Administration Bios

LongJessica Long
– Principal

Jessica is a passionate educator and advocate of Denver Public School’s vision of every child will succeed. For the last two years she has worked in the Chief Academic and Innovation Office as Denver Public Schools’ Director of School Data Culture where she had the opportunity to coach principals and teachers across the district in implementing data-driven instructional strategies.

In her 11 years of experience in education, Jessica has committed to closing achievement gaps and creating equity and success for each student. She believes in a focus on values-based leadership, personalized and rigorous instruction, positive school culture, high expectations for staff and students, strong teacher-student-parent relationships, and holistic accountability.

These beliefs were essential when Jessica was the founding principal at The Denver School of Science and Technology: Green Valley Ranch Middle School in 2010.  The school was consistently among the highest performing schools for growth and achievement in DPS according to the DPS School Performance Framework.  Prior to becoming a middle school principal, she taught high school math on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico for two years and in DPS for three years before moving into school leadership.  She earned BA in Mathematics from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and a MA in Educational Leadership Administration, and Policy from the University of Denver.  In 2007, she was awarded a summer Fulbright scholarship in India to research effective mathematics curriculum and instruction.

Jessica was born and raised in Colorado.  She loves spending time outdoors and is an avid reader. She lives in the Five Points neighborhood with her husband and two year-old daughter.  She believes access to a quality education is the most important thing we can give our students and looks forward to creating that opportunity with our community.

Natalie new headshotNatalie Lewis Assistant Principal

Natalie is a proud DPS parent and DPS alum – a graduate of Manual High School! She began her career in education as a substitute teacher in the Philadelphia school district while pursuing a graduate degree from Temple University.  While at Temple, she was constantly challenged to take what she learned in the Academy to the communities she wanted to serve.  These experiences ultimately led to her decision to become an educator.

Natalie worked as a middle school social studies teacher at an International Baccalaureate Middle Years’ Program (IB MYP) school in Washington, DC.  After moving back to Denver, she worked as the Innovation School Support Partner in the Office of School Reform and Innovation. She then served as the Oakland Elementary Ritchie Intern and Assistant Principal for two years.

Natalie considers it a tremendous blessing and honor to be returning to the Manual community to be part of the leadership team of McAuliffe Manual Middle School.  She believes in inspiring young people to move beyond their greatest perceived limitation.  Her hope is to encourage our students to explore and develop their own potential, and to believe in themselves so that they may reach boundless opportunities! Natalie is committed to further developing family and community partnerships as she believes that parents and guardians are a child’s first and best advocate.

Valerie headshotValerie Almodovar Cortez – Office Support

Valerie is one of the office support staff at McAuliffe Manual Middle School. She is very happy and excited to be a part of the founding McAuliffe Manual team . She is a Manual High School graduate and feels blessed to be able to come back to the Manual community and work to make it a better place for our children.

YoungCindy Young- Office Support

Cindy is a proud graduate of Denver Public Schools.  She has been in the front office of MMMS since March of 2017.  Prior to joining DPS, Cindy helped run an office at a small local preschool.  She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder and still lives in the same zip code she grew up in! Cindy loves Colorado, and while she loves to explore and travel, she plans to grow old in this same zip code.  Cindy is married with two kids who are also DPS students.  She loves to camp, cook, travel, read and self-admittedly, she plays a mean game of dominoes.  Cindy is thrilled to be a part of this community where she can help support our amazing staff and students.

BolandLauren Boland – Communications

Lauren is excited to share the exciting McAuliffe Manual  stories with our school families and the larger community. As our communications person, she develops the weekly MMMS newsletter and updates our web and mobile apps. Lauren is a proud DPS parent – her son is a Thunder 7th grader and her daughter is a 5th grader in Northwest Denver. Lauren began her career in healthcare communications and is now pursuing her Master of Social Work degree at Metro State University of Denver. When she’s not doing homework, she loves to bike ride, read, hike with her dog, and play basketball with her goofy kids!

kurt new head shot (1)

Kurt Dennis  – Director, McAuliffe International Schools

Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Kurt attended the University of Kansas in the early 1990s. After college, he moved to Colorado to pursue a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Colorado. Kurt started his career in education teaching English as a second language to immigrant students at Ranum High School in Westminster, Colorado. He was a middle school and high school administrator in Westminster for four years until he moved to Denver Public Schools in July of 2011. Kurt, his wife Shelby, and their two daughters have lived in Northeast Denver since 2003. They are very excited about the opportunities presented by opening a new middle school in the community where they live. Kurt and his family love to travel and spend time outdoors.

Denver Public Schools