Faculty & Staff

Inspiring Students to Become Excited by Learning

Experience and Expertise

CA’s faculty and staff – approximately 150 individuals in all – bring a wealth of experience to the classroom. Students are taught by educators who are experts in their respective fields, from published authors to masters in foreign language, from those who hold doctorate degrees in history and science to a Beatrix Potter aficionado. Our faculty includes several published authors, award-winning photographers, Fulbright honorees, accomplished musicians, engineers, rock climbers, and outdoor enthusiasts. No matter their areas of interest, their passion is teaching.

Our teachers have an average of 17 years of experience and 10 years at CA, and 71% hold advanced degrees. To promote ongoing learning for our faculty, CA has a robust professional development program that includes experts coming to campus, and faculty traveling world wide to gain experience. Our program encourages peer review and teachers visiting their colleagues’ classrooms to learn and collaborate. We honor our teaching staff with peer-recommended awards and grants for those faculty who demonstrate teaching excellence, innovation, and use of technology in the classroom.

Faculty Advancement

Faculty members begin their careers at Colorado Academy as Instructors and are encouraged to move through three levels of advancement: Senior Instructor, Preceptor, and Master Teacher. Each advancement level requires intensive evaluation and reflection and carries with it a salary increase. Instructors have earned, minimally, a B.A. or B.S. degree and have successfully completed one year of full-time teaching, or an approved internship in teaching, or a graduate program with a substantial practicum.

List of 3 items.

  • Senior Instructor

    This is the first level of Faculty Advancement at Colorado Academy. It is an appointment that may be requested by a faculty member who has completed five years of full-time teaching, and who has taught at Colorado Academy for at least three of those yearsOR has completed five years of part-time teaching at Colorado Academy.
    The mechanism for evaluation will vary according to one's assignment in the school. The candidate for Senior Instructor exhibits a growing mastery of the standards of teaching excellence in the following areas:
    • Establishing a culture of learning in classroom management;
    • Providing evidence of collaboration and teamwork with colleagues within the grade level, division, and department;
    • Demonstrating professional growth through a professional development plan, steps toward classroom applications, and the pursuit of life-long learning;
    • Demonstrating effective support for and work with parents;
    • Establishing positive relationships with students, with some evidence of continuing study of the cognitive and emotional development of the age cohort taught;
    • Showing the skillful use of professionally-accepted standards of pedagogy;
    • Creating effective assessment tools to measure student learning and progress;
    • Demonstrating knowledge and mastery of subject matter and how to design effective classroom programs;
    • Showing commitment to the full range of school duties, and how the school’s mission relates to one's work.
  • Preceptor

    This is the second level of Faculty Advancement at Colorado Academy. It is an appointment that may be requested by a faculty member who has completed four years of teaching as a Senior Instructor.
     The criteria for evaluation will include those for Senior Instructor, as well as the following:
    • Evidence of continuous professional development in a way that produces classroom creativity, methodological flexibility, and a professionally self- examining perspective about teaching;
    • Evidence of acknowledged excellence in classroom teaching and the assessment of student learning;
    • Inventiveness in program creation and professional contributions to one's department and division;
    • Evidence of effective colleague support, leadership, and mentoring;
    • Professional contributions to the broader purposes of the school’s mission.
  • Master Teacher

    This is the final level of Faculty Advancement at Colorado Academy. It is an appointment that may be requested by a Faculty member who has completed five years of teaching as a Preceptor. In addition, the following criteria must be met:
    • Attainment of a Master's degree or equivalent;
    • Completion of professional course work, other degrees, or Professional Development projects beyond a Master's degree;
    • Completion of 25 years' teaching experience, with 11 years teaching at Colorado Academy;
    • Completion of a self-evaluation essay describing the reasons why the eligible teacher meets the qualifying criteria of Master Teacher.
    Once eligibility as a Master Teacher has been demonstrated, the following qualifying criteria will be assessed to validate the strength and extent of a candidate's professional record at Colorado Academy:
    • Extent and depth of professional development opportunities undertaken by the teacher, and the impact of those upon the nominee's teaching;
    • Evidence over the course of a teaching career of curriculum development activity, classroom applications and innovation, and pedagogical experimentation;
    • Examples of workshops, curriculum projects, or seminars devised for colleagues, or other professional activities that assist the professional growth of other teachers;
    • Recent mentorship examples, either at Colorado Academy or elsewhere, giving evidence that colleagues gain value by association with the nominee, and intention to accept a mentoring position upon receiving Master Teacher designation;
    • Committees served on, or projects undertaken, which advance the mission of the school and indicate leadership among peers, by example and by public expression;
    • Professional associations and professional awards received. Indicate degree of participation in the former;
    • Acknowledgment of exceptional teaching skill as determined by peer review and perceived community consensus;
    • Evidence that the nominee exhibits multiple talents that support his or her classroom teaching (e.g., advising, coaching, club sponsorship, arts proficiency, writing workshop, community service);
    • A commitment to understanding child development issues and parent advising as it pertains to a nominee's professional duties;
    • The modeling of the highest school aspirations as described in our Mission Statement and school goals.

Faculty Awards

At CA, we celebrate our faculty by giving awards and grants (shown at right) that recognize past accomplishments and encourage growth for future learning experiences. Specifically, we present the following faculty honors each year. Click on each link below to view a description, along with the recipients of each award.

List of 7 items.

  • Head of School's Award

    The Head of School's Award is given from time to time to staff or administrators who have given exemplary service or made an outstanding contribution to the life of the community that is Colorado Academy.
    Jesse Schumacher, Director of Operations
    Admissions Office Team: Catherine Laskey, Karen Chavez, Heidi Chesley, Lisa Dean,
                                            Caren Salzer, Paige Siemers
    Lower School Interim Principals: Allison Peters Jensen, Kate O'Donnell, Mary Singer


    Catherine Laskey, Director of Admission & Financial Aid

    Eddie Sotolongo, Operations Director

    Rory Butler, Network Administrator

    Theatre Department
  • Yoeman Fisher Award for Teaching Excellence

    Each year, Colorado Academy recognizes the accomplishments of an outstanding teacher with the Yoeman Fisher Award. The award was created when proceeds from the 1979 CA Auction were used to establish an endowment in memory of Yoeman Fisher, the beloved faculty member who taught fourth grade at CA for 13 years.
    Award Criteria
    • The individual is considered by peers, students, and parents to be a creative, inventive, inspiring, and knowledgeable teacher.
    • The individual is a role model and actively exhibits the qualities of invention, curiosity, and intellectual discipline that we seek to inculcate in students.
    • Peers recognize the individual as a source of sound advice and an intelligent critic of teaching strategy.
    Yoeman Fisher Award Recipients
    2019     Elissa Wolf-Tinsman, US History
    2018     Marcia Richards, LS Physical Education, MS Athletics, Coach
    2017     Meg Hill, US Spanish Instructor, 9th Grade Dean
    2016     Alicia Knox, LS Music
    2015     Jenn Adams, MS Athletic Director, LS & MS Physical Education, Coach
    2014     Barry Simmons, US History
    2013     Paula Osborne, Grades One/Two
    2012     Luis Terrazas, US History
    2011     Jeff Goldstein, Grade Two
    2010     Sue Counterman, MS Science
    2010     Dani Meyers, US Science
    2009     Chip Lee, US English
    2008     Connie Adcock, Grade One
    2007     Beverly French-Strohmeier, US Visual Art
    2006     Judy Zinn, US Mathematics
    2005     Jim Blanas, US History
    2004     Stefanie Bakken, US Spanish; Charles Coleman, US Science
    2003     Milly Nadler, US Mathematics
    2002     Diana Giarusso, Grade One
    2001     Betsey Coleman, US English
    2000     Carole Buschmann, LS Art
    1999     Bob Ulrich, Physical Education
    1998     Eileen Headrick, Kindergarten; Richard Kelly, US Mathematics
    1997     Jim Milavec, MS Science
    1996     Anne Strobridge, US English
    1995     Peggy Butler, MS English
    1994     Sandy DuBois, Grade Five; Suzanne Kolsun Jackson, Grade Four
    1993     David Wadsworth, MS Social Studies
    1992     Becky Russell, US Science
    1991     Jan Eckersley, Grade Four
    1990     Warren Saslow, MS English
    1989     Janet Taylor, Grade Five
    1988     Laurie Gibb, Integrated Day; Gary Boehm, MS Mathematics
    1987     Sean Smith, US English
    1986     Cheryl Scheer, LS Librarian
    1985     Sue York, Grade Two; Becky Callaway, MS Social Studies
    1984     Sylvia Wesche, US French
    1983     Mike Simms, MS Science; Cindy Jordan, Vocal Music
    1982     Pat Hogan, US Science
    1981     Paul Krajovic, US English
    1980     Carl Beers, Grade Five
  • Frances Newton Outstanding Faculty Award

    The Frances Newton Outstanding Faculty Award recognizes teachers who model teaching excellence, who render exemplary service on behalf of students and colleagues, and provide examples of the multiple talents and values that are mirrored in the school’s mission. Endowed by an anonymous donor, the first Frances Newton award was presented on April 21, 2003.
    Frances Newton Award Recipients
    Brenda Bartel, LS Music
    Julie Wei, US Chinese
    Kathy Zolla, MS Mathematics

    Nora Golden, LS Music
    Jason Koza, MS Mathematics
    Lisa Boes, US Chemistry

    Phil Jones, Woodwind, Instrumental Music & Band; Recording Studio Manager

    Stephanie Stone, Grade Three
    Sara Monterroso, MS Spanish  
    Elissa Wolf-Tinsman, US Social Studies

    Tom Thorpe, US English
    Allison Peters Jensen, LS Librarian

    Kate O'Donnell, LS Counselor
    Lisa Ruddy, MS Mathematics
    Lisa Todd, US Spanish

    Eric Augustin, MS CORE & LS Mathematics
    Jeff Goldstein, LS Science
    Jesse Myers, MS & US Digital Photography

    Becky Burchfield, Instrumental Music Director
    John Threlkeld, US Mathematics

    Meg Hill, US Spanish
    Paul Kim, US History
    Alicia Knox, LS Music

    Lori Noricks, Grade Three
    Erica Shumsky, MS Core & Spanish
    Betsey Coleman, US English

    Donna Farrell, MS Spanish
    Kimberly Jans, US Computer Science & US Technology Coordinator
    Jay Leeuwenburg, Grade Three

    Suzanne Kolsun Jackson, Grade Four
    Sue Counterman, MS Science
    Chip Lee, US English

    Liston Hills, MS CORE & English
    Lori Noricks, Grade Three
    Lisa O’Donnell, MS Librarian

    Kass Patterson, Kindergarten
    Lisa Ruddy, MS CORE & Mathematics
    Darnell Slaughter, Admissions & US Advisor
    Luis Terrazas, US History

    Theresa Ducayet Clowes, MS Art
    Steven Hammer, US Mathematics
    Paula Osborne, Grades One/Two
    Nancy Landolfi, MS English & Civics

    Connie Adcock, Grade One
    Cate Borden Cohen, MS Spanish
    Stephen Scherer, Theater
    Scott Schneider, US History
  • Connie Adcock Award for Inspirational Teaching

    The Connie Adcock Award for Inspirational Teaching recognizes a teacher who ignites in students a lifelong love of learning and creative expression through the use of innovative teaching methods, who ensures a nurturing classroom environment that encourages risk taking and appreciates individual style, and who plants within children that seed of confidence that hard work and perseverance will take them far in life and that their successes are worthy of celebration. Endowed by an anonymous family that was fortunate enough to “dance on the tables” with her for one magical year, the Connie Adcock Award for Inspirational Teaching was created in 2011 to honor this one-of-a-kind faculty member upon her retirement from Colorado Academy, after teaching first grade and kindergarten for 21 years.
    Dani Meyers, US Science

    Jessica McCoy, Grade Two

    Peggy Butler, Middle School Core & English Teacher

    Holley McBroom, US Mathematics & Science

    Dani Goldstein, MS English & Social Studies

    Cindy Jordan, Director of Vocal Music

    Erin Galvin, MS Science

    Katy Hills, US Visual Arts

    Diana Giarusso, Grade One
  • McHugh Enrichment Grant

    The McHugh Enrichment Grant was first instituted in 1980 through the generosity of Jerry and Anabel McHugh with the intention of supporting the professional development of the CA faculty. Awarded each year, the grant makes it possible for teachers to pursue an activity during the summer that enhances professional growth, supports advances in curriculum and pedagogy, or stimulates teacher creativity and colleague interaction.
  • Ruth & Ernest Benson Professional Development Fund

    Established in 1995 by Bob and Cynthia Benson to honor Bob's parents who, together, contributed 65 years of service to secondary education, mostly in independent schools. The fund supports opportunities that broaden and deepen the professional learning of Colorado Academy faculty members. The intent is to facilitate the pursuit of excellence in teaching and to thereby benefit students and the school.
  • Considine Family Endowment Grants

    The Considine Family Foundation Endowment Fund was established in 2006 through the generosity of Terry and Betsy Considine, parents of CA graduates, Tay '01 and Tizzie '03.  Their intent was to help CA attract and retain the very best teachers.  The gift has provided funding to increase Upper School teachers' stipends and for awards to Upper School teachers for research and professional development opportunities.
Colorado Academy
3800 South Pierce Street
Denver, Colorado 80235

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