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. 

2016-2017 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.

STAFF AND TEACHERS

Alicia Schaefer, 7th Grade English Language Arts Teacher

Alicia Schaefer, 7th Grade English Language Arts Teacher

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!


Cathy O'Quinn, 7th Grade Math Teacher

Cathy O'Quinn, 7th Grade Math Teacher

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.


Celine Wuarin, Special Education Teacher.

Celine Wuarin, Special Education Teacher.

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!


Cheslea Tossing, City Year Impact Manager

Cheslea 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.


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 be joining a team of educators who work tirelessly to support the students at Compass Academy each day.


Hannah Perrin, 6th Grade Language Arts Teacher

Hannah Perrin, 6th Grade Language Arts Teacher

Hannah is a founder teacher at Compass Academy. Before joining Compass Academy Hannah spent two years in Memphis, Tennessee serving as a member of Teach for America and teaching English as a Second Language. Hannah is originally from Los Angeles, California where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University and served as a City Year-AmeriCorps Member as a tutor and mentor for sixth grade students.


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!


Jane Oatts, English Language Development Teacher

Jane Oatts, English Language Development Teacher

Jane grew up in Nyack, New York. Half of her high school years were spent in Montevideo, Uruguay. Jane graduated with honors from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA with a Bachelor’s Degree in Latin American Studies, music, and Spanish language. After working in hospitality for seven years, she returned to school for a masters in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). She graduated summa cum laude from Hunter College, NYC, with a Master’s in Education with a focus on TESOL. Jane is certified K-12 in both New York and Colorado. Due to the broad age range of this certification, she has taught every grade, Pre K-12, since she began in the teaching profession in 2011. Jane enjoys a hardy laugh, cooking, practicing yoga, and learning about different cultures. Jane's goal at Compass Academy is to guide ELD students in increasing their academic English proficiency. Jane came to Compass Academy because she likes the school goal to care for the community and the whole child's well-being. In her own words “Compass understands the importance of how these combine with academics to form a strong Learner and a Leader”.


Jennifer Savino, Learning Sciences Facilitator

Jennifer Savino, Learning Sciences Facilitator

Jennifer has worked with Johns Hopkins University’s Talent Development Secondary Diplomas Now program facilitating school transformations in Miami, Florida. Her prior educational career experiences spanned 14 years and ranged from middle school and high school English instruction to mathematics curriculum writing and educational research. Dr. Savino has published mathematics curriculum and scholarly articles on literary theory and analysis and vocabulary instruction. She also has expertise in differentiating instruction, designing and delivering professional development, expanding best practices in gifted education to reach all learners, and technological integration.


Jolene Stark, Special Education Teacher

Jolene Stark, Special Education Teacher

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.


Kareem Kalil, 6th Grade Math Teacher

Kareem Kalil, 6th Grade Math Teacher

Kareem Kalil is a founding teacher at Compass Academy. He is in his fifth year of teaching. 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!


Kathryn Reynolds, City Year, Community Coordinator

Kathryn Reynolds, City Year, Community Coordinator

Kate served as a founding City Year-AmeriCorps Member at Compass Academy last year, providing targeted support for bilingual students in math, literacy, social studies, and science. In addition, she taught health class to the sixth grade girls and facilitated a girls' empowerment club during enrichment days. Kate graduated from Washington University in St. Louis where she studied Global Health, Biology, and Anthropology. Kate is excited to engage parents and families in the learning that takes place at Compass. She looks forward to creating pathways that bring authentic and meaningful service learning into the school and back out into the community. She enjoys cooking, fiddling, visiting her brother in Boulder, playing recreational volleyball, and speaking in Spanish.


Kyle Forsyth, 6th Grade Science Teacher

Kyle Forsyth, 6th Grade Science Teacher

Kyle is a founding teacher at Compass Academy. 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.


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”.


Nate Kerr, Instructional Coach

Nate Kerr, Instructional Coach

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.


Pablo Correa, Dean of Culture and Community

Pablo Correa, Dean of Culture and Community

Pablo was born in Lima, Peru and grew up in Denver, Colorado. He attended Colorado University in Denver where he majored in International Relations. Before joining Compass Academy Pablo worked at Colorado UpLift and gained a diverse experience working in the Southwest community of Denver, Pablo joined Compass Academy with the thrill of becoming part of an innovative school. His goal is to provide the best supports possible to his students and families while ensuring a high standards learning environment that is safe and fun. Pablo enjoys spending time with his family and exploring the wonders that Colorado has to offer.


Rena Moralez, Office Manager/Parent Liaison

Rena Moralez, Office Manager/Parent Liaison

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.


Ruby Lopez, 7th Grade Spanish Teacher

Ruby Lopez, 7th Grade Spanish Teacher

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 and a full tuition scholarship for college. She is inspired by Compass Academy’s approach to learning and commitment to the South West Denver area. Her biggest goal is to live out the Compass Academy philosophy in and out 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 in is possible! Ruby is a proud wife, mother of two sons and family of a pup named Lui.


Ryan Mick, Chief Academic Officer

Ryan Mick, Chief Academic Officer

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.


William Wallace, City Year-AmeriCorps Team Leader

William Wallace, City Year-AmeriCorps Team Leader

Billy attended the University of Denver to major in International Studies and minor in Spanish, Sociology and Leadership Studies. After college, Billy served as a founding AmeriCorps Member for City Year at Compass Academy and quickly fell in love with the students and the school’s mission. He will continue to serve the school as a Team Leader for City Year-AmeriCorps Members at Compass because he believes that the school can really make an impact on the education landscape in America and especially on the students of Southwest Denver. His goal is to continue integrating City Year and to discover new ways to create a lasting impact on students. Billy is an avid volleyball player and loves biking, hiking, camping, and snowboarding.