive effort to change the state of Denver’s urban schools. I completed my residency year at Montclair Elementary.
I am continually amazed by the vast potential I see in my students. There has been absolutely nothing more rewarding than seeing the students in my classroom struck by the inspiration of having grasped something taught to them. Seeing a student internalize, personalize, and apply a concept learned in the classroom to his or her own experience certainly makes the toil of planning worthwhile.
Teaching at Green Valley Ranch Elementary, 3rd Grade
As a proud graduate from George Washington High School, Lauren knows that is her time to give back to her community. After spending two years as a paraprofessional at McMeen Elementary School and teaching a literacy after-school program at Bruce Randolph School, she realized that she had a desire to become a classroom teacher. Lauren chose the Denver Teacher Residency because it stood out as a top program among Denver educational programs, was very hands-on, and gave her the opportunity to work alongside a mentor teacher. By working alongside some of the district’s most successful teachers, she has been able to address challenges such as how to close the achievement gap and increase the graduation rate, ultimately making DPS one of the best school districts in the nation.
Completing residency at Henry World Middle School, Secondary Math
I was born and raised in Schaumburg, IL in a family of seven, and we were all raised in a vegetarian family. I have one older sister who is about to have twin boys, two younger brothers, and one younger sister (four siblings altogether). My dad is in healthcare management and my mom is a Nurse Practitioner. I have been married to Greg, a mechanical engineer, for just over a year now, and we’ve been living in Denver together since 2007. My interests include road biking, hiking, camping, reading (especially books about physics, neurology, and culture), knitting, enjoying the mountains of Colorado, hanging out with my black lab Jasper, and teaching math!
I earned my BS in Pre-Medicine and went to medical school for two years right out of college. Deciding this was not the life for me, I ended up traveling to South Korea with older sister, Kim, where we taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for a year and had the opportunity to travel throughout southeast Asia during that time as well. We spent about four months in India and Nepal, where trekking through the Himalayas was one of the best experiences of my life. After that I taught ESL to adults and business people in Santiago, Chile, and then lived in Savannah, GA doing marketing work for a short time. My family moved out to Colorado to open a Huntington Learning Center (supplemental education programs and exam preparation) and I worked in that center in Longmont since 2006.
I heard about the Denver Teacher Residency while searching online for teaching/tutoring opportunities in the Denver area. The program’s message really resonated with me, and it seemed like an amazing opportunity to become a teacher while obtaining the master’s degree I had been seeking for some time. I chose DTR because of its affiliation with Denver Public Schools, its commitment to the urban teacher residency model and the students in DPS, and to pursue my master’s degree while learning how to be an effective DPS teacher. I am most looking forward to teaching students how to have high expectations of themselves and be confident in areas, such as math, where students tend to struggle. I think teaching and learning alongside my mentor teacher is giving me a great opportunity to observe and then embody best practices in my own teaching.
Teaching at Knight Academy at Hallett, Special Education
Edie joined Denver Teacher Residency from a career in counseling and community relations. Edie has worked with The Denver Area Council Boy Scouts learning for Life Program and Excelsior Youth Center. It was through the direct interactions with the youth in these programs that Edie decided she wanted to work in the field of Special Education with the children in the Denver Public School System. Edie credits the DTR program as an opportunity to give back to the community and assist the youth whom struggle the most in the school system.
Completing residency at Henry World Middle School, Secondary Math
I’ve been living in Colorado for 11 years since moving here from St.Louis, Missouri to study mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado-Boulder. I worked as an engineer with Ball Corporation for five years as well as a guest teacher for Denver Public Schools for one year. I love all the outdoor activities Colorado has to offer, particularly mountain biking and alpine climbing. My wife is a teacher in Denver Public Schools and I learned of the Denver Teacher Residency program from several of the district emails she received. Initially the program didn’t train teachers in secondary mathematics so I volunteered and guest taught for Denver Public Schools until DTR expanded in secondary math this past year.
I think that the Denver Teacher Residency offers the best opportunity to teach students in the highest need areas along with the support needed to be as effective as possible. The program pairs people who are driven to teach with highly effective lead teachers who are already making that difference. I’m looking forward to being in the same classroom everyday and further getting to know my students so that I can be successful in teaching them. At the same time I am fortunate to observe great teaching and combine that with DU’s graduate program so that I can develop my own teaching beliefs and philosophy. I think the biggest challenge for urban teachers today is continuing to be innovative and flexible in overcoming obstacles to learning. Regardless of background or socioeconomic status all students can be successful if we as teachers can find a way to reach them.
Teaching at McGlone Elementary, Kindergarten
Nadine joined the Denver Teacher Residency after spending a year working as a kindergarten paraprofessional in a high-needs school. It was through her experiences as a children’s ski instructor and as a paraprofessional that Nadine realized she wanted to become an educator. Nadine is aware of the challenges that urban teachers face, and hopes to help students overcome these challenges and achieve success.
Teaching at Cole Arts & Science Academy, 2nd Grade
Sarah entered Denver Teacher Residency after spending two years as an AmeriCorps*VISTA at the University of Denver’s Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning. While at DU Sarah helped to develop and maintain DU’s relationships with Denver Public Schools through service learning opportunities for DPS students. After balancing her time in the office and DPS classrooms, Sarah saw that her true passion was being in the classroom, working with students to reach their academic goals. To Sarah DTR is about more than being an effective teacher; it is about dedicating her career and life to closing the achievement gap and supporting students in DPS.
In her own words: “The greatest learning that I take with me from my residency year is REFLECTION AND COLLABORATION. After each day, I take a moment to think about what is and is not working in my classroom and modify it so that students are more likely to achieve. When I’m struggling with students, a curriculum or a procedure, I know to ask for help! There are many talented professionals around me who have great ways to support me. Being a teacher is a lot more than just lesson planning. It is advocating for my students, providing first aid, building relationships, playing at recess, challenging yourself to think deeper, reflecting, and so many more roles.
Denver Public Schools is willing and open to take risks and try new things to support students and help them achieve. One of the hardest parts of teaching is balancing the tension between doing what I can do daily in my classroom to help students achieve, and a need for change in policies and practices so that students can reach their highest potential and achieve.
Teaching at Place Bridge Academy, 1st Grade
Andrea joined the Denver Teacher Residency program immediately after graduating from the University of Northern Colorado where she majored in Mexican-American Studies and minored in Teaching English as a Second Language. Since childhood, becoming a teacher has been a goal for Andrea and quality education for every child is her life-long passion. Andrea is dedicated to closing the achievement gap for students in her classroom. She has high expectations for all students as she encourages each student to be successful and motivates students to achieve their goals. As an educator, Andrea believes that students must be encouraged to continue their education so that they, too can make positive contributions to their communities and to the world.
Completing residency at Cole Arts & Science Academy, Kindergarten
I am a 22 year-old Mexican American and am very proud of my culture and heritage. I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. When I was about 12 my family moved to Commerce City and we have been here ever since. I went to high school at Adams City High School and once I graduated, I was accepted to the University of Denver. It was here that I got my degree in Sociology with minors in history and art.
I heard about the Denver Teacher Residency through DU when I was researching different options for getting into teaching. One of the most attractive aspects of DTR was that I would have the ability to work in Denver Public Schools. I felt this would be the perfect avenue to give back to the communities from which that I came. After further investigation, DTR proved to be a really organized and innovative type of program, including a residency year with a lot of support for its residents. I am enjoying teaching and learning in my residency class and applying the skills we learn immediately in the classroom.
Teaching at Archuleta Elementary, 4th Grade
Margarita joined Denver Teacher Residency after a successful career in business management with organizations such as Junior Achievement, Dex, Pepsico, and Johnson and Johnson. While serving as the Executive Director for the Hispanic Initiative of Junior Achievement, she discovered Denver Teacher Residency and decided to follow her passion for education. Margarita is a native Spanish bilingual elementary educator with expertise in utilizing data, differentiation, reflective teaching and sheltered content instructional methods for ELL students in all core subject areas. She also has extensive successful experience in community outreach, parental engagement and working with socially and economically diverse populations.
In her own words: “DTR prepared me to be an effective teachers with skills like Backwards Design, Classroom Management, and Data gathering. I love teaching my students and each of their personal stories. I know I can make a life-changing difference for these kids. All of the issues surrounding a child that is low socio economic income can become obstacles if effective teaching isn’t consistent throughout the child’s educational career.
Teaching at Smith Elementary, 1st Grade
Lindsay was born and raised in Lakewood, CO and graduated from Boston University in 2009 with a double major in English and Religion. She then spent a year teaching preschool in Missoula, MT. She chose the Denver Teacher Residency because she loved the idea of applying theory to practice on a daily basis. The DTR program is great because residents have a team of support including experienced educators from DU, DPS, and all the residents in each cohort. Lindsay loves teaching and being a positive influence in children’s lives. She sees the biggest challenge for urban teachers as bringing all the students up to grade level in order to close the achievement gap.
Teaching at Gust Elementary, 1st Grade
I grew up in Arlee, Montana, which is located on the Flathead Indian Reservation in the western part of the state. I’m a member of the Salish tribe. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Montana – Missoula. During college, I worked for Reznet News, an online news web site dedicated to covering Native American and minority issues. Before being accepted to the Denver Teacher Residency, I was the education reporter for the Casper Star-Tribune in Casper, Wyoming. I chose to report on education because I believe that education is at the heart of so many issues for our country.
After spending two years reporting on schools and teachers, I knew I wanted to be on the other side of the fence. Applying to DTR is one of the best decisions I’ve made; I never imagined that I would find a job that has the power to make me laugh and cry in the same day!
I chose Denver Teacher Residency because I was interested in getting hands-on experience in teaching – right away. Sitting through years of just coursework didn’t seem like the best way to learn about this profession. I love that I was able to learn how to teach and then apply that knowledge immediately. Our classes were well thought out and on the cutting edge of education reform. It’s a thrilling experience to be part of something that has the power to change so much.
Nothing could have prepared me for the amount of planning and work that goes into making just one hour in front of the class go smoothly. I thought journalism prepared me well for being one step ahead of the game and putting in extra work, but it’s nothing compared to the hours I can spend putting together lessons, activities, and other tasks for my students. What I learned in DTR really helps me deliver relevant instruction.
The kids are really the best! During my residency year at Gust Elementary, I had 20 bright, funny, and adorable kindergartners. Despite their challenges, hey would surprise me every day with their humorous outlook on life and their genuine desire to work their hardest and do their best. It was such a privilege to have co-taught for the 2009-2010 academic year, and looking back I know that it was really good preparation for my own classroom.
My greatest learning from my residency year was how important it is to really care about each student as an individual. When a child knows you truly care about him/her, and that you’re willing to go out of your way to help, really remarkable learning can take place. I credit much of my students’ academic success to the community we work hard to build at the beginning of the year. Relationships are a key piece of teaching. I am also continually reminded that there is always something more you can be doing to make yourself a better teacher, to make the classroom a better place, and to help students become successful learners.
This continual improvement is my biggest personal challenge – learning this profession, and learning how to do it well in a condensed amount of time. There’s a sense of urgency in urban education right now, in finding and training effective teachers to lead the schools and work with the students who are falling behind more and more. That urgency underscores everything I do and gives me such purpose, but it can be extremely exhausting at the end of the day!
Andrew J. Schaefer
Teaching at Swansea Elementary, 4th Grade
Completing residency at Gust Elementary, 3rd Grade
I hail from the great state of Ohio. I spent my summers in college working at a summer camp in the mountains as a backpacking counselor. Mentoring and educating youth has always been my passion. I love the outdoors and have an inexplicable attraction to the harmonica. I attended Lake Forest College, a small liberal arts school outside of Chicago. I graduated in 2005 with a BA in creative writing and psychology. Shortly thereafter I moved to the wonderful state of Colorado (mostly because I’m addicted to mountains) and worked as a paraprofessional at a residential treatment facility for adolescents with diagnosed psychological and behavioral disorders. I also volunteered for several therapeutic horseback riding programs, where I had the opportunity to work with both children and adults with disabilities.
A post on Craigslist advertising Denver Teacher Residency was my first introduction to the program. I chose DTR because of its structure – designed to educate urban teachers – is innovative and effective. With hands-on comprehensive learning, a supportive cohort, specific training for the needs of DPS, and high expectations for both teachers and students, the choice was easy. I am eager to learn from the diverse backgrounds of my instructors, mentor teacher, and peers, and positively impact student achievement. Students often enter grades with knowledge gaps for various reasons. As well prepared, effective teachers, we can overcome impeding external obstacles and close those gaps to see vastly improved achievement from our students.
Completing residency at Gust Elementary, 2nd Grade
I grew up in Colorado and earned a degree in Communication from Xavier University. I never considered a career as a teacher until I spent a year as an AmeriCorps member in Washington, DC. When I was working with students and seeing the harsh reality of American urban schools, and became inspired and my passion for education was ignited. I became a teacher with a United Nations development program in Northern Chile and chose to return to Denver because of the high need for Spanish-speaking teachers.
I chose Denver Teacher Residency for its intensive year of training built into the residency model; I feel that this program offers me the opportunity to become a highly effective educator. I firmly believes that the circumstances a child is born into should not dictate the quality of the education they receive. As a Denver Teacher Resident, I am working relentlessly to close the achievement gap to make sure that every child gets the excellent education they deserve.
Currently teaching at Lake International School
I am from Carbondale, Illinois, the home of Southern Illinois University…the Salukis. I am an avid soccer player and coach, love the outdoors, and couldn’t be happier to be back in Colorado after my last year abroad living in Mexico.
I graduated with a Math degree from Fort Lewis College. During my time at Fort Lewis I worked every position available in a restaurant, from dishwasher to waiter to bartender to manager. After college I helped rebuild New Orleans after hurricane Katrina for nine months. Then I moved and worked as a high school math teacher and varsity soccer coach for three years at Gordon Tech Catholic High School in Chicago, IL.
I heard about Denver Teacher Residency online from looking into alternative licensure programs in Colorado. DTR seemed like the best fit. The ability to receive a Master’s degree from University of Denver, a Colorado teaching license, a year of training on the job, and a $10,000 stipend all in one year just couldn’t be beat.
I think that today’s teachers have many challenges, including transient students, preparing students for life after high school, and to be able to differentiate their teaching style to effectively engage more students. I’m looking forward to learning how to overcome all of these challenges from my mentor teachers in the classroom and at the University.
Teaching at Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy, 3rd Grade
I am 27 and was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. I was blessed with a son in 2001, graduated from Omaha North High School in 2002, blessed with a daughter in 2003, graduated from Metropolitan Community College with an Associate’s degree in Human Services in 2005 from Bellevue University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2006, and blessed with another son in 2007. We moved to Denver in 2009 where I began work towards a Master’s in Urban Studies a year before I was accepted into the Denver Teacher Residency program.
I chose DTR because its mission and goals were similar to my own – increasing academic achievement in urban settings. This includes promoting academic rigor and closing the achievement gaps. I feel that this is one of the biggest challenges for urban teachers – creating a learning environment that addresses students’ individuality and cultural differences while providing them with interesting and fun academic rigor.
I loved the DTR instructors who are all experienced teachers. Each of them brings their own style of teaching and learning into seminars. I also enjoy the collaborative and very hands-on approach the residents share with one another. I enjoy teaching science the most. Increasing the students’ awareness so they are able to identify science all around them on a daily basis is very passionate and amusing.
I completed my residency at McMeen Elementary in a first grade classroom. I was surprised by the students’ rapid growth. After only six weeks the students were displaying increased knowledge, more independence, and academic achievement.
Completing residency at Gust Elementary, 4th Grade
I am a Denver native and have lived here my whole life. I attended Denver Public Schools for my entire school career. I am very close with my family and love to spend time with my niece and nephew. I spend my free time at the gym, playing basketball, playing chess, or reading. I graduated from Metro State College with a double B.A. in Multimedia Production and Chicano Studies. I spent a semester studying in Guadalajara, Mexico to improve my Spanish. After graduating I spent two years working as a paraprofessional for DPS at Academia Ana Marie Sandoval in a Spanish component classroom. It was there that I found my love for education and desire to pursue teaching.
I heard about the Denver Teacher Residency in a newspaper article that had a picture of a high school friend who was a part of the first cohort. I then researched the program more on my own. After reading about the program I felt it was exactly what I was looking for to further my education and embark on a new career path. I feel that the residency year with a mentor teacher is an invaluable experience that I could not have gotten anywhere else. I am most looking forward to working with my mentor teacher and learning the intricacies of managing a classroom. I am also excited to work with the students and see the academic growth they make throughout the year.
Completing residency at Cole Arts & Science Academy, Mild/Moderate Special Education
I graduated from college with my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in December 2010. For the last two years I worked as a Educational Aide in Glendale, AZ in a Social/Emotional Behavior disorder classroom, and then in a Severe and Profound mental disability classroom. That experience truly shaped my understanding of children with special needs and what it takes to educate special population. Before I worked in the school system I worked as a relocation counselor, a security guard, a customer service call center assistant supervisor, and a data processor.
I learned about the Denver Teacher Residency through the Urban Teacher Residency United website. Once I found about DTR, I knew I wanted to move to Denver and working with DTR since I found out. The program appeals to empowering my ability to help a population of students who need strong role models. The reimbursed master’s degree certainly is a plus. In my residency year, I’m enjoying working with the diverse and varied group of people who make up my cohort, and the interesting challenges that learning with my mentor teacher brings. I am especially interested in connecting with students who usually have their heads buried ins MP3 players and cell phones rather than books.
Teaching at Swansea Elementary, 2nd Grade
Margi joined the Denver Teacher Residency after years in the education field and youth advocacy. It was through her experiences at Children’s Hospital and Education First, Educational Tours that she came to teaching. After a year as a paraprofessional at Green Valley Ranch Elementary School she is committed to a lifelong teaching career in Denver Public Schools.
Completing residency at Gust Elementary, Intermediate Special Education
I have been married for 19 years, and we have three boys ages 11, 12, and 13. I worked in educational sales for the past 14 years – I was an International Sales Manager before working locally for another seven years. I earned my B.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
I found out about the Denver Teacher Residency program online while doing research about becoming a teacher. The program appealed to me because it seemed very professionally run and organized. The combination of academics, research, and on-the-job training made a strong impression on me. I knew that this was going to be a difficult program, but one that would prepare me best to become a high-quality teacher.
The program is proving to be rigorous, but one that is preparing me to be an urban teacher and face the pressures of high-achievement in an environment of low-expectations. The diverse environment of the urban classroom is an enriching environment, but one that requires great organization and motivation.
Completing residency at Cole Arts & Science Academy, 2nd/3rd Grade
I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I moved to Colorado to attend college and I love it too much to ever leave. I studied at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where I majored in Creative Writing and International Spanish for the Professions; I also received a minor in Business Administration. I was looking for a graduate program that would allow me to work with English Language Learners and get my teaching certification, and my sister found the Denver Teacher Residency program for me.
I chose DTR because it has everything I want. I get to teach in an urban setting, I get to practice teaching a full year before I have my own classroom, and I get to work with foreign language speakers. This gives me teaching, working with the students – everything! I think the biggest challenge for urban teachers is the transient nature of the student population. It is going to be difficult to work with a student, and then to have that student leave the school district.
Completing residency at Cole Arts & Science Academy, Kindergarten
I am one of three kids, and am a Native American originally from Oklahoma. I enjoy many outdoor activities and am very family oriented. I studied at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond and also taught Spanish there as an adjunct professor for three years.
I first found about Denver Teacher Residency while looking into getting an alternative teaching license in Colorado. I chose DTR because I really like the idea of working in the classroom for a year with a mentor teacher. The training process and support of DTR shows Denver Public Schools’ commitment to quality educators and making a positive change in the school system. I look forward to learning how to provide a positive learning environment for students, and teaching strategies that will help them progress and succeed. I also look forward to being a positive influence and advocate for them. It is exciting being part of a group of people who are setting out to change the face of education.
Completing residency at Henry World Middle School, Secondary Math
I am a Denver native. I earned my bachelor’s degree in accounting from Metropolitan State College in Denver. Prior to joining Denver Teacher Residency, I worked for 11 years as an Office Manager and Bookkeeper in Denver and Lakewood.
I discovered the DTR program while looking through the Denver Public Schools website for ways to obtain an alternative teacher license. I chose DTR because I fell in love with the idea of being able to experience a full year side-by-side with an experienced teacher. Another attractive part about DTR is earning my master’s degree from University of Denver (with full tuition reimbursement).
I’m really enjoying being in the classroom and helping kids learn. I want to make a difference in the lives of these urban students. I also want to make math fun and easy to comprehend for the students. I’m learning that the two biggest challenges for urban teachers today is getting the students to believe in themselves and also finding a way to reach and teach each student so that they will learn and understand what is being presented.