Administration & Support
Social Studies
Special Ed
World Language

Administration & Support

Geri Zabitz Badler

Geri is Director of the Travel Center and Community Partnerships. She has B.S. in Special Education from Syracuse University and has had a varied career spanning education, publishing and the nonprofit sector. A native New Yorker, she’s lived in New York, Kentucky, Chicago, Philadelphia and Lausanne, Switzerland. Shortly after moving to Denver in 2006, Geri became involved with DCIS while running the DPS Foundation’s School Partners Program. Her mission at DCIS is to help students find appropriate travel and study abroad opportunities to enrich and change their lives.
? Email: geri_badler@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9071

Ted Brugman

Ted Brugman is a member of the counseling department. He is originally from Massachusetts.
? Email: ted_brugman@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9094

Chrissy Cloyes

My name is Chrissy Cloyes and I am a graduate-level intern for the DCIS counseling program. I was born in Denver, CO and have never wanted to leave the state! In my free time, I love to be outdoors – hiking, biking, snowboarding, four-wheeling, you name it. My favorite place to vacation is Moab, Utah to get away from the busy-ness of the city and to feel one with nature. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology through the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in 2014, and expect to receive my Master of Arts in School Counseling this December at UNC as well.

? Email: cloy0664@bears.unco.edu
? Phone:

Marlene Garcia

Marlene Garcia is one of our secretaries; she manages DCIS’s attendance, among other responsibilities. She was born in Juarez, Mexico and moved to Denver when she was 12 years old. She graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 2006, and from the Denver School of Massage Therapy in 2008. She’s provided office support in a number of different places, including private schools, mortgage companies, and local magazines; she’s been with DPS since 2008. She’s visited most of the United States, on road trips to South Dakota, California, Washington (state), Texas, and Florida (all the way to Key West). Traveling around the world remains one of her main goals in life. She speaks English and Spanish, and studied Italian for four years in high school. She’s grateful to have been raised in two different cultures; it has given her the opportunity to value and appreciate all the people around her— and to have the best of both worlds.
? Email: marlene_garcia@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9103

Mario Giardiello


Mario Giardiello is an Assistant Principal at DCIS.

? Email: mario_giardiello@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423 – 9102

James Mayes

James Mayes has been with the Denver Public Schools for 17 years; since 2005, he has served as the facility manager at DCIS. Before coming to DCIS, he worked at West High School, Hamilton Middle School, and Knight Fundamental Academy. James was born in Denver, grew up in Morrison, and attended Bear Creek High School. He enjoys classic muscle cars and traveling.
? Email: james_mayes@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9065

Theresa Mccorquodale

Theresa Mccorquodale is DCIS’s principal. Most recently from Austin, Texas, she was born and raised in the New York/New Jersey area. She moved to Dallas, TX during her high school years, and remained in Texas, attending the University of Texas at Austin for both undergraduate and graduate school. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Plan II Honors program at UT (including a double major in English and Spanish), and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She has 3 fantastic children and an awesome husband. Travel has been a life-long passion for Ms. McCorquodale who was an AFS exchange student to Paraguay while in high school. She spent a semester in Spain during her college years, where she attended the University of Seville. She has travelled extensively in South America, Central America and Europe as well as throughout Canada and the United States. She absolutely LOVES Colorado and is seriously wondering what took her so long to get here.
? Email: theresa_mccorquodale@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9100

Melisa Monteon


Melisa Monteon is one of the School Counselors at DCIS. She is responsible for students with last names H-O. Melisa was born and raised in California. This is her third year as a School Counselor and first year in Colorado. She received her Master’s Degree in School Counseling from San Diego State. She is also the first in her family to graduate college. Some of her favorite things to do are spend time with her friends and family. Melisa hopes to one day visit all of the professional baseball parks in the United States.

? Email:melisa_monteon@dpsk12.org
? Phone:(720) 423-9105


Brian Powell

brian powell

Brian Powell is the school social worker. He finished his Masters in Social Work from the University of Denver, and did both of his internships with Denver Public Schools while completing his masters. Mr. Powell is originally from Cincinnati, OH, and moved to Denver two years ago with his wife Anna. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, hiking, playing with his dog, and seeing live music. Mr. Powell has traveled to Germany, Switzerland, and France, and is hoping to be traveling soon to the British Isles and Eastern Europe with his family.

? Email: brian_powell@dpsk12.org
? Phone: Office – (720)423-9005, Personal – (513)787-8172

Nancy Provataris

Nancy Provataris is our school psychologist.

? Email: athanassia_provataris@dpsk12.org
? Phone:


Dayana Quintana

Dayana Quintana is one of DCIS’s secretaries. She was born and raised in Chihuahua, Mexico, and moved to Denver, Colorado when she was 14 years old. She comes from a big, close family; she is the youngest of six siblings. She graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 2002 and is currently a student at CCD. She is married with two children– one at DCIS middle school, and one at DCIS Fairmont. Her whole family speaks English and Spanish, and are taking Chinese classes to expand their language knowledge. She enjoys road trips, and will soon be able to say that she’s visited every one of the United States. She’s excited to expand her trip-going experience to other countries (beyond Mexico).
? Email: dayana_quintana@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9106

Xochitl Romero

My name is Xochitl Romero and I am the Library para this year here at DCIS. I am a native of Colorado, born and raised in Southern Colorado, Alamosa. I have been with the district for 15 years thus far and am excited for another school year. I look forward to meeting all of you and working collaboratively for a successful academic school year for our students. I came from Abraham Lincoln High School and I was an ELA-Para there for seven years. Prior to ALHS, I worked as a Special-Ed para at Fairview Elementary School for seven years. I went to college at University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, “GO BEARS”!

? Email: xochitl_romero@dpsk12.org
? Phone:


Tamara Schmidt

Hello!! My name is Tami Schmidt. I am the New Counselor in the Office. I’m originally from Buffalo, NY but have lived in Colorado since 2000. This is my 15th year as a school counselor and I am looking forward to the opportunity to work in a new environment. I love to meet new people and take away new ideas, challenges and experiences and insights about life from others. Living in Colorado has given me the opportunity to pursue many of my favorite activities on a much grander scale then in Buffalo. Camping, hiking, backpacking, just being outdoors in general is a passion of mine. I am also an avid reader, a decent runner when I put my focus into it and love to try and learn new Pinterest projects for my home. I spent this past summer in the rural villages of Alaska on the Yukon River, facilitating day camp programs for the youth that live there. This opened my eyes and mind to a whole different world. Otherwise, I spend time with my family which consists of my husband, daughter, and 3 stepdaughters as well as a crazy, energetic 2-year-old boxer/lab named Ziggy. I am very excited to be here and look forward to meeting you.

? Email: tamara_schmidt@dpsk12.org
? Phone:

Melanie Schultz

Melanie Schultz is an administrative assistant at DCIS. She grew up on the east coast and taught high school math in New York City before sunny skies drew her out west. Here in DPS, Melanie has been coaching and evaluating teachers from central office. Now she is so excited to be part of the DCIS team, managing assessments, working with teachers, and getting to know the amazing student population.

? Email: melanie_schultz@dpsk12.org
? Phone:(720)423-9088


Shayna Seitchik

My name is Shayna Seitchik and I am the Post-Secondary Coach. I will be here Tuesdays and Wednesdays working with Seniors on the college application process. I am currently working on earning a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado. I am originally from Philadelphia but taught 6th grade science in North Carolina for two years before moving to Colorado last July to work as a K-3 literacy interventionist with Thompson School District. Outside of class and work, I enjoy hiking and exploring my new state. I am looking forward to working with DCIS students this year on planning for their future!

? Email: shayna_seitchik@dpsk12.org
? Phone:

John Tricarico

John Tricarico is an assistant principal at DCIS. He is a native of Denver and a graduate of North High School. He holds a B.A. in mathematics and an M.A. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado at Denver. He has worked in the Denver Public Schools for over 26 years and joined the DCIS staff in 2013. Mr. Tricarico taught mathematics and other subjects and at Kepner Middle School for six years and all levels of mathematics at West High School for seven years. For the past 14 years, he has been an assistant principal at North High School, Henry World School and Abraham Lincoln High School.

Mr. Tricarico is married and has three teenage children. He enjoys spending as much time as possible with his family. On his free time, he enjoys being outdoors either road or mountain biking, as well as competing in triathlons.

Mr. Tricarico previously worked with the Center for International Studies while at West High, and he is excited to be able to work with the students and staff at DCIS.

? Email: john_tricarico@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9047

Miguel Urdiales

Miguel Urdiales is DCIS’s technology manager.

? Email: miguel_urdiales@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9018

Freeman Walker

Freeman Walker is the school security guard.

? Email: freeman_walker@dpsk12.org
? Phone:


Caroline Kerswill

Caroline joined the DCIS team in 2013. A Chicago native, she received her BA in Theater Arts and Art History at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus and studied Performance Art abroad at Queen Mary University of London. Ms. Kerswill was placed in Denver through Teach for America in 2009 and began her career as a special education teacher in Denver Public Schools. She then taught drama in the K-8 setting in Denver as well as for the Museo de las Americas in the Santa Fe Arts District, as well as for the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis and for Denver CAMP. She received her MA in Theater Education at the University of Northern Colorado and enjoys the theater scene in Denver as well as all the outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer.
? Email: caroline_younts@dpsk12.org
? Website: drama; drama club
? Phone: (720) 423-9042


Andy Lushman


While living in his native Canada, Andy completed his undergraduate degree in Physical Education. After graduating, Andy sought out opportunities to teach internationally and consequently has spent his professional career traveling the world and teaching Health and Physical Education. Through teaching in international schools, Andy has developed a passion for creating globally minded students who value health and use it as a tool to explore the world. In order to better serve his students and achieve his goals, Andy completed his M.Ed in International Education through Endicott College while teaching abroad. Andy’s past experiences include working with adolescents in a variety of settings ranging from the classroom to the dormitory. Also, as Athletic Director and Physical Education department head, he has spent time designing health related curriculum and policies. After spending many years abroad, Andy is excited to be a part of the Denver Center for International Studies in the mission which “…prepares students for college by developing multilingual, interculturally competent citizens who are actively involved in our rapidly changing world.” In his free time, Andy enjoys teaching and training Brazilian jiu-jitsu, mountain biking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
? Email:andy_lushman@dpsk12.org
? Phone:(720) 423-9057


Kevlyn Walsh


I followed my passion towards a creative career and received my BFA in Art and Design with a concentration in Graphic Design from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. While I enjoy the creative problem solving that graphic design brings, my heart lies in teaching art to young adults and inspiring them to be creative. I went back to school and completed my Art Education license from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2015. I am always challenging myself as an artist and trying out new artistic endeavors. I dabble in all kinds of art ranging from sewing, painting, drawing, graphic design…you name it! People often ask me what my favorite type of art is, and I honestly don’t have an answer to that question. All I know is that being creative fuels my soul. Going to work everyday at DCIS and sharing my passion for art with my students is truly a dream come true.

? Email: kevlyn_walsh@dpsk12.org
? Phone:


Sara Finnegan-Doyon

My name is Sara Finnegan-Doyon, and I am delighted to join the DCIS community this year as an American Lit and World Lit teacher. Teaching is my passion; there is nothing I love more than working with students to explore the magic of reading and writing while connecting it with the greater truths of the human experience.

I started my teaching career at Denver School of the Arts (DSA), where I co-chaired the Creative Writing Department. In 2011, I left DSA to teach 4th grade at an international school in Bali, Indonesia. The two years I spent there were magical and provided the opportunity for me to fall in love with SUP (both flat water and catching waves), mountain biking, cross-cultural communication, snorkeling and spending time on boats. In 2013 I moved to Durango, CO where I taught 10th Grade Humanities at a charter school. It is lovely to be back in my hometown. I look forward to a great year!
? Email: sara_finnegan-doyon@dpsk12.org
? Websites: American Literature and World Literature
? Phone: (720) 423-9038

Katie Hilborn


Katie Hilborn teaches 6th grade English Language Arts and her self-designed High School Global Issues course. She earned her Bachelor’s of Arts from Colorado Mesa University and Master’s of Education from Grand Canyon University. Katie brings a global perspective and wealth of cultural knowledge into the classroom, having lived or traveled to twenty-seven countries on six continents. Her last teaching assignment was at The American School of Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City and at Missouri State University as an adjunct English instructor.

Her passion consists of running and founding her nonprofit Global Orphan Prevention; whose mission is to keep mothers and children together through social entrepreneurship. Recently, she was runner-up for the “Millennial Changemaker of the Year” award in August 2016 and has been asked to give Keynote addresses regarding social impact. Currently, she is completing a narrative nonfiction about the Nepal earthquake relief efforts of 2015.

In her “spare time,” Katie enjoys playing the piano, snowboarding, camping, hiking, caving, whitewater rafting, and getting thrown into the unknown. “The weirder the better,” she says.

? Email: katie_hilborn@dpsk12.org
? Phone:

Julia Houk

Julia Houk is new to DCIS, as of spring 2015. Prior to DCIS, she taught 9th and 10th grade English and creative writing at the Pinnacle Charter School. Julia holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado Denver, where she also served as Fiction Editor for Copper Nickel, and an M.A. in Secondary English Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Colorado Denver. She was a participant of the Denver Writing Project Summer Institute in 2013, and she is an ongoing member of the Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop Poetry Book Project.
? Email: julia_houk@dpsk12.org
? Phone:(720) 423-9029

Sarah Lebovic

Sarah Lebovic joined the DCIS faculty in 2010. Upon completing her English B.A. at the University of North Florida in 2007, she spent a year in the Balkans developing English language curriculum for summer camp programs. Afterwards, she completed her teaching license and M.A. in Secondary English Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Colorado Denver. In summer 2012, she taught American Literature in China and has been awarded a Fulbright Seminar opportunity in Turkey during summer 2013. For professional communities, she continues to be involved with The Denver Writing Project and Colorado Language Arts Society.
? Email: sarah_lebovic@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9061

Susan Marion

Susan Marion is one of the English Language Arts teachers at DCIS. She is a total geek about learning and language—teaching, achievement motivation, educational theory, practice, assessment-and a B.F.A. (NYU), two M.Ed.s (U.Mass, Harvard) and an Ed.D. (Harvard) “just because I can’t stop.” She has taught every level from preschool to grad school, almost all of it in large urban public school districts. She has also worked in central administration as a curriculum coordinator, specializing in high school English reform. She is thrilled to be among the other teacher-geeks at DCIS, helping to internationalize the English Language Arts curriculum and work on curriculum integration, differentiation, assessment of and for learning, arts infusion and differentiation techniques for our fabulous students. Her latest international research in English language and culture was in the UK and she is especially excited about putting together a series of cultural learning excursions to English-speaking countries around the world for our potential English Language Arts geeks (that’s everyone) at DCIS.
? Email: susan_marion@dpsk12.org
? Websites: AP Lang
? Phone: (720) 423-9007

Jilaine Sandlin


Jilaine Sandlin joins the DCIS team as a 9th grade English and 9-12 Creative Writing teacher. This is her 10th year in education. She is originally from Texas, where she attended Texas A&M University for both her bachelors and masters degrees, and where she began her teaching career. It was only a matter of time before she moved to Colorado, however (according to her parents, she’s been talking about it since she was a child!) so she moved to the Denver area in 2010. She is thrilled to be at DCIS because of its international experience; her time spent studying in Toledo, Spain, and working at a children’s shelter in Guadalajara, Mexico helped her learn how important it is to experience other cultures. Besides these experiences, she has also travelled extensively, visiting every continent (except for Antarctica- although it’s on her list!) In her free time she loves snowboarding, camping, and of course, reading.

? Email: Jilaine_Sandlin@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720)423 – 9095



Casey Andree

Casey Andree teaches 7th grade math.

? Email:
? Phone:

Rachel Binkley

Rachel Binkley is a mathematics teacher at DCIS. After originally receiving her B.S. in mathematics and teaching certificate, she decided that she needed more life experience and travel before committing herself to the classroom. She remembered her favorite teachers being able to not only offer her education about the curriculum, but also inspiration and advice about the world. After spending time applying math in many business situations, and living abroad, she returned to Colorado and to teaching. During her free time Ms. Binkley continues to seek out new experiences which she can share with her students. Ms. Binkley taught math in Costa Rica in 2011-2012.
? Email: rachel_binkley@dpsk12.org
? Website: Binkley’s Virtual Classroom and 6th Grade Math
? Phone: (720) 423-9068

Courtney Iversen

After growing up in New Jersey, Courtney Iversen earned her Bachelor’s degree at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Before teaching at DCIS, she taught 2 years at nearby Morey Middle School where she taught 7th and 8th grade GT math and Geometry. Now, Ms. Iversen is a 6th grade math and Algebra II teacher and loves being able to see both middle and high school students during her day. One of her favorite parts of DCIS is watching her young students grow into curious and culturally-competent citizens of the world.
In her free time Ms. Iversen likes watching ND Fighting Irish football games, playing Ultimate Frisbee, hiking, snowboarding, reading, and hanging out with her dog.

? Email: courtney_iversen@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9039

Adam Reiter

Adam Reiter teaches 8th grade math and advanced algebra at DCIS. He was born and raised in Parker, Colorado.
? Email: adam_reiter@dpsk12.org
? Websites: Advanced Algebra 2 and 6th Grade Math
? Phone: (720) 423-9067

Elena Petrova

Elena Petrova teaches math intervention and runs DCIS’s credit recovery program.
? Email: elena_petrova@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9085

Teri Stewart

Teri Stewart teaches statistics and geometry.
? Email: teresa_stewart@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9051


Jeffrey Brown

Jef Brown is a science teacher at DCIS. Prior to coming to DCIS Jef taught nine years at Kunsmiller Middle School. Jeff received his B.A. in Science from Otterbein College in Ohio, as well as, a B.S. in Nursing from Regis University. He enjoys travel both in the U.S. and in Europe, and has led student trips to England, Ireland, and Wales; Italy and France; and Washington DC and Williamsburg, VA. In the spring of 2014, he will be leading a trip to Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. He hopes to inspire his students with his love of travel, science, and life long learning. In his spare time Jeff loves to cook, hike and spend time in the mountains no matter the season.
? Email: jeffrey_brown@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9033

Frank Pomponio

As a Colorado native and graduate from North High School, I have been part of the DPS culture for the majority of my life. After receiving my BS from the University of Northern Colorado, I taught 1 year of science at Lake Middle school, 3 years at Smiley Middle school, and the past 19 years at West. During this time I have taught most all the science courses our department offered but consistently taught physics.

My passions embrace the Colorado outdoors and the many activities it offers. When not working, my wife, three sons and I can usually be found dirt biking, backpacking, fly fishing, bike riding or traveling.

Because the Center For International Studies was a magnet school at West for the majority of the years I taught at West, I have many fond memories and continued relationships with both past students and faculty members of DCIS. This next step in my professional life is truly exciting!

? Email: frank_pomponio@dpsk12.org
? Websites: 7th Grade and Physics
? Phone: (720) 423-9034

Erika Rodriguez

4_Headshot_Rodriguez_Erika 2

Erika Rodriguez is excited to start her fist year at DCIS as a 6th grade Earth Science and AP Biology teacher. She is a Miami, FL native of Cuban descent. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Behavioral Biology and Theatre Arts Studies. This summer Erika served as the Dean of STEM at Generation Teach which is a non-profit organization that is building a pipeline of diverse, local educators, so all students have equitable access to excellent teachers. In this role Erika was an instructional leader in all STEM classes at Generation Teach, lead coaching sessions, and mentored undergraduate and high-school students aspiring to enter professional teaching. Before joining Generation Teach and DCIS Erika was a 1st grade bilingual (Spanish) teacher at Maxwell Elementary.
She hopes to make student-learning differentiation the core of her classroom. Erika wants her students to develop an enduring love for learning and see how education/science can lead to self-expression and meaningful discovery.
In her spare time Erika enjoys reading, music, hiking, baseball, vegetarian cooking and traveling. Erika has travelled to 31 states as well as Mexico, England (where she lived for a year), ­Wales, Ireland, France, Greece, Italy and Spain.

? Email: erika_rodriguez@dpsk12.org
? Websites: 6th Grade Earth Science and AP Biology

? Phone: 720-423-9049

Steven Rounds


This is my second year at DCIS teaching 9th grade Biology, after spending the last ten years teaching science at John F. Kennedy. After graduating from the University of Iowa, I joined the Peace Corps to work with rural farmers in Paraguay. Moving to Denver to enjoy the mountains and outdoors, I met my wife and now have two children, ages 1 and 5. I have always loved science and enjoy hiking, fishing, camping, mountain climbing and traveling as often as I can. I am excited to work with such a fantastic faculty and student body at DCIS.

? Email: steven_rounds@dpsk12.org

? Phone: (720) 423-9049

Connor Saller

Connor Saller teaches Chemistry and AP Chemistry. A native of Fort Collins, CO, and a graduate of UNC, he is passionate about the process and practice of science in the classroom that can allow students to explore natural phenomena in our universe.

? Email:connor_saller@dpsk12.org
? Websites:Chemistry
? Phone:(720) 423-9041


Social Studies

Kevin Adams

My name is Kevin Adams I am thrilled to be at DCIS this year. I came to DCIS from Morey Middle School where I taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Social Studies. Over the summer I completed and attained a Master’s degree in Education, Leadership and Emerging Technologies. I was born in Atlanta, Georgia but I have been fortunate enough to call Colorado home for the last twenty-three years. I currently live in Park Hill with my wife Birdalone, and my son and daughter Tacari and Sophia. I love music, playing my guitar, the Denver Broncos and Nuggets. I also enjoy working in my garden and traveling. Over the summer I had the opportunity to travel to the country of Ghana in West Africa, which was a life changing experience. One of my favorite sayings is, “Nobody knows everything and everybody knows something.” I can be found in room 201B. Drop by when you have a chance; I love meeting new people.
? Email: kevin_adams@dpsk12.org
? Website: Mr. Kevberad
? Phone: (720) 423-9092

Jennifer Boyle

Jennifer is a proud Colorado native and graduate of East High School. She completed her undergraduate degree from Ithaca College with a major in History and minor in Speech Communication and received her teaching license via the University of Colorado, Denver.
? Email: jennifer_boyle@dpsk12.org
? Website: Boyleteach.com
? Phone: (720) 423-9072

Sonia Burns

Sonia Burns graduated from Metropolitan State College of Denver with BA in History, minor in Spanish, and certification to teach secondary social studies. She has traveled throughout Italy, Spain, and France. In the summer of 2014 she received a Cambridge CELTA certification in Spain to teach English as a foreign language. In addition to teaching, Sonia is also passionate about dance and how it connects to culture. This has led her to extensively study dances from the Middle East and North Africa, as well as dancing with Flamenco Underground in and around Denver. Sonia considers herself a life-long student before being a teacher, and is always looking for new experiences, ideas, and interesting people to learn from.
? Email: sonia_burns@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9011

Patrick Garvey


Patrick Garvey is in his second year at DCIS. He teaches 6th-grade Western Civilization and the 11th-grade Passages. He received his Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Education from Marquette University, and he holds a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification from the TEFL Institute of Chicago. He taught TEFL courses in Santiago, Chile throughout most of 2014. During that time he was able to travel to Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. Prior to that experience, he has traveled to the United Kingdom, Italy and Australia. In addition to his work at DCIS, he currently volunteers for Education, Travel and Culture (ETC) an exchange program that connects foreign exchange students with host families in the Denver area.

Aside from traveling, his hobbies include playing guitar, bass guitar and piano. He also enjoys hiking, reading, cooking, camping, snowboarding, live music and baseball.

? Email: patrick_garvey@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9025

Kit Hinders

Kristian Hinders is a Social Studies teacher at DCIS. Hinders earned his B.S. from the real Miami University (the one in Ohio) for the Integrated Social Studies. Since then, he has worked in Luxembourg, Ohio, and the Aurora Public School District. Mr. Hinders enjoys the exploration of Social Studies through hands on experiences and role play. When he is not at work, Mr. Hinders rides his bicycles, hikes, play Frisbee, and works as a cycling journalist.

? Email: kristian_hinders@dpsk12.org
? Phone:


Abby Hoffman


Abby Hoffman teaches social studies and yearbook at DCIS. She is a Denver native and DPS alum. Abby has an M.A. in History and an M.A. in Education and Human Development, both from University of Colorado Denver. Prior to coming to DCIS, Abby spent 10 years working for nonprofit organizations, including History Colorado and the American Cancer Society. She enjoys helping students draw connections from the study of history to their own lives.

In her spare time, Abby enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and beagle, playing the piano, and making things.

? Email: abby_hoffman@dpsk12.org
? Website: www.hoffmanclass.org


Gerardo Muñoz

Gerardo Muñoz is entering his fifteenth year as a social studies teacher in Denver Public Schools. This is his sixth year at DCIS, where he teaches AP World History and a variety of social studies electives. He will serve as a 10th grade advisor this year, as well as coach the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams. He recently completed his Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and has degrees in History and Latin American Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and has served as adjunct professor of education at the University of Colorado at Denver and the Teacher’s Institute at La Academia. An alumnus of Denver Public Schools, he graduated from Manual High in 1994. He has taught numerous DPS Social Studies courses. He has traveled in Latin America and Western Europe. He is married, and has a daughter. Most recently, his reading of the work of Dr. Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade has given him new ways to reflect on classroom communities and high expectations in school. He welcomes full community participation in his classroom. His hobbies include reading and sports.
? Email: gerardo_munoz@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9023

Darlene Rivera

Darlene Rivera is one of DCIS’s social studies teachers. Darlene Rivera joined the DCIS social studies department in 2007. Darlene has been part of the Denver community and schools since 1991 and her children both attended DPS schools. Teaching is a passion that Darlene discovered late in life, and her first career was in the field of business software and database development. In 2002, she decided to go back to college and earn a B.A. in Behavioral Sciences with a minor in Secondary Education. Darlene graduated from Metropolitan State College, summa cum laude, in 2005. Her passions include traveling and studying international relations. While Darlene has not had the opportunity to live in a country outside of the United States, her appreciation of world cultures has been manifested through traveling over the years to islands in the Caribbean, coastal and interior places in Mexico and Canada. Additionally, through association with the Deliberating in Democracy group, Darlene has had the opportunity to travel to Estonia.
? Email: darlene_rivera@dpsk12.org
? Website: DCIS Room 209
? Phone: (720) 423-9073

Kimberly Rodriquez

Kimberly Rodriquez is one of the social studies teachers at DCIS. She received her BA in history at Metropolitan State College of Denver and is currently working towards a Masters in Political Science with a focus on International Relations. Kim also works with Denver Public Schools designing and piloting social studies curriculum as well as providing training to other teachers to implement the district curriculum. She is a proud Denver native and excited to a part of DCIS.
? Email: kimberly_rodriquez@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9009

Dave Tabano

After more than 20 years of teaching in DPS, Dave Tabano is proud to be a member of the DCIS Social Studies Department. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y.C, Dave earned his Bachelors degree in Secondary Ed.: Social Studies and in International Relations from Florida International University in Miami. He also taught U.S. Government and Math at Miami Central High before moving to Denver where he began teaching Science at Annunciation and Algebra at St. Mary’s Academy. He is married and has three sons who graduated from East High and are currently attending UCD. Dave’s travels include Jamaica and Vancouver, Canada but in 2002 and 2004 he was fortunate to have been chosen to study in China and Japan. He received a Certificate for Advanced Studies of Chinese Language and Culture from Beijing University.
? Email: david_tabano@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9004

Special Ed

Helen Chavez

Helen is the Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher for DCIS two days a week. She has a Bachelors Degree in English Creative Writing from Metropolitan State University. She is endorsed in Secondary English; Middle School Humanities; Special Education; Gifted Education and, is Highly Qualified in Elementary Education. She has worked with Gifted, Highly Gifted, and Twice-Exceptional students for over 30 years as a parent volunteer, para-professional, and teacher. Besides working at DCIS, she is also currently teaching gifted students at Knapp Elementary and Greenlee Elementary Schools. She has taught pre-school through middle school.

She’s lived in Nebraska, California, Texas, Washington (state), Montana, and numerous cities in Colorado. She has traveled to most of the U.S. states, as well as to Mexico, Canada, and Italy. She has two sons: one in Los Angeles and the other in Brooklyn. She visits with both of them in NYC at least once a year. She loves to be on or at least near water and loves to kayak.

? Email: helen_chavez@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9052

Candiss-Marrie Cox

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My name is Candiss Cox and I am thrilled to be joining the DCIS team as a special education teacher. I graduated from University of Northern Colorado with a degree in special education. I have worked in the field of special education for 10 years. I started as a para professional and realized I found my passion and pursued my degree in special education. I enjoy traveling to Japan and Korea to visit my family when I have the opportunity. As an individual with hearing loss I am very involved with the Deaf community and I am fluent in American Sign Language.

? Email:candiss-marrie_cox@dpsk12.org
? Phone:

Justina Kwapy

Justina Kwapy leads DCIS’s multi-intensive severe (MIS) program. She was born and raised on the East Coast, in New Jersey. Along with four younger brothers, she spent her childhood at the Jersey shore and in New York City. She attended K-12 school in New Jersey, and graduated from Rider College, outside of Princeton, with her Bachelor’s degree. After moving to Colorado, she attended Regis University where she earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education. She later earned her PhD in education from Capella University, graduating in 2004. She enjoys traveling, conducting research in special education, and writing. She recently had a chapter published in the textbook Building Online Communities in Higher Education Institutions: Creating Collaborative Experience, and is currently doing research on an e-portfolio system (Taskstream). She has three children, ages 21, 20 and 16.

? Email: justina_kwapy@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9076

World Language

Sally Bishop

Sally Bishop is our Italian teacher. Growing up, her family hosted exchange students and visitors from all over the world. So when old enough, struck by a fascination with other cultures she had developed during her childhood, she applied and was accepted to the American Field Service exchange program. At the time, it was only possible to select a hemisphere, not a country, and though she had disliked Italy during a visit there the summer before, AFS paired her with a family there nonetheless. That year proved to be a life-changing experience. Italy’s people and culture immediately captured her imagination and heart, as well as the family with whom she lived and has remained close to for almost forty years. This experience cemented in her a belief in the power of cultural exchanges and has now led her to fulfill a life-long dream of establishing a cultural exchanges with a high school in Italy.

Following Sally’s year abroad, she attended Colorado College and lived and studied in France, earning a B.A. in Romance Languages. An avid cyclist, following college, she worked in the bicycle industry and eventually lead and designed cycling tours in Italy, France and Switzerland. When she was struck by the desire to teach, she came to Denver and earned a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado at Denver. She now cycles to work most days and loves the staff and students at DCIS.

? Email: sarah_bishop@dpsk12.org
? Website: Edmodo
? Phone: (720) 423-9015

Meagan Brown

Ms. Meagan Brown teaches Spanish and International Dance classes. She was born and raised in Colorado. She received her B.A. in Spanish and Linguistically Diverse teaching certificate from Fort Lewis College. She has a passion for travel as many language teachers naturally do. Also her passion for dance has encouraged her to travel. She studies dance everywhere that she goes. She primarily studies Guinean, Togolese and other African dances but has dabbled in everything from salsa to dancehall. Additionally, Ms. Brown has a deep interest in language acquisition; all humans have the ability to learn language and how that happens is complex and exciting. She is always working to blend the theories and the realities of the classroom in order to best serve our students. She is so happy to be able to share these passions with our DCIS community and is excited about all that the community shares with her.

? Email: meagan_brown@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9012

Sara Hirsch

Sara Hirsch is our Spanish teacher. She began learning Spanish as a seventh grader. In high school she travelled to San Luís Potosí, Mexico with the Indiana University Honors program in foreign language. On this trip, she lived with a family, took outside trips, took classes, and was only allowed to speak in Spanish. This program is where she fell in love with, not only the language, but also the culture and people. She continued studying Spanish through college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she again chose to study in Mexico (Guanajuato). She graduated college with a Bachelors of Science in Spanish. She then moved to Denver and began teaching elementary school in an ELA-S classroom. After a few years, she began and then completed a Master’s Degree in Spanish from the University of Northern Colorado. During that time, she moved to teaching Spanish in secondary, continued her passion of dance, and travelled to Salamanca, Spain for a summer. After a few years of moving around schools, she has found her home at DCIS, where is starting her eleventh year of teaching.
? Email: sara_hirsch@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9022

Britta Jensen

Britta Jensen teaches Italian 212.

? Email:
? Phone:


Kimimila Locke

Kimimila Locke is DCIS’s Lakota teacher. She is Lakota from the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota and Ahtna Dine from Tazlina, Alaska. She has her MA in Teaching and has been in education for the past twelve years as a middle and high school English teacher. In addition to teaching in several states including New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Georgia, and Colorado, she also taught two years overseas in the United Arab Emirates.
? Email: kimimila_locke@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9016

Sara Malnati

Sara Malnati is our French teacher. Her enthusiasm for travel and world languages began at seventeen when she traveled to France for a three-week school trip. After graduating from high school, Sara did a gap year in Lyon, France where she lived with three host families and attended a lycée (high school). This experience was by far one of the most important learning experiences of her life. In college, Sara participated in a service learning program called INVST. In this program, she learned about various issues in social justice and engaged in numerous volunteer projects including; building homes and learning about the culture of the Navajo nation, working in soup kitchens and learning about homelessness in Denver, and serving a community in need and learning about border issues in Mexico.

Sara has been teaching French and ESL for the past fifteen years. She loves teaching; while the mornings are early, her students give her the energy she needs to do the best job she can. She hopes to inspire her students to travel the world, learn new languages, and serve their communities. She is thrilled to be teaching French here at DCIS!

? Email: sara_malnati@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720)423-9021

Takaaki Matsumoto

Takaaki Matsumoto is DCIS’s Japanese teacher. With an extensive background in teaching both here and in Japan, Mr. Matsumoto thoroughly enjoys working with students. He has taught Japanese, Physical Education, and Health Sciences. In addition to teaching in the classroom, he is extremely active in coaching and sharing his enthusiasm for sports. At DCIS, Mr. Matsumoto has developed the Japanese curriculum and regularly enhances the program with several cultural activities and guest speakers. Every year several of his students go to Japan.
? Email: takaaki_matsumoto@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720) 423-9014

Min Qu

My name is Min(Michelle) Qu. I am extremely excited to join in DCIS this year! I hold a Bachelor of Arts in English Education in Shandong Normal University, China, and I did my Master’s study majoring Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages in Shandong University and doctoral program in Philosophy in Shandong Normal University, China. In 2012, I was enrolled in Master of Arts in Teaching Chinese Language in University of Maryland, Towson University and got the master’s degree in 2013. I was a Chinese language teacher teaching multiple levels of Chinese language in two public schools in Maryland for two years. In 2015, I was the Chinese teacher of Level 1- level 4 honor class in Abraham Lincoln High school. Now I am the Chinese teacher of Chinese Level I to Chinese level 5 & college class Chinese 111. I weave everything in my class – language, culture, history, geography, philosophy, music, games, art, and current events into a framework that helps kids to develop their passion for learning Chinese for fun!

? Email: min_qu@dpsk12.org
? Phone: (720)423-9020