Faculty & Staff


Nolan Alexander – PE Paraprofessional 

I love being part of the McAuliffe Manual community because staff genuinely enjoy being here and supporting the students. I grew up in St. James, MO and moved to Colorado this past summer to pursue graduate school and a career in a bigger city. I have worked with at-risk youth for the past 3.5 years and would like to earn a Master’s in Social Work degree, which will allow me to continue working with youth in a bigger capacity. I earned my BA in Psychology at Missouri State University. I love the atmosphere of healthy living and caring for others that is prevalent in Denver. I also love the outdoors and all the opportunities Colorado provides for camping, hiking and scenic views. I enjoy spending time in Colorado’s parks and hiking in the mountains, as well as playing guitar and attending music concerts.


Victoria Austin – Literacy Fellow

I am excited to be part of the team and work with students to improve their reading skills. I earned multiple BAs in Literature, Political Science and History.  When I’m not working, I like to run, read, cook and go on road trips or hikes with my awesome (and incredibly spoiled) dog. I’m new to Colorado, but I love it here already and am looking forward to exploring more!


Chris Deremer – Dean of Culture  christopher_deremer@dpsk12.org 


Leonard Donadio – 6th & 7th Grade Math






Jeff Elliott – Social Studies

This is my first year as part of the MMMS team. I am teaching 6th grade Social Studies and am so excited to begin. I grew up in Colorado and don’t see myself ever leaving. I completed both my BA and MA at the University of Denver. I worked as a 9th grade Pre-AP World History teacher last year and I student-taught at Manual High School the year before that. Other than teaching, I love spending time in this beautiful state, fishing, snowboarding or camping.

Johanna Escobar – Spanish leidy_escobarcoral@dpsk12.org

I’m very excited to start this second year of school at MMMS. I’m from Colombia and I moved to Colorado two years ago. I recently got married and my husband and I just moved to Castle Rock – it is a very special and beautiful town. I got an English and Spanish degree at the Universidad de Nariño – Colombia. I’m planning to earn a master’s degree in Spanish in the near future. Last year, I had the opportunity to face a great and challenging experience, which helped me to grow personally and professionally. When I’m not teaching I like to travel, go hiking, dance salsa, exercise, watch movies, sleep and have coffee with Colombian empanadas. A favorite quote of mine is…

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.” —Helen Keller


Audrey Ford – 7th Grade Language Arts and Drama

I am pumped to be a part of the McAuliffe Manual team this year! I grew up in Arkansas and I went to college in Indiana. I will be teaching language arts and drama. I have a BS in English Education and a minor in Psychology. The last two years, I have been teaching at a charter school in Castle Rock. I aim to help my students find their unique voice in the world. I am the definition of a nerd, and I love learning about learning. I am honored to lead kiddos on the journey of discovery and I am especially excited to learn more about teaching drama. Outside of teaching, I enjoy reading, writing, hiking and hanging out with friends and exploring Denver. Two of my favorite quotes are…

“The way to the mind is through the body, and the way to the body is through story.” —Unknown

“Everybody is a genius. But If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” —Albert Einstein


Sarah Frederick – 7th Grade Social Studies

This will be the start of my eighth year in Denver Public Schools and I am excited to be joining the McAuliffe Manual Team. I have taught 7th through 10th grade history and I love teaching middle schoolers! I completed my undergraduate history degree at Metropolitan State University of Denver and I received a master’s degree in reading instruction from Regis University. I am currently working on another master’s degree at the University of Denver in Educational Leadership. When I’m not teaching, I spend time with my husband and my dog, hanging out or spending time outdoors hiking, snowboarding or camping. I look forward to teaching our amazing students this school year! A favorite quote of mine is…

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” –Malcom X.


John Gallagher – School Psychologist






Stephanie Graves – MI Program

I am very excited to be working at our new school and to be launching our new MI (Multi Intensive) center-based program at McAuliffe Manual. I have been teaching for 17 years, both in physical education and special education. Most of my teaching experience has been in the special education field, with the last 6 years teaching in an autism classroom for DPS. I earned my undergraduate degree in Physical Education (emphasis Kinesiology) from the University of Northern Colorado, and my master’s degree in Special Education from Regis University.  I live in Castle Rock with my two fur babies, Ryder and Sadie, my partner Brandon, my daughter Mariah, and my stepchildren, Michael and Shannon. We are a very active family and love being outdoors when ever possible. You can always find us at the swimming pool, ball park, or skiing on the mountain.



Stephanie Gronholz – IB Coordinator

I am thrilled to be helping launch McAuliffe Manual Middle School on its journey through IB authorization. I am splitting my role as IB coordinator between both McAuliffe campuses. I have taught language arts and coordinated the IB Middle Years Programme at McAuliffe International School since it opened its doors in 2012. Prior to working in DPS, I taught high school English and coordinated the high school component of the MYP in Westminster School District. I absolutely love helping other teachers embrace international-mindedness and understand the value of an IB education. I grew up in Spokane, Washington, moved to Colorado with my husband in 2006. We have one son, Maxwell, who attends Beach Court Elementary School in North Denver. Outside of teaching and parenting, I enjoy reading, cooking and doing barre workouts. A favorite quote of mine…

“How you spend your days is, of course, how you spend your life.” – Annie Dillard


Maureen Hobbs – PE/Health

It’s great to be coming back to MMMS for the second year- this time in our new location! I will be teaching 6th and 7th grade Physical Education and Health, as well as facilitating the SHINE Crew this year. After several spring break visits in college, I moved to Colorado and I’ve been here for 14 years! I got my degree in journalism and mass communications at the University of Iowa, and I received my teaching certificate at MSU Denver. I have been having a wonderful summer spending time with my family, and my very handsome fiance. A favorite quote of mine is…

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” -Jack Canfield


Lizzie Hoff – 6th Grade Language Arts

Our first year at MMMS was an incredible experience – it was truly powerful to see such a diverse student population come together and form a strong, unique community. This year, I am really looking forward to meeting our new 6th graders, getting to know all of our new team members, and becoming a part of the Manual High School campus family! This is my fifth year teaching middle school in DPS. I love the goofy, awkward, self-discovery (and sometimes hot mess) adventure that is middle school! I got my start teaching at Hamilton Middle School, where I taught 6th and 7th grade language arts for more than three years. Last year I learned a great deal about myself, both as a teacher and an individual, and I am confident that this year will be even better with our returning students, new students and strong team. Outside of teaching, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our dog, exploring the ever-growing food scene in Denver, being active, playing trivia, and anything Harry Potter. This fall, I am also starting graduate school at the University of Colorado Denver to study school counseling (so bring on ALL the coffee!). A favorite quote of mine is…

“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” —James Keller

Ally Hyatt – 7th Grade Science/Engineering  ally_hyatt@dpsk12.org

I am originally from San Diego! I earned my bachelor’s degree at New York University and afterward moved to Washington DC to pursue my teaching certification through DC Teaching Fellows.  I have taught in DC Public Schools for the last 3 years as an 8th grade science teacher at an IB school. My husband (who is a math teacher) and I moved to Denver this past summer and we’re excited to get to know the city. We have a 5-year-old miniature dachshund named Sasha. I love cooking, traveling and spending time with my friends and family. I can’t wait to go hiking and camping in Colorado!

Jonas Headshot

John Jonas – Music

I am a dad, husband, musician and teacher of musical arts. I started my music career in 1982 as a musician in the US Marine Corps. Since then, I studied music education at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and the University of Northern Colorado. I’ve taught band, orchestra and vocal music in Montrose, Weld, Westminster and Denver counties. I also taught in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, for 5 years. My main instrument is trombone and I’ve played and directed in many bands, orchestras and various groups over the years. My current performance outlet is the Gora Gora Orkestar brass band. I have two sons and my wife is a very talented cellist and music teacher. I am SO EXCITED to be living 11 blocks from the school after years of long distance commuting. I am a big Rockies fan and love to take in games at Coors Field. The only thing I enjoy as much as teaching music is performing it. Two of my favorite quotes are…

“Anybody can play. The note is 20 percent. The attitude of the (musician) who plays it is 80 percent.” —Miles Davis

“When nothing is owed or deserved or expected, And your life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected. If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected. Decide what to be and go be it.”—The Avett Brothers


Aimee Justice-Lundt  – Gifted/Talented

I love being with kids and knew I wanted to teach at a young age. I graduated from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon with a BA in Psychology and Art. The following year, I earned my MA in Early Childhood Education through a joint training program at the University of Colorado at Denver and Stanley British Primary School. I taught school until I had children and came back to teaching 8 years ago. I have been a Gifted and Talented coordinator with DPS for the past 6 years. In 2015, I earned my EdS in Leadership and Administration. I am thrilled to be at McAuliffe Manual because I believe in the IB model and am excited about the opportunities to grow the GT program. As a Manual High School alum, it feels good to have come full circle.

A favorite quote of mine is…

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”—Mahatma Gandhi

Julie Malek  – Innovation Lab Coordinator julie_malek@dpsk12.org

I am thrilled to be working with the inquiring minds here on the Manual Campus. The Innovation Lab is a place for students to find great books and much, much more. Having been a middle and high school social studies teacher for 13 years, I love helping students connect to and explore their community and the world. I am passionate about reading and helping students find books that they can’t put down. My favorite book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and I have lost track of how times I’ve read it! My husband and I have two mostly grown daughters who are beginning careers of their own, which leaves us lots of time to travel, hike, bike and be in the mountains. My favorite sport is soccer; in fact I played soccer here when I was student at Manual High School a few years ago! 

Mangas Headshot2

Danielle Mangas – Special Education

This is my first year with MMMS, my third year working in DPS, and my fifth year teaching overall. I am very excited to be at MMMS and to get to know all of you. I have always worked with middle schoolers and I wouldn’t want it any other way. My goal is to support all students inside and outside the classroom. I am originally from Ohio. I attended The Ohio State University with a focus of Mild/Moderate Special Education. I am a huge sports fanatic and enjoy being outdoors. . . hiking, biking and camping. I look forward to meeting everyone & having a rockin’ 2017-18 school year! Go Thunder!


Briana Mesa  – Dean of Instruction

I’m a proud native—born and raised in Thornton, Colorado. I graduated from Skyview High School and went on to the University of Denver to earn my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. After graduating college, I realized that my true passion was in education; I was fortunate to find a position in the community I grew up in teaching 2nd and 3rd grades. I taught while attending the University of Colorado at Denver where I earned my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. I’ve also taught 6th grade and reading intervention, and now, I’m so proud to be part of the Thunder team at McAuliffe Manual! I live with my husband and our two children, and we love to spend time outdoors and travel.  A favorite quote of mine is…

“Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today, let us begin.” —Mother Teresa


Cindy Moneyhon  – Math Intervention

I am so excited to be part of the Thunder! I am starting my 7th year in education and am super passionate about Math! EVERYONE is a mathematician!  I am from Fort Worth, Texas and began teaching in Austin in an independent school district. I moved to Denver three years ago with my husband and two dogs. I have been teaching in DSST for the past three years.  A favorite quote of mine is…

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” —Henry David Thoreau

Marie Neelis – 6th Grade Language Arts marie_neelis@dpsk12.org


Tashekal Norman – 7th Grade Language Arts

I am extremely excited to be joining the McAuliffe Manual team this year! I am originally from Anaheim, CA, but I also have roots in Kauai, HI, Georgia and North Carolina. I earned my BA in Sociology from Colorado Mesa University and my MA in Sociology from New Mexico State University. Prior to coming to MMMS, I was an elementary school literacy teacher and served as Chair of that schools’ Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports team; we worked collaboratively to promote positive culture for both students and staff. When I’m not in the classroom, my family and I love to attend church and spend time together bowling, visiting the Denver Zoo, hanging out at the park and catching the latest animated film. My husband is a teacher as well, working with  middle school special education students. We have three beautiful children–our five-year-old son, who is a rambunctious and wonderfully made and who has Autism, and our four-year-old boy and girl twins. Some of my favorite quotes are. . . 

“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.” —Mae C. Jemison

“Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.” —Benjamin Franklin

“Don’t sit down and wait for opportunities to come, get up and make them.”—Madam CJ Walker

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair”—Shirley Chisholm

Daniel Roberts – Literacy Fellow daniel_roberts2@dpsk12.org

I’m stoked to be a part of the McAuliffe Manual team. I was selected for the DPS fellowship program as well as the relay program and I am excited to have a career path and legendary focus. I graduated from MSUD with my English Literary Studies degree this spring as well as a few other credentials tacked on. I am a rare breed of Colorado native, I’ve written a few books, I write a few poems and I do a few gnarly things. A favorite quote of mine is…

“Just because you’re breathing, doesn’t mean you’re alive.” –The Acacia Strain

Lucy Roberts – Nurse lucy_roberts@dpsk12.org

Roholt Headshot

Taylor Roholt – French

This will be my first year teaching at McAuliffe Manual and I am thrilled to join the World Languages team! I spent the last 2 years teaching high school French in Arizona, and it was there that my passion for this career was born. I love teaching the French language as it fosters cultural understanding, interaction and self-expression. Growing up in Albuquerque, NM, I spent many years exploring Colorado. I’m excited to be joining the Denver community full-time now and more importantly MMMS! When I’m not teaching you can find me in the mountains and on the trails. A favorite quote of mine is…

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”  —Steve Prefontaine


Peter Schawrz – Literacy Fellow





Rachel Shea – Data Specialist rachel_shea@dpsk12.org

I am so happy to be a part of this innovative team of educators. I taught 7th and 8th grade math for six years before jumping into curriculum, data and assessment work. I am from Wisconsin and hate the cold, so I moved to the Virgin Islands after college, and I’ve now found a weather-life balance here in Denver. A favorite quote of mine is…

“Sometimes you have to stop thinking so much and go where your heart takes you.” —Unknown


Jennifer Snodgrass – Network Literacy Coordinator jennifer_snodgrass@dpsk12.org

I am so happy to be working with the amazing ELA teams at both MIS and MMMS this year. As part of the McAuliffe team since the first year, I know our model promises to bring high-quality, rigorous, joyful learning to all students. I love the work I do supporting teachers in this mission. This will be my 16th year in education and my 13th year in middle school. I returned to the profession five years ago after taking off some time to raise my kids. I have taught everything from 6th through 11th grades and have gradually shifted my focus to curriculum, data and teacher support over the past three years. I grew up in Connecticut, went to college in Virginia and then graduate school in Boulder. My husband and I have been together since we were 18! When we are not working or attending our kids’ sporting events, we enjoy skiing, hiking, dinner with friends, playing cards and sitting on our front porch. A favorite quote of mine is…

“I say, there is no darkness but ignorance.” –William Shakespeare


Lisa Strock – 7th Grade Math

I am so excited to be a part of the staff at McAuliffe Manual as a 6th grade Math teacher! I was fortunate to be part of the Denver Teacher Residency program where I taught Geometry at Martin Luther King Jr. Early College while earning a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver, and I also have taught math at McAuliffe International School. Before transitioning into the classroom as a teacher, I was a middle school counselor for seven years at a school outside of Atlanta, GA. I attended Purdue University and earned my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. I was born and raised in Chicago, IL and hold a pretty strong obsession for Chicago sports teams, especially the Bears and the Cubs! I have lived in Denver for over six years, and love spending my time outdoors doing yoga, cycling through the mountains, attending plays/musicals and playing the guitar.

Andrea Sunday – Math  andrea_sunday@dpsk12.org


Dylan Tuggle – MI Paraprofessional






Chelsea Wagner – 6th Grade Math

This is my first year with McAuliffe. I taught 3rd grade in Aurora Public Schools for the last 4 years and I am beyond excited to join the MMS team. I grew up in Aurora and completed my BA and MA in Fairfield, Connecticut. I then ventured across the pond to coach lacrosse (in England) before returning to back to Colorado. I enjoy traveling and exploring the outdoors with my fiancé Tyler, and our puppy, Lincoln. I am looking forward to an awesome year! Two of my favorite quotes are…

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” —Dr. Seuss!

“It’s our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” —Albus Dumbledore


Chalmer Williams – RJ Coordinator

I grew up in Denver, Colorado in the Montbello neighborhood. I earned by Business Administration degree at Tuskegee University in Alabama. My wife Tonya Lynette and I have two children, Cedric Alonzo and Tamra Love.




Scott Williamson – 6th Grade Science/Engineering

I am returning to MMMS as our 6th grade science teacher; last year I was a Math Fellow and I got to know our (now) 7th grade students and dynamic staff.  My wife and I moved to Denver in 2015 to be closer to family after the birth of our son, Micah (2 years old). I have also lived in Columbia, MO; Northfield, MN and Seattle, WA. My favorite thing in the world is to swim in a cold, clear mountain lake. Coaching baseball for MMMS last year was a dream come true. A favorite quote of mine is…

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”—Nelson Henderson

Denver Public Schools