Stapleton High School
Staff Directory and Bios
DSST: Stapleton High School
All faculty and staff members' email addresses are in the following format: email@example.com.
The main school number is 303.320.5570
|Mark Heffron||High School Director||303-524-6325|
|Yesta Ealy||Dean of Students - Prep Academy||303-524-6326|
|Nikhil Kawlra||Dean of Students - Senior Academy||303-524-6327|
|Becca Meyer||Director of Curriculum & Instruction||303-524-6358|
|Kateri Williams||Director of College Placement||303-524-6341|
|Kate Dresher||Director of Athletics & Internships||303-524-6330|
|Sharon Valt||Administrative Assistant I||303-524-6334|
|Velma Bibby||Administrative Assistant II||303-524-6343|
|Monica Burkin||Administrative Assistant II||303-524-6340|
|Krystle Richman||Special Education Coordinator||303-524-6345|
|Special Education/Reading Intervention||303-524-6347|
|Tracy Chavez||Facility Manager||303-524-6336|
|Allan Scronce||Facility Assistant||303-524-6336|
|John Gallagher||School Psychologist||303-524-6319|
|Toni Marie Teeter||Asst. Director of College Placement||303-524-6344|
|Denise Suarez||DSF College and Financial Aid Advisor||303-524-6366|
|Jason Moore||Tech Support||303-524-6337|
|To access a teacher's voicemail, please dial 303-320-5570 and enter the appropriate extension.|
|Name||Subject Area||Voicemail Extension|
|Cory Hofschild||9th||Engineering Design||2003|
|Shelley Burns||10th||English / Department Chair||2013|
|Jim Bright||11th||American History / Department Chair||2021|
|Lewis McAll||11th||Biology / Science||2057|
|Nora Matell||11th||Earth Science||2018|
|Christa Jimenez||11th||Spanish / Department Chair||2022|
|Draney Melville||12th||Computer Science||2029|
|Hilary Walker||12th||Physics / Engineering||2068|
|Bret Poppleton||12th||Senior Project Coordinator||2069|
High School Director
Before joining DSST, Mark taught math at the Emily Griffith High School. He began his career at DSST as a math teacher before becoming dean of students, and ultimately high school director. Mark graduated from Michigan Technical University with a B.S. in civil engineering and earned a M.S. in civil engineering from Purdue University. Prior to starting his teaching career, Mark served as a structural engineer for Bates Engineering in Lakewood, Colorado.
High School Dean of Students - Prep Academy
Before joining DSST, Yesta worked for five years at the Center for Learning Assistance at the University of Colorado at Denver. During that time she served as the site coordinator for the Upward Bound program at West High School and the assistant director of Upward Bound. Yesta holds a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in social science from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Senior Academy Dean
A passion for learning, and an even greater passion for bringing that passion to students is what Nikhil is all about. He earned his BS in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan, and MS in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, an MS in Physiology from Georgetown University, and is currently working toward an MS in Education from Teachers College at Columbia University. He most recently was Dean of Faculty at Boys Latin of Philadelphia Charter School. He also likes cross country and coached a team earlier in his career.
High School Director of Curriculum & Instruction
Becca attended UC-San Diego, where she majored in biochemistry and minored in education. She began teaching in Washington D.C. with Teach for America as a high school chemistry teacher. Becca taught chemistry for six years, with three of those years spent at DSST. She has also worked part-time for Denver Teaching Fellows as a selector and faculty advisor. Becca likes book club, skiing and spending time with friends and family.
Director of College Placement
Kateri joins DSST with extensive experience in college placement, educational advising and recruiting. Prior to joining the DSST team, Kateri was an enrollment counselor with Colorado Christian University where she recruited and enrolled students in the university’s College of Adult and Graduate Studies. She has a B.A. in sociology from the University of Colorado and an M.A. in social sciences from the University of Colorado at Denver.
High School Director of Athletics & Internships
Kate carries out a dual role of both the director of athletics and the director of internships. Prior to her time with DSST, Kate served in a variety of capacities at many schools across the country including Ohio, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Colorado. Kate is the founder and currently serves as the executive director of the Colorado Girls Lacrosse Association. Kate received her M.Ed. from the University of Pittsburgh, but is a Coloradan at heart.
High School Administrative Assistant
Velma has substantial experience working in a variety of environments. She has experience in database management, managing several individuals and working as a paraprofessional. Velma has volunteer experience at Montessori School as well as with several fundraising projects. Velma is fluent in Spanish and has a passion for education. She enjoys the students and staff at DSST.
Special Education Coordinator
Krystle teaches for inclusive education in which all students are afforded equal access and opportunities to improve the quality of life. She grew up in Southern California and is a recent first generation graduate from Colorado College with a B.A. in Sociology (c/o 2009). After graduation, Krystle joined Teach For America and spent 2 years in the classroom teaching 7th grade special education at Kealakehe Intermediate in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. While teaching, Krystle earned her M.Ed in Special Education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Krystle has a lot of experience in community/volunteer service. In her spare time, Krystle embraces sunshine and adventuring.
Thomas has travelled all over the United States, mostly on the west coast. However, he has driven the length of the US a few times – once between the SW corner to the NE corner (Southern California to New York) – in one trip! Thomas’s interests besides travelling are varied – he is a “wanna be” writer, loves games and puzzles to keep the mind sharp, and enjoys photography and Digital Art/Media. Most of his family is in Indiana – he is the youngest of four.
High School Spanish/6-12 Spanish Department Chair
Christa earned her bachelor's degree in Spanish with a minor in music from the University of Nebraska. She worked at Longmont High School for three years where she taught Spanish for native speakers and AP Spanish. She also spent a year teaching English to elementary school students in San Ramon, Costa Rica. Anything Latin sparks her interests, including dancing, music and cooking. She lived in Costa Rica for five years and brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to DSST. She enjoys working with phenomenal staff and students and works to achieve high goals while living the core values.
BethAnn received her BS from Boston University. She then taught in many venues, including Morocco and New York. She brought her talents and experience to Denver teaching at Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning and Skyview Expeditionary Learning. She obtained her MA in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver. Most recently, she has been a Denver Teaching Fellows Selector, a writing instructor for the University of Phoenix and teaching Literature and Journalism at Regis Jesuit High School. She has been instrumental in the Diversity Action Group at Regis.
High School History
Jim graduated from Duke University with a bachelor's degree in history in 1997. After working in the internet banking and instructional technology fields and walking from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail, he began teaching at Montbello High School in northeast Denver in 2001. In 2004 Jim married Christina Bright and moved to Winston Salem, North Carolina where he taught at R.J. Reynolds High School. Jim enjoys skiing, biking, running and hiking in his free time.
High School English
Shelley graduated from St. Olaf College with a B.A. in both history and English. She later returned to school in order to earn a Masters of Arts in the teaching of English from the Teachers College of Columbia University. Shelley’s teaching career began in Houston, Texas, her Teach for America placement city, where she taught 10th and 11th grade English for three years. She returned to her hometown of Denver in 2008 to teach at Lincoln High School. Shelley is thrilled to be working at DSST where she teaches her heart out with the support of a caring and dedicated community. When not in the classroom, Shelley likes to get out and enjoy the mountains through hiking or skiing. For a more restful time, she enjoys coffee with close friends and curling up with a good book.
High School Humanities
Nik attended Albion College where she majored in English and biology. She began teaching in the Rio Grande Valley with Teach for America where she taught 9th grade biology at Lopez High School for two years. Afterwards, she started IDEA Quest High School with three other colleagues, teaching biology for one year and 10th grade English the following year, serving as an English curriculum course facilitator and team leader. Nik enjoys the outdoors, photography, painting and traveling. At DSST, she loves encouraging and helping students matriculate into a four-year college/university.
Jonathan “Jon” Chan
In a “life before DSST”, Jonathan was a civil engineer. He lives in Golden and plans on staying there for the foreseeable future – he loves Colorado because of the variety of weather as well as the day to day unpredictability of it. His parents and brother and sister all live in Aurora. A traveler, he has been to Japan, Mexico and the Caribbean. He will be going to Australia during the winter break. Hobbies include: climbing, hiking, volleyball, running, and exercise.
Neel is coming to Denver from Washington D.C. where he taught middle school math for the past two years. He graduated from Tufts University with a B.S. in Mathematics and earned an M.A. in Secondary Education from American University. Neel is very excited to be teaching at DSST and to experience all that Denver has to offer.
High School Math
Jeff graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics. He is proud to work with some of the most talented and hardest working teachers and students in Denver in an environment that has already demonstrated great success but also prides itself on continuous improvement. Jeff is a big basketball fan and attends many DSST boys and girls games. He also enjoys running, hiking, snowboarding and reading about U.S. History.
High School Math
As department head and a teacher at The Academy in Westminster, Colorado, Megan worked to develop new curriculum and coach and mentor other teachers while working closely with students and parents. She has a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Northern California with an emphasis in secondary education. Megan is also involved with MESA Club, works as a senior class advisor and coaches geometry club, Metro Math Day and recreational softball.
High School Bio-Chemistry/Biotechnology
George began work at DSST teaching a very popular genetics elective. George has taught chemistry and biology for over 14 years, most recently at the Urban School and Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco. George has a B.S. in Biology from Loyola University in Chicago.
High School Physics
Cory joined DSST in 2005-06 as an assistant teacher/tutor in physics, chemistry and math. He joined the DSST faculty as a full-time member in 2006-07 as a physics teacher. He has taught English in Brazil and has worked as an outdoor educator in California. He holds two degrees in biological aspects of conservation and in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
High School Physics/Science Department Chair
Jeff has eight years of experience, prior to DSST, teaching middle and high school students in Latin America at the American School of Puerto Vallarta where he taught science, physics and algebra. Adding to his extensive experience, Jeff also taught guitar classes, coached MathCounts, worked as an assistant basketball coach, worked with the soccer team and was a mentor for the senior class at Day-Star School of Juticalpa, Honduras. Jeff obtained his B.A. in biology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan and an M.A. in multidisciplinary education from Buffalo State University.
High School English
Molly previously worked at Denver Academy (DA), where she taught for five years and served as the English department chair. She was named outstanding experiential educator at DA in 2005 and Teacher of the Year in 2003. Molly has a B.A. in English and French from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.A. in literacy curriculum design from the University of Colorado at Denver. Molly has been very active in the Colorado Language Arts Society, presenting numerous times at statewide conferences.
High School Earth Science
Nora graduated from Williams College with a degree in geosciences and has also earned a master's degree in geological sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has done geology research in the U.S. and in the Arctic, and has worked as an environmental geologist. Nora is excited to teach about the earth and environment, topics that are not only exciting, but also highly relevant. In her free time, she likes to get outside camping, climbing, running and hiking.
Lewis graduated from the Cardiff University in Wales, earning a B.S. in biology. Following this, he completed a year's teacher training in South Wales before moving to Oxford, England, where he taught biology at the Cherwell School for four years. In 2009, Lewis moved to the U.S. with his wife, Vanessa. Prior to joining the staff at DSST, Lewis taught 11th grade biology at Venture Prep charter school in Denver. He is a keen beach and indoor volleyball player. Lewis and his wife had their first child Emily this summer.
High School Technology Teacher
High School Chemistry
Lauren, a Teach for America alumna, comes to DSST from the Ninth Grade College Preparatory Academy in Houston, Texas. She graduated from Colorado State University at Fort Collins with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry education and Spanish. She also coached junior varsity softball at the Sam Houston Math, Science and Technology Center in Houston for two years, with 2009 as a winning season.
High School Chemistry
Tracy earned both her B.S. in chemistry and M.A. in education from the University of Michigan. Before coming to DSST, she worked with undergraduates at U of M and high school students from Detroit. Tracy is interested in using teacher research as a mode to improve as a teacher with the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation. As a new resident of Colorado, she looks forward to much skiing and hiking.
High School History
Jim received his B.A. in anthropology from Syracuse University where he concentrated on the historical archaeology of 18th century Afro-Jamaican slave communities. After finishing at Syracuse, he moved to Washington, D.C. to work with the cultural resource management firm John Milner & Associates in the capital region archaeological division. Jim earned his M.A. at Howard University in the African diaspora and his Ph.D. in U.S. history. After completing his degrees at Howard, Jim took a position as an International Baccalaureate instructor at the Carlisle School in Virginia. Jim joined DSST as the American history teacher on the 11th grade team.
High School History
Edna's significant and diverse background in education allows her to take on the role of teaching civics in the humanities department at DSST. Edna came to DSST from East High School where she taught social studies for more than 10 years. She graduated with a B.A. from St. Andrews Presbyterian College and received an M.A. in social science from the University of Colorado. Edna also attended both Loyola Marymount University and Utah State University for classes in advanced academies sponsored by the Center for Civic Education.
High School English
Angela received her B.A. in English from Boston University and taught as a Teach for America corps member at Collins High School in Chicago. She went on to become the national director for Kaplan Premier Tutoring & Pre-College Test advisors. She is well rounded with interests in journalism, scrapbooking, historical fiction, photography and writing.
Tomas brings many interests and abilities to our community. He has a B.S. in Psychology. He comes to us from the Preuss School at the University of California San Diego. He has worked on airplanes, been a locksmith, electrician general construction and a truck driver. Enjoys playing music and drawing. He has been in over 35 countries.
Hilary is a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, earning her BA in Physics. She attended and graduated from Kent Denver High School and has been working there the past three summers in the Breakthrough program. She has helped under-resourced students in many capacities, including teaching students, mentoring 1st year teachers, organizing activities for all school meetings, and leading soccer and Frisbee extracurricular activities. She was the 2010 Breakthrough Denver Teacher of the Year. Her interests include photography, hiking, running, any outdoor activity. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder.