Meet the principals from schools throughout DCSD!
Gold Rush Elementary in Parker has built a strong reputation over the years. It’s a school that prides itself on offering one-to-one technology and emphasizing critical thinking skills, all while maintaining a strong partnership with parents to strengthen the learning and culture for students to be the best it can be. Much of this reputation can be attributed to Dr. Jenny Brown, who has been Gold Rush’s principal for the past six years.
Principal Chris Zimmerman has been involved with the leadership team at Cimarron Middle School for the last seven years and is currently serving in his fourth year as the school’s principal.
Lacey Dahl has been at Meadow View since 2014. She was the assistant principal for two years before becoming the principal in 2016.
As principal of Eagle Ridge Elementary for the last nine years, there isn’t much Doug hasn’t seen or dealt with. He leads by example, making sure kids are not only getting the important joys out of their day, but are also becoming the best versions of themselves.
There isn’t a single morning you won’t find Stone Mountain Elementary Principal Michelle Franci outside in the drop-off lane waving with her Mickey Mouse hand and welcoming students into school. For her, this is one of her favorite parts of the day. Since 2007, when Stone Mountain opened, Michelle Franci has been a staple.
Though he is finishing his first year as Principal of Castle View, Corr has been a staple in the school for the last nine years as a theatre teacher, Dean of Students, and Assistant Principal.
Eagle Academy in Highlands Ranch isn’t your typical high school. Students needing a different education path or those who don’t fit into traditional high school plans are finding a home at Eagle. First year principal, Jeff Broeker, says the changes he sees students go through is remarkable.
During his time at the school, he has seen the student population nearly double. Chris discusses the relationships created at ThunderRidge as the foundation for the quality of the school, and more.
Many people believe the true definition of a great school isn’t one where academic standards and statistics tower above everyone else; but instead, is a place where a student is looked at as an individual and provided chances to truly make them the best person they can possibly be. It’s that belief that has continued to push Saddle Ranch Elementary School forward.
He has spent his entire 18-year career working inside the Douglas County School District at both the elementary and middle school levels before becoming an assistant principal at Rocky Heights Middle School. Prior to last year’s school year, Veit was named the new principal at Buffalo Ridge Elementary. In that time, Veit has worked to redefine Buffalo Ridge and rebuild the connection to the community.
In the past two and a half school years, Sagewood Middle School has quickly and quietly become the sleeping giant of middle schools— providing students with an impeccable work ethic and strong foundation of academic excellence. But Sagewood can also now add a long list of accolades the school is known for today. According to school administration and teachers, it was the vision at the school’s helm, courtesy of school principal, Danny Winsor that propelled them forward.
Tucked back into the south side of Castle Rock, surrounded by homes and apartments is not only a Castle Rock staple, but also one of Douglas County’s oldest schools, South Ridge Elementary. The school is currently operating in its 45th year. As a designated International Baccalaureate School, students explore, investigate and make connections observing the world around them beyond what is just in their own backyards.
Working alongside kids has always been part of life’s plan for Mammoth Heights Elementary School principal Nick Holtvluwer – just not quite in the capacity it is today. Originally from Michigan, Holtvluwer will tell you a job inside a classroom was the last place he expected to be. He originally went to school at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and earned his degree in communications. After working at a news station for several years, Holtvluwer determined his dream job to work at a PBS station with kids was a bit out of reach.
For Mary Page, every day is an opportunity to make an impact. Whether it is a student able to take the bus for the first time without behavioral challenges, or a former student who is empowered to ignite his own photography career, every day brings a new opportunity, and no two days look alike.
As Kelli Bainbridge walks through the hallways and classrooms of Pioneer Elementary School she is greeted by a lot of bright smiles and tons of hugs by students.
PARKER – In the twenty years that have passed since Molly Gnaegy arrived in Douglas County to teach kindergarten, student enrollment in the District has tripled, and Gnagey has advanced into the role of principal.
CASTLE ROCK – Lee-Ann Hayen loved horses when she was growing up and had her sights set on becoming an equine veterinarian when she graduated from high school.
LONE TREE – William Arthur Ward once said: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates and the great teacher inspires.” For Lone Tree Elementary Principal, Mindy Persichina, her elementary school teachers inspired her to blaze a path of teaching.
HIGHLANDS RANCH – Being at school every day is not something that Brian Rodda would have envisioned for a vocation when he was a boy in Portland, Oregon.
HIGHLANDS RANCH – When entering the Eldorado Elementary building in west Highlands Ranch, it does not take long for visitors to discover a uniqueness about the school culture that starts with the very warm, polite and inviting principal, Katy Kollasch.
FRANKTOWN – Sitting near the crossroads of Colorado Highway 83 and Highway 86, Franktown Elementary School is a neighborhood school that has a small town feel, with all of the advanced resources of a suburban school district that is leading the way into the 21st century.
HIGHLANDS RANCH - John Gutierrez always loved school when he was growing up. He decided at an early age he wanted to be a teacher, and has never looked back.
HIGHLANDS RANCH – At Rock Canyon High School (RCHS), there is a culture of caring that threads throughout the student body and faculty.
When you ask Gigi Whalen what she enjoys most about her job, she is quick to answer it is the students.
CASTLE ROCK – Science and social studies. Physical education and technology: Yvette Brown has taught it. Finance, operations and academic excellence: Yvette Brown is responsible for it. Greeting students as they walk into school every day: Yvette Brown’s favorite part of her job.
Anthony Jackowski arrived at Mesa Middle School this school year with a wealth of experience to share with staff and students.
Reading, learning, problem solving. Kelli Smith has an affinity for all three.
LONE TREE – Gina Smith has learned that all children have unique needs...and that all children have the potential to learn.
PARKER – Jason Jacob has been a familiar face at Legend High School since the school opened its doors in 2007.
HIGHLANDS RANCH – “Most importantly, we believe in joy. If we are doing our jobs correctly, you should experience education as a joyful experience.