Our Team




Julia Shepherd


Principal Partner

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.




Brent Applebaum  


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 this community. Outside of education, I enjoy spending time with my wife Jodie, daughter Ellie and Dog Charlie in the mountains.











Liz Bamesberger  


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!






Richie Borre


Kindergarten Paraprofessional












Logan-Susan0137Susan Chamberlain 


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.




Laura Datz  


Kindergarten Teacher

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.







Linda Durgin  


First Grade Math, Science, and Social Studies Teacher

I’m from a suburb of Boston, MA where I taught pre-school and Kindergarten.  After coming to Colorado in 1992, I taught at Denver University’s Rick’s Center for gifted children before finding Cory Elementary where I taught 1stgrade for 13 years.  I came to C3 in 2015 to teach Math, Science, and Social Studies to 1stgraders. I’m proud to be an integral part of C3’s strong community of learners infusing creativity and appreciating everyone’s differences.

My husband, Frank, and I have three adult sons and two wonderful daughter-in-laws! My two youngest sons reside in Denver, while my oldest son lives in Boston.  I’ll definitely share my love of the ocean and my seashell collection with your children!  I visit back east often to make sure I never lose my accent!  You’ll know what I mean when you hear me speak!

In my spare time I enjoy baking, gardening, and bike riding with my husband. I embrace C3’s mission and vision, which aligns nicely with my passion for cultivating a trusting and caring community.






Jamee Edmundson










Susan Fullerton


Kindergarten Paraprofessional

My name is Susan Fullerton and I am a Denver native. I have been married for 23 years to an amazing man. We have two wonderful daughters one is a senior at Manhattan College in the Bronx, the other is a sophomore at the University of Vermont in Burlington.

I have been with DPS for many years and I am very excited to be apart of the C3 Kindergarten team.

My interests include family and friends, traveling, cooking and going for long walks with my husband.







Mariel Galgas  


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!





Rachelle Garcia  


Administrative Assistant











Sarah Gilbert  


Third Grade Literacy

I grew up in New Hampshire, and moved to Colorado to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder. I loved the mountains and sun so much that I decided to stay! I am perpetual student, and received my undergraduate degree in Sociology and Elementary Education and two master’s degrees in Curriculum and Instruction, and Administration and Supervision. I have been fortunate to have been a classroom teacher, an interventionist, and an administrator over the course of my career so far. I loved every one of the various roles.  I truly appreciate the part I play in the academic and social-emotional development of each child. When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my husband (Dave) and boys (Cal, Camren and Renn). On the weekend, you can find me with my family at a park, or at the pool, or you might find me out for a run on one of the metro area’s beautiful trails.






Shanna Grogan  


Kindergarten Teacher











Susan Kruger 



Music/Admin Assistant culture and community

Hello, I am C3’s music and social emotional teacher.  I received my Bachelor of Music Education from Michigan State University where I studied vocal music with my voice professor and Grammy Award winner, Molly Fillmore. I was born and raised in the Chicago area and now love living in colorful Colorado, spending most of my time skiing, hiking and running. I am so excited to be a member of the C3 community and I am looking forward to a wonderful school year!






Britta Hetzel


School Psychologist

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.






Tracy Hughes














Lisa Iverson  


Fifth Grade Math, Science/Social Studies Teacher

I have lived in Colorado for over 10 years. I grew up in Alaska, with mosquitoes, rabbits and mussels (the shellfish) as pets.  My first passion was theatre, and through that I discovered a new love: helping people learn.  I have taught students of all ages and from many backgrounds.  I previously taught at Cory Elementary and earned an endorsement as gifted education specialist. During that time, I was also a member of the C3 design team, and helped to shape the education plan.  I spend my free time with my husband, family and friends.  For fun, I enjoy getting outside to garden, hike, and travel. I also enjoy painting, visiting art galleries, seeing theatre and live music, and reading voraciously under the covers with a flashlight.






Julia Ail  


Occupational Therapist









BJ Kittleson


Visual Arts

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.






Jean Lim  













Harvey McCarthy  


Discovery Link












Robin McCarthy  


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.







Lisa McGee













Kate McNamara  


Special Education











Isaiah Medina  


Cafeteria Manager










Robb Mike  


Physical Education/Senior Team Lead

17 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 15th 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!






Patricia Montoya


Facilities Management











Tami Moore  


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!







Lucy Pfeffer


English as a Second Language

After teaching language arts and social studies at Cory Elementary for many rewarding years, I decided to pursue a new direction at C3. It is a pleasure being a part of the team here; I enjoy working with individual students and small groups. What’s even better is that I can support language and literacy development, building on the passion for language which I discovered back in my undergraduate days as an English major at CU Denver and during my teacher certification studies at DU. My role as an ESL/intervention resource teacher enables me to continue honing new skills and interests in – what truly is – a culture of kindness. Working within the C3 community has proven to be a positive next-step in my career with DPS. Throughout it all, I have encouragement from my husband and happy times with my three adult children, all of whom have settled down in Denver.







Austin Rand


Fourth Grade Literacy Teacher

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 being part of the C3 community.







Jenn Rix


Gifted & Talented
Hello, I am Jenn Rix and I am eager to continue working with the C3 community as our GT Specialist. I 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. I will be at C3 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

I am a licensed Gifted Education Specialist (preschool-grade 12) and a Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) certified parent group facilitator.  My education includes 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. My experience includes teaching at the elementary, middle school, high school, and college levels as a classroom teacher, a Differentiation Coach, and a GT Specialist. I enjoy reading, writing, traveling, and parenting my two teens.





Kricket Servis


Third Grade Teacher













Liz Subiadur


Math Intervention

I grew up along the coast in Connecticut and studied journalism at the University of Miami, FL. Although I have a strong love for salt water, sand and humidity, I happily moved to Denver in 2009 to pursue a career in teaching. There are many things I love about Denver, but its frequent sunny days are top on the list!  I taught first grade for 6 years and am so happy to be supporting students at C3 in math! I love spending my days with children and appreciate C3s emphasis on creativity. When I’m not at school, I enjoy cooking, crafting, and playing outside with my husband Arys, our son Marco, and our crazy dog, Daisy.







Jo Ward


Health Technician











Margaret Wing  


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.






Jessica Zon


Speech Therapist