Acting Executive Director of Schools, Castle Pines and Parker
Amanda is the author and director of our unique STEM Discovery Week program, and manages our math program and our science curriculum to ensure they support the STEM-related aspects of the school’s mission. Before moving to Colorado, Amanda was the Coordinator of Curriculum Design for the Public Education and Risk Communication Division of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute in New Jersey. There, she directed programs for multimedia curriculum development. She received her Masters of Public Health degree in Health Education and Behavioral Science from the Rutgers/The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and her Bachelors degree in Natural Science/Microbiology from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Amanda takes K-8 STEM education to a whole new level at American Academy.
Elementary Principal, Castle Pines
My teaching experience began 19 years ago as a Kindergarten and 1st grade teacher in my home state of Texas. Later I was a Kindergarten teacher in the states of Georgia and Alaska as well. When my family was transferred here by the military 8 years ago, I was fortunate enough to spend 3 years subbing at American Academy in all the K-8 grades, before settling into a full time teaching position as the AA Fourth Grade Team Lead. As a life-long learner, I currently hold degrees in Elementary Education, Psychology, and Counseling. While I’ve had wonderful experiences in many different schools, including ones with a Core Knowledge focus, my true home is here at American Academy. Not only do I have a passion for implementing the philosophy and curriculum with fidelity, but I love the positive relationships I’ve developed with the amazing students, parents, and staff here at AA!
KindiePrep Director, Parker
Gretchen is the Director of the AA KindiePrep program, which is offered at our Parker Campus. Gretchen grew up in the Buffalo, NY, area where she obtained a Bachelor degree in Sociology and Elementary Education from the State University of New York at Brockport. Before moving to Colorado, Gretchen worked with children in grades K-6 in the North Syracuse New York school system. Since moving to Colorado, Gretchen has found that preschoolers are her passion. For the past 20 years, she has worked in the early childhood field as a preschool teacher and a supervisor of a large preschool facility. Gretchen enjoys helping children become excited about learning at the preschool level and building a strong social and academic foundation.
Facility Director, Castle Pines and Parker
Middle School Principal, Castle Pines
I am a native Coloradoan and attended Regis College, earning my Bachelors of Arts in an Interdivisional Major which consists of Education, Psychology, Sociology and Religious Studies. I began my teaching career and continued to work several years in a school/residential facility for multi-age children who had severe learning disabilities and who also suffer from emotional/physical abuse. This opportunity taught me to value every child and to teach to each individual’s strengths and abilities. In addition to my Colorado Teaching License, I have a secondary English endorsement.
Office Manager, Castle Pines
Suzanne manages the front office at our Castle Pines campus, overseeing Castle Pines’ visitor reception, instructional assistants (IA’s), and health room services. Suzanne attended CSU in Fort Collins, Colorado and received a degree in Merchandising. Throughout her career, Suzanne has worked in the customer service area and has been serving our AA families, students and staff since 2006. Suzanne is a Colorado native and lives in Castle Rock with her husband, two children and three dogs. When Suzanne is not working she enjoys entertaining, cooking, hiking, skiing and watching her children play sports.
Student Support Services Director, Castle Pines and Parker
Jistine is the Student Support Services Director for both the Castle Pines and Parker campuses. Her 15+ years of teaching includes experience in sixth grade, K-5 early intervention, and K-8 special education. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa, an M.A. in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Colorado at Denver, and a Masters of Educational Technology from Boise State University. Although she is originally from San Diego, Colorado is the state she loves to call home. She lives in Castle Rock with her husband, two sons, and the family dog, Kenosha. Outside of teaching, she enjoys running, cycling, swimming, riding her motorcycle around our beautiful country, and spending time with the family enjoying all the wonderful outdoor activities Colorado has to offer.
Chief Financial Officer (Consultant), Castle Pines and Parker
Specials Department Director, Castle Pines and Parker
I grew up in Lakeview, Oregon, a very small rural community. I moved to Southern California after graduation, to attend Walt Disney’s California Institute of the Arts, then took some time to tour abroad with the Continental Singers and Orchestra. Upon return, I found Colorado and finished my education in Music at Colorado Christian University. I love to sing, and act! I love to read and watch Netflix. I have a daughter who now lives in Los Angeles, and works for a subsidiary of Dreamworks, writing a segment called “The Daily Report for “Awesomeness TV”.
Middle School Principal, Parker
Laurie has been with American Academy since it opened its doors in 2005. She started as a 3rd grade teacher for the first few years, then moved to middle school, where she taught 6th/7th grade history. Laurie moved into her current position as Principal when the Parker Middle School opened in 2014. Laurie’s interest in education came from working in the schools as a police officer in Texas. In 1998, she moved to Colorado and earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, along with her Colorado teaching license. She later added her endorsement in History. Outside of work, Laurie enjoys bike riding, hiking, skiing, and anything related to the arts.
Elementary Principal, Parker
Ginger is the principal for grades K-6 at our Parker campus, managing the education and discipline of the PKR elementary students while overseeing Art and Music education at both campuses. Ginger manages the AA K-6 Leadership Awards Program and the K-6 Technology Scope & Sequence Curriculum at Parker. Prior to her role as principal, Ginger was the Curriculum Specialist at American Academy. Ginger grew up in Connecticut and lived in Illinois and Tennessee before settling in Colorado. Ginger graduated from Wheaton College in 1997 with her Elementary Education degree. In her nine years of teaching, Ginger taught the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. Ginger has been with American Academy since its beginning and has always enjoyed assisting teachers in implementing the curriculum and analyzing data to affect student achievement.
Office Manager, Parker
Operations Director, Castle Pines and Parker
IT Director, Castle Pines and Parker
Brian manages American Academy’s Information Technology department which includes overseeing the local and wide area network along with all technology related support for staff and students. Brian is a Colorado native with an Exercise Sports Science degree in teaching from the University of Arizona. Brian has been working in the IT field for over 10 years including recently running his own computer/IT consulting company.
Communications Manager, Castle Pines and Parker
Trish is the Communications Manager for AA and helps ensure consistent and effective communication with our families and the communities in which our schools are located. She was born and raised in Wisconsin, got her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Indiana University - Bloomington, and moved to Colorado in 1994. She's been a professional graphic designer and writer for more than 20 years. As one of the the original Founding Families of American Academy, Trish volunteered her design and writing skills to the school for many years prior to joining the staff in 2009. She and her husband have two children and three dogs, and in her spare time, she enjoys movies, reading, yoga, traveling and spending time with her family, friends and dogs in the mountains.
Human Resources, Castle Pines and Parker
Data Specialist, Castle Pines and Parker
Denese assisted with the effort to establish American Academy in 2005, and served on the Board of Directors until the summer of 2015 at which point she was hired as the Data Specialist for both campuses. She primarily supports the administration and teaching staff by managing various internal and external data systems which warehouse student information, assessment data and more. Denese is a proud Colorado native with a degree in Accounting and has worked in the fields of accounting and finance prior to joining American Academy. Denese and her husband have three boys and have lived in Castle Pines for more than a decade. In her spare time, Denese enjoys reading, hiking, biking and spending time in the gorgeous Colorado sunshine with family and friends.
Assistant to Executive Director of Schools, Castle Pines and Parker
Middle School Assistant Principal, Castle Pines and Parker
I am originally from Ohio. My degrees are in Mathematics from the University of Toledo, as well as my Bachelor’s degree in education. At AA, I have had the pleasure of being involved in the school’s theater. In my spare time, I love to travel, hike and play ultimate Frisbee.
Elementary Assistant Principal, Castle Pines
I am a true-blue Colorado native! I grew up in Colorado Springs and earned a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. After arriving in the Denver-metro area, I completed post-graduate work at the University of Colorado at Denver in their Urban Teacher Education program. When I am not diving into my absolute love for teaching, I can usually be found taking advantage of our amazing Colorado weather. Hiking, skiing, and dining al fresco are a few of my favorite activities…as well as keeping the peace between my energetic dog and lethargic cat!