Staff Directory

Office Staff | ECE | Kindergarten | 1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | 5th | Specials | Health Services | Custodial Staff | Food Services | Paraprofessionals | Support Staff

School Leaders

Melissa Peterson, Principal – Melissa_peterson@dpsk12.org

I am from Tucson, Arizona and I play for Team DPS, as the proud Principal of Stedman Elementary. I started my career in 1994 as a bilingual kindergarten teacher in Tucson Unified School District. Over the past 22 years, I have taught kindergarten, first grade, English Language Development and reading intervention in elementary schools. My experience as a leader includes being a Title 1 Facilitator, instructional coach, central office program coordinator for new teacher induction,  preschool director, teacher effectiveness coach and assistant principal. I moved to Denver in 2012 to join Team DPS and love working for this district. This is my third year as Principal at Stedman. Having been raised in the era of desegregation, a passion for public education and diverse urban schools defines my career as an educator and drives my commitment to closing the opportunity gap.  I deeply believe that it takes a village to raise our children and am thankful to be a part of a community growing together.
On a personal note, the greatest joys in my life are my two daughters, ages 15 and 11. My husband John and I love traveling and playing outdoors with our girls. I try to find time for yoga, stand up paddle boarding, reading and hiking.

Emily Madison, Dean of Instruction – Emily_Madison@dpsk12.org

My name is Emily Madison and I am the Dean of Instruction at Stedman.  At school I go by Ms. Madison.  In my free time I love to spend time outdoors running, hiking, and gardening.  In the winter you can find me snowshoeing or curled up with a good book.  One of my favorite books is The Giver by Lois Lowry.  I live with my husband Chris, our dog Bashful, and we’ll be welcoming a baby to our family in January!  This is my tenth year in education and my third year at Stedman.  Before coming to Stedman I taught 1st, 4th, and 5th grades and worked as a math interventionist.  I’m looking forward to a joyful year of learning!

Adrienne Lopez, Dean of Instruction – Adrienne_Lopez@dpsk12.org

IMG_8452My name is Adrienne Lopez and I am so excited to join the team at Stedman Elementary as an instructional dean.  I have worked in education for over 11 years in both New York City and Denver with experience as a classroom teacher, collaborative team teacher, reading intervention teacher, literacy coach and assistant principal.  I hold graduate degrees in both Literacy and School Leadership.  I love being with children and supporting teachers in their craft.  I’m eager to get to know the Stedman community so please say hello when you see me!

I live with my husband and our two children.  We love experiencing our beautiful state together through skiing, hiking, camping and biking.

Justin Gunderson, Dean of Culture – justin_gunderson@dpsk12.org

picHello Stedman! I am originally from Chicago, and happy to be in the Mile High City. Coming from the Windy City, my hobbies include riding motorcycles and eating uncommonly good food. I have a professional passion for inclusive school cultures, and I am excited to provide an exceptional experience to our students and families here. As a school social worker, I began my career working in therapeutic day schools. I have supported students using mindfulness practices, developed staff members, and led MTSS behavior interventions. While leading as a school administrator, I have used student data and assessments to drive instructional outcomes. Prior to joining Stedman, I worked at an education technology startup that provides high visibility into school data. I am returning to the school setting with a renewed sense of urgency and dedication – our kids deserve the best!

Crystal Griego, Senior Team Lead Crystal_griego@dpsk12.org

Sam Sims, Senior Team Lead Samantha_sims@dpsk12.org

I’m Samantha Sims, you know me around campus as “Maestra Sims.” I am new to Stedman this year, am in the role of .05 Digital Literacy Teacher, and .05 Senior Team Lead, where one of my areas of focus is coaching the emerging dual language program. I love it! 
I moved here from Mexico City, where I worked for a social for-profit focused on visual literacy and tranformational dialogue. I trained the facilitators of the team, wrote new curriculum, and gave courses to teachers, government officials, bankers, parents, and kids.
Prior to that, I lived and taught in Tucson, Arizona, where I met Dr. Peterson, our amazing principal. In Tucson, I taught intermediate grades with a focus in special education, systems thinking, and student-generated learning culture. 
I am so grateful to be part of the Stedman team, and to be here in Colorado. I love reading (mostly non-fiction related to education or leadership), hiking (lots to do here!) and making art. 
Please introduce yourself if I haven’t yet met you. I look forward to learning and helping others learn–Go Knights! 

Office Staff

Rhonda Lee, Secretary – Rhonda_Lee@dpsk12.org

Resized_20161008_215052My name is Rhonda D. Lee and I’m the new secretary at Stedman Elementary. I started at Stedman in 2013 as a part of the cafeteria team but I always knew that I had more to offer. I’ve worked with children as a cheerleading coach, managed a beauty school and I have two beautiful daughters of my own. In my spare time I enjoy dancing, walks, and drawing. I’m glad I have the opportunity be a part of the Stedman front office team. GO STEDMAN KNIGHTS!!!!!

 


ECE
Isabel Stephenson (Full Day ECE 4, Spanish) -Email: Isabel_stephenson@dpsk12.org

Fall Festival 2016-14My name is Isabel Stephenson and I am the teacher for the new ECE-4 Spanish Immersion program. I have been a teacher for more than 20 years and 17 of those have been with DPS.  I started as a Kindergarten teacher and then moved to ECE for the past 4 years while at Stedman.

I am from Venezuela, South America, but I have been in the USA for more than 30 years and became a US citizen. I am a mom and a proud grandma of 3 wonderful kids, one of them I raised since she was almost four and now she is almost 21.

In my “free time ” I like to go to the gym to keep myself healthy, and I look forward to going to the beach during our breaks. I love teaching the little ones because you can always make a difference in their lives. I also know how hard it is to learn in another language, so it has been my passion to help ELL students go through this process. I enjoy teaching at Stedman and being part of the ECE team and the Park Hill community. 

Jennifer Moran (Full Day ECE 4, English) – Email: Jennifer_moran@dpsk12.org
I am a passionate person who tends to wear my heart on my sleeve.  I love animals and have two Boston Terrors (terriers). Stedman has been a part of my heart for over a decade.  I love this school and the families with all of my heart.  I became a National Board Certified Teacher with an endorsement in Early Childhood a few years ago and am looking to go back to get my Master’s. 

 

Erika Grimes (Half Day ECE 3 English, Half Day ECE 4 English ) – Email: Erika_grimes@dpsk12.org

teacher pic 2I am lucky to be a native of this beautiful state of Colorado. I grew up on the West side of town, graduated from D’Evelyn High School before continuing on to Colorado State University. I received my BS in Human Development and Family Studies with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education. While at CSU, I was heavily involved in Student Leadership and Civic Engagement where I had many life changing experiences that furthered my passions for leadership, social justice, and community. I also spent every summer of my colligate years running a youth camp in Durham, North Carolina called Urban Hope. My love for children, families, and community is what drew me to education.  I was able to do my student teaching at Columbine Elementary and took my first job at Stedman in 2008. In 2015, I took on my first leadership role at Stedman as a Team Lead. I was able to stay in the classroom and teach, while serving on the leadership team. This year I am honored to be the ECE Team Specialist. I’m very grateful that I landed at such a rooted and beautiful neighborhood school that I’ve grown to deeply love.

I live in Park Hill with my 2 inspiring children Micah (5), Aniyah (3) and our lovely dog Daisey Mae. I love being a mom, and I believe motherhood has made me a much better teacher. I’m very happy to have my son Micah in my afternoon class this year! Being from Colorado, I love all things “Colorado” like hiking, skiing, camping and the Denver Broncos. I have coached basketball at Stedman ever since I’ve taught. When I’m not at work and not occupied with being “mom”, you could find me in the outdoors, gardening, doing house projects, at community events, playing basketball (yes, there are grown-women’s leagues!), or sitting at a quiet coffee shop reading or people watching…usually turns into the latter. I deeply value the families at Stedman and am proud to be a part of this community!

Pablo Benitez (Full Day ECE 3, Language Immersion), Email: PABLO_BENITEZ@dpsk12.org

imageMy name is Pablo Benitez.  I am new to Stedman but I have been teaching for 15 years.  I will be teaching ECE this year at Stedman.  When I have free time I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family.  I love camping, hiking, and traveling to national parks with my family.  I love living in Colorado!  I am looking forward to having a great year here at Stedman!

 


Kindergarten – 4th Grade

Patricia Landy (Kindergarten) – email: Patricia_landy@dpsk12.org

FullSizeRender (2)My name is Patricia Landy and I am the Kindergarten teacher. I am married to my wonderful husband of 20 plus years, I have 2 children, 1 granddaughter and my dog Dutch. I love to travel and spend time with family.

I have 22 years’ experience working with children. I grew up in this neighborhood and I graduated from George Washington High School. I have a degree from the Community College of Denver in Early Childhood Education. I also have a degree from the University of Northern Colorado specializing in Elementary Education.

I like teaching kindergarten because every year brings something new and different. There is so much growth and excitement within the students. My joy comes when they learn to read and explore. They learn about themselves, others and the world around them.

Maria Ortiz (Dual Kindergarten) – email:

Maria Ortiz_BioPhotoHola… My name is Maria Ortiz. My students will be able to call me Ms. Ortiz or Ms. MO! I look forward to working in the Stedman community; I will have the pleasure of working with the dual language kindergarten class this year.

I am from Dallas, Texas; I graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Bilingual Education Certification. I grew up in a bilingual home, and I believe that being bilingual is an incredible part of my identity. I love the idea of working in a dual language classroom and teaching the beauty of a second language to my students. I am dedicated to serving my students and community. I enjoy working with others, volunteering, and learning about new things. I love spending my free time traveling, learning about new cultures, hiking and connecting with nature, which is one of the reasons why I chose Colorado to start my teaching career.

Elena Galvez-Iglesias (Dual 1st) –

IMG-20161107-WA0001-2I am from Barcelona, Spain. I arrived to Denver on July, 2014 to teach in an immersion School in Northglenn as a Spanish Immersion Teacher in 3rd grade. My teaching experience came from 2008 when I got my degree as an Elementary teacher with a mention in Music at the University of Barcelona. In Spain I was working from 2008 until 2014 in Barcelona Public Schools.

Currently and from 2016 I have been teaching at Stedman, I am very proud to be part of the Dual language Program Stedman has.  I love what I do and I believe that the children can transform the future for the better. What I enjoy the most in life is to spend time with my family, friends, in nature and traveling.

Madeline Miller (1st) – madeline_miller@dpsk12.org

FullSizeRender (3)Hello my name is Madeline Miller and our students call me Ms. Madeline. I will be the first grade teacher this year. I started my career at Stedman in the middle of the 2016-2017 year as our kindergarten teacher and am so happy to be looping with my students from last year! I love working with our younger students at Stedman and all their wonder, energy, and creativity.

I am a Denver native and am so lucky to be from this wonderful city! I graduated from East High School and have my BA in Psychology as well as my Elementary Education Licensure from University of Colorado Boulder. In my spare time I love traveling, reading, running, and doing yoga.

Olga Martinez (Dual 2nd) – Email: olga_martinez@dpsk12.org

yoMy name is Olga Martínez. I’m from Puerto Rico. It’s a pleasure for me to join to the team at Stedman Elementary as a second grade teacher in the dual language program.  I have worked as a spanish teacher for over 15 years.  I hold a Bachelor degree in Education and a Master degree in Early Childhood.  I’m a dedicated teacher and it is a wonderful opportunity for me to teach my native language. I’m so excited to share with my kids the wonderful world of reading,  and my favorite story books for children are from the author Georgina Lázaro. I’m anticipating a great and fun school year! 

 

Dawn Romero (3rd) Dawn_romero@dpsk12.org

Lucy Gonzales (4th) – Email: Lucy_gonzales@dpsk12.org

Hi…My name is Lucy Gonzales and I am the 4th /5th grade ELA-S teacher. My students call me Ms. Gonzales or Ms. G. I have been teaching for 20 years, with 4 of those at Stedman and I Love my job. I have always wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. I have 3 adult children who have blessed me with 6 grand daughters. I am a native of Denver, Colorado, and I love going camping and enjoying all sports (especially the Broncos)! One of my favorite books is a 4 book series that includes “The Giver” because it really makes you think about society and how people are judged and treated. It teaches you about people’s special abilities and how they use these abilities. I believe that all people are doing their best to live up to their potential. I always live by the Golden Rule…Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You! Please say hello if we happen to pass in the hallway and always share a smile with a stranger…it could change their whole day for the better! We are all going through something in life! Attitude of Gratitude…Always!

 

Fifth Grade

Nick Reed (5th grade) – Email: nicholas_reed@dpsk12.org

nick_reedGreetings, my name is Nick Reed and I teach 5th grade general education. I was born and raised in Denver and am a graduate of George Washington High School. I went on to earn degrees in Art and Spanish at the University of Puget Sound in Washington. I love to travel and try new things, and have taught in a variety of settings, including in Argentina and Korea. I lived in Honolulu for seven years with my wife Lauren, where I earned my Master of Education at the University of Hawaii and taught 3rd-6th grade at Waipahu Elementary for three years. I returned to Denver in 2017 to serve as a teacher in the public school system I attended. My goal is to empower children, not only by giving them knowledge and skills, but by motivating them to become lifelong learners like myself.

Rebeka Reeves-Toney – Email: rebeka_reeves-toney@dpsk12.org

Beka PictureI am Rebeka Reeves-Toney. I am excited to be part of the Stedman Family this year. I was born
and raised in Denver. I am a graduate of Denver Public Schools and the University of Northern
Colorado. I lived in Kailua, Oahu, Hawai’i for 20 years where I raised three boys and taught a
variety of grades from head start through 6 th with Hawaii Public Schools. I moved back to
Denver at the turn of the century and have the privilege of being a 2 nd generation teacher with
DPS. I enjoy teaching children of all ages and seeing their progress as they grow into life-long
learners. When I am not teaching, I spend time with my family; my husband, my mom, three
grown boys, and three grandsons. I also enjoy riding my bike and can often be seen riding
anywhere from Red Rocks to the Confluence of the Platte. I also hike, camp, and most recently
scuba dive. Some week-ends I volunteer with the Deep Blue Foundation at the Downtown
Aquarium as an exhibit educator. Since I have a strong passion for the importance of early
literacy, I also volunteer teaching families early literacy skills from birth to 3 years with Bright
By Three. I look forward to meeting the families and students and Stedman.


Specials Teachers
Clint Moore (Music) – Email: Clint_Moore@dpsk12.org

My name is Mr. Clint Moore, students call me Mr. Moore or Sensei “if I am running the Recorder Karate Dojo.”  My job at Stedman is music teacher and playground duty Master.  I teach instruments, voice, general music, appreciation for the arts, culture, and of course how to have fun.  In my free time I enjoy fishing, ice fishing is my favorite.  I also really love spending time with the love of my life Mrs. Moore and our two kids, David and Cora.  I love tinkering on my classic Bronco, spending time with friends, playing music when I can, and flying helicopters.  I love lots of books, some are Chickenhawk, The Jungle, and Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site.  My family includes my mom who will come to all of the school’s concerts, my wife Rachel, my son David who is in ECE across town, Cora my 2 year old daughter, and my cat Pinky.  My dad lives in Texas and I try and talk to him as much as I can.  He is my mentor and my friend.

Some of my career highlights are when my student scored 1s at CHSAA Large Group Contest when I taught at Fort Morgan High School.  I spent the majority of my teaching career at Henry World Middle School.  I am Level 1 IB trained, and have Level 1 World Music Drumming training as well.  While at Henry my students participated in Denver Citywide Marching Band, Citywide Honor Band, and CHSAA Large Group Festival.  While at Henry I took a year and a half break and became a helicopter pilot for the Colorado Army National Guard, I came back to Henry and taught AVID, Technology, World Music Drumming, Band, Jazz Band, and Orchestra.  I left Henry due to budgeting and moved to Place Bridge Academy where I taught Choir and General Music.  After PBA I taught At McGlone Elementary School and had to leave due to family constraints.  I worked for a while in corporate America and deployed with the Army after which I got the best opportunity of my life, long term sub at Stedman.  I have never felt so connected to a community.  I felt at home the first day I walked in.  Thank you!!!

Sara Whatmore (PE)

StedmanBioPicI am so excited to be a part of the Stedman community. I graduated from the University of North Carolina (go Tar Heels!) with a degree in Child Development. After teaching for a few years in Charlotte, NC, my husband and I moved to Denver in 2008 to enjoy all the outdoor activities Colorado has to offer. I am an avid runner, but you can also find me cycling, swimming, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and practicing yoga. 

I am currently working on a Master of Physical Education and Physical Activity Leadership degree with the University of Northern Colorado. I have always had a love for sports, fitness, and physical education. We will be setting goals, tracking progress, and celebrating success! I can’t wait to help your child grow and develop a life-long commitment to physical health and mental wellness

Crystal Griego, Reading Intervention

Samantha Sims, Digital Literacy


Support Staff

Molly Eldredge (Reading Intervention) – Email: Molly_eldredge@dpsk12.org

My name is Molly Eldredge. The students call me Señora Molly. I am so excited to be a reading interventionist and do English Language Development this year at Stedman.  In my free time I like to spend time with my family and friends, be in mountains, garden, and read. One of my favorite books is “Peace Like a River”, by Leif Enger. I live with my son, Francis, who is a student at East High School and our energetic dog, Daisy. My highlights of teaching have been working with students and their families and having the great joy of watching them learn and grow.

Megan Walsh (Reading Intervention, 3rd-5th) – Email: Megan_Walsh@dpsk12.org

My name is Megan Walsh and this is my second year at Stedman, and my ninth year in the classroom! I teach 4th grade literacy in the morning, and I am home in the afternoons with my three month old, Lincoln. 

I am a Denver native and DPS alumna. I attended Colorado State University for my undergrad and am currently working on my Master’s of Education at University of Colorado-Denver. 
 
My husband is also in Education; he is an assistant principal at a Kepner Beacon Middle School in DPS. Lincoln is our first child and we have two big dogs. I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and READING! 

Dominique Edmonds, Restorative Approaches Coordinator

Nick Chiolo, Mild-Moderate Special Education

18527831_10212873976467848_7463931060386832248_nI was born and raised on the east coast in a small suburb outside of Philadelphia called Blue Bell. I am new to Stedman this year and in the role of the Mild-Moderate Special Education teacher. Before Stedman, I attended the University of Pittsburgh and received my Master of Education degree in the Spring of 2017.
My free time is mostly spent outside, hiking, and exploring. I enjoy music, photography and graphic design as well. I also love to travel – over this past summer I spent time in Hong Kong, Eastern Europe, and driving from PA to CO.
I am thrilled to be teaching and living in Denver, and am looking forward to the school year ahead!

Heather Showman, Social Worker

staffbioI am Heather Showman and am your School Social Worker! I started working at Stedman late in the 2016-2017 school year, and have loved getting to know our students and community!  I was born in Indiana, but spent most of my childhood in South Carolina. Shortly after moving to Denver four years ago, I was surprised to learn that my Great Great Grandfather was a Denver native and I have had so much fun learning about my Denver roots!

Prior to coming to Stedman, I spent four years as a school social worker and school-based therapist on the Fort Apache Reservation in Arizona, then moved to Denver to work as a school-based therapist working with the refugee communities in the metro area.  I love Indiana Basketball, Carolina Football, hiking, reading, and my two cats. I am excited to be a part of Team DPS and return to Stedman as your school social worker!

Lisa Buffington, Speech/Language

Amy Barrett, Gifted/Talented

Lisa Strassburger, Psychologist

Alicia Kuhn, Psychology Intern – Email: alicia_kuhn@dpsk12.org

aliciakuhnpictureI am Alicia Kuhn, and I am excited to be the School Psychology Intern at Stedman this year! I am currently working towards my PsyD degree in School Psychology at the University of Colorado-Denver, and I have lived in Denver for the past 3 years. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, and lived there until I moved to Denver. In my spare time you can find me at the dog park with my dog Lobo, hiking, reading, or out exploring Denver with my husband. 
I received my Bachelor’s in Psychology from Loyola University, and have spent the last 4 years immersed in education. I have worked at a paraprofessional in general education, as well as special education for the past 4 years (3 of those years have been with DPS). I have also been engaged in experiential learning in the schools through my program. I’m looking forward to spending the year with the students at Stedman, and can’t wait to get to know and help support the community!

Susan Chenoweth, OT/PT

Pablo Estrada, Math Fellows Coordinator

Math Fellows: Mahasin Ibrahim, Kendra Mitchell


Custodial Staff

Facilities Manager: Matthew McKenzie

Facilities Crew Lead: Markus Villa

Part Time Custodian: Trejean Williams


Food Services

Manager: Annalisa Simmons


Paraprofessionals

Mary De La Torre (ECE 4 Spanish) – Email: Maria_delatorre@dpsk12.org

Jose Tardio (ECE, ELA) Email: Jose_tardio@dpsk12.org

Alicia Vasquez (ECE 3,4) Email: Alicia_Vaszquez@dpsk12.org

Students call me Ms. Alicia or Ms. V and I am the ECE 3s & 4s Paraprofessional and Stedman Garden Coordinator. In my free time I enjoy the outdoors, fishing with my children, watching movies as well as spending time with my family laughing!

Two books I love are “Corrie Ten Boom” and “The Hiding Place”. I love dearly my two children Maximiliano and Issabella and I love being a Team Player for Stedman Elementary!

Sarah Rayburn (ECE 4) Email: Sarah_rayburn@dpsk12.org

Adriana Bales (ECE) – Email: ADRIANA_BALES@dpsk12.org

IMG_3829 (3)My name is Adriana Bales , I feel very grateful to be part of Stedman this year. I am from Colombia, South America, recently American Citizen. I studied Preschool Education in my country and worked more than six years with preschool, my last years in Colombia I worked with the Elementary School.
Colorado is a new Home for me , two years ago I moved from California with my husband and two cats. Even when I come from a country with many mountains , I admire the beautiful Rocky Mountains. This is a new stage for me  and I plan to enjoy this opportunity responsibly, enjoy the energy of the children and learn from every person who works at Stedman.

Laura Austin (Kindergarten) – Email: LAURA_AUSTIN@dpsk12.org

Hi! My name is Laura Austin, students can call me Ms. Austin or Ms. Laura. I am so excited to be joining the Stedman Knights as a 2nd grade para this year! I am a Colorado native, I grew up in Colorado Springs, moved to Grand Junction in 2010 where I received my BS in Sports Management and moved to Denver in 2015. In my free time I love to be outside with my puppy exploring our beautiful state. I am now one year in to working on my Masters Degree in Elementary Education, which I will finish next fall, and I am so happy to be pursuing my passion of teaching children!