Staff Directory

Staff Directory

Admin Staff

Kim’s Bio | Contact: kim.mcclelland@newsummitcharter.org

Jenn’s Bio | jenn.reissig@newsummitcharter.org

Ginger LuckettGinger was born in Illinois near St. Louis, MO. She grew up in that area and went to college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. She studied commercial graphics design and then went to work for Trans World Airlines right out of college. She got married and had two children. They moved around to many places in the United States for her husband’s job including Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Colorado Springs, and back to the St. Louis Area. She moved back to Colorado Springs almost 2 years ago. She worked as an administrative assistant for 10 years in Illinois at an elementary school. She loves crafting and being involved with her church. She is looking forward to going on her first mission trip to Mexico this July. Ginger is very excited about being a part of New Summit and all the challenges of starting a new charter school.

Contact: ginger.luckett@newsummitcharter.org

Kindergarten Teachers

Wendy GeislerWendy is originally from Pennsylvania but has lived here in Colorado Springs for the last 19 years. She earned a BA in Elementary Education and a Masters in Science, before leaving to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand. Her love of travel started when she was young, and she has many crazy adventures. Wendy has been teaching for 15 years. She worked in D11 for 11 years (Chipeta- 9, & Fremont-2) teaching second grade and kindergarten. She has also been a remedial reading teacher in D-20 at Rockrimmon Elementary. Wendy can be seen with a camera in her hand at all times and loves documenting all of the things her students are doing! Her passion for academic rigor helps each child grow to their fullest potential. She enjoys traveling, scuba diving, gardening, bee keeping, and reading books in her free time.  Wendy absolutely loves having parents in her classroom.  She is super excited to be here at New Summit with her two sons.

Contact: wendy.geisler@newsummitcharter.org

Ms. Ortega is a native of Colorado and has spent most of her life here in Colorado Springs. She attended the University of Phoenix where she received her B.S. Degree in Elementary Education in 2012. She has taught kindergarten and 2nd Grade. Teaching Kindergarten has always been a passion of hers though and she has spent most of her teaching career in the wonderful world of Kindergarten. Ms. Ortega also has a passion for teaching English Learners and is continuing her education in teaching English Language Learners so that she can have the skills needed to support all learners in the classroom. Ms. Ortega also has three children of her own. She is excited and is looking forward to being a part of the New Summit Charter Academy Family!

Contact: rochelle.ortega@newsummitcharter.org

Darali is a Colorado native and retired military wife. Early Childhood Education has always been her career passion and a way to support and give back to varied communities across the world while supporting her husband throughout his military career. She has contributed to the Early Childhood Education field as both a large center director for various corporations, as well as teaching for Frankfurt International School, the DOD’s school system, and most recently 10 years for Harrison School District as a Kindergarten, First, and Second-grade teacher. She holds her BA in Early Childhood Education and is close to completion of her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. Darali brings knowledge and experience from diverse school systems and varied early childhood environments. She has great depth in leadership positions and is excited to be part of the New Summit Charter Academy.

Contact: darali.paulus@newsummitcharter.org

Rachael RucciusRachel has lived in Colorado Springs for 14 years. She received her B.S. Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish and Middle School Education in 2002. Her first teaching position was in an extended day Kindergarten classroom outside of Greeley, CO. Rachael also has 2 years of teaching experience in preschool-aged Montessori classrooms and has always loved teaching students of all ages. This past school year she substituted for various schools in District 11 which reignited her passion for teaching in a classroom. She also has a master certification in nutrition and has engaged in nutrition consulting for the past four years. As the mother of three beautiful children, Rachael realizes how important the early years are for children and the positive impact she can have on their growth as a learner. She looks forward to working in a nurturing environment where children can learn, grow and be supported to build confidence and foster curiosity.

Contact: rachael.ruccius@newsummitcharter.org

Amy TuningAmy was born and raised in Central Oregon. She attended George Fox University, where she received her B.S. Degree in Elementary Education and a Minor in Social Work in 2006. After graduation, she and her husband Joel moved to Alaska where they lived for seven years. She taught Kindergarten in the Northwest Arctic School Borough for two years. She then took time off from full-time teaching to be a stay-at-home mom but continued to substitute teach from 2009-2013. In 2013, Amy and her family moved to Colorado Springs, where she continued to substitute teach for District 20. Amy and her husband have three biological children and are currently fostering three children. She is excited to dive back into full-time teaching!

Contact: amy.tuning@newsummitcharter.org

First Grade Teachers

Melissa has lived in Colorado Springs for 9 years. As an educator, she has over 18 years of classroom and administrative experience in Early Childhood thru 6th grade settings. She received a B.A. in K-8th Education and a second degree in Theology with a minor in Chinese language, and an endorsement in ESL. She also has a M.A. in Educational Administration and is working on completing her doctorate on a school choice program in Colorado. Desiring to foster a passion for learning in her students she taught at Morrison Academy in Taiwan for 7 years, as well as several early childhood centers, and most recently at The Classical Academy for 5 years. Melissa brings a wealth of experience in best practices for early childhood settings and is looking forward to teaching Kindergarten at New Summit this fall.

Contact: melissa.bungay@newsummitcharter.org

Katie GrayKatie is from Middletown, Ohio where she met her wonderful husband and began her first years of teaching. Katie taught first grade, Special needs preschool for two years and second grade for one year, then she and her husband and daughter Lilly Grace ventured to Chattanooga, Tennessee. After a few years of staying home with Lilly and new brother Charlie, Katie went back to teaching third grade in Tennessee. Katie and her family made a final stop in Colorado Springs where she has taught preschool for the last two years and has become involved in her church. She completed her college Education with a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Special Education at Miami University of Ohio. Katie also has a Masters in K-6 Reading and Writing obtained from Marygrove College. Education is a passion of Katie’s that has been passed down for generations. Her mother and Grandmother were teachers and Katie also felt led to become an educator. Katie enjoys “being on stage” in the classroom and making learning come to life. She appreciates getting to know families and creating rapport with her students. The excitement she has to begin a new journey at New Summit Charter Academy is a blessing that she will cherish for years to come.

Contact: katie.gray@newsummitcharter.org

Stacie ReedStacie grew up in Colorado Springs and spent her K-12 years attending D-20 schools. She went to Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska. and started her teaching career teaching second grade in Derby, Kansas. She taught first grade for two years at Roosevelt Charter Academy in Colorado Springs and spent the last year teaching 6-12 ESL at Discovery Canyon. She has three kids and enjoys spending her free time being outdoors or traveling. She is so excited to be back teaching first grade as well as being at New Summit!

Contact: stacie.reed@newsummitcharter.org

Second Grade Teachers

Kimberly SmithKimberly is a native Coloradoan and has been living in Colorado Springs for a total of 12 years. She decided to become a teacher when she was eight years old and has been volunteering and working in schools since she was fifteen. Kimberly attended UCCS and earned a Bachelor’s in Spanish and a certification in Elementary Education. She returned to UCCS to earn her Masters in Literacy and graduated in 2016. She has taught Kindergarten through third grade for 9 years in charter schools and a private school. In addition to teaching, she enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and friends, and traveling. Kimberly is very excited to be joining New Summit Charter Academy as a second-grade teacher in the Fall.

Contact: Kimberly.Ambuski@newsummitcharter.org

Natalie EssellsNatalie was born in California but grew up in Colorado Springs. She received her B.S. in Geography with an emphasis in Elementary Education from UCCS and her M.S. in Curriculum Instruction from Western Governor’s University. Teaching has always been a passion for Natalie. She has been a teacher for 4 years at Chipeta Elementary in District 11 where she taught 1st and 2nd grade. Natalie is actively involved at her church. She enjoys spending time with family, paddle-boarding, hiking, and reading.

Contact: natalie.essells@newsummitcharter.org

Jennifer SandersJennifer grew up in North Carolina and has degrees in Elementary Education and History and holds a K-6 teaching certificate. She taught third and fifth grades in North Carolina. Shortly after getting married they moved to Germany where she taught third and first grade. During their time in Tennessee, she taught fourth grade. She loves learning and experiencing new cultures and passing that on to the students in her classrooms. She is excited to be at New Summit and teaching the Core Knowledge Curriculum. 

Her husband Seith is active duty Army and they have lived in 7 states, Europe, and Asia. They moved from South Korea to Colorado Springs last October. The last few years she has been a stay-at-home mom and is happy to be able to teach again. They have one daughter. She enjoys snow skiing, movies, working out, and traveling.

Contact: jennifer.sanders@newsummitcharter.org

Third Grade Teachers

MEGGAN O’MAHONYMeggan O’Mahony or Mrs. Honey as her students call her has been teaching for 11 years. She is a graduate of Liberty High School in D20 and will have a freshman there for the 2018/2019 school year! She has a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Mrs. Honey holds a CO Professional license with endorsements in K-6 Elementary Education and 7-12 Social Studies. She has experience teaching every grade level as a former sub as well as a classroom teacher for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade. An avid performer, she has frequently been found on the C/S Fine Arts Center MainStage or with Opera Theatre of the Rockies. She lives next door to the house she grew up in with her husband, 2 children, Irish wolfhound, 2 cats, and a bearded dragon. Mrs. Honey has an affinity for pirates, Dr. Who, and anything Disney.

Contact: meggan.omahony@newsummitcharter.org

Erin RiveraErin was born and raised in upstate New York where she graduated from Taconic Hills High School. She then attended the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida where she earned her B.A. Degree in Elementary Education K-6. After graduation, she moved to Spring Hill, Florida with her husband, where she began her teaching career at Genesis Elementary Schools, a prestigious college preparatory school. Erin taught 3rd grade at Genesis for 12 years, being the upper elementary lead for the last 6 years. Her curriculum was focused on teaching core values and the pillars of Literacy and Mathematics to build a strong educational foundation. She and her family have now been in Colorado Springs for 3 years and Erin has continued her career in education teaching 3rd grade. Teaching was always a calling for her and she feels most at home in the classroom where she creates a safe and loving environment. Erin also strives to be innovative and to harness those unexpected teaching moments.

Contact: erin.rivera@newsummitcharter.org

Fourth Grade Teachers

Carolynn ConstantinoBorn in San Antonio, Texas and raised in small-town Wyoming, Carolyn attended college at Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska, where she received her BS in Christian Education and her teaching certificate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She and her husband of 37 years, Joseph, have four grown children: Aaron, married to Meagan (a dental assistant) and studying to be a PA at Red Rocks Community College; Gabriel, a freelance videographer; Sarah, a concierge administrative assistant at the Broadmoor, and Benjamin, a student at UCCS. Carolyn has been in the classroom in some form or another most of her adult life. One of her favorite teaching experiences was when she home-schooled her children for nine years. Since Carolyn’s family moved to Colorado Springs in 2004, she has taught eight years at The Classical Academy and six years at Imagine Classical Academy. Her favorite grades to teach have been 4th and 5th. From the first New Summit information meeting she attended, Carolyn has been excited about what New Summit Charter Academy will be, especially its emphasis on reading. She has had several years of experience with Core Knowledge and with CKLA. Carolyn has a passion for teaching history and finding opportunities to make lessons come alive for students. In her spare time, Carolyn likes to read, cross stitch, crochet, take long walks with her husband, bake, and hike in the mountains.

Contact: carolyn.costantino@newsummitcharter.org

Mrs. Higgins grew up in Southern California and has lived in 6 states. She has been married for 40 years, raised 4 kids and now has 5 grandchildren. She loves theatre, music, and is currently cast as Marilla Cuthburt in a musical version of Anne of Green Gables. Teaching is her absolute passion and she is delighted to be a part of the New Summit Charter Academy family! Mrs. Higgins says that 2018-2019 is going to be an incredible year!

Contact: Paula.Higgins@newsummitcharter.org

Stacie StoddardStacie was born in Savannah, Georgia and raised in Atlanta. She was a military spouse and traveled often until she settled down with her family in Atlanta, Georgia. She then attended Kennesaw State University where she received her B.A. in Elementary Education PK – 5. Stacie began her career in the Inner City public schools in Atlanta where she taught 4th grade. After seeing the many struggles with Literacy her students’ endured, she pursued her Reading Endorsement. As a result, she started a free tutoring program for all her students because her belief is that Literacy is the foundation of education. After teaching for 4 ½ years, Stacie and her family relocated to Colorado Springs where she has continued her career in education teaching 4th grade. Working with children has always been a passion for her and she strives to create a fun, loving, and safe learning environment for all her students.

Contact: stacie.stoddard@newsummitcharter.org

Fifth Grade Teachers

Jane ArnoldJane grew up in the San Luis Valley and graduated from Sangre de Cristo High School. She received her Bachelor and Masters Degree in Elementary Education and has taught for thirty plus years. She has taught several different grade levels and subjects but has found fifth grade and science the most rewarding. Most of her teaching career was spent with Houston I.S.D. with Shadowbriar Elementary where she established the outdoor garden and habitat as well as the robotics club. Since moving back to Colorado, she has been substitute teaching K-12 at the different campuses for The Classical Academy.

Contact: jane.arnold@newsummitcharter.org

Jaime PluemerJamie was born and raised in Colorado. She graduated from Woodland Park High School and received her B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Jamie has a Master’s Degree in Reading from Regis University. With eleven years of teaching experience in the fifth grade, Jamie has found that her passion and commitment to teaching has only grown with every group of students that have passed through her classroom. She is looking forward to the new summits that are going to be explored at New Summit Charter Academy.

Contact: jamie.pluemer@newsummitcharter.org

Cheryl Lyn SandbakkenCheryl was born and raised in Minnesota where she received her B.A. in Elementary Education from Bethel University in St. Paul. In 1997, she moved to Colorado Springs to become an inaugural staff member at The Classical Academy. After teaching fifth grade at TCA for eleven years, she joined a dual active-duty military family as their nanny and lived, moved, and traveled with them for eight years. Cheryl Lyn has always loved working with children and has taught in public, charter, and Christian schools as well as homeschooling pre-kindergarten through fourth grades. She has eleven years experience teaching and writing curriculum from the Core Knowledge Sequence and fifteen years applying classical methodology. For the past 3 years, Cheryl Lyn has taught Math in Focus, a Singapore math curriculum, for grades kindergarten through fourth grade. She enjoys teaching all subjects, with a special heart for helping students see their strengths and use these to grow in areas of weakness; all while making learning fun and mentoring students to become youth with strong, positive character. She is excited to return to Colorado Springs, her friends, the mountains, and to teach fifth grade at a school that matches her heart and philosophy better than she dreamed was possible.

Contact: cheryllyn.sandbakken@newsummitcharter.org

Sixth Grade Teachers

Heidi ArburyHeidi was born in New Jersey as the daughter of an Air Force Officer and her family was fortunate enough to be able to travel with him. Her early years were spent in Iceland and Taiwan, but after her dad retired, she moved to Penrose where she attended middle school. Heidi also competed in equestrian sports, 4-H Club, and Little Britches, along with acting in community theater productions where she got to sing, dance, and act. She graduated from St. Scholastica Academy in Canon City, and has a BS in Engineering Physics with a minor in Math from CSU-Pueblo. She earned her teaching license in Secondary Science shortly after her oldest daughter was born but didn’t teach professionally until her children were older. However, she remained active during this time in the community as a 4-H Club Leader. Because of her concern for the environment, she was appointed to the Governor’s Hazardous Waste Commission, and was voted Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter Chair and Environmentalist of the Year. She has worked in several area schools in various districts, but her favorite experiences have been at the middle school level due to how enthusiastic they are! She has current endorsements in Elementary Education, Special Education Generalist, English Language Arts, and Secondary Science. She recently earned a Master of Arts in Teaching with an emphasis in Integrated Sciences from Colorado College. She is so excited to teach Core Knowledge and inquiry techniques at New Summit Charter Academy! She has 3 older children and an 8-year-old who helps her care for their 12 goats. In her free time, she loves traveling, hiking, gardening, cooking, and crafts as well as reading and learning.

Contact: heidi.arbury@newsummitcharter.org

Brittany NaujokBrittany has lived in Colorado Springs for 34 years of her life and loves it here. She largely attended D11 schools before moving to Wisconsin to finish up high school and achieve her BS in Education at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She then moved back to Colorado to return to her roots. She holds a certificate in K-6 elementary education, as well as one in 6-12 Secondary social studies with history and math being her passions. Brittany spent 11 years teaching sixth grade at The Classical Academy and loved her time teaching in a charter school environment. She then moved on to a new challenge and taught for 5 years at Jenkins Middle School in District 11, teaching sixth-grade math. She has extensive experience with Core Knowledge and can’t wait to get back to teaching it. She’s been married for 25 years to her husband, Jeff, and together they have two wonderful kids, Jason (24) and Reagan (17).

Contact: brittany.naujok@newsummitcharter.org

Rob OwensRobb is retiring from the Air Force after 23 years. He grew up in a small town in central Nebraska where he attended a K-12 school and received a B.S. Degree in Mathematics from Creighton University. He has also received M.S. Degrees in Management from Troy University and Space Systems Operations from the Naval Postgraduate School. Among his many assignments in the Air Force, he served as the Professor of Aerospace Studies at Oregon State University from 2013-16 where he taught History of Airpower, Leadership, and National Security Studies to ROTC students.

Contact: robb.owens@newsummitcharter.org

Teacher Assistants

Bio – Coming Soon!

Contact: pam.cassady@newsummitcharter.org

Bio – Coming Soon!

Contact: Danon.Davidson@newsummitcharter.org

Stephanie FloresStephanie, a newcomer to Colorado Springs, was born and raised in a large family in Idaho Falls, Idaho. There, she met her husband, Jared, who is active duty in the US Air Force. They have lived in Florida, England, Delaware, and Hawaii before moving to Colorado in 2017. They have three sons, which she was blessed to stay home with during their younger years. Stephanie received her Associate’s degree while in Hawaii and has been working in elementary schools for 3 years. She enjoys learning, sharing, and growing in knowledge and understanding and is looking forward to working with amazing students and staff. 

Contact: Stephanie.Flores@newsummitcharter.org

Simon JohnsonSimon was born in England and moved to California at a young age. He attended National University where he obtained his B.A. in History (2010). Simon has a passion for working with kids and it began at an early age where he worked in after-school programs, recreation, and in the group home setting. He is also a former assistant program director with Rancho Damacitias Children and Family Services in California providing comprehensive care and compassion for foster children, challenged youth and young adults through life-enriching opportunities and strength-based, solution-focused programs and services. In his spare time, he enjoys family time, movies, books, house projects and working on his website where he shares his passion for geek culture.

Contact: Simon.Johnson@newsummitcharter.org

Celia MullinsCelia has been a Special Education Paraprofessional with Academy District 20 for over 13 years. She comes to New Summit with experience in reading, math and writing small group instruction. Before working for ASD20 she was a licensed child care provider for 13 years.  She also owns her own travel agency and loves to travel with her husband of 27 years. Celia has 3 daughters who all graduated from district 20 school and 11 grandchildren.

Contact: Celia.Mullins@newsummitcharter.org

Hanna RamosHanna is originally from New York City. She studied photography at Pratt Institute where she was awarded the Gold Key Award for Excellence in photography and writing. She has had her work shown at the International Center for Photography in Midtown Manhattan, participated in group shows at the Paul Morris Gallery as well as the La Mamma Gallery in the East Village. She has worked with underprivileged teens at Vassar College to help them fully realize their academic potential. It was this experience that piqued her interest in continuing to work with kids in order to encourage their love of learning as well as boosting their confidence to let them know they CAN do it. She is a Military spouse and mother and looks forward to spending time and exploring with her family in this amazing state.

Contact: Hanna.Ramos@gnewsummitcharter.org

Kelly StilsonKelly is originally from Lexington, VA and graduated with her Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree from Radford University in Radford, VA. After graduation, she relocated to Colorado Springs in 2004. She spent seven years with El Paso County Sheriff’s office as a civilian. Kelly has three children, a son and twin girls and when her daughter was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy she became a stay-at-home mom. In 2016, her twins attended preschool in District 49 and she volunteered in their classrooms and found she adored working with children.  The following year her twins started Kindergarten and Kelly started working as a paraprofessional with District 49 preschool program. She is very excited about this new opportunity with New Summit Charter Academy. 

Contact: Kelly.Silson@newsummitcharter.org

Courtney Sweat Courtney has lived in Colorado Springs for 24 years. She attended district 11, Fremont Elementary, Sabin Middle School, and graduated from Pikes Peak Academy High School. In 2015, Courtney graduated from IBMC with a Medical Assisting Degree. However, she has always had a passion for children and has a dream of becoming a teacher. Throughout the last 9 years, Courtney had been apart of a local MOPS group and volunteered to help in the child watch center. She has also been teaching a local Awana’s Cubbies class for the past two years, and volunteers to coach soccer for the Y.M.C.A. Courtney is very excited to be a teacher’s assistant at New Summit Charter for our first-grade class, and will begin her steps to follow her dream of becoming a teacher.

Contact: Courtney.Sweat@newsummitcharter.org

Kimberly WeeksKimberly grew up in Wyoming and has lived in the Springs since 2012. She is going to school to get her degree in Sign Language Interpreting and Deaf Studies. She has been married for 11 years and has two boys that will be attending second and fourth grades at New Summit in the Fall. She also loves to travel and spend time with her family and friends whenever time allows. 

Contact: Kimberly.Weeks@newsummitcharter.org

Specials Teachers

Becky AnizellBecky was born in Mexico City and grew up there until she was in high school. She then moved to Colorado Springs and completed high school here. She attended college in Minnesota and Florida and has a BA in Art Education, Graphic Design, Biblical Studies, and Psychology, along with a minor in Modern Languages, Counseling, and Communications Broadcasting. She also has her MA in Curriculum & Instruction. She has taught both art and Spanish for over 16 years and has 5 kids ranging in ages 7 to 22. She loves traveling, reading, painting, shopping, and learning. Currently, she is finishing a program to become a certified health and wellness coach.

Contact: becky.anizell@newsummitcharter.org

Megan BrookerMegan was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs. She studied at Grace College, earning a bachelor’s degree in English Education with a minor in French. Student teaching in Chiang Mai, Thailand, piqued her wanderlust; from there she began globetrotting and hasn’t stopped since! Teaching high school English in the Dominican Republic has taught her much about crafting curriculum, motivating learners, and guiding ESL students, but most of all, teaching has deepened her love for the children who walk through her classroom doors. Megan enjoys spending time with family (whether walking the beaches of California with her sisters, biking with her father, or decorating with her mother), shooting child and family photography, and reading a good book. She is excited to begin life in Colorado Springs and serve at New Summit Charter Academy!

Contact: megan.brooker@newsummitcharter.org

PE TeacherLaurene is a native New Yorker living in Colorado Springs for 13 years now. She has earned degrees in both Dance and Physical Education and has a Masters in Health. She has been teaching Physical Education for the past 20 years, successfully incorporating both dance and gymnastics into the traditional PE curriculum. As a young girl, Laurene was an accomplished gymnast and part of the NY State Gymnastics Team. With dance, she began her studies under a former NY City Rockette. Both of these forms of movement have had a huge influence in her life and she now hopes to impact the New Summit Charter Academy students with a love for movement. She is honored to be a part of the NSCA Team and look forward to providing students with a solid foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Her past experience included developing a dance curriculum for D20 and implementing this at Pine Creek HS. She has had the opportunity to teach at a variety of schools including an all-girls’ leadership academy.

Contact: laurene.cirruzzo@newsummitcharter.org

Bio – Coming Soon!

Contact: anna.santellana@newsummitcharter.org

Landen VandeverLanden grew up in Grant MI. He graduated from Grant Public Schools and received his bachelors in music education from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago IL. Music has been a passion for Landen since he was a small child. After receiving his degree, he taught music in Kindergarten through 8th Grade for two years at Muskegon Christian Schools and West Shore Lutheran Schools. Landen is very excited to move to Colorado Springs and join the team at New Summit Charter Academy!

Contact: landen.vandever@newsummitcharter.org

Support Staff

JOHN CoppinJohn, a born and raised southern Florida transplant, has called Colorado his home since 1994. After receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice he decided it was time to move on and head west. John’s background includes several years, as a firefighter in Broward County Florida, as well as a private investigator in both the State of Florida and the State of Colorado. John also spent nearly 25 years in the insurance industry, as a national catastrophe adjuster with State Farm Insurance, as well as an insurance agent with American Family Insurance. John and his wife, Tina, recently celebrated 20 years of marriage and have an amazing 14-year-old son named Colin. John enjoys all outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, metal detecting, camping, RVing, vacationing…and spending time with family and friends. John is very excited about becoming an integral part of the New Summit Charter Academy family.

Contact: john.coppin@newsummitcharter.org

Sharon BeginSharon is a native of Richmond, Virginia who moved to Colorado Springs in June 2017 with her husband, two children, and two cats. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and Religion as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Nursing. She is a licensed advanced practice nurse and has been a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner since 2005. Sharon has experience in family practice, cardiology, and emergency medicine. She also taught religion to 1st and 2nd graders for a year and worked as a night nurse at a boarding school for girls. She got went into nursing after being impacted by the deep needs of children in Romanian orphanages where she had been many times to provide humanitarian aid. She has also traveled to Haiti and to El Salvador to provide medical care for the communities there. Sharon’s favorite part of being a nurse practitioner is the relationships she is able to develop with her patients and their families. She looks forward to getting to know the children at New Summit as the school nurse and helping to make sure they are physically, mentally and emotionally ready to learn.

Contact: sharon.begin@newsummitcharter.org

Bio – Coming Soon!

Contact: rebecca.engasser@newsummitcharter.org

Cindy HellingCindy grew up in Nebraska, but has lived in Colorado for 20 years now and loves it! She has taught special education for 20 years, and was a director at a center, and has enjoyed every minute of it. Her passion is to support students who struggle, helping them see their strengths and gifting.

Contact: cindy.helling@newsummitcharter.org

Jessica PeoplesJessica has lived in Colorado Springs for the past 3 years after relocating from Kansas where she was raised. She is a U.S. Navy Veteran who has over 15 years of experience in the medical field due to her training as a Hospital Corpsman. In addition to this, she worked for the Veterans Affairs Health Administration system in a VA Hospital and Clinic for over 11 years. With her personal and professional background, she brings an array of knowledge to New Summit Charter Academy in many different areas such as ADD/ADHD, Autism, Sensory needs, Anxiety, and chronic illnesses such as Type 1 Diabetes and Asthma. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, being outdoors, cooking, reading, laughing, and drinking coffee. Over the past year, Jessica has been volunteering in her daughter’s kindergarten class and at church. She is also involved with the JDRF in Denver advocating on behalf of her daughter and many other children with Type 1 Diabetes. Jessica is very excited to be a part of New Summit and is eager to help your child and family have a safe and fun school year!

Contact: Jessica.Peoples@newsummitcharter.org

Nikki ReichertNikki was born and raised in Colorado Springs. After high school, she attended college in Okinawa, Japan and completed her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Advertising at UTSA in San Antonio, TX. After graduation, she moved back to Colorado Springs to be near family and start a family of her own. Being a mother has always been Nikki’s dream and that finally came true for her and her husband, Andrew in 2010. Nikki is now a mother of two boys, ages 8 and 5. Being a parent and having numerous years of experience in Customer Service and Networking, Nikki brings a plethora of knowledge and compassion to her new role here at New Summit Charter Academy.

Contact: nikki.reichert@newsummitcharter.org

Kathryn SneedKathryn Sneed is a military spouse of 10+ years, and mom to two special needs kids. Kathryn has been a writer for 9 years at Singing Through the Rain as well as the author of Journey Through Deployment, a book for military spouses. She was a freelance social media manager for four years before joining New Summit as the Communications Coordinator. In her spare time Kathryn drinks way too much coffee and enjoys spending time family and friends.

Contact: kathryn.sneed@newsummitcharter.org

Contact: jessica.sombke@newsummitcharter.org

School CounselorCortnie is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado and is joining New Summit after owning her own private practice for 6 years where she specialized in trauma, EMDR, adoption, and at-risk children and teenagers. Prior to that, she worked with teenagers in Residential Treatment for 7 years. She has been working with and counseling children and adolescents since 2005. She has a Bachelors Degree from The University of Colorado and a Masters Degree from Colorado Christian University. Cortnie is passionate about equipping children with skills of resiliency, emotional coping, and the ability to overcome hardships in life. She is also excited to help teachers gain the skills and insight needed to work with kids who may be struggling in the classroom due to emotional hardship. In joining New Summit, Cortnie is excited to provide children, teachers, and parents with support as well as the emotional tools and interventions needed to reach success!

Contact: cortnie.wise@newsummitcharter.org

Holly vanWierenHolly has been teaching for over 30 years. Her experience includes homeschooling, working at charter schools, private schools, and “regular” public schools. She has taught gifted children, struggling students and everyone in between. Holly has enjoyed instructing preschool, elementary, high school, and college students. Since the beginning of her career, Holly has been interested in helping students who struggle with reading. For her, each student is a unique person with unique strengths and challenges. It is up to the classroom teacher and interventionist, Holly believes, to figure out how that student learns best and deliver the appropriate instruction. About 5 years ago, Holly was trained as a Reading Specialist and is now a Certified Academic Language Practitioner. One of her greatest joys is to see reading progress in the students she supports and to come alongside families of those students. In addition, Holly loves to support the teachers in reading instruction. Holly is looking forward to being part of the New Summit Charter Academy staff and making a difference in the lives of families there. Holly has been married for 35 years to Rick, a Colorado Springs Realtor. They have 5 grown children and 7 grandchildren. Holly enjoys spending her free time reading, knitting, and gardening.

Contact: holly.vanwieren@newsummitcharter.org

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