Faculty & Staff
2016-17 School Year
Director of Operations
Director of Evaluation and Assessment
Assistant Director of Operations
Registrar / Health Tech
Exceptional Student Services
Exceptional Student Coordinator
Dr. Anthony Bonanno
Special Education/ELL Teacher
|Kindergarten||Mrs. Caylee Amott; Mrs. Amy Jenes|
|1st Grade||Ms. Allison Sloan; Mr. Keaton Smith|
|2nd Grade||Mrs. Mary Lane Peterson; Ms. Lauren Frazier|
|3rd Grade||Mrs. Phyllis Nakagawa; Mr. Matthew Mordecai|
|4th Grade||Mrs. Anna Hahn; Mrs. Kelly Kelley|
|5th Grade||Ms. Kristen Rubenthaler; Ms. Stephanie Richert|
|Visual Arts Teacher||Ms. Dianne Andrejasich|
|Music Teacher||Mrs. Lorna Floyd|
|Literacy/Assessment Coordinator||Mrs. Jami Montoya|
|Special Education Coordinator||Mrs. Connie Logsdon|
Mrs. Caylee Amott– Kindergarten teacherMrs. Amott is a graduate of Ricks College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education. She also attended Front Range Community College earning Large Early Childhood Center Director certification. She is currently working on her Masters Degree in Education through WGU. Mrs. Amott has been teaching at TPAAK for the last 8 years and has served in several capacities. She opened the preschool and served as the Preschool Director before moving onto kindergarten.
Mrs. Amott has admired TPAAK for many years from a professional aspect as well as seeing the positive influences the school has on the Fort Collins community. She is excited to see the continued growth and development of the school as a whole — as we venture into a new and exciting year.
Mrs. Amott loves to be in kindergarten! She believes that every child has the potential to bring something unique and special to the world. She wants to help children develop their potential by believing in them as capable individuals. Children have taught her to open her mind and her heart to the joys, the innocence, and the diversity of ideas in the world.
In her spare time, Mrs. Amott loves to create. She enjoys sewing, crocheting and digital photography. She loves to spend time with her family and is learning the dynamics of parenting teenagers.
Mrs. Amy Jenes — Kindergarten teacher
Mrs. Jenes is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Colorado State University with a Bachelor in Science in Human Development and Family Studies. She also graduated with honors with an Associate Degree in Elementary Education from Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
She is thrilled to take part in shaping TPAAK into a close learning community with a family feel. She loves connecting with her students and wants each of them to know that they are cared for and respected at school. Mrs. Jenes is looking forward to kindergarten next year because the students are full of energy and enthusiasm. She especially enjoys the opportunity to be an integral part in teaching children how to read.
In her spare time, she enjoys scrapbooking, baking, and playing games with her children, Owen and Lylah. She and her family love hiking, picnicking, camping, and travelling together when they can.
Ms. Allison Sloan — 1st grade teacher
Ms. Sloan graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Mathematics. Ms. Sloan is very excited to take on a new year in a new grade level. She looks forward to collaborating with Mr. Smith on exciting Science activities.
She looks forward to spending more time with the hard working and creative Kindergarteners she grew so close with this year. Ms. Sloan enjoys painting and crafting in her free time. She loves spending time with her kooky family by having lip-sync battles, old art to new art nights, and pranking each other.
Mr. Keaton Smith — 1st grade teacher
Mr. Smith is a graduate this spring from the University of Wyoming where he is receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood. He is currently student teaching at Park Hill Elementary School in Denver where he has also led the Shakespeare After School Club. The last three summers he instructed at the Early Child and Education Center at the University of Wyoming and the Preschool Academy in Gillette, Wyoming.
Mr. Smith is excited and enthused to join forces with Ms. Sloan, and create whimsical journeys for students to explore. He looks forward to getting to know his students and their families — and working with the creative minds that first graders bring to his classroom.
Mr. Smith enjoys dancing and singing, learning about new places and cultures around the world, and discovering new ideas with a smile on his face. He also loves to bring up his two nephews, and be with the rest of his family, whenever he can.
Ms. Lauren Frazier — 2nd grade teacher
Ms. Frazier was a Mentor Teacher at Boulder Journey School these last two years. In 2014, Ms. Frazier graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Science in Educational Psychology with a Concentration in Early Literacy Development from the University of Colorado at Denver. She has a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Science in Early Childhood Education with a Minor in Spanish from Oklahoma State University. Before coming to Colorado, she was a Pre-school Teacher at the Child Development Laboratory in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Ms. Frazier enjoys developing curriculum that supports and honors children’s interests that also meets Colorado academic standards. She is excited to join the team at TPAAK and collaborate with other teachers and families in such an inspiring learning environment. 2nd grade interests her because of the children’s excitement and desire to learn more about the world around them.
Ms. Frazier enjoys hiking in the mountains with her fiancée, Mason and their dog, Ruby. They are getting married in Oklahoma this September. She spends her free time watching movies, reading books, and her new hobbies of sewing and jewelry making.
Mrs. Mary Lane Peterson — 2nd grade teacher
Mrs. Peterson is excited to begin her tenth year of teaching at TPAAK, and meeting all the fresh faces of new and returning students. She looks forward to being able to inspire and foster the creativity of her class, while holding high expectations for them. She especially enjoys a good laugh with her kids, and believes that happy kids are learning kids!
She loves to teach reading and math and enjoys seeing the confidence built in successful students. She started TPAAK’s annual Math Challenge, a fund raiser and contest that encourages math practice while contributing funds for designated needs of the school.
Mrs. Peterson graduated from Scottsdale Community College with an A. A. S. degree in Equine Science. She continued her education at Colorado State University, earning a B. A. degree in Technical Journalism before reaching her destination at Regis University, where she received her teaching license, majoring in Elementary Education. She truly believes in the quote “Ancora Imparo” which translates to “I am still learning.”
Mrs. Peterson’s hobbies include riding horses, gardening, and reading. She enjoys living in the mountains with her husband, Chuck, an instructor at CSU. She is also very proud of their son, Clay, who has recently enlisted in the Navy.
Mr. Matthew Mordecai — 3rd grade teacher
Mr. Mordecai graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Mr. Mordecai is very confident, and he insists on finding ways to make learning fun for his students. He is excited to “BLAST OFF” with his class in Third grade because he loves to watch his students grow everyday as learners.
A subject that Mr. Mordecai is very fond of and absolutely loves to teach is “literacy”. Literacy has always been a safe place for Mr. Mordecai, because he himself is a writer. He teaches young minds to put their heart and soul into their writing. In Mr. Mordecai’s words, “paint a clear picture for your reader with expressive words from your heart”.
In his free time, you will catch Mr. Mordecai “hitting the sticks” also known as the wonderful sport we call golf. Also, exploring the mountains, or riding waves while being dragged behind a boat. He also spends a lot of time with his family laughing, and playing a copious amount of board games!
Mr. Mordecai is excited to teach 3rd grade. New curriculum, new groove, fresh ideas, LET’S ROCK!!
Mrs. Phyllis Nakagawa — 3rd grade teacher
Mrs. Nakagawa graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Elementary Education. She has had a remarkable career as an educator from many years in the classroom, to founding her own private school, to being an essential part of TPAAK first as a teacher, then as Head of School for two years, and now back in the classroom. Phyllis is a Colorado ‘Star’ teacher and one of the outstanding educators in Colorado. She has also helped open one of the first Open Space Schools in the state, which happened to be a title school that was 10% below the poverty line. She loved the students and stayed at that school for 19 years!!
Mrs. Nak was also a ski instructor for children at Winter Park and still skis there today, when she can get away. Other hobbies include book groups, knitting, sewing, Eagles Hockey, the CU Buffs (She wears a buffalo everyday!), and now kumihimo (Japanese jewelry making). She loves teaching children and learning new methods and curriculum.
She is looking forward to her last year teaching with Mr. Mordecai and having fun and learning through new experiences!! Maybe, Mr. Mordecai can teach her how to “hit the sticks” and she can teach him how to “ride them”!
Mrs. Hahn — 4th grade teacher
Mrs. Hahn is a Cum Laude graduate from the University of Wyoming in Elementary Education and pursued graduate studies at Utah State University. She is a trained facilitator of the Step up to Writing program and has benefited from several Environmental Science workshops and trainings over the years. She was a ski instructor in college, where she met her husband.
This will be her 3rd year in 4th grade at TPAAK where she continues to build great learners. She was a founding teacher when TPAAK opened its doors in 2006. She has taught the first-second grade loop as well as third and fourth grade. She taught primary Spanish for a year and was the curriculum specialist one year at TPAAK as well. She loves to read, watch sports, especially hockey, and enjoys skiing, golfing, and spending time with her family. She is excited for the new school year!
Ms. Kristen Rubenthaler — 5th grade teacher
Ms. Rubenthaler graduated with a double major in Elementary Education and History Education from Hastings College, Nebraska. She was very active in the Education Department going on many teaching trips, like up to the RoseBud Reservation. She was involved in many Academic Showcases to share her knowledge of education on the Reservations. Her Senior Thesis was learning about how Native Americans were educated on the RoseBud Reservation. She also played volleyball for the NAIA college.
Before she joined TPAAK and completing 4th grade this year, she was an ESL teacher in China for two years and a pre-school teacher in Poland for one year. She is so excited to start her 2nd year moving up to 5th grade. She loves teaching all ages but has found that intermediate grades are her favorite.
She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and serves as the chairperson of the Indian Committee and the Junior Membership Committee. She is also a member of the Pioneer Association. This lets her follow her passion of history. She also loves to play all kinds of sports, play in the mountains and spend time with her friends and family.
She is very excited to start working as a teacher in the 4th/5th grade team with Ms. Mundhenke and Mrs. Hahn and Mr. Humphreys to really dig deeper into the lessons and really expand the knowledge each teacher has to offer.
Mrs. Jami Montoya — Literacy and Assessment Coordinator
Mrs. Montoya graduated Magna Cum Laude from Regis University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and marketing minor in 2006. She worked in public relations for several years before deciding that teaching young children was her ultimate calling in life. In 2011, Mrs. Montoya returned to school for a Master of Science in educational psychology and a teaching license in elementary education from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Mrs. Montoya was the primary grades lead teacher this year, and after five years at TPAAK, can say that second grade is her favorite grade to teach because of the fun balance between students taking on more ownership of their learning, and still having that giddy excitement for school and learning. She loves instilling a love for books and reading in her students by letting them read, read, read!
As Mrs. Montoya welcomes a baby girl to her family this spring, she will be taking on a new role at TPAAK by providing school-wide leadership, coordination, and support in literacy and assessment. Her literacy expertise will support faculty as they achieve productive growth and achievement for their students. Mrs. Montoya enjoys cooking and eating delicious food, and spending time with her growing family and friends.
Mrs. Lorna Floyd – Music Coordinator and Teacher
Mrs. Floyd has been with TPAAK since 2010. She started with a few instruments and a clean, empty room. The music program has now EXPLODED with creativity! Come see the instrumental program for strings, winds and percussion, as well as a vocal program, available to all ages.
Mrs. Floyd has been a professional musician in northern Colorado for more than 20 years. She studied saxophone performance and music education at Berklee College of Music and University of New Hampshire. She has two grown daughters who also live in Colorado. Mrs. Floyd is looking forward to another great year working with very talented TPAAK musicians!
Mrs. Connie Logsdon – Special Education and Gifted Coordinator
As an educator, Mrs. Logsdon is always excited to see how much growth takes place each year, academically, emotionally, and physically in her students. She loves teaching computer skills (spreadsheets, computer art, power point, typing, etc.) because once students have the basic skills; they discover new applications and ways to express themselves using the skills. She looks forward to all grades because the students have so much creativity!
She enjoys gardening, watching classic films, and being with her family, including her three dogs. Moreover, she looks forward to seeing her daughter, three brothers, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews at her annual family reunion in Kentucky this summer.
Ms. Andrejasich – Visual Arts Teacher
Ms. Andrejasich is a graduate of Marycrest College, Davenport Iowa, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts. She was drawn to arts education after almost thirty years as a successful professional advertising and portrait artist with several Chicago area agencies. Teaching private art lessons on the side and an art teaching “volunteer” in her own children’s school catapulted her into this profession. As an arts volunteer she began training at the Art Institute of Chicago teaching fine arts in the classroom. That was it, she was hooked on sharing her love of art with students! After moving to Fort Collins in 1996 she attended Colorado State University to receive her professional teaching license sixteen years ago.
TPAAK has become her passion! Being a part of this outstanding arts school from its beginning, she has seen remarkable young artists succeed in all that the arts represent! The visual arts students have placed in national and state contests over the 10 years here at TPAAK. Ms. Andrejasich believes student artwork is meant to be a part of the community and strives to participate in opportunities open to this including the Doodle 4 Google, Junior Duck stamp, Music K-8, Western Stock Youth Art Show and Fort Collins Art in Public Places Projects.