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Specials and Support Teachers

Specialists 

Music Teacher- Taylor Nelson

My name is Taylor Nelson and this is my 3rd year teaching music at Monterey Community School and 8th year teaching overall. I studied Music Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver and studied Piano, Voice, and Viola while attending. I have a passion for teaching music and I also passionately listen to music and want your students to experience music the same way as I and so many other humans do. In my spare time, I watch movies, play video games, read books, and create digital music. I also love to sing and sing in a choir in Denver called Elus Vocal Ensemble. I can’t wait to make music every day with your students!

Art Teacher- Cris Sand

Hello! My name is Cris Sand and I am the Visual Arts teacher here at Monterey Community School. I'm originally from the DC area, and have always had a love and curiosity for the arts. I graduated from the University of Virginia, where I earned my Bachelor's degree in Studio Art and my Master's degree in Teaching. After teaching Visual Arts to middle school students in Denver Public Schools for 10 years, I am happy to be a part of the Mapleton family and to share opportunities for artistic expression here at Monterey! 

I believe Art is a space in which everyone can explore and share personal narratives and perspectives in so many different ways. Students in my Art classes are invited to explore ideas, ask questions, experiment with different materials, and share their own stories and interests through their art. Each year I look forward to seeing what creative risks and discoveries students will make!

When I'm not making my own art, you might find me adventuring outside, experimenting with cooking and eating new foods, or under a cozy blanket, reading a good book :)

PE- Cody Owston

Hello! My name is Cody Owston (Mr. O), the K-8 Physical Education and Health teacher here at Monterey. This will be my 5th year as a teacher and my 3rd at Monterey. Previously, I earned my B.S. in Human Performance and Sport from Metropolitan State University of Denver and a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Western Governors University. I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing learning community again this school year.  

Beyond the classroom, I enjoy cooking, exercising, paddle boarding playing golf, disc golf, hockey, snowboarding, and camping. These activities fuel my adventurous spirit and allow me to connect with friends and family, who inspire and support me.   

Together, we will embark on an engaging and inclusive educational experience where every student can challenge themself, thrive, and discover their true potential.   

Stay Healthy -- Be Active!

ESL Teacher-Rhonda Ronzcka

Rhonda has been happily serving the Mapleton families for the past 23 years. She has an Undergraduate Degree from the University of Connecticut and a Masters Degree from University of Colorado in Bilingual Education and ESL.

Instructional Guide- Dana Rose

My name is Dana Rose. I am new to the Monterey community, but I am in my 9th year of teaching and have been working with students in various settings since I was 15. I am excited to be serving Monterey as the Instructional Guide this year! I have taught every grade, K-fifth, with the exception of fourth grade, in various districts in the Denver Metro area. I received my Master's in Curriculum and Instruction from Denver University as well as a Master's in Counseling from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.  I am a Colorado native and grew up in Colorado Springs. I have a love for literacy that I love sharing with my students. In my free time, I love watching sports, especially the Denver Nuggets, and spending time with my young daughter and husband. I am so excited to be a part of this amazing community. 

Special Education- Gregg Chambers

Hello, My name is Gregg Chambers and I am the new ILC teacher at Monterey. I moved to Denver from Northern Virginia in 2012 after graduating from Radford University with a degree in Audiology and Speech Pathology. I dabbled in audiology and speech therapy before I began my journey as a paraprofessional in special education at a facility school. Once working at the facility school I developed and strengthened my skills in the academic field and speech field, as well as becoming knowledgeable in Applied Behavior Analysis. I loved all of these elements and decided to pursue my teaching license. In 2014, I got my teaching license from Metropolitan State University and began to teach Special Education. During my time teaching, I pursued my master's degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado, becoming a mentor teacher and helping other teachers develop appropriate goals and classroom structures for their students. This will be my first year in public education and I look forward to bringing all my unique professional experience to Monterey. In my off time, I enjoy spending time with my wife, dogs, and cat, playing golf, hiking, camping, and watching soccer.  

Special Education- Camille Galaviz

My name is Camille Galaviz and I am one of Monterey’s new Special Education Teachers. I am very excited to be part of the Monterey Community and look forward to getting to know all the students and families. I was born and raised in Texas, moved to Colorado in 2005, and have been here ever since. I received my Bachelor’s Degree at Metro State University and my Master’s Degree from CU Denver. I have a son and 2 dogs who I absolutely adore and love to be with family every chance I get.
 

.5 Special Education- Ryan Lerand

Hello! My name is Ryan Lerand and this will be my first year working at Monterey Community School and 11th year teaching overall. I have worked with young people in a variety of settings and I am a lifelong learner who graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. I have lived in Denver for over 20 years and I am still finding new places to explore. In my spare time, you will find me reading non-fiction, watching documentaries and cooking elaborate meals with varying levels of success. I also watch a lot of basketball (Go Bucks and Nuggets) and I try to attend as many games as possible. I’m looking forward to meeting my students and having a great year!

SLP-Sandra Jenson

Hello! My name is Sandra Jenson. I am a Speech-Language Pathologist in Mapleton School District. This is my 20th year in the district and my 28th year in the profession. I earned my Master of Science Degree from Moorhead State University in Minnesota. My passion is trying to make a positive impact in the lives of children. I get my toddler-fix serving in my children’s ministry at my church. My husband and I have a wonderful 20-year-old son. When I am not with children, I spend my free time hiking, traveling and golfing. I am a Minnesota Vikings fanatic and can be found nearly every fall Sunday hooting and hollering for my beloved team.

Support Staff

Paraprofessional- Jason Abercrombie

Paraprofessional- Maria Dean

SPED Paraprofessional- Karen Duckworth

Hi, my name is Mrs. Ducky and I've worked in the district for 23 years. I love children and I love teaching; both have always been my passion. I am a native to Colorado and my favorite vacation spots are anywhere in the mountains, which is why I love this state so much. I have been happily married for 37 years and I have 2 beautiful daughters, ages 29 and 23. They're the reason I started in this district as a volunteer and I plan to continue my career here until I retire.

Instructional Para/Librarian- Myranda Straface

Hello, My Name, is Myranda Straface, this will be my second year at Monterey Community School and my first year as the Fourth specials teacher and librarian. I have lived in Colorado my whole life, I married my high school sweetheart, and we have three amazing children a nineteen-year-old son who Graduated in 2022, a 17-year-old Junior daughter at Weld central high, and a 14-year-old freshman Son at weld central high. In my free time I love to read and do anything with art and crafts I also enjoy attending anything my kids have going on. I am passionate about family so we love to take trips to the lake to fish and camp. I am excited about passing on my love for books to your children and working on some amazing projects this year!

Special Education Paraeducator- Shabana Waheed

My name is Shabana Waheed and this will be my first year as a Para. I am a mom of 2. I am a NASM-certified personal trainer, certified nutritionist, senior fitness specialist, and a GGS Pre & Post Natal certified personal trainer. I also own my own home gluten-free bakery.    

I enjoy teaching others the value of fitness and I’m looking forward to using my teaching skills to help all the children I encounter. My passion in life is to help create positive changes in my immediate community to ensure a better and brighter future for all. Very much looking forward to the school year ahead.   

In my free time, I enjoy hiking, most recently my first 14er here in Colorado, as well as anything fitness-related or baking.

Community Reach- Felicia Jordan

Hello, I am Felicia Jordan, your school-based therapist for 2023-24. I work 4 days a week at Monterey as part of a partnership between the district, the school, and Community Reach Center (the mental health center for Adams County). I provide therapy to students who qualify for a mental health diagnosis who are referred by their teacher or parents. I changed careers in midlife; I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master’s in marriage and family therapy from Regis University (here in Denver).

Outside of school, I enjoy walking around my Denver neighborhood, discovering new music, reading, going to concerts and Nuggets games, and cooking.