Our Staff

Parker, Colorado

DENNIS O’REILLY – Head of Schools

Dennis O’ReillyMr. O’Reilly started working with young people as a volunteer junior high basketball coach back in 1990, and has been in education for over twenty years, starting as a middle school math teacher back in 1993. Mr. O’Reilly has been an administrator since 1999 serving as Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant to the Principal, Principal, and Head of Schools at three different private schools in Tucson, Arizona and earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Chapman University. Mr. O’Reilly has been married for sixteen years to his beautiful bride Krissy, and will have two scholars attending Leman Academy, Conner and Adeline.



Jason Edwards
Jason Edwards is thrilled to be part of Leman Academy of Excellence! He studied history and education at Asbury University (B.Ed), then moved to Sao Paulo Brazil where he taught history, coached soccer, and served as Athletic Director at an international American school for grades PreK-12. He later moved to the Denver metro area in Colorado where he first taught History, then served as an administrator at two different charter schools emphasizing character education and classical curriculum. In all, he has over a decade of teaching experience and has worked as a charter school administrator since 2012. He has additionally completed graduate degrees in Educational Leadership from both Trinity Western University in British Columbia (2012) and George Fox University in Oregon (2016).

Jason loves to spend time outdoors with his wife and 3 kids, read,mountain bike, cheer for Barcelona F.C., play guitar, and make friends through pick-up soccer. His favorite things about Leman Academy are the content-rich classical curriculum, the robust and time-tested philosophy of Charlotte Mason and Dr. Leman, the culture of joy, and the strength of community that naturally develops when like-minded families and educators unite around a shared vision for healthy growth.


Jennifer Dinsmoor – Vice PRINCIPAL

Jennifer DinsmoorI am beyond excited to join the Leman Academy team! Being born and raised in Estes Park, CO has instilled in me a strong sense of adventure, exploring and love of learning. This will be my 4th year teaching, and I am more passionate than ever to support our scholars who may have unique ways of learning and to ensure all of our students can access the incredible content and lifelong learning Leman Academy offers.

Outside of my professional life, I enjoy running, traveling and taking advantage of all that Colorado has to offer. Most of all, I love spending time with my little family-Jason, Aiden (our 1-year old), and Bernie (our Australian Shepherd). Family is everything and they are my world! I am very grateful to be a part of this wonderful community.



BRIDGET D'ARCYBridget has been worked in the Education field since 1999 beginning with the after care program in a local elementary school. There she discovered the joy of spending her days with children and decided to pursue a degree in Education. Bridget graduated with honors from Mesa State College in Elementary Education. She has worked as a Kindergarten teacher, 1st grade teacher, and as an interventionist pulling struggling readers and advanced learners. She's also had the privilege of teaching in other capacities, such as ski and snowboard instructor, outdoor program leader, VBS leader, and much more.

When not teaching you'll find her either outside somewhere, reading, or usually both at the same time, preferably under the sun with her family. She is married to her husband Chris and has two daughters. Her favorite things about Leman Academy are the whole-child approach and coming alongside parents to raise scholars with core values and virtues. She is also very passionate about the philosophies that Charlotte Mason and Dr. Leman bring to Parker, such as respecting the scholars as individuals and giving them the habits and encouragement for a successful life.


Starla Cordova - Office Manager

Starla CordovaStarla Cordova first became involved with charter schools in 1995 as a Founding Family of a school in Colorado Springs. Since then, she has made a career out of helping start charter schools and Leman Academy will be her fourth school to see up and running. She has served as Substitute Teacher, Office Manager, and Registrar. She is looking forward to building relationships with the Leman scholars and their families in the years to come.

Starla, and her husband of thirty years, enjoy spending time with their three daughters and two grandsons. She also enjoys hiking, building furniture, and building/remodeling homes.


Mineko (Dee) Zeidlhack - Front Office

Dee Zeidhack


Gabrielle Jepkes - Front Office

Gabrielle Jepkes


Terri Donohue - Kinder Teacher

Hello! I am Terri Donohue, and I'm thrilled to be on the Kindergarten Team at Leman Academy of Excellence. This will be my sixth year teaching, and my fourth year as a kindergarten teacher. I love the enchanting world of kindergarten! Every day, we discover something new and exciting.

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Music/Vocal Performance, from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. My time at Cal Poly was magical and fulfilling. I also have a Master's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix. After my first day as a student teacher, I knew education was my true calling.

I live in Castle Rock with my two children. Max is 19 and excited to live life to its fullest. Maggie is 12 and is both nervous and eager to begin middle school. We have two cats we adore named Murphy and Darwin.

As a family, we love going to the movies, playing board games, taking walks, exploring our beautiful state of Colorado, and just spending time together. When I have free time I enjoy singing with the Cherry Creek Chorale, knitting (a true beginner here), spending time with friends and family, and reading.


Ariana Griego - Kinder Teacher

Ariana Griego

Hi there!  I am just so excited to be teaching at Leman Academy and whenever I think about it, I smile! My name is Ariana Griego but I go by “Ms. G.” in the classroom. Coming from a large family and being surrounded by little kids my entire life, teaching was naturally what my heart desired. With years of experience working with kids both in and out of the classroom, I have found that spending my day with Kindies is where I’m meant to be. You will learn rather quickly that my classroom is run like a family. We focus on kindness, understanding the importance of one another, showing encouragement, and are always there to give a helping hand. My kids at school are my second family!

I attended Grand Canyon University for both my Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Education in Elementary Education and truly loved it! When I’m not in the classroom, I am still usually around large groups of people I care about: My brothers and sisters, my nieces, and of course my amazing pets! I also really enjoy cooking, baking, reading, swimming, and being outside (as long as there are no snakes.) I can’t wait to get to know one another and am truly looking forward to a fantastic year! 

Lanae Harney - Kinder Teacher

Lanae Harney

My name is Lanae Harney and I am thrilled to be joining the Leman Academy of Excellence team! This is my second year teaching kindergarten. I couldn’t think of any better place to be than the land of kindergarten where a love of learning and vast wonder meet! Over the years my eyes have been opened to the power of education and I am honored to join in empowering Leman Academy scholars through education.  I earned my Bachelors of Science Degree in Liberal Studies with a Minor in Education from my hometown university, Colorado State University- Pueblo. 

Though I am a Colorado native, I am new to the Parker area. I look forward to exploring the community and learning from students what they enjoy about their community. When I am not teaching or diving into curriculum I enjoy spending time outside with my friends and family. Some of my favorite things include having family picnics, hiking, and playing frisbee. 

I am grateful to join Leman Academy in putting young minds to work through rigours, engaging, and research based instruction! 

Lesli Kiehn - Kinder Teacher

Elizabeth Wilson - Half Day Kinder Teacher & ELL/504 Coordinator

Elizabeth WilsonMy name is Elizabeth (Betsy) Wilson. I’m excited and honored to be a member of the Leman Academy of Excellence team again this year. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix, and a Colorado Teaching License K-6. I’m currently enrolled in a Culturally, Linguistically Diverse Endorsement Program (CLDE), and in a Master of Arts in Education (MAE).

As a highly qualified teacher, my primary teaching experiences include positions as a Homeroom Kindergarten Teacher, 504 Coordinator, and as an ESL Coordinator, Administrator and Support Teacher. Other positions include: Kindergarten Reading Teacher and a Response to Interventionist (RTI) for (K-2nd).

My passion is teaming with staff, parents, and scholars to ensure success for everyone. As an educator I want every scholar to know the love of learning, and that there is learning in laughter.

Prior to working as an educator, I had a long career as a Designer/Drafter and Project Manager for a Mechanical Engineering firm in the Denver, Colorado area.

I grew up in Colorado, and raised my family near the Elizabeth/Parker area. My personal interests are spending time with my family, camping, home projects, cooking, science, STEM/STEAM, bike riding, architecture, art, national and international travel.


John Haynes - 1st Grade Teacher

John Haynes
Hi! My name is John Haynes, and I’m thrilled to be teaching at the Leman Academy of Excellence. I grew up here in Parker and graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education and Linguistically Diverse Education. I began my teaching career in the Mapleton School District in Thornton and I have returned to my home town of Parker with my wife and soon to be baby boy. I enjoy being outdoors, swimming, hiking, and spending time with friends. I have three dogs, a Chihuahua, a pug, and a jack rustle.


Kimberly Huntley - 1st Grade Teacher

Alison Llewellyn - 1st Grade Teacher

Alison Llewellyn
My name is Alison Llewellyn, (pronounced loo-E-len; it’s Welsh), and this will be my first year at Leman Academy of Excellence. I am incredibly excited to be teaching first grade this coming 2019-2020 school year. Leman Academy’s mission and purpose is something that truly resonates with me and I am so happy to join our school.This will be my second year teaching. Last year I taught in a third grade classroom, and I also have teaching experience in a Pre-K classroom. I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I greatly look forward to applying what I have learned for each scholar in the classroom and having fun learning together and getting to know each other.

I grew up in the wonderful state of Colorado and love exploring it more whenever I can by hiking, camping, skiing, and other outdoor adventures. When I’m not enjoying the great outdoors, I am probably reading a book or playing the piano. I live in Parker with my wonderful husband and two spoiled cats, Caroline and Frederick.


Robin Martinez - 1st Grade Teacher

Megan Mergi - 1st Grade Teacher

Emily Bourgouin - 2nd Grade Teacher

Emily Bourgouin
Mrs. Bourgouin (previously known as Ms. Martin) is a Southern California native, being born and raised in Chino Hills, CA, who moved to Parker last year. She graduated from the University of Redlands with two Bachelor’s degrees in Liberal Studies and Business Management in 2017. She then continued on at the UofR, earning her Master’s in Learning and Teaching in 2018. She always knew she wanted to become a teacher.

Mrs. Bourgouin got married to her high school sweetheart in July, and they have a one year old dachshund, named Harper. They are building their dream house in Castle Rock, which is set to be completed in November.

She is thrilled to get to know you and your scholars this school year!



Kendall Burki - 2nd Grade Teacher

Kendall Burki
Mrs. Burki is originally from Waukesha, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. Mrs. Burki always had a passion for working with children and striving to make a difference in the classroom. She has traveled to many places around the world including Jamaica, Spain, and France. She also enjoys skiing in Breckenridge and Vail and hiking in the beautiful outdoors of Colorado. Mrs. Burki is married and has a 15-month old son named JJ and a rescue lab, Odin. She is excited to be a part of the Leman Academy team and build relationships with each scholar for the upcoming school year!


Kylanne Hart - 2nd Grade Teacher

Kylanne Hart
Hi! My name is Kylanne Hart and I have been with Leman Academy for the last two years. I was born and raised in Denver; currently living in Littleton. I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology, a Master's in Education, and I am currently working on a Master's in School Psychology. I have worked in the education field for the last 8 years. I started in early childhood education then moved into elementary education 4 years ago. I enjoy traveling to new places, being outside in the Colorado sunshine, and enjoying time with my family and friends. 

I love our classical education and the richness it brings to each scholar's life. My personal favorites from the Leman curriculum are the recitations, picture studies, and history. I learn something new every time I teach them and greatly enjoy watching the scholars make connections and resonate with the concepts and themes being taught. I look forward to the new year! 


Nicole Lamb - 2nd Grade Teacher

Nicole Lamb
Hi! My name is Nicole Lamb. This is my second year teaching at Leman Academy of Excellence, and I love to teach in a school that upholds values and virtues, and is a classical and rigorous environment. I have previous experience teaching in a Jr. Kindergarten class, and first grade which I adored. I am looking forward to working with "older" students in second grade. I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a bachelor's in History, which took me to Spain where I worked in a museum. I graduated with my Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix in May of 2019. I am excited to apply everything I have learned to the classroom!

I have been married for 5 years, and my husband and I have a passion for travel! We have been to over 30 countries and we absolutely love learning about new cultures, food, people, and just a different way of life. When we are not traveling, we love to spend time outside and time with our dog!


Melissa Lawver - 2nd Grade Teacher

Melissa Lawver
Hello! I am Melissa Lawver, and I'm thrilled to join the Second Grade Team at Leman Academy of Excellence. This will be my seventh year of teaching. I have taught first grade and second grade at a public school and a private school. I love the enthusiasm for reading in second grade and I can’t wait to watch my scholars grow.
I have a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education and a Colorado Teaching License. I truly enjoy learning new teaching strategies and implementing them in my classroom.
I live in Southeast Aurora with my husband, Terrence, and our 2 children, Brayden (6) and Kenzie (5). They both attend Leman Academy and I was so intrigued with the philosophy of Leman Academy, I knew I needed to be a bigger part of it, as a teacher.
As a family, we love going hiking, on bike rides, traveling to new places, and movie nights! When I have free time I enjoy reading, taking walks, and relaxing in the Colorado sunshine.


Elaine Bergmeier - 3rd Grade Teacher

Elaine Bergmeier graduated from The University of Wyoming in 2002 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Elementary Education. She later achieved her Masters in Special Education in 2010 from Grand Canyon University. Elaine began her profession as an educator substitute teaching in the Denver metro area for a year, then ventured to Tucson, AZ in 2004 where she taught Third grade for three years in Vail School District. After three years in Tucson, she decided to move back home to Colorado and obtained a Fourth Grade teaching position in Denver Public Schools where she taught for 5 years and was the Fourth Grade team leader and intermediate instruction leader for four of those years. In 2012, she and her husband had their first son, and together they decided for Elaine to stay home. In 2014, their second son was born. Over the seven years since their first son was born, she tutored both at the Kumon Center in Castle Rock, as well as private tutoring. Their oldest son attended Leman Academy of Excellence as a first grader for the inaugural year. Now, both of their sons are scholars at Leman Academy of Excellence! We are excited as a family to be so invested in this school!

Elaine grew up in Centennial, CO. After venturing to Wyoming for college and Arizona for her first full time teaching experience, she decided to move back to Colorado to be around her immediate family. She lived in Denver, met and married her husband, and then moved to Castle Rock where they began their family. In 2017, they moved to Elizabeth, CO and have begun to build a little hobby farm. Elaine enjoys hiking, fishing, camping, skiing (two of us ski and two of us snowboard), and exploring with her family. She also enjoys gardening, reading, playing cards and board games.

Elaine is very excited to get back to her passion of classroom teaching, and couldn't be more thrilled to continue that adventure at Leman Academy of Excellence! She was attracted to Leman Academy because of the element of integrated learning and classical instruction that reaches the whole child, as well as the mission statement, philosophy, rigor, and collaborative teaching that will be within the school, and more importantly within the Third Grade team! She looks forward to partnering with you as your scholar begins or continues the classical education journey at Leman Academy of Excellence!

Joyce Bolyard - 3rd Grade Teacher

Quianna Demanlow - 3rd Grade Teacher

Jodi Hofman - 3rd Grade Teacher

Jodi Hofman
Jodi Hofman has been an educator for 17 years. Beginning her career in California as a preschool music teacher she discovered her love and passion for teaching children. During this time she completed her Bachelors degree in Liberal Studies at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Jodi continued her education while substitute teaching in Arizona and received her Elementary Education Certification. While Jodi has held several different positions in both public and private schools, her last position was as a second/third grade teacher at a private school in Greenwood Village.

Ms. Hofman is married and lives with her husband and their chocolate lab. In her free time, Jodi enjoys hiking, camping, and horseback riding.


Crystal Chiquito- 4th Grade Teacher

Crystal Chiquito
Hello! My name is Crystal Chiquito and I am so excited to be a part of Leman Academy. I was born and raised in Illinois and recently moved here to beautiful Colorado. I graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2019 where I earned my bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. During my time there, I had the opportunity to complete my year long student teaching experience in a 4th grade classroom. I’m so happy to continue growing as an educator with the rest of the 4th grade team at Leman.

Whenever I have time, I love to travel, spend time outdoors, and watch movies.

I can’t wait to build positive relationships with the students, parents, and staff to help our scholars reach their full potential!


Allison Jensen- 4th Grade Teacher

Allison Jensen
Hi! My name is Allison Jensen and I am very excited to be a 4th grade teacher at Leman! I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a teacher to inspire students that anything is possible. I was born and raised in Redlands, CA where I attended the University of Redlands and received my Bachelors in Communicative Disorders and Masters in Learning and Teaching. I worked as a speech-language pathology assistant in the schools from grades K-12 for 2 years. I was a substitute teacher for 2 years in grades K-8. I fulfilled my student teaching requirement as a 3rd grade teacher.

Outside of teaching I love spending time with my family on the Central Coast of CA in Morro Bay, traveling, and playing volleyball.

I can’t wait to be apart of the Leman team and create positive relationships with the scholars, parents, and staff!


Jenny Lee (Kim)- 4th/5th Grade Teacher

Jenny Kim
Mrs. Kim’s love for education grew from when she was a child, surrounded by a family of scholars, educators, principals, and professors. Mrs. Kim loved hearing about their day during dinners and how they strived to encourage the scholars by applying research into action. Growing up in Canada, she had teachers and administrators who guided her through challenges and highlighted her strengths.

Mrs. Kim obtained her undergraduate degree in Toronto, Canada, and her graduate degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City. Mrs. Kim has taught in various settings, both public and private. She taught Early Childhood - 8th grade as a Substitute Teacher, Learning Specialist, Head Teacher, Adult Education Teacher, and accepted in a school leadership program but declined the offer as she reflected on where she would like to be the most - with the scholars most of the day.

Mrs. Kim is married and has fostered three injured dogs from abuse and needed medical care. She enjoys outdoor activities, ceramic sculpture, listening to classical music, and plays her flute and piano in her spare time. She is a big foodie, and she loves trying new adventures.

Mrs. Kim is very excited to be a part of the Leman Academy of Excellence team! She is looking forward to learning and growing together with you!


Karen Mitchell - 4th Grade Teacher

Karen Mitchell
Karen Mitchell was born and raised in the Chicago area. She earned her undergraduate teaching degree from North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and her Master's degree in Curriculum Design and Instruction from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.

Mrs. Mitchell has taught preschool, 2nd grade, 4th grade and 5th grade, but her true passion is helping to shape the lives of 4th grade students. In her free time, Karen enjoys reading, spending time outdoors and traveling with her husband and two adult children. She loves being a part of the Leman Academy community!


Danielle Loken - 5th Grade Teacher

Danielle Loken
I am so excited to be teaching 5th grade at Leman Academy of Excellence! Everything in the philosophy and mission statement resonates with me as an Educator and I’m excited to make it come alive in my classroom this year. I strive to instill critical thinking skills, virtue, and joy into the next generation of scholars, knowing they will be the leaders tomorrow. As the math teacher for every 5th grade scholar, it is my passion to make math concrete and accessible for all students.

I graduated from Colorado Christian University in 2014 with a degree in Psychology (I have a strong affinity for Dr. Leman's teachings and strategies) and later discovered my love for teaching after college. In 2020, I graduated with a Master's in Elementary Education. I have experience teaching first and second grades, but am excited for the new challenge of teaching 5th grade scholars!

In my free time I enjoy going on walks with my husband and 2 Australian Shepherds, mountain biking, baking, and painting furniture.


Karilyn Surratt - 5th Grade Teacher

Tiffany Cox - 5th Grade Teacher

Tiffany Cox
Learning has always been a strong drive in Mrs. Cox’s life. From a child she dreamed of being a teacher. She graduated with honors from high school and then went to Augsburg University in Minnesota. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in secondary education with an emphasis in social studies and a B.A. in psychology.

After teaching a few years, she decided she wanted to move to the elementary level. Attending weekend college and summer school, Mrs. Cox earned another B.A. degree in elementary education and an additional teaching license.

She did not stop there.

Mrs. Cox continued her education at Bethel University’s graduate school in Minnesota, and earned her master’s degree in Teaching K-12. Mrs. Cox’s career has consisted of teaching in a variety of levels from high school on down to first grade, finding her “sweet spot” in upper elementary. In her 12+ years of teaching she has taught in public, charter, and private schools. She was also a stay-at-home mom to her five kids for twelve years. Mrs. Cox’s insatiable appetite for classical education has brought her to Leman.

Besides being an avid reader, Mrs. Cox enjoys working out, baking, and listening to a myriad of podcasts. She and her husband, their 5 kids, 18 chickens, 4 ducks, 2 turtles, bunny, fish, cat, and dog reside in Castle Rock. She is thrilled to be a part of Leman Academy.



Marcy Barrera - Middle School Math & Science Teacher

Marcy Barrera
Marcy Barrera graduated from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs in 2003 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology. She went on to be certified as a Clinical Laboratory Analyst, serving in that role until the birth of her first daughter in 2006. Marcy then began teaching on a part-time basis at a local private school in Colorado Springs. She passed on her love of science by teaching Biology, Life Science, and Anatomy and Physiology for several years. With the imminent arrival of daughter number three, Marcy set her teaching career aside to concentrate on her growing family.

The Barrera family soon relocated to the southwest portion of Colorado. Marcy served as the Children's Ministry Director for four years in the church which her husband, Al, pastored. During that time, she researched and implemented new curriculum, developed and trained teaching staff, and oversaw the broader vision of positively impacting the children of her community.

Marcy and Al have been married for 17 years. They have lived in Parker with their four daughters since 2015. Marcy spends her time enjoying her family, expressing her creativity through sewing, and baking all manner of delicious pastries and breads. She truly believes, "Butter makes everything better!" She finds joy in serving others through what she creates and she knows that life is best experienced, in the company of family and friends, around the dining room table.


Stacie Groves - Middle School Science Teacher

Stacie Groves
Stacie graduated from Colorado State University with a BS in Human Growth and Development. She went on to obtain her Educator License from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She earned her Master’s degree in Education with a focus on Literacy from Lesley University. Stacie has been teaching for over 15 years. She is very excited to be a part of Leman.

Stacie is married with 3 children. In her free time, she attends baseball games and gymnastics meets!


Julie Seeley - Middle School Latin Teacher

Julie Seeley

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Julie Seeley graduated from Northwest Christian University with a B.A. in Intercultural Studies and double minors in English as a Second Language and Spanish at the University of Oregon. Julie has taught Spanish, Latin, music (Suzuki Flute and Recorder), and ESL to preschoolers through adults. Her experience includes teaching positions in public, private, and community colleges. She has homeschooled her children using Classical Education for 10 years. This will be Julie's second year teaching Latin at Leman Academy of Excellence.

Mrs. Seeley has also worked with refugee adults and children and has trained various leaders to take on the teaching role within language programs. Julie has also developed curriculum for middle school language programs. Her favorite thing about being a Latin teacher at LAE is introducing scholars to the beauty of learning a new language as well as leading them to know about other cultures. Outside of the classroom Julie plays flute, goes hiking with her family, and cooks and eats delicious international food.


Roxanne Stasney - Middle School Math Teacher

Roxanne Stasney

I earned my M.A.T. from UNC in 2017 and a B.S. in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Wisconsin in 2010. I clearly love both math and science but am also passionate about history and the arts. I’ve always had a special connection to animals and nature, spending much of my life hiking, working with horses, helping run a family dog kennel, and working with rescued animals. In recent years, I’ve also become interested in nutrition and fitness.


Emily Maddock - Middle School History & English Teacher

Emily Maddock


Sean Mundt - Middle School English and Logic Teacher

Sean Mundtsean.mundt@lemanacademy.org

Zach Van Sant - Middle School English Teacher

Zach Van Sant
Zachary Van Sant is a native of Rhode Island and graduated from Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in New Hampshire. He then went on to study two years of philosophy and one year of theology. He is a recipient of the St. Edmund Campion Fellowship to study at the Center for Faith and Culture in Oxford. Zach has spent two years teaching American History and Latin at a boarding school in Pennsylvania as well as another two years teaching literature and Latin at a classical public charter school in Colorado. He is currently working on earning his Master's degree.


Jordan Towne - Middle School History Teacher

Suzy Uyechi - Middle School Math & Latin Teacher

Suzy_ Uyeche
Although Colorado is home, Suzy moved many times during her earlier years. She lived in both Mexico and Panama when she was young. Suzy graduated from the University of Colorado – Denver with a B.A. in Spanish. She home schooled her 4 children from Kindergarten through 8th grade. More recently, she taught beginning and intermediate Spanish at a charter high school in Parker and ESL to students online.At home, she loves to spend time with her family and her yellow Labrador, “Mo”. She can often be found outside pulling weeds or caring for the family’s goats and chickens. She also enjoys hiking and being in the mountains. Suzy is excited to teach at Leman Academy this year. She is very much looking forward to getting to know the scholars and their parents too.

Tammy Dale - Occupational Therapist

Tammy Dale


Ashley Faye - 504 and ALP coordinator

Angela Fontanelli - ESS Case Manager

Angela Fontanelli
Angela is very excited to join Leman Academy of Excellence and work with the Exceptional Student Service team. She began her work in elementary education after serving as a DOD instructor to soldiers and Marines. She loved teaching and has a passion for children, so she transitioned to elementary instruction. First working for a district school in Arizona and a self-contained special needs classroom, she then transitioned to an Arizona charter school as an instructional aide for third grade. Angela completed her BS in Elementary Education Interdisciplinary Studies through Liberty University in 2016. Upon completion of her degree, she went to teach first grade as part of an English immersion school in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. While there, Angela pursued a master's degree (MAT) in both elementary and special education. She completed in 2018. Angela spent time living in Costa Rica and served as the 1-3 grade teacher while there.

Aside from teaching, Angela enjoys traveling and experiencing different cultures. She is active in kickboxing, loves reading, and continues to take Spanish classes int he hopes of moving from understanding to fluency.


Rachel Jensen - Reading Intervention

Rachel Jensen

Rachel is excited about the opportunity to guide scholars as an interventionist at Leman Academy of Excellence. Her love for education began in high school and continues today. She graduated from Metro State University in 1997 with a double major in Elementary Education and Special Education. After graduation, she spent a year in the Englewood Public School system before moving to California to be a missionary teacher in Wyatts California. She spent several years there before returning to Colorado in 2001 to start a family. Upon her return, she taught kindergarten in Colorado Springs for several years.

In 2007, Rachel began her eleven year journey at a private school in Parker teaching third grade. Her children attended the school as well, and thrived in the rigorous environment. Rachel taught several grade levels at the school before accepting the Reading Specialist position at the school in 2010 and the MTSS Coordinator position in 2017. She earned her Masters in Teaching with her Literacy Intervention Certification from Colorado College in 2014. She became a Certified Academic Language Therapist with ALTA and earned her Reading endorsement from the State of Colorado in 2015. She currently works at a private practice as a Literacy Therapist for children with dyslexia or other literacy disorders.

Rachel's passion is literacy! She believes her dual position at Leman will enable her to bring literacy to life before and after difficulties arise. Rachel is ecstatic about the philosophy and mission of Leman and is looking forward to partnering with students, families, and staff to make the Parker Leman campus a safe place to shine in the Parker community.


Beth Levine - Speech Pathologist

Beth Levine


Arlene Myers - IEP Case Manager

Arlene Myers

Although this is my second year to be apart of Leman Academy Exceptional Scholar Services (ESS), I have 20 years of experience supporting special needs students and nine years directing children’s programming for a faith based organization. When you add raising three children to the mix, I’ve been hanging out with kids for most of my life!

I’ve lived in Colorado for the past 20 years (a transplant from Oregon) and absolutely love everything it has to offer! I love the sunshine, exploring the mountains, and spending time with my children and 5 grandchildren who also call Colorado home.

My current responsibilities involve collaborating with teachers and parents to create meaningful programming to support exceptional scholars in grades K-3. I feel blessed to be a part of LAE and I'm enjoying working alongside such a dedicated and professional team of administrators and teachers.


Susan Peary - Psychologist

Susan Peary

Tatianna Podhradsky - IEP Case Manager

Tatianna PodhradskyI grew up in a small town in South Dakota and moved to Colorado in 2015 to start my career in education. Since moving here I have worked with exceptional scholars of all ages along with teaching 3rd and 4th grade in Aurora.

I also received a master's degree in Exceptional Learners at Colorado Mesa University. It's a privilege to continue supporting exceptional scholars here at Leman! I've been a dog foster for a few years with Animal Rescue of the Rockies and love helping dogs find a forever home. I enjoy spending my weekends cuddled up with my foster dog watching football games. Go Giants!


Merelee Syron-Whitcomb - Art Teacher

Merelee Syron-Whitcomb
I love teaching Art! I have my degree from Georgian Court University in NJ. I have been teaching all grades for 10 years, including homeschool co-ops.

I am an artist myself, and I love it when I am able to teach students new techniques that make them proud of themselves. It is rewarding to have students that start out saying "I can't to it that good" to "Wow! This is way better than I thought I was capable of".


Pamela Casagrande - Art Teacher

Pamela Casagrande

My name is Pamela Casagrande and this is my 11th year of teaching, but my first at Leman Academy of Excellence. I'm originally from St. Louis, and attended New York University, where I received my undergraduate degree in Art History and Studio Art. I then obtained my graduate degree in Elementary education from Brooklyn College. I started my teaching career as a 4th-grade teacher, then began teaching my passion, art. After living in New York for 15 years, my husband and I decided to move to Colorado last year. I have two beautiful girls at home, Emmy, who is one, and Ellie, who is five and attends kindergarten here at Leman. I love being both a parent and teacher; it's a unique and rewarding experience.

Virginia Blacker - Music Teacher

Virginia Blacker

I am Virginia Blacker and I just arrived from New Jersey moments ago. I am totally motivated to begin my work at Leman Academy in the service of music and my scholars. In the words of Zoltan Kodály, "With music, one's whole future is brightened. This is such a treasure in life that it helps us over many troubles and difficulties. Music is nourishment, a comforting elixir. Music multiplies all that is beautiful and of value in life." Kodály was a Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist, pedagogue, linguist, and philosopher. He is well known internationally as the creator of the Kodály Method, one of the methods of music education in which I was trained. Kodály was also quoted as saying "Often, a single experience will open the young soul to music for a whole lifetime".  This is truly what we hope to achieve.

I have been a music educator for a multitude of years where I had the honor to have my district, Millburn Public Schools, earn Blue Ribbon Status. Along with that, our music department was honored with BEST COMMUNITIES FOR MUSIC EDUCATION by NAMM Foundation. This designation was for our dedication and commitment to and support of Music Education.

I am a professional flutist and pianist and have appeared with many symphony orchestras, opera companies, and in musical theatre, along with conducting and directing shows/musicals.

I have 3 children - 1 son lives in Denver, my 2nd son lives in Philly, and my daughter lives in New Jersey. I first came to Colorado to attend CNI Cochlear Kids' Camps. My daughter is a recipient of 2 Cochlear implants.

I am married to David, a Realtor, and we have 3 cats (2 Maine Coon and 1 DSH) who are settling down after the long ride from NJ.

I am looking forward to working with all of our scholars, faculty and parents in helping Leman Academy to grow and build their music department. Again from Kodály - "To teach music and singing in such a way that is not torture but a joy for the pupil, instill a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last a lifetime."

What more could you ask?

Stephanie Petrie - Music Teacher

Stephanie Petrie
Hello! My name is Stephanie Petrie and this is my 10th year teaching music! I began teaching at Leman when the school opened, implementing a band and orchestra program that met after school. I am very excited to call Leman my “home” as one of the general music teachers!

I am a Connecticut native who moved to Colorado 9 years ago. My musical journey began as a 5th grader who picked up a flute, played it, and knew I never wanted to be without it. Through middle school and high school I was selected to play in many elite ensembles and received several performance awards before being awarded performance scholarships to attend college for music. I knew I always wanted music in my life, and my love of teaching others drove me to want to allow my students to love music just as much as I do. I also wanted to explore using music as a therapeutic tool for people from all walks of life.

I began my studies at University of Connecticut, majoring in Music Education and minoring in Special Education, before transferring and continuing my studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston, completing a rigorous dual degree program in Music Education and Music Therapy. In Massachusetts, I practiced music therapy in a variety of settings: special education classrooms in schools, in-home visits for severe disabilities, nursing homes and a psychiatric hospital. I also taught band, orchestra and general music as well as private lessons at various middle and high schools in the Boston area.

Upon moving to Colorado, I began teaching elementary Band and Orchestra before and after school through the Colorado Chamber Orchestra educational outreach program. After finding a home church in Parker, I also began working at PEPC Early Learning Center as a toddler teacher. I used my musical tools to build a full music program at PEPC ELC, giving children ages 6 weeks – 5 years a variety of musical experiences as well as leading Christmas Programs, graduations, chapel time and so much more!

I am truly blessed to call this state my home. I met my husband Michael, who is a scientific glassblower, here in Colorado and together we have two beautiful and energetic children: our son Bentley who will be in 2nd grade at Leman and daughter Ivy who will be 3 in August. We also love animals and have 3 cats and a dog. You can usually find us in the mountains enjoying camping, fishing, hiking, snowshoeing or snowboarding adventures!

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” – Plato


Jacenta Wirth - Nurse

Jacenta Wirth


Amy Decker - Health/Office Assistant

Amy Decker


Theresa Worker - Health Assistant

Theresa Worker
I moved to Parker, Colorado 14 years ago after my husband and I were married. Two years after we were married we welcomed our daughter and two years after that we welcomed our son.

I am a Colorado native. Before moving to Parker, I attended The University of Northern Colorado, for both my undergraduate and my graduate degree.

I look forward to keeping your scholars healthy and happy at Leaman Academy!


Kristin Funk - K-5 Language Teacher

Julie Seeley - Latin Teacher
Middle School

Julie Seeley

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Julie Seeley graduated from Northwest Christian University with a B.A. in Intercultural Studies and double minors in English as a Second Language and Spanish at the University of Oregon. Julie has taught Spanish, Latin, music (Suzuki Flute and Recorder), and ESL to preschoolers through adults. Her experience includes teaching positions in public, private, and community colleges. She has homeschooled her children using Classical Education for 10 years. This will be Julie's second year teaching Latin at Leman Academy of Excellence.

Mrs. Seeley has also worked with refugee adults and children and has trained various leaders to take on the teaching role within language programs. Julie has also developed curriculum for middle school language programs. Her favorite thing about being a Latin teacher at LAE is introducing scholars to the beauty of learning a new language as well as leading them to know about other cultures. Outside of the classroom Julie plays flute, goes hiking with her family, and cooks and eats delicious international food.


Suzy Uyechi - Middle School Latin & Math Teacher

Suzy_ Uyeche
Although Colorado is home, Suzy moved many times during her earlier years. She lived in both Mexico and Panama when she was young. Suzy graduated from the University of Colorado – Denver with a B.A. in Spanish. She home schooled her 4 children from Kindergarten through 8th grade. More recently, she taught beginning and intermediate Spanish at a charter high school in Parker and ESL to students online.At home, she loves to spend time with her family and her yellow Labrador, “Mo”. She can often be found outside pulling weeds or caring for the family’s goats and chickens. She also enjoys hiking and being in the mountains. Suzy is excited to teach at Leman Academy this year. She is very much looking forward to getting to know the scholars and their parents too.

Shaun D'Arcy - K-5 PE Teacher/Athletic Director

Shaun D'Arcy
I am originally from Liverpool, England and have lived in Parker for the past 11 years ever since I married my wife with whom we have two children together. I have my Bachelors Degree in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). I was also recently certified as a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) in June 2020. I have worked with children of all ages and abilities ever since I was 16 years old. My love of all sports and games has been with me ever since I was a child, which has also progressed into coaching since the age of 16, too. In my spare time I like to play soccer, fly-fish, run, and most importantly spend time with my family.

My main goals as the gym teacher are to teach teamwork, develop skills and build confidence through physical activity. My view on gym class is to make it a safe place to come and enjoy yourself in a way you can express yourself and build up your peers. I want the scholars to look forward to each time they have gym while learning and growing their skill set and confidence along the way.


John Prezzia - Physical Education

John Prezzia
John graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013 with a bachelor's in business. After two years of missionary work, he discovered a passion for the liberal arts, and the formation of children to be able to truly pursue the good life; a life of beauty, goodness and truth. He then taught at Gregory the Great Academy in Scranton, PA for two years as a math teacher, physical education and sports coach, and dorm father. After that, he had a wonderful experience teaching PE at ascent classical academy, and is looking forward to joining the Leman Classical Academy staff.


Nancy Gustafson - Food Service Coordinator

Nancy Gustafson
Nancy is a Colorado native. Living in the Parker area for 30 years. Her and her husband have 3 children and 5 wonderful grandchildren. Nancy has worked in retail serving her regular customers for year. She loves going to the mountains, walking ang spending time with her friends.


Courtney Atchley - Lunch Monitor

Courtney Atchley


Rhonda Davis - Lunch Monitor

Rhonda Davis


Christa Milby - Lunch Monitor

Christa Milby


Ruth Sena - Lunch Monitor

Ruth Sena


Emily Lechey - Instructional Assistant

Emily Lechey


Skylar Lippold - Instructional Assistant

Skylar Lippold


Brenda Maciejewski - Instructional Assistant and Middle School Study Hall Monitor

Brenda Maciejewski
Hello. I'm Brenda Maciejewski i was born in Phoenix Az and moved to Parker 25 years ago. I married the man of my dreams and we have 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. My older children are married and i have 4 beautiful grand daughters. I love to take group fitness classes and can be found at lifetime in Parker on most days. We are a military family with my husband being an Army veteran and member of the American Legion. My sons are Marines and my youngest is still serving. My passion for years has been to teach young children and I'm doing exactly what I love.


Eva Szabo - Instructional Assistant

Eva Szabo


Melitta Verrill - Instructional Assistant

Alisa King - Homeschool Enrichment Coordinator

Alisa King


Joe Busse - Facilities Coord./Busin. Asst

Joe Busse


Day Porter - Cusdodian