Originally from Glencoe, IL outside of Chicago, I have lived in Denver for most of my adult life. I have worked for Denver Public Schools for the last 20 years. Before becoming a principal in 2006 for 6 years at Cory Elementary and then opening C3 in 2012, I was the assistant principal of Grant Middle School, a district arts specialist for the SE region of the city and the visual arts and gifted educator at Bromwell Elementary.
Prior to working with DPS I ran a business World Art Explorers, worked at the Denver Art Museum, and at the Smithsonian and on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. My degrees include a B.A. from Dartmouth College, M.A. from the University of Denver, and an Ed Spec. from the University of Colorado, Denver.
Creativity Challenge Community has been a part of my life since 2010 when we started the research and planning to open a new school. I am thrilled to be a part of an innovation school at DPS and part of the first Innovation Zone, the Luminary Learning Network, which brings together my life long work in education, children, and the arts. I have two grown daughters who are graduates of DPS.
Assistant Principal Partner
It is such a pleasure to be part of such a great community here at C3. I am a Native of Denver and enjoy the opportunity to travel and see the world, but I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Prior to C3, I taught Kindergarten, first and second grade for seven years at Stanley British Primary School. C3 has a great reputation around Denver and I am thrilled to be a small part of its future. Outside of education, I enjoy spending time with my wife Jodie, daughter Ellie and Dog Charlie in the mountains.
OUR AMAZING STAFF
First Grade Boettcher Teacher
Fifth Grade Literacy
My name is Liz Bamesberger and I am so excited to join the C3 community this fall as the 5th grade literacy teacher! I live in Denver with my husband and two girls, Maggie and Avery. I grew up in Northern California and came to Denver in 2002 to attend DU. I fell in love with Colorado and decided that I wanted to stay and teach in Denver. I have taught 6th grade at the elementary level for the past 12 years. In 2011, I graduated from CU Denver with my Masters in Education Psychology. My favorite aspect of teaching is empowering students to take ownership of their learning and watching my students get excited about learning something new. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family. Together, we love to explore outside, cook, read, travel, and stay active. I am really looking forward to the upcoming school year and my new adventure at C3!
Literacy Interventionist/Teacher Support Coach
I moved to Colorado in 1990 to learn to ski. After hearing my father tell his friends he paid for college only to see me tend bar I decided to get serious about using my degree and in 1992 I began teaching first grade in the Cherry Creek School district (making much less than when I tended bar!) I taught first, second, and third grade in Cherry Creek for ten years and learned beside brilliant students and colleagues. During this time I pursued my Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at UCD and began working with a staff development organization called the Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC). In 2002 I transitioned from working with children to working with adults and became a National Literacy Consultant for the PEBC. In this role, I worked with teachers across the country to develop and implement the best instructional practices in literacy. Although I loved the work, the travel became challenging for my family and I found the most rewarding part of my job was when I was in classrooms with children. The opening of C3 has provided me with the opportunity to return to a teaching position and what I missed most, developing a community with young learners. As I walk to school each morning I feel a balance between three parts of me: the mother, the teacher and the learner. I look forward to a tremendous year of learning beside your children.
Originally from St. Louis, I studied English at Sewanee. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Micronesia, I taught English as a Second Language and learned to speak fluent Pohnpeian. I moved to Denver and received my Master’s from the University of Colorado Denver and teacher training through Stanley British Primary. My previous teaching experience includes both private and public education. My husband, our son and I enjoy hiking, cooking, camping and travel.
First Grade Math, Science, and Social Studies Teacher
Welcome to our C3 community of learners! I’m proud to be an integral member of the C3 team, teaching first-grade math, science, and social studies. My family and I hail from a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts; hence my Bostonian accent! J My husband, Frank, and I, along with two of our sons live in Denver and our oldest son lives in “The Big Apple”. I’ll definitely share my love of the ocean and my seashell collection with your children! I visit every summer to reunite with our family and friends while enjoying the New England coastline. After teaching kindergarten and 1st graders in Massachusetts, I taught gifted learners at DU’s Ricks Center when we first moved to Colorado. I taught 1st graders at Cory Elementary for 13 years teaching before joining the C3 crew! I embrace C3’s mission and vision, which aligns with my passion of cultivating a trusting & respectful community for children, their families, and myself as we grow and creatively learn together.
First Grade Intern
Second Grade Literacy
Hello! My name is Mariel Galgas. I have been teaching since 2009. I have taught both second grade and kindergarten. I moved to Denver from New Jersey in 2010 to teach, pursue my master’s degree, and explore all of the wonderful things that Colorado has to offer. I hold a B.A. in Psychology with an Elementary Education Certificate from Ramapo College of New Jersey. I have also obtained an M.A. from the University of Colorado Denver in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Elementary Reading and Writing. I am endorsed as an Elementary Education Teacher (K-6), Reading Teacher (K-12), and as a Special Education teacher. My goal is to become a National Board Certified Teacher in the next few years. Outside of school, I enjoy exploring the outdoors with hiking, skiing, and camping. I also creative pursuits like sewing, cooking, and pottery. On the weekends you can find me visiting family in Breckenridge, catching some live music with friends, or planning my next vacation! I am looking forward to a great school year!
Third Grade Literacy
Sarah Gilbert grew up in New Hampshire, and moved to Colorado to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder. She loved the mountains and sun so much that she decided to stay! A perpetual student, Sarah has an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Elementary Education and two master’s degrees in Curriculum and Instruction, and Administration and Supervision. Sarah has had the good fortune to have been a classroom teacher, an interventionist, and an administrator over the course of her career so far. Sarah has loved every one of the various roles she has found herself in and truly appreciates the part she plays in the academic and social-emotional development of each child. When she is not at school, Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband (Dave) and boys (Cal, Camren,and Renn). On the weekend, you can find Sarah with her family at a park, or at the pool, or you might find Sarah out for a run on one of the metro area’s beautiful trails.
Music/Admin Assistant culture and community
Susan Halstead is joining C3 as our music and PE/Dance teacher. Ms. Halstead received her Bachelor of Music Education from Michigan State University where she studied vocal music with her voice professor and Grammy Award winner, Molly Fillmore. She was born and raised in the Chicago area and now loves living in colorful Colorado spending most of her time skiing, hiking and running. She is so excited to be a member of the C3 community and is looking forward to a wonderful school year!
Hello all and happy summer break. My names is Britta Hetzel and I am so excited to be joining the C3 community. I began working with Denver Public Schools in 2013 and love the students and families in this diverse district. I am a Wisconsin native and received my Education Specialist degree in School Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. My personal practice is focused on trauma-informed methods as well as creating system-wide supports for the unique needs of students and their families. In my free time I enjoy cooking (Denver County Blue Ribbon winner in the fruit preserve category) and serving as a volunteer naturalist (pictured with an American Toad). I hope you all have a wonderful summer and I look forward to meeting you all in the fall.
Fifth Grade Math, Science/Social Studies Teacher
I have lived in Colorado for 12 years. I grew up in Alaska, with mosquitoes, rabbits and mussels (the shellfish) as pets. After a summer arts camp in middle school, I fell in love with Shakespeare, and went on to earn an M.A. degree in Theatre Arts. I have attended universities in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, most recently earning my teaching credentials at CU Boulder. Through theatre, I discovered a new love: helping people learn. I have taught students of all ages and from many backgrounds. For the past 6 years, I have taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students at Cory Elementary. During that time, I was also a member of the C3 design team, and helped shape the education plan. I spend my free time with my husband, family and friends. For fun, I enjoy cooking or getting outside to hike, travel and play. I also enjoy visiting art galleries, seeing theatre and live music, and reading voraciously under the covers with a flashlight.
I am a Denver native and I grew up in the Park Hill neighborhood. I am a graduate of the University of Colorado with a Masters in Elementary Education. I have taught first and second grade for 15 years. The last eight years I have been a first grade teacher at Polaris at Ebert Elementary. Educating at the primary level is a passion. I believe it is the most important part of our lives. My time outside of school is spent with my family. I have a daughter, Elise who is 5 and a son, Bennett who is 8. We spent a great many of nights in a tent during the summer enjoying our beautiful state. It is my favorite to share beautiful natural places with my wife and children. Outside of teaching I enjoy painting and drawing the amazing memories from being outside.
First Grade Literacy Teacher
Welcome to first grade! My name is Robin McCarthy and I will be working with your children teaching literacy. This includes reading, writing and spelling. I began teaching Third grade at Tollgate Elementary in Aurora Public Schools but I have been teaching first grade at Tollgate for the last four years. Tollgate is a school for Expeditionary Learning and I am discovering many commonalities with C3.
I grew up in Colorado and enjoy spending time in the mountains both skiing and hiking. I am a resident of Park Hill and my children, Sean 25, and Riley, 23 both attended Denver Public Schools. I’m looking forward to getting to know your family and watching your child grow.
Physical Education/Senior Team Lead
15 years ago my wife and I left the island of Oahu and landed firmly in Denver, all with the intent of completing a graduate program at DU and quickly returning. And while I’d be lying if I said the ocean doesn’t occasionally beckon me, I couldn’t be happier having established roots in this vibrant and amazing state. This upcoming year will mark my 14th year in education, having spent the majority of it in Jefferson County Schools teaching curricula that was experientially based, self-directed, and authentic. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a variety of grade levels and content areas but find my greatest joy in connecting with students and helping them to discover a true love of learning. When I’m not working alongside the students, you’ll likely find me in the hills, running trails and climbing on rocks with my wife and dog. I’m thrilled to be part of the C3 community and consider myself quite lucky for being given the opportunity to share my ongoing passion and excitement for all things learning!
Fourth Grade Math
Originally from a suburb outside of Los Angeles, California, I recently made the move to Colorado in August of 2017 to pursue my Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction for Elementary Math and Science at CU Denver. While in California, I spent the earliest years of my education career as a reading/writing specialist for Lindamood Bell Learning Center. However, once I stepped into my own classrooms, I began to see the real magic of Math and Science and a new educational passion of mine was born. I am so excited to bring my passion for learning to C3! In my free time, I love singing, anything related to Disney/Disneyland (I still have my season pass!), and taking my dog, Benson, on long morning walks. I can’t wait to meet you!
First Grade Intern
English as a Second Language
Fourth Grade Literacy Teacher
Austin Rand will be joining us from Joe Shoemaker Elementary to teach 4th grade focusing on literacy alongside Mallie Buffum who will continue with math, science and social studies. Austin has been teaching in a multi-aged 4th and 5th grade classroom.
Born in the Greater Boston area, I have lived in Denver, Oakland, and Boston over the past ten years. I attended the University of Colorado – Boulder for my undergraduate degree and completed my Masters in Education at UC Berkeley in 2016. For the past year, I have been teaching 4th and 5th grade at Joe Shoemaker School here in Denver. When I am not teaching I can usually be found outside: running, riding my bike, camping, or skiing, somewhere in Colorado. I look forward to joining the C3 community next year!
Gifted & Talented
Jenn Rix is eager to continue working with the C3 community as our GT Specialist. She will be supporting our gifted students and their families, as well as collaborating with teachers to meet the needs of students and elaborating our focus on Creativity. Jenn will be at C3 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Jenn is a licensed Gifted Education Specialist (preschool-grade 12) and a Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) certified parent group facilitator. Jenn’s studies include a M.A. in Special Education: Gifted & Talented, as well as graduate work in Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Education and Colorado Department of Education training in teaching Twice-Exceptional (2E) students. Her experience includes teaching at the elementary, middle school, high school, and college levels as a classroom teacher, a Differentiation Coach, and a GT Specialist. She enjoys reading, writing, traveling, and parenting her two teens.
Third Grade Teacher
Second Grade Intern
Third Grade Paraprofessional
Second Grade Math, Science, and Social Studies Teacher
I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado. After teaching for a few years, I earned my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an Emphasis in Reading and Writing from the University of Colorado at Denver. I love teaching and working with kids. Teaching gives me the opportunity to learn something new every day and appreciate the energy it takes to master new skills. It is amazing to be a part of supporting students as they grow and gain confidence in their abilities and understanding of themselves.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, baking, gardening and doing projects at home. I love to take walks with, throw balls to or just hang out with my golden retriever, Annie.