Elementary School Teachers
Kristen Wagner, ECE Teacher, DGS PARTNER
I have been teaching since 2006. I joined the Denver Green School staff in their 2nd year and in 2014 joined the DGS Partnership. I am originally from the midwest and attended Purdue University for my undergraduate degree. I received my Master's degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado Denver. I enjoy spending my free time hiking, biking, reading, weightlifting, practicing yoga, crafting, and spending time with my husband Corey, daughter Harper, and son Hayden
Paula Cuevas, Kindergarten Teacher
I have taught preschool and kindergarten in the Denver and Aurora area and am looking forward to teaching kindergarten at DGS this year! I am from Thornton, Colorado and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder to receive my Bachelors Degree in Studio Arts. After that I continued to receive my Masters in Education focusing on culturally and linguistically diverse pedagogy from the University of Colorado, Denver. I am passionate that all students be allowed to speak and keep their mother language as they learn English in school. I have a four year old daughter who continues to teach me something new everyday. I love to explore outdoors, ride my bike, garden, and create art!
Robert Sutro, Kindergarten Teacher
Originally from Connecticut, I moved to California where I completed my BA in Sociology and earned a Master of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Social Science, both from San Francisco State University. I began my teaching career in San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) as a kindergarten teacher in 2005 – and 12 years later I was still helping our youngest students find awe in learning!
During my time in San Francisco, I became a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certified teacher and a SFUSD Master Teacher. Prior to becoming a credentialed classroom teacher, I taught English to children in Taiwan and in Turkey and did peace building work with children in both Bosnia and Kosovo.
I am incredibly excited to become a member of the DGS team and to call Colorado home!
Katherine Cirullo, First Grade Teacher
I am thrilled to be joining the Denver Green School community this year as a 1st grade teacher. I am originally from Connecticut and moved to Colorado to attend Colorado College. After graduating, I ventured to Washington, D.C. to work for a national nonprofit environmental advocacy group. There, my passion for sustainability grew, and so did my desire to be back in the Rocky Mountains! I also wanted to work more closely with people, particularly children. When I moved back to Colorado, I immediately started as an intern with Farmer Meg and Sprout City Farms. Shortly after that, I enrolled in the Stanley Teacher Preparation program and received my Elementary Ed. teaching license and a Masters in Education through Adams State University. I am so excited to work at a school where my passions for sustainability and education come together in a way that is supported and embraced by the whole community. I can’t wait to grow my practice at this school, and watch our children grown their minds and their hearts. Outside of teaching and learning, I can be found gardening, hiking [hugging] with our dog Ziggy, practicing yoga and making homemade pizza.
Maria Davison, Frist Grade Teacher
Having moved to Golden, Colorado from the United Kingdom, I am thrilled to be joining The Denver Green School's staff team. Being Mrs. Davison is such a huge part of my personality, and I really do believe I was born to teach. Graduating from a Teaching University in England 5 years ago, I was confident that upper elementary was the right age group for me so spent two years working with a lively 5th and 6th Grade class. Due to illness and pregnancies there was a staff reshuffle and my principal asked me to move to Kindergarten as a favor to her...I was dreading it but she promised it was just for the year. However, only a week into the school year I realized I absolutely loved working with those little guys! They were able to bring out the very best in me, and I was able to do the same for them. I have been teaching Pre-school and Kindergarten ever since, loving every minute of it! I try to bring learning to life for children so they feel excited, confident to question everything and everything and take control of their own learning journey. I try to create another home for children when they are at school so that they feel safe, supported and challenged, confident to take risks and make sure they are able to reach their full potential.
I have lived in Golden for a year now but wake up every day and cannot believe how lucky I am to be here. Making the decision to permanently leave the UK illustrates how important it is to me to follow your heart, to find what motivates you and grab onto it with both hands. I aim to provide children with many different lenses through which they can view the world, and in doing so they might discover what they are passionate about, what motivates them academically and as local and global citizens. As one of my favorite authors, Roald Dahl says, 'There are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven’t started wondering about yet,' and I am so excited to start wondering with my new class...
Caitlin Graboski, 2nd Grade Teacher
I grew up on the east coast and earned my BA in Human Development and Spanish at Boston College. After a summer of bicycling across the country to raise money for affordable housing, I pursued my interest in social justice by taking on a year of service with AmeriCorps VISTA in San Francisco. A year of inspiring early childhood education work with the non-profit Jumpstart was enough to set my sights on being in the classroom full-time, and I accepted a position as a support teacher at Marin Country Day School. During my time at MCDS, I completed a MA in Teaching at the University of San Francisco. I am thrilled to be a part of the DGS community, a place where I can encourage young students to invite challenges, to change our world for the better, and to be creative and motivated problem solvers. I also enjoy spending time outside: kayaking, hiking, camping and skiing. I love to cook, swing and tap dance, and play the ukulele and guitar.
Jessica Kirchbaum, 2nd Grade Teacher
My name is Jessica Krichbaum and this is my third year teaching second grade at the Denver Green School! Before moving out to Colorado I taught within the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) teaching the first grade in Chicago, Illinois at UNO Soccer Academy. I graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington with a degree in Elementary Education, Special Education, and a Reading Specialist License. I guess you can say I have always had the "teacher gene". This was only confirmed for me during experiences in high school. I am so happy to be a part of the DGS community doing the only job I could ever see myself in!
Emily Taylor, 3rd Grade Teacher
I am a Denver native and so excited to be working at DGS! I have been teaching at DGS since 2014 and am excited for another year. I received my undergraduate degree from The University of the South Sewanee and my first graduate degree from the University of Colorado Denver. This summer I received my second Masters Degree at the University of Colorado Denver in Elementary Reading and Writing Curriculum and Instruction. I received my teaching license through the Stanley British Primary School Teacher Preparation Program in 2012. During the school year I also coach Field Hockey at East High School. I recently got married. My husband and I enjoy gardening, hiking and adventuring around the world with our puppy Otter.
Julie Cruz, 3rd Grade Teacher
My name is Julie Cruz and I've been teaching at DGS since 2013. I was born and raised in Chicago, so I love to cheer for the Chicago Bears and the White Sox. When I was a senior in college, I moved to Guadalajara, Mexico to complete my Student Teaching. I learned to dance salsa, make delicious salsa to eat, and feel in love with the culture! After that, I started my teaching career in a suburb of Chicago and then three years later, my husband and I moved to Colorado for a new adventure. We love to go hiking with our husky, camping, skiing, running, mountain biking, and many more! This past year, I finished my Masters in Education from Naropa University in Boulder. I always look forward to supporting my students with a mindfulness-based social and emotional curriculum, so that students can learn how to nurture themselves and others!
Matt Meyer, 4th Grade Teacher
I grew up in Dallas and I went to college in San Antonio, where I studied Spanish and Political Science. After working at a middle school in Granada, Spain for one fun filled year, I started my teaching career in Oakland. While in California, I taught second, third, and fourth grade. Along the way, I earned my Masters in Education Policy and Leadership from Stanford University. Last year, I moved to Colorado to be closer to my family. I'm excited for year eight in the classroom and my second go around at DGS. When I am not teaching, I like watching college football (Go Card!), riding my bike (considerably slower than the other fourth grade teacher), and having fun in the mountains.
Travis Ostrom, 4th Grade Teacher
This will be my sixthyear working for the Denver Green School and my fourth year as the 4th grade reading teacher. Previously, I worked for DGS in the roles of Internal Substitute and a kindergarten Student Mentor, and am excited to spend more time with the students I already know, and welcome students new to our community. I have a background in experiential education with a prior career as an Outward Bound Instructor, leading wilderness expeditions with a focus on character development, Leadership, and Service. This has influenced my teaching career with a strong focus on building a classroom community and challenging students to achieve more than they ever thought possible. I like to get my education from Universities with the initials UCD, with a bachelors degree in poetry from the University of California, Davis and a masters degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado, Denver. Outside of school, my affinity for being active and fit is most often expressed through playing ice hockey and racing bikes.
Leah Kent, 5th Grade Teacher
I am so excited to be working with all of you this year as the 5th grade literacy teacher. I am a proud graduate of Colorado State University and love everything about my home state of Colorado. My journey as an educator began as a high school history teacher in Denver. I have truly found my home here at DGS I have been here at DGS for the last 3 three years, first as the Internal Substitute, then as a middle school reading intervention teacher. I am excited to take on the new challenge of teaching fifth grade students for the 2017-2018 school year. I am thrilled about the prospect of exploring the planet from our classroom and helping students find new and meaningful ways to connect with the world around them. When I am not in the classroom I enjoy running, traveling, snowboarding, or any other activity that gets me outside!
Carlos Romero, Elementary Reading Intervention, DGS PARTNER
I was born close to the Pacific coast in Oxnard, California but have spent the majority of my life in the Southwest and feel a strong connection to the land. I studied English Literature and Art History at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. One of my earliest educational memories is sitting down and listening to my sister read Richard Scarry books and Little Golden Books to me while we sat on the couch. It was so joyful and fun and instilled in me a true love for reading. And then there is Dr. Murrell, my 9thgrade Latin teacher. He challenged his students to be critical thinkers, to question everything, and to take hold of one’s own learning for the pure sake of cultivating knowledge and wisdom. I keep these and other experiences in mind as I step into the classroom and greet the growing minds and smiles of children. I have been an early childhood and early primary teacher for ten years and strive to instill a passion for learning in my students that they can carry with them inside and outside of the classroom. I believe that Denver Green School is an amazing place that embraces many philosophies that I hold dear as an educator and as a citizen of the world. I am exuberant to be part of a collective that prioritizes the interconnectedness of living systems and promotes responsible citizenship in regard to our environment and community. If I am not at DGS, you may find me hiking, camping, riding bikes with my awesome wife, playing records loudly, or romping with our dogs.