Compass Academy Staff

CITY YEAR AMERICORPS TEAM

At Compass Academy, a team of 13 City Year-AmeriCorps Members serve every day and all school year as mentors and tutors providing both targeted and school-wide interventions to serve the holistic needs of our students. 

2017-2018 School Year City Year-AmeriCorps team, an amazing group of young adults committed to a year of national service to support Compass Academy students achieve their individual goals.

ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM

Marcia Fulton, Executive Director

Marcia Fulton, Executive Director

Marcia has worked in education for 24 years as teacher, instructional coach, director of curriculum and instruction, and as the Principal of a K-8 Charter school in Denver. She sees the power of a collaborative learning environment as being critical for both student and adult learning. In this environment, students are taught how to learn – not just what to learn. As a former Principal, and now as the Executive Director of Compass Academy, she would describe herself as one who leads with her heart and with her mind. Marcia believes that teaching and learning is a human endeavor. In her own words, “it is when we know and trust each other that relationships are formed and learning can happen. It is through intentional decisions about how we experience learning that we engage and become inspired to be all that we can be”.


Denise Thorne Middle School Director

Denise Thorne Middle School Director

Prior to becoming the Middle School Director at Compass Academy, Denise Thorne worked as a Spanish teacher in Denver, and as a Middle School Dean of students and School Director in Irving, Texas. Born and raised in Colorado, Denise could not be more excited to be returning home to work with students in Southwest Denver. She feels honored to continue her journey in education with a team of educators who work tirelessly to support the students at Compass Academy each day.


Brandon Jones- Senior Dean of Instruction

Brandon Jones- Senior Dean of Instruction

Prior to becoming the Senior Dean of Instruction at Compass Academy, Brandon was the principal of Downtown College Prep in San Jose, California.  Before becoming principal He was a founding Humanities teacher for Downtown College Prep.  He also spent six years as an eighth grade English teacher at Cesar Chavez Academy in East Palo Alto, California.  Brandon got his start in education in Denver where he was a reading specialist for two years at Edgewater Elementary School.  He has also played the role of athletic director and summer school program coordinator.  He is extremely excited to join the Compass Academy team and is looking forward to learning from the great people working at Compass.


Cathy O’Quinn - Dean of Students

Cathy O’Quinn - Dean of Students

Cathy received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wyoming. Cathy has been a substitute teacher at Compass Academy over the past year. Now as the 7th grade Math Teacher, she feels as though she was meant to be a part of Compass Academy. Her goal at Compass is to strengthen relationships with her students that allow them to take risks, take their learning seriously and to the next level. She wants to make their learning and experiences fun and something they look forward to daily. Cathy grew up in Wyoming and loves the outdoors, especially playing golf in beautiful places.


Andrew Bennett - ELD Coordinator

Andrew Bennett - ELD Coordinator

After graduating from Utah State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science, Andrew spent eight years living, teaching, and studying in Taiwan. During his time there, his roles included teacher, curriculum designer, researcher, food sampler, and student. In 2012, he received a Master of Art’s degree from National Tsing Hua University in the field of Language Cognition and Teaching. Since arriving in Denver, he has had the privilege of serving native, immigrant, refugee, and international student populations in both youth and adult language programs. He enjoys trying to define and better understand culturally diverse views on personal, professional, and educational values to better support learning and teaching. He strongly believes that education represents a life-long expedition, in which bold travelers seize upon to attain the necessary skills, knowledge, and inspiration to lead and define a purposeful and rewarding life. Andrew is elated to join Compass Academy and looks forward to working with its students, faculty, and staff to create positive academic and social success.


6th Grade Team

Natalie Bograd - 6th Grade ELA

Natalie Bograd - 6th Grade ELA

Before joining the Compass team, Natalie taught film at DSST's Stapleton Middle School and has worked with youth in a variety of capacities including as an alumni of City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley and City Year Denver. Natalie grew up in Denver and has a BA in Film Studies from CU Boulder and a Master's in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Natalie is passionate about educational equity and believes that all students deserve an excellent education that honors each student as a complete person. Her goal at Compass is to spark self-expression, help grow strong readers and writers, and continually inspire students to take pride in their own cultural and individual identities. Natalie loves to read, write, rock climb, and spend time with her family (her parents, two sisters, brother in law, and five cousins are all current or former educators in Denver!). Aside from education, her other great love is pop culture especially science fiction and superhero movies and TV shows.


Kerri Gallo - 6th Grade Math

Kerri Gallo - 6th Grade Math

Kerri grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from Plymouth State University with a degree in psychology. During a road trip in 2011, the Rocky Mountains stole Kerri’s heart. Shortly after graduating, she packed up her car and traveled across the country visiting six National Parks with her adventurous cat Luna. After arriving in Denver, Kerri started her first job as a Teacher’s assistant in a special needs classroom. As a graduate student at MSU Denver, Kerri worked at the Odyssey School of Denver in the 5th grade math classroom. Upon graduating, Kerri was hired at Odyssey as the long-term substitute in the 6th grade math classroom. Kerri is the youngest of five siblings and one of the youngest of over 60 cousins. Being raised in a large family taught Kerri to  enjoy the little things, maintain a sense of humor and value differences in people. Kerri hopes to inspire joy and learning through mathematics while creating a classroom culture that values differences, welcomes change, encourages uniqueness and gives all voices a chance to be heard.


Mary Kate Nagy- 6th Grade Social Studies

Mary Kate Nagy- 6th Grade Social Studies

Mary Kate discovered her passion for teaching after serving with City Year New York in 2015. The following year, Mary Kate moved to Denver and received her teaching license through Rocky Mountain Prep's fellowship program. During her fellowship year, she took classes while teaching social studies and reading to a diverse group of fourth graders. Mary Kate also has experience teaching 2-5th grade science, English, and math, and taught at an expeditionary learning school that prioritized student-led projects and fieldwork. Prior to City Year, Mary Kate graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2014 with a dual degree in Spanish and Latin American/Caribbean Studies. She developed her Spanish fluency while living and volunteering at a hospital in Cusco, Peru. As an educator, Mary Kate's goal is to stimulate passion and help students develop an appreciation for diversity by incorporating their own histories and unique personalities into social studies learning. Mary Kate is also an enthusiastic Avid4 Adventure educator and enjoys introducing young people to outdoors education, sports, and environmental service. In her free time, you can find Mary Kate kayaking on the water, skiing on the mountains, or cooking up a good meal at home


Alexandra Walch - 6th Grade Science

Alexandra Walch - 6th Grade Science

Before joining the Compass Academy team, Alexandra taught 6th grade Science in Florida. She earned her degree in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences from the University of Florida. She has multiple years experience teaching art and engineering summer camp courses to elementary students. Her goal is to foster a creative and positive learning environment for the students of Compass Academy. She is eager to bring her passion for science into the classroom.


Ruby Lopez - Spanish I

Ruby Lopez - Spanish I

Ruby is a proud wife, mother of two sons, and family to a pup named Lui. Ruby earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Spanish and a Master's in Education from the University of Denver. Before joining Compass Academy, Ruby taught at Skinner Middle School and is now thrilled to come back to teach at the same community where she grew up! Ruby is proud of her Mexican heritage – her parents are from Durango, Mexico. She graduated from Lincoln High School in 2009 as a Gates Millennium Scholar with a full-tuition scholarship for college. She is inspired by Compass Academy’s approach to learning and commitment to the Southwest-Denver area. Her biggest goal is to live out the Compass Academy philosophy both inside and outside of the classroom, including promoting deeper learning and social-emotional growth for all students. She is here to let her students know that EVERYTHING they set their hearts and minds to is possible!


7th Grade Team

Tiffany Lee - 7th Grade ELA

Tiffany Lee - 7th Grade ELA

Tiffany received her bachelor's degree in Communications and Sociology from the University of Missouri. Upon completing undergrad, she continued her education at Lindenwood University where she obtained a Master's in Teaching. Tiffany will be joining Compass Academy in the 2017-2018 school year as an ELA teacher. Her goal is to weave herself into the community at Compass Academy and build sustaining relationships with her future students and their families. As a St. Louis native, she is thrilled about the new adventures ahead in Denver. Tiffany enjoys exploring new places with her fiancé, kickboxing, cooking, and spending time with family.


Kareem Kalil -7th Grade Math

Kareem Kalil -7th Grade Math

Kareem Kalil is a founding teacher at Compass Academy and has taught 6th grade Math for the last two years.  Kareem worked for two years as a 6th Grade Math Teacher at Young Scholars Charter School in Philadelphia as part of Teach for America. Before that, Kareem was a City Year-AmeriCorps member in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated as a student-athlete and basketball player from Colby College in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Urban Education. After Colby he went to the University of Pennsylvania and graduated in 2015 with a Master’s in Urban Education. His favorite thing about teaching at Compass is having the freedom to develop a model that serves all children and to make all students love math. Mr. K spent his summer in Mexico to improve his Spanish and now hopes to speak it more with his students and to continue to help them grow as Learners & Leaders!


Katiria Rivera - 7th Grade Social Studies

Katiria Rivera - 7th Grade Social Studies

Prior to joining the Compass Academy team, I was the Head of Languages and Academic Coordinator for Actividades Formativas in Valencia, Spain. I have a B.A. in Spanish and Education from New Jersey City University (2008) and a Master of Arts in Creative Translation from the Universidad de Valencia (2010, Spain). My passion for teaching, traveling, and learning about different cultures took me to South Korea in 2008 where I lived and taught EFL to primary school students and afterwards to Spain, which has been my home for the past eight years. My prior educational career experiences spans 8 years and ranges from primary, middle, and high school English and Spanish instruction to EFL curriculum development, teacher training, western civilizations adjunct instructor, and educational research. I was born and raised in Jersey City, NJ.-  love to garden, read, travel, listen to music and spend time with my husband, son and dogs.  I feel ecstatic about joining the Compass Team and having the opportunity to work with scholars that I identify with and helping them reach their academic goals through hard work, patience, discipline, and kindness.

Prior to joining the Compass Academy team, I was the Head of Languages and Academic Coordinator for Actividades Formativas in Valencia, Spain. I have a B.A. in Spanish and Education from New Jersey City University (2008) and a Master of Arts in Creative Translation from the Universidad de Valencia (2010, Spain). My passion for teaching, traveling, and learning about different cultures took me to South Korea in 2008 where I lived and taught EFL to primary school students and afterwards to Spain, which has been my home for the past eight years. My prior educational career experiences spans 8 years and ranges from primary, middle, and high school English and Spanish instruction to EFL curriculum development, teacher training, western civilizations adjunct instructor, and educational research. I was born and raised in Jersey City, NJ.-  love to garden, read, travel, listen to music and spend time with my husband, son and dogs.  I feel ecstatic about joining the Compass Team and having the opportunity to work with scholars that I identify with and helping them reach their academic goals through hard work, patience, discipline, and kindness.


Andrew Christian -  7th Grade Science

Andrew Christian -  7th Grade Science

Originally from Southwest Virginia, Andrew studied biology at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.  After graduating, he served two years with City Year Los Angeles as a corps member and team leader.  Andrew then joined the Capital Teaching Residency in Washington, D.C., where he taught secondary chemistry and forensic science.  Most recently, he taught secondary math and chemistry in Tanzania as a Peace Corps volunteer.


Sarah Whitlock -  Spanish II

Sarah Whitlock -  Spanish II

Sarah is a graduate of Regis University having received her degree in Spanish Language and Literature and Secondary Education. She has a passion for sharing experiences and culture, and uses these opportunities to create growth, for both her and her students. Sarah is currently working on her Masters in Development Practice and using this experience in the classroom as she works to create an atmosphere where students are able to learn about and celebrate each other. Sarah is a native of Colorado and is looking forward to the opportunity to share her love of the state, the community, and the culture with her colleagues, students, and parents.


8th Grade Team

Jon Risk - 8th Grade ELA

Jon Risk - 8th Grade ELA

Jon is very excited to join the Compass community as an eighth-grade teacher of English Language Arts. Jon believes passionately in whole child and constructivist philosophies that encourage students to think reflectively, collaboratively, and critically. Building on more than 15 years of experience in educational publishing, assessment development, and performance, Jon believes in culturally responsive curricula that reflect students' passions and experiences. An avid hiker and back-to-nature believer, Jon is a proud father of two young adventurers. He is thrilled to raise his family in beautiful Colorado and to join Compass Academy's students on their uniquely individual and inspiring educational journeys.


Rafael Velez - 8th Grade Bilingual Math

Rafael Velez - 8th Grade Bilingual Math

I’ve worked as a bilingual educator in DC Public Schools for five years. I received my B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Middlebury College in Vermont, and my M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland: College Park. I am originally from Atlanta, GA, and my wife and I recently had a baby girl (who was delivered at home in the middle of a freak snowstorm in March). In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors, board games, and learning new languages.


Audrey Campbell -  8th Grade Social Studies

Audrey Campbell -  8th Grade Social Studies

Audrey earned her Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs  from the University of Colorado, after college she traveled to Europe and the Middle East and then received her Masters of Arts in Education and Human Development from the University of Colorado, Denver. Audrey is very excited to be joining Compass Academy and contributing to the school’s vision as she focuses on including socio-emotional development into her social studies curriculum. Audrey’s goal is to work collaboratively with the educators at Compass Academy to meet the academic needs of all students. When not planning for upcoming lessons Audrey can often be found exploring the Rocky Mountains with her dog Penny.


Kyle Forsyth -  8th Grade Science

Kyle Forsyth -  8th Grade Science

 

Kyle is a founding teacher at Compass Academy and taught 6th grade Science for the last two years. Before joining Compass Academy Kyle taught 5th grade Math and Science and finished the Associate Teacher Program at Brooke Charter Schools, one of the highest performing schools in Massachusetts. During that year he learned how effective teacher collaboration can truly transform the classroom. Kyle grew up just outside Philadelphia and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. After college, Kyle served two years with City Year Boston; first as a City Year-AmeriCorps Member and then as a Team Leader. Through this volunteer work, he fell in love with urban education and became inspired to dedicate his time and energy to his students.


Paula Chaparro - Spanish III

Paula Chaparro - Spanish III

I’m Paula Chaparro I was born in Durango Mexico, I studied in the  University Juarez of Durango State in Mexico my Bachelor Degree is in Social Worker my family consist of my husband , my son and I.

I have been working for 10 years in DPS I was a paraprofessional, Interventionist and my last 3 years I had the opportunity to teach 3rd grade and Kindergarten. I’m also independent facilitator in Love and Logic program and I have had the opportunity to work with families in Denver Co. and Lafayette Co. for more the 4 years.


English Language Development

Staci Lapis - English Language Development

Staci Lapis - English Language Development

I am moving to Denver, Colorado this June and can not wait to get outside and explore.  After receiving my Bachelors of Science in Art Education from Temple University, Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, I moved abroad to Costa Rica to become TEFL certified.  Shortly after my time in Central America, I moved to South Korea where I taught English and backpacked for about two years.  It was in Asia where I really learned how much I loved teaching English and working with students from all over the world.  I moved back to Philadelphia in 2014 to get my ESL add on certificate and complete my Masters in Education, focussing on TESOL from Temple University.  For the past three years I have been the ESOL Coordinator at a charter high school in Philadelphia.  Not only do I love teaching, but I love getting students involved in extracurricular activities such as long distance running, including the Philadelphia Marathon, which we completed last November! In my free time you can find me going for sunrise or sunset runs, backpacking outdoors, trying new restaurants, checking out art galleries, and traveling to new countries whenever possible.  I am so excited to be part of a team that cares tremendously about the community and population of students attending Compass Academy!


Louis Campbell -ELD

Bio to come!


Electives

 

Royal Hurst IV - Physical Education

Royal Hurst IV - Physical Education

Worked at Pueblo South High School as a Truancy Reduction/Intervention Specialist for five years. Moved to Charlotte North Carolina and worked as a juvenile probation officer for South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice. Moved back into education as Family/School Advocate for a year at Northridge Middle School in Charlotte. Moved back to Denver to work at Denver North High School as a Restorative Justice Coordinator/Dean the past two years.  When I am not at work, I am the Activities Director for Colorado High-country Educational Treks.  Love exercise, outdoors, and live music.


Lauren Barrett - Art

Lauren Barrett - Art

Lauren was born and raised in Colorado; this is her first year teaching art. Prior to joining Compass, Lauren  spent six years working with children and adults with developmental disabilities.  Recently she graduated from Metropolitan State University with her Bachelors in Fine Arts with an endorsement in education.  Her personal artwork is mixed media, with a focus in fibers mixed with all different types of paint and ceramics. She also enjoys taking broken down household items and changing their function. She uses the term “ART it Up” often.  Lauren believes that art is not only something you create, but something that teaches you how to observe the world in a new and different way. Lauren always knew that she wanted to be a middle school art teacher because it is the age at which students begin to not only create drawings, paintings etc. but also to explore what art is as a whole.


Special Education

Celine Wuarin - SPED

Celine Wuarin - SPED

Before joining Compass Academy, Celine taught as a middle school special education teacher in the Montbello neighborhood. She earned her license in Special Education through Teach for America. Her inspiration to become a teacher was born after serving as a City Year-AmeriCorps Member in East New York, Brooklyn and as the Recruitment and Community Outreach Project Leader at City Year Denver. She is very excited to work with the staff and students of Compass Academy. Her biggest goals at Compass Academy are to see both academic and social-emotional growth in her students. Outside of the classroom, Celine practices and teaches yoga and still loves watching cartoons... Adventure Time is and will always be her favorite!


Jolene Stark - SPED

Jolene Stark - SPED

Before joining Compass Academy Jolene worked with the remarkable exceptional students at César Chávez Academy as the head of the Special Education Department where she received the DPS award for fun.  Jolene grew up in Missouri and attended Colorado Christian University where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management. Jolene then continued her education and completed a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Urban Pedagogy. She is ecstatic about the opportunity to work with the students at Compass Academy because she enjoys shaping all aspects of each unique child.  Her goals at Compass are to teach her students how to be global leaders and to find the path for success no matter the obstacles.


Intervention

Alicia Schaefer - ELA Intervention

Alicia Schaefer - ELA Intervention

Alicia has taught in the Southwest Community of Denver for five years and is now going into her eighth year of teaching. Alicia went to the University of Oregon and majored in International Studies and Spanish. While there, she lived abroad in Chile. Following her time in Oregon, she moved to Phoenix, Arizona where she earned a Master’s in Education and taught for two years with Teach For America. Her goal at Compass Academy is to empower our students to be avid, independent readers who are able to look at the world with a critical eye. In addition, she wants her students to speak confidently and advocate for themselves, their family, and their community. She is a Colorado native and loves to read, ski, bike, and spend time in the mountains with her family. She also has the cutest dog in the world named Romo who likes to adventure alongside her!


Martin Zaborac -Math Intervention

Martin Zaborac -Math Intervention

Martin earned his bachelor's in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin.  Over the past year, he has served as a City Year Americorps member at Compass Academy.  Prior to serving at Compass, he spent two years working in community centers around the Madison area.  By the end of the year, Martin hopes all his students will be prepared and excited for high school; he believes that everyone has the ability to succeed in math and knows they all will. In his spare time, he enjoys soccer, hiking, and the outdoors in general.


Front Office Staff

Lilibeth Sanchez  - Operations Manager

Lilibeth Sanchez  - Operations Manager

My name is Lilibeth Sanchez.  I am from Colombia, South America. I studied Social Communications with a major in Journalism in the Autónoma University in Barranquilla, Colombia. I have been working for DPS over 10 years.  I started as a Paraprofessional, I then became: Principal Secretary, Bookkeeper, Executive Assistant for the Chief of Family and Community Engagement, and I also worked as a Family and Community Engagement Liaison for a Middle School. I really enjoy working for our families and for the community! Most of my experience is working in the Southwest Denver area.  I think that the best present we can give to a child is a strong education, everything else comes and goes... but education will remain and grow.


Rena Moralez  - Office Manager

Rena Moralez  - Office Manager

 

Rena has worked for the past 16 years in Denver Public Schools in many different roles from Paraprofessional to Restorative Justice Coordinator. She is very humbled to be a part of such a wonderful group of educators and serves at Compass Academy with one goal in mind, to share her love and dedication to support the needs of the staff, students and families.


Wellbeing Team

 

Henrietta Sandoval- School Counselor

Henrietta Sandoval- School Counselor

Henrietta is the mother of three daughters who are all married and have blessed her with five grandchildren. While raising her daughters she lived in Germany and traveled through Europe for six years. As her children grew up she decided to go back to school and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services and a Master’s degree in School Counseling. Henrietta is excited to start a career at Compass Academy and focus on supporting students in many ways. She looks forward to offering a school counseling program that will provide students, parents, and teachers and staff a safe and accepting environment. Henrietta loves to give hugs and refers to all students as “hita’s, hito’s, mijos, and mijas”. Her goal at Compass is to get to know each student!


Jill Alteri - Social Worker

Bio and Photo to come!


Arielle Sachar - Psychologist

Bio and Photo to come!


City Year Team

Ryan Mick- Senior Director of School Design

Ryan Mick- Senior Director of School Design

Ryan grew up in rural Ohio and moved to Denver after living for several years in New Orleans. Ryan studied History and Economics in college, and then went on to pursue a Master’s in Educational Research and a Law degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC. Ryan has worked in the fields of child policy, civic education, and legal advocacy. He has had roles as special education teacher, program designer, and coach, most recently launching and leading the Diverse Learners Initiative at Teach For America. Ryan joined the Compass team because he believes that all children should be known as people and learners and should have access to an education that values their voice and all they have to offer the world. In his free time, Ryan enjoys hiking the Colorado mountains and traveling the world with friends and family.


Chelsea Tossing- City Year Impact Manager

Chelsea Tossing- City Year Impact Manager

Chelsea earned her Bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications from the University of Missouri. Before joining City Year, Chelsea taught English and Debate at Garinger High School in Charlotte, North Carolina and completed her Master’s degree in Secondary English Education at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. Chelsea could not be more excited to continue to be a part of the Compass Academy community because she loves the vision and passion of the school and staff and she believes deeply in the potential of all kids at Compass to learn and grow as both students and people. Her goal is to build and lead a strong City Year-AmeriCorps team that continues to act as near-peer tutors and mentors to support and nurture students in their social, emotional and academic development. When she's not working late evenings at Compass, you can find Chelsea playing Ultimate Frisbee, biking or camping with friends.


William Wallace- L&L Engagement Coordinator

William Wallace- L&L Engagement Coordinator

Bio to come!


Jessica Proett- Enrollment Manager

Jessica Proett- Enrollment Manager

Jessica grew up in Denver and earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from Colorado State University and her Master’s degree in Middle East Studies from American University of Paris. Before joining Compass, Jessica taught 3rd-grade ELA-S in Southwest Denver, high-school Spanish, and English as a Second Language abroad in Spain and Saudi Arabia. Jessica is very excited to be a part of Compass Academy because she full-heartedly believes in the vision and mission of the school that all students can succeed and become leaders in the community and beyond. She also believes that the tools Compass provides students will help them succeed as such leaders, with the focus on elevating biliteracy, use of restorative justice practices, and instruction that is academically rigorous while simultaneously prioritizing the socio-emotional well-being of its students. Jessica believes that the students of Southwest Denver have incredible gifts to offer the world, and is honored to be working in the community


Nate Kerr- Compass Residency Director

Nate Kerr- Compass Residency Director

Before joining Compass Academy Nate worked as the head of diverse learner and special education support for Teach For America Bay Area. He grew up in Massachusetts and attended Colorado College where he majored in Sociology and minored in Film Studies. Nate then continued his journey west and moved to the Bay Area in California to work in schools as a City Year-AmeriCorps Member, a High School Special Education Teacher, and a Teacher Coach. Nate is thrilled to be at Compass Academy because of the school’s focus on making sure every single student feels supported, proud of what makes them unique and able to hit their own learning goals. His personal goals at the school are to help all Compass teachers hit their own goals for personal growth, get to know each student and what makes them unique, and learn conversational Spanish. Nate and his wife Danika (also a middle school teacher) went backpacking and camping every month of last year and are excited to spend time outdoors in Colorado.