Give a Warm Welcome to Our New Teachers!

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Did you know that there were new teachers here at Chatfield last year? Did you know about all of the new teachers we also got this year? With remote learning and the mask mandate taking away opportunities for these teachers to present themselves to the student body, we asked the teachers to give some information about themselves so that we can all look forward to taking on this new year at Chatfield together. Family.

 

Ms. Garcia: Counselor (De-Hr)

This is Ms. Garcia’s first year at Chatfield. She is excited to be a part of a counseling team again and looks forward to working with students. Ms. Garcia graduated from Dakota Ridge, so she has always had a great love for the Jeffco community. When she saw the job opening on the Chatfield website, she could instantly tell that both the staff and students loved Chatfield, so it became her number one priority to get hired and join our community. She has previously been a counselor for DPS and was at one point a social and emotional learning specialist in a middle school. In high school, her counselor was a very important person in her life, so when picking a career in college, she knew her love of helping people could translate perfectly into the role of a high school counselor.

 

Ms. Knowles: Art Teacher

Ms. Knowles is a new art teacher here at Chatfield. This is her seventeenth year teaching, with her starting off at Hinkley High School in Aurora. After that, she worked internationally at a British school in Beijing, China, followed by teaching in Warsaw, Poland. In fact, she said that if she was not a teacher and money was not an issue, she would travel and explore the world. Her hobbies include skiing, snowboarding, being active, and going to movies, galleries, and going to whichever festival is happening over the weekend. Her advice for students this year, similarly to her motto, is to be themselves, stop trying to pretend that they are something else, take risks and have fun. This year, her goals are to get to know her students, establish more of an art program at Chatfield, and create more of an art presence in our Chatfield community. When asked about her inspiration to become a teacher, she said that she was a junior at Columbine High School when the shooting happened, and during that time she fell in love with art, using it as a way to cope with the emotions that she could not talk about. Her teacher let her hang out and create art, and eventually it became one of her passions. She wanted to become a teacher because she wanted to provide a safe haven for her students, form relationships, and create that same connection that she felt with her art teacher.

 

Ms. Nolan: Science Teacher

Ms. Nolan is a 10th year science teacher who is spending her second year teaching at Chatfield. She first taught at Cupertino Middle School in California, and then moved to Colorado to teach at Arapahoe High School. She originally went into Pre-Med but decided to become a teacher because of all her prior teaching and tutoring experience. She grew up in Colorado and attended Deer Creek High School. She enjoys stand-up paddle boarding and rock climbing. Her advice for students is to enjoy being in school this year, enjoy being around friends, and wear your mask. She likes to live by the motto, “Always assume positive intent in people, because it’s much easier to enjoy life if you don’t always assume that people are trying to offend or hurt you. If you look for the best in people, you will see their true self.”

 

Mrs.  Henze: Spanish Teacher

Mrs. Henze is a Spanish teacher, and this is her first year at Chatfield! She’s loves Spanish and recently just completed her Master’s degree. She fell in love with the Latino community, which prompted her to study Spanish. While studying, Mrs. Henze found that Spanish people were very emotional and vibrant, which she loved. She has an affinity for the culture, and she feels that Americans should be more educated and have a better understanding of the Latino culture. She loves to read and write, and she’s even working on her own memoir! She was heavily inspired by Spanish people and their metaphorical writing to overcome oppression. Her advice for students is to be more inclusive and open. She wants students to branch out and connect to our community even more, and she reminds “¡Los estudiantes deberían hacer una sonrisa cada momento porque cambia la vibración de la persona!”.

 

Mr. Auerbach: Science Teacher

Please welcome Samuel Auerbach, one of Chatfield’s new Science teachers, to the building! He’s been working for 14 years as a teacher, and this is his second year at Chatfield. When Mr. Auerbach isn’t teaching, he’s spending time with his children, skiing, cooking, and reviewing science material. 

For our students, Mr. Auerbach has some great advice:

“Enjoy all the parts of high school. I was a student who didn’t always appreciate things like assemblies, rallies, the chances to meet with my friends and find other like-minded students in things like clubs. I kind of just came to school a lot… I encourage you, even if you haven’t in the past, join a club. Go to a sporting event. Make some connections with students you wouldn’t normally.”

 

Mrs. Schick: Math Teacher

This is Mrs. Schick’s second year back teaching at Chatfield since she had her two daughters. Mrs. Schick teaches Algebra I here at Chatfield and this is her 10th year teaching. She is also the head coach for the girl’s volleyball program. During her time at Chatfield as a student, she played on the varsity volleyball team all 4 years! Some of her hobbies include baking, reading, and watching sports such as football and basketball with her husband and two daughters, Molly and Lucy. Mrs. Schick strives to lead by example for her daughters so they can grow up to be like their mother. Mrs. Schick went to college at Texas Christian University as a math major and enjoyed that it was small and full of like-minded people. One person that she credits her love for teaching to is Mr. Wilson, her Calculus teacher in high school. Sitting in his class back then, she could see herself being a teacher like Mr. Wilson because he was relatable and taught them to be good students and human beings. Mrs. Schick is excited about getting to know all of her students and the great adventures ahead this year.

 

Mr. Emery: Band Teacher

Originally from Pueblo, this is Mr. Emery’s first year at Chatfield as a believer in its “community and potential.” He went to college at Greeley UNC and started teaching in 2007, and has also taught in Douglas County, Aurora, and Englewood before coming to Chatfield. When asked how he felt about Chatfield, he responded, “I feel good about it, it’s really big. I’m not used to such a giant school but once I got started I felt really good about my choice to come here.” When asked about the challenges that come with teaching band in COVID-19, he responded with, “Masks, spacing, covering bells, and if we go remote it’s impossible.” But other than that, he seems to have high hopes about teaching band at Chatfield.

 

Mrs. Dyben: Math Teacher

Mrs. Dyben, a new teacher at Chatfield, only started teaching here last year! Before Chatfield, she worked at Rangeview High School and Arapahoe High School. She decided to start teaching math when she took an introductory math course in college and realized she had lots of potential as a teacher, so then she decided to major in it! She also likes to play with her 3 year old daughter.

 

 

Mrs. Chavez: SSN Teacher

Give a warm Chatfield welcome to our new SSN para, Mrs. Maggie Chavez. The reason she became a para was that she wanted to be at school with her kids along with having the same schedule as them. After they left she stayed because she loves seeing the lightbulb go off as kids learn. She has been teaching for nine years, the first four of which were spent at Falcon Bluffs Middle School. After school hours, she spends her time reading and enjoying all of Colorado’s natural beauty in the forms of hiking and watching her two kids swim. Her words of advice for students this year are, “Work hard and enjoy being in-person.”

 

Mr. Falk: Counselor

Mr. Falk is a counselor going into his second year at Chatfield. He is a supportive staff member that contributes to his community, values diversity, and spends time with his family outdoors. When asked about the motto he lives by, he answered, “just a day at a time, and that’s what I tell my students quite often. Sometimes we have great days and sometimes we don’t.” Though aspects of being a counselor include scheduling and helping students prepare for college, he believes the key role of his job is being a support system. He adds, “I’m a firm believer that students have all of the tools, but sometimes they just don’t know how to use them. Really it’s just to support them and their future endeavors and make sure when they leave high school everybody has a plan.” Another role Mr. Falk devotes to our school is being one of the sponsors of the Gay Straight Alliance. When inquired about what attracted him to this club, he expressed, “I like everybody’s individual differences and to help students embrace who they are. It is a great opportunity to meet students and support them going forward. I’m very much a proponent of diversity, having grown up in a mixed household. I just want people to be proud of who they are and not be afraid to show that.” A fun fact about Mr. Falk is that he has many animals at his house. He mentions owning dogs, a cat, a fish, a bird, a hamster, and kids. Thus, he affectionately refers to his household as a zoo.

 

Mrs. Rodriguez: Spanish Teacher

Caryn Rodriguez is a new Spanish 101 teacher who has been teaching for 16 years. She taught for two years in Jeffco and four years in Douglas County in addition to spending eight years teaching in Germany and two years teaching in South Korea. Mrs. Rodriguez says that, “I am so excited and nervous to start the school year with in-person learning and I am excited to start doing the games that I like to do in class. I decided to become a teacher because I love teaching kids and want to make their learning fun and exciting. I really like the outdoors I love to ski and go hiking. I think of myself as funny, energetic, and positive.”

 

Mrs. Garcia: Chemistry teacher

This is Mrs. Garcia’s second year at Chatfield after spending the majority of her teaching career in Texas.  She thoroughly enjoyed her own high school experience and, after going to college for something else, she realized that teaching was her true passion. She then returned to her hometown to get a degree in education and has loved teaching ever since. She lives by the motto, “Be the change you want to see in the world” and encourages students to take advantage of every moment and make time with those most important to them. Another piece of advice she gives to students is to challenge themselves and to see what you can get out of each teacher, as they all have something different to offer. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time outside – especially hiking and soaking up time with her family. If she weren’t a teacher, Mrs. Garcia would enjoy being a full-time volleyball referee, since it’s currently something she does on the side. Mrs. Garcia is looking forward to a normal year after a chaotic start to her career at Chatfield due to COVID-19. 

 

Mr. McLaughlin: Social Studies Teacher

Mr. McLaughlin first was inspired to teach during his time as an Outdoor Lab leader in high school. Ten years of teaching later he spent time in Costa Rica teaching middle school social studies in addition to his time as a teacher in Colorado. In his free time, Mr. McLaughlin enjoys sleeping, reading, watching movies, and traveling. He also spends a lot of time outside hiking, paddle boarding, and camping. When asked what advice he has for students this year he says, “Enjoy High school. A lot of people, including myself, were worried about what people thought of them, and how they fit in. I think that high school is a time to really discover your passions and interests and try new things. I wish I would’ve just been more myself and cared less about what other people think. –Don’t be afraid to explore and get really interested and passionate about things.” Mr. McLaughlin would love to see everyone being and loving themselves, according to his life motto. We can’t wait to finally welcome this courageous new mentor to our Chatfield community after the challenges of last year.

 

Mr. Kyle: Social Studies Teacher

Welcome to our school, Mr. Kyle. He always wanted to be a teacher and did not want to work at a factory-like his father before him he also loves education. The motto he lives by is Just grateful for every day, also the Beatles are the greatest band of all time! He has been teaching for thirteen years he previously taught at Ralston Valley and in a school in Pennsylvania. Outside of school, he loves to do yoga, watch movies, and listen to music. The advice he gives is to be grateful for not being stuck at home. What he would like to do if he was not a teacher is to own a Subway.

 

Mrs. Hobbs: TRC

 

Welcome to our new amazing Mrs. Hobbs! She works in the Teacher Resource Center (TRC). This will be her first experience working in a school and she admires how Chatfield is like a family. She has two daughters who are both out of the house now. As a result, she joined Chatfield’s staff because she missed being around teens. Her favorite activity is traveling and her dream destination is Italy.

 

 

Dra. Zach: Spanish Teacher 

Dra. Zach is a Spanish teacher, currently in her 2nd year at Chatfield. After teaching at DePaul University for four years, she became interested in Chatfield to create connections with students with the right knowledge coming out of college and the research from a higher education with the education happening in K-12. She can help make a transition for students and create success for students at higher education levels. Dra. Zach loves her experience at Chatfield with great colleagues and help from the kind instructional coaches. She did her PhD at Georgetown University in Spanish Language learning and teaching additionally getting her graduate degree in Spanish linguistics. Outside of her amazing teacher, Dra. Zach spends her time rock climbing and participating in yoga. Her one piece of advice for students here at Chatfield is to take the time to say ‘hello’ to your teachers; greet people and be friendly to everyone you see!

 

Ms. McKerley: Counseling Intern

Jessie McKerley is a first year intern for the counseling department at Chatfield. Currently residing around Littleton, she says, “The reputation around Chatfield is just a really good school with really good students.” Outside of counseling, Mckurley is passionate about her kids and outdoor activities like hiking and snowboarding. When asked her motto to live by, she promptly answered, “Give people grace, and to do the best you can, whatever that may be.” Chatfield is super excited to embrace a new team member and follow her through a career of counseling!

 

Mrs. Barnett: SPED

Mrs. Barnett is a Learning Specialist here at Chatfield. She began working here last year under a temporary position, but when the opportunity to work in person arose, she took it and now works to support students in 9th and 11th grade English classes. In years past, she worked at Bradford Intermediate and as an English teacher at a high school in California. She also attended many colleges and got her masters in English. She is now into her 13th year of teaching and is ecstatic to be here at Chatfield as she loves the students, staff, and her job. In addition, she finds her position to fit perfectly as she once again gets to work in the field of English. She is also a loving mother of two and says that if she had to give one piece of advice to all of us students, it would be to find a class or a club to be passionate about. That passion may turn into a career.

 

 

There were a few staff members who we were unable to interview and so they are not featured above, but we are glad to have them as part of the Chatfield family. They are:

Ms. Flecher, English Teacher

Mr. Hoggarth, English Teacher

Ms. Mueller, SPED Teacher

Ms. Bartin, SPED Teacher

Ms. Frederickson, Math Teacher

Mr. Stukey, SPED Teacher

Ms. Bazz, PARA

Ms. Armbrust, PARA