Best District to Learn, Work and Lead

  • Best District Rock District 49 will strive to be the best district to learn, work and lead. All three of those priorities are critical. To be the best place to learn, the district must offer lots of different options for lots of different students, so students will choose to focus their educational experience around programs and schools best suited for their needs. To be a great place to work, District 49 is committed to attracting excellent staff members, talented teachers and top administrators. The district is an even better place to work when it's an awesome place to live. District 49 wants to be the best district for leaders, so that aspiring principals and veteran program administrators want to apply their leadership skills to its problems and opportunities. When the district is the best place to learn, work and lead, then it will attract learners, workers and leaders who want to be part of District 49, and who will continue to make it an outstanding district.
    School District 49’s board-approved strategic plan provides unified vision, goals and strategies to prepare students to achieve like never before. Its strategic plan is organized around a a big rocks metaphor. If the district identifies and focuses on what's most important – its big rocks of trust, community, best district, portfolio of schools and every student – and then adds other things around them, the medium-sized rocks, and finally works in the pebbles, everything better fits together. District 49 has applied this metaphor in its strategic plan, which identifies the district's Big Rocks. These strategic initiatives will be emphasized over the upcoming years, representing the district’s commitment to its community. These five rocks are its foundation for building an excellent future with its staff, students and greater community.

About District 49

  • Our vision is to be the best choice in public education. We envision a future when every time a student, parent, or educator chooses a school district, we are the best choice they can make. We have a mission to Learn, Work, and Lead. Our commitment is to be the best place to learn, to work, and to lead. Every day, we create environments so that everyone associated with the district is always learning, working, and leading us to be the best.

    District 49 spans 133 square miles of urban and rural areas in Colorado, covering northeast Colorado Springs and the Falcon area of El Paso County. The district's central office is located at 10850 E. Woodmen Road in Peyton, Colo. As the fastest growing school district in the Pikes Peak region, it's currently serving more than 21,000 students within its portfolio of schools. The district offers school of choice options.

    District 49 is led by three chief officers rather than a single superintendent. The chief education officer, chief business officer and chief operations officer work collaboratively together, and directly with, department directors who are staffed with activity coordinators and specialists.

    • Peter Hilts, CEO
    • Brett Ridgway, CBO
    • Pedro Almeida, COO

Falcon Zone Overview

  • Falcon Zone has a strong tradition that dates back to 1900. That tradition carries on today with six highly successful schools. Falcon Zone offers the following programs: Academy of Health Sciences, Academy of Finance, Academy of Information and Technology, Air Force JROTC, FBLA, Distributive Education Clubs of America, Link Crew, National Honor Society, Student-to-Student program and many others. The zone offers more than 20 advanced placement and CU Succeed classes. Its schools have performed well on CMAS and SAT.

    While the Falcon Zone greatly honors tradition, we also embrace that our learners today deserve a different learning experience from yesteryear—one that will prepare them to be successful in our ever-changing world.

    Falcon Zone Empower Logo

    Through Empower Falcon Zone (EmpowerFZ), we aim to empower our learners by offering three main things:

    • Engaging Environments
    • Enhanced Opportunities
    • Elevated Instruction

    We want our students to have more voice and choice in their education. We desire to cater more to their interests and needs, while at the same time providing them with unique, challenging, expanded and blended learning opportunities. 

    Falcon Zone Logo


    Our logo is that of a simple propeller which captures students’ passions. We see students as pilots and when they graduate into the community, they will be fully prepared to pilot their lives toward new horizons and with a passion to make a positive difference in the world.

    We began our first cohort of EmpowerFZ teachers in 2018. We are excited to be on this innovative journey with our students!

    Empowerment Logo

Falcon Zone Superintendent

Phone: 719.495.5555


Degrees and Certifications:

Sue Holmes

I am truly honored and excited to be the Falcon Zone Superintendent!  The zone’s firm foundation of tradition intertwined with innovation provides a great springboard for us to continue to learn, work, and lead and truly be a strong piece of the district’s focus on being the best choice in education.

From my early roots of teaching secondary English/Language Arts, I always desired to ensure that ALL students were provided the best education possible.  This yearning eventually launched me into school leadership spanning from assistant principal to superintendent roles.  My leadership work began in a neighboring rural district to D49, and I’m so pleased to return to the eastern side of the Pikes Peak region—it really is like coming back home.

I completed my undergraduate degree from Trinity University in San Antonio and my Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Educational Leadership from UCCS.  My passion continues to be impacting students in phenomenal ways through working with and coaching building principals.  My vision for Falcon Zone is to better engage students in innovative and meaningful learning so they are prepared for successful careers and lives in a world we can’t yet imagine!

With a heart for relationship building and growth, I embrace partnering with staff, students, parents, and the Falcon Zone community to achieve the greatness each of our students deserves!

Falcon High School Principal

Phone: 719-495-5520 x5527


Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education through Kansas State University Master of Science in School Administration through Kansas State University Ph.D in Education through Capella University

Dr. Darryl Bonds

For the past fifteen years Falcon has been home for my family and me and I am extremely excited to be the new Principal at Falcon High School.  I can’t think of a better honor than being able to have an impact on the lives of the young men and women in my own community.  For those who haven’t had the opportunity to meet or get to know me I want to provide a bit of information on my education, professional and personal background.

I began my career in education after completing a Bachelor of Science Degree at Kansas State University in Elementary Education. While at Kansas State University, I participated and lettered in track four years, while also completing six years of service in the Marine Corps Reserves.  My work experience includes two years teaching 5th grade at the elementary level, one each in Junction City, Kansas and one in Austin, Texas.  In addition to teaching at the elementary level, I spent an additional five years teaching Social Studies at Junction City Junior High School, in Junction City, Kansas.  While working in Junction City, I returned to Kansas State and completed a Master’s Degree in School Administration. 

I began my administrative career at the elementary and middle school levels in Wichita, Kansas. Since then I have been a middle school principal in Baltimore County, Maryland, and an elementary principal and high school principal. 

In addition to my school level experience I have served as an Assistant Director for Human Resources in the Widefield School District, Regional Manager for the Colorado Department of Education and Assistant Commissioner for Turnaround for the Colorado Department of Education.  While working at the Colorado Department of Education, I completed my Ph.D. through Capella University.  Prior to accepting the position here at Falcon High School, I served as the Operations Manager for Denver Public Schools Career Connect where I managed grants, support building and facility renovations for CTE Programs and supported schools with budgeting and transportation. 

I am married to a wonderful and supportive women Jennifer, who is a Principal in the Widefield School District and the proud father of six daughters, Morgan, who is a surgeon, Lauren who is a lawyer, Chelsie who is a teacher, Cassie who is a teacher, Cambria who is a nurse and Graycen who is nine and entering the fourth grade.  My dream is to be here and hand Graceyn her diploma when she graduates from Falcon High School.

Falcon Middle School Principal Brian Smith

Phone: 719.495.5220


Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Brian Smith

Greetings, Firebird Nation!

My name is Brian Smith, and I am your Executive Principal for the Firebird Nation Campus.  The Firebird Nation Campus, with our Falcon Middle School Firebirds and Bennett Ranch Bulls, truly provides an exceptional experience for our students. I am excited as we personalize learning and empower our learners to follow their pathway to success.  This is my 20th year in District 49.  I began my career as a Science Teacher at Falcon High School where I taught Chemistry and Advanced Placement Chemistry.  I then was an Assistant Principal at Skyview Middle School before coming to Falcon Middle School as Principal, where I have been the past 11 years.  It has been exciting for me to return to the same building where I began my teaching career! The opportunity in leading this entire campus is exciting and I look forward to continued collaboration with our families as we make Firebird Nation Campus the best opportunity for our students. 

To give you some additional background, I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. I enjoyed my time there with family and friends, but the heat began to be too much. I will never forget the record 128 degree day when my friends and I fried an egg on the street! I moved to Durango, CO where I attended Fort Lewis College. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a teaching certification. I enjoy the outdoors and use whatever time I can find to hike, fish, and ski. I consider myself an avid fisherman and particularly enjoy deep sea fishing! My recent trip to Cabo San Lucas provided me with my first experience of reeling in a 240-lb Marlin (you will have to come to my office to see the picture!).

Falcon Middle School and Bennett Ranch Elementary School are great places for students, staff, parents, and community members. We want everyone to be involved in our schools! It is exciting for me to be in such a close-knit community where everyone values the education that we provide our children. I am excited to be your Executive Principal and will work hard to see that we increase our student achievement, promote the Firebird spirit, and involve community in all aspects of our school. Please do not hesitate to contact my office should you have any questions or concerns. I also welcome you to come in and meet with me at any point so we can work together to take our campus to the next level of excellence.



Brian Smith

Executive Principal

Falcon Middle School

Bennett Ranch Elementary

Firebird Nation Campus

Falcon Elementary School of Technology Principal

Phone: 719-495-5278


Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Paula Kavalec

Paula Kavalec, Principal at Falcon Elementary School of Technology

Mrs. Kavalec earned her master's degree in elementary education from Regis University and her principal licensure from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Her professional experience includes social work in her home country of England, and serving as an elementary and middle school teacher in District 20.

“As principal of Falcon Elementary, I want to know I impact someone every day through interactions with staff, mentoring students, or collaborating with community members and parents," Kavalec commented. "Our school is a small community with a huge heart, and I want every student to know they are valued and respected."

When she is not at school, Kavalec enjoys scrapbooking, traveling and spending time with family. She and her husband have three children.


Meridian Ranch Elementary Principal

Phone: 719-494-2902


Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Sheehan Freeman-Todd

Greetings, Meridian Ranch Elementary Families,

My name is Sheehan Freeman-Todd and I am thrilled and honored to serve as the principal of Meridian Ranch Elementary School.  I look forward to working with the Meridian Ranch community to ensure students have rich learning experiences.

I am very excited to return to the Falcon Zone in District 49.  When we moved to Colorado 13 years ago, I started teaching at Woodmen Hills Elementary.  Then I moved to Falcon Middle School and served as an assistant principal.  For the past six years, I have been serving as the assistant principal at Discovery Canyon Campus.

To give a little background, my husband and I are both from the Midwest and moved here from Illinois where I started my teaching career specializing in both special education and elementary education.  We love living in Colorado and all that the outdoors has to offer.  

Meridian Ranch Elementary is a great place for students, staff, parents, and community members.  We want everyone to be involved in our school! It is exciting for me to be in such a close-knit community where everyone values the education that we provide our children.

Please do not hesitate to contact my office should you have any questions or concerns.  I also welcome you to come in and meet with me at any point so we can work together to take our school to the next level of excellence.


Woodmen Hills Elementary School Principal

Phone: 719.495.5500


Degrees and Certifications:

Ed. Spec. – Principal Licensure Program, University of Colorado Colorado Springs M.Ed. – Gifted Education, University of Northern Colorado M.Ed. – Elementary Education, University of Nebraska Omaha B.A. – K-12 Physical Education, Hastings College

Bethany Stegman

Hello Woodmen Hills Students and Families!

I love being a part of Tornado Nation!  I was the Assistant Principal of WHES before becoming the Principal in the 2020-2021 school year.  I have greatly valued the partnerships with each of you while serving the learning community as we engage, elevate, and enhance the learning and teaching for our students and staff.  This year is no different, we will remain united in one mission - whatever it takes for our kids.

I started my career with Westside Community Schools in Omaha, Nebraska before moving to Colorado in 2007.  I then taught in Academy District 20 for 11 years before coming to WHES in 2018.  During my time at WCS and D20, I taught elementary and middle school Physical Education, Kindergarten, 1st grade, and also spent several years as a Gifted Education Specialist, Response to Intervention Coordinator, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Leader, and Facilitator of Student Growth.

I am small town Nebraska born and raised, and my husband and I have two daughters.  In my time away from school, you will find our family outside and traveling – sometimes exploring all that Colorado has to offer, but most often at a baseball field somewhere across the nation.

Please reach out if you need anything - we are in this together!

  • We are POWER Zone

    POWER Zone's educators and support staff are dedicated to facilitating a mission focused on:

    ♦ Purposeful risk 
    Ownership of learning 
    Whole child-student concept
    Engaging inquiry and
    Respectful relationships


    POWER Zone Focus

    Mission Statement:

    POWER Zone takes purposeful risks and a deep ownership over learning to support a whole child concept through presenting engaging opportunities to our students and families while maintaining a core focus on respectful relationships.


    Prepare, Engage, EmPOWER...The POWER Zone Difference.

    Values Statement:

    POWER Zone believes in creating a loyalty effect with our stakeholders through serving our community by ensuring we climb with care and confidence within a family first environment while treating each stakeholder like the most important person in the world.


    POWER Zone Indicators

    What are Indicators?

    Our zone is committed to creating school priorities that are very real and meaningful to the stakeholders we serve. POWER Zone students, staff, and parents informed the POWER Zone of what measures mattered most to them. The measures initially formed 6 key performance indicators which then evolved into three zone focuses.

    In POWER Zone, each family's input is helping to drive zone-level educational decisions that will directly supports your child’s ability to successfully work, learn, and lead in the POWER Zone and be career or college ready in the future.


    Academic Performance: The demonstration of Knowledge and skills integrated across multiple content areas and driven through personalized learning pathways.

    Personalized Learning: Personalized learning is a student centered learning model where students gain more ownership over their learning and more voice with their teacher about how they learn best. This process allows students to have more choice over how they demonstrate their learning. Through developing strong problem solving and critical thinking skills students can create a clear path to competency based learning and skill development.

    ♦ School Safety & Climate:
    When we mention school climate, we're referring to a school's quality and character, along with the values expressed during social interactions. With a Capturing Kids Hearts philosophy reinforced annually, and permeating across the zone, every educator is equipped with specific strategies to help increase our effectiveness with the young people we serve. Our parents must know their children are safe. Our students must feel safe to learn. The importance of ensuring a safe and secure learning environment is universally seen as one the most important indicators to our community.

    Our Marzano High Reliability School certification process allows POWER Zone to continually measure and improve the quality of the cultures, learning structures, and collaborative environments within each school, all with the aim of increased student learning.


POWER Zone Superintendent

Phone: 719.494.8812


Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Theresa Ritz

Vista Ridge High School Principal

Phone: 719-494-8804


Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Jason Dalee

Jason DaLee has been an educator since 1999. He began his career teaching science and coaching basketball in Florida. While in Florida, Jason was a curriculum developer for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and developed a process catalog for the United Space Alliance. He also served as a curriculum evaluator for SETI. Jason moved back to his home state of Colorado in 2007 where he continued to teach and coach. Along with K-12 education, Jason has worked in professional development and served as a faculty member at the university level. Jason has been serving as an assistant principal at Vista Ridge since 2014.

Skyview Middle School Principal



Degrees and Certifications:

Matthew Sisson

Dr. Mike Pickering, POWER Zone leader, is pleased to announce Matthew Sisson will serve District 49 as principal of Skyview Middle School for the 2020-21 school year.

Mr. Sisson has filled the role of assistant principal at Vista Ridge High School for the last five years.  He kicked off his career in education teaching history and government at the high school level in Ohio before moving to Colorado in 2008. He previously served as a social studies teacher in Harrison School District and dean of students in Fountain-Fort Carson School District before arriving at Vista Ridge. Mr. Sisson earned his Master of Arts from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

"I look forward to having the opportunity to continue the great work at Skyview Middle School," said Sisson. "I am excited to be part of the Skyview family, and to keep developing programs to support students as lifelong learners and active members of their communities."

Mr. Sisson and his wife, Kelli, have three daughters, and they all love having fun outdoors in the scenic Rocky Mountains.

Odyssey Elementary School Principal

Phone: 719.494.8622


Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Sarah McAfee

I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts and after graduating from New England College, in New Hampshire, my husband and I moved out to Colorado for the next chapter of our life. We love living in Colorado and enjoy the spectacular landscape of the state. Our parents eventually relocated as well, to take in the fabulous weather and spend time with our three boys, who keep us extremely busy and entertained.

I enjoy family camping trips, playing board games with my boys, and spending time with our family and friends. I also like to run half marathons with my husband and siblings at various destinations. Combining my love of family and traveling is a great way to exercise! My favorite destination race is a tie between Canyonlands in Moab, UT and Steamboat Springs in our great state. I am so fortunate to live in this wonderful part of the world with my family, and I am excited to share it all with you, my new family at Odyssey Elementary!

My educational career began as a third-grade teacher for five years at a private school here in Colorado Springs.  Upon completion of my Master's degree, I joined Harrison School District #2 as a Literacy Coach and eventually became an Assistant Principal. Following that experience, I took the next step toward this moment by accepting my first principalship in Douglas County. All these opportunities have led me to District 49, and I am thrilled to be part of the POWER Zone and Odyssey Elementary.

The education your child receives is very important to me, and I am passionate about providing your child with opportunities that will support their success into the future.

Ridgeview Elementary School Principal



Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Kim Moore

Stetson Elementary School Principal

Phone: (719) 495-5252


Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Beth Dowdy

Dear Raider Families:

Welcome to the 21-22 school year!  First, I would like to thank all of our returning families for their support this past year as we worked through new and unusual territory.  Your hard work and flexibility has not gone unnoticed and is greatly appreciated!  Thank you! To our new families, welcome to the Raider family! We can’t wait to get to know you better.

I begin this year with excitement, hope, and optimism and am looking forward to a more “normal” school year. I  welcome your involvement in your child’s education and am excited about the prospect of having volunteers in the building again.  The district is in the process of updating the volunteer page for the latest information about volunteering ( I encourage you to consider joining PTA or attending our School Accountability Committee (SAC) meetings where you can learn more about these two organizations and have a voice in these groups.  Get to know your child’s teacher through open lines of communication to better allow you to work in partnership to support your child's success at school.  

This is my third year as principal at Stetson. I have been an educator for over 21 years as a teacher, school counselor, RtI coordinator, and an assistant principal. I believe all children can learn and succeed, and it is through a collaborative effort amongst school, families, and community that this will be achieved. My goal is to model the beliefs and mission of Stetson Elementary to provide a highly engaging and rigorous learning environment built and maintained on positive and supportive relationships amongst all stakeholders.  

My philosophy of education is to support the whole child.  I believe that social-emotional and physical wellness are critical to academic success and must be a part of a well-rounded education.  This has been my mission since I began my teaching career in Fairfax, VA. The US Navy then took me to Norfolk, VA to teach, and then to Colorado Springs where I taught in Harrison School District 2. After earning my counseling degree, I took a position as a school counselor and resource coordinator at Divine Redeemer Catholic School. From there I became the school counselor at Douglass Valley Elementary School on the United States Air Force Academy in Academy District 20.  Prior to coming to Stetson, I was at Prairie Hills Elementary where I served as the assistant principal for five years. I have a BS in Elementary/Middle School Education, an MA in Human Services and Counseling, and a MEd in Administrative Leadership. I am a mom of three young adults who are all D49 graduates: son/daughter twins and another daughter who are all in college.

I look forward to continuing to build strong and positive relationships with the students, staff, and families of Stetson Elementary, and I welcome your support, questions, and feedback. Through a strong, respectful partnership we will continue to build a community of excellence to ensure Stetson Elementary is the best school to learn, to work, and to lead. Go Raiders!

With warmest regards,


Beth Dowdy


Sand Creek Zone Overview


    The plan for Sand Creek Zone schools was developed during the 2016-2017 school year over a number of forums with community members, teachers, students, and parents. Educational leaders across the zone also provided valuable input. In addition, goals were developed in response to staff and parent survey results compiled during the 2016-2017 school year.

    MISSION - Pursuit of Excellence


    Commitment Personalized Paths  Growth Mindset







     Inclusivity Inclusivity  Pride
    Sand Creek Zone Plan
    Think of the Sand Creek Zone plan this way...the vital work we do every day, no matter the assignment, drives student success. Each member of the Sand Creek Zone team engages in service for our learners,. parents, and community in some way, shape, or form. Every staff member helps create a work environment that is healthy and stimulating. Our schools will continue to innovate and grow in purposeful fashion.
    Our goals address four pillars...Student Success, People, Service, and Innovation/Growth. We have defined strategic actions aligned with each of the pillars and goals and measures to assess our performance.

Sand Creek Zone Superintendent

Phone: 719.495.1177


Degrees and Certifications:

Sean Dorsey

"This is a unique and exciting opportunity to make us the top district in the state," says Sean Dorsey, Sand Creek Zone superintendent, about District 49's innovation initiative. "Right now, we are creating the plan and the community has a stake in this process." As the global workforce changes, education must change to prepare students for excellence in and out of the classroom. Within the Sand Creek Zone, Dorsey says schools will assemble a wide array of services for students. The elementary, middle and high schools will coordinate and work together so educators aim toward the same goals, move in the same direction.

"We are going to match the world’s expectations with a level of intensity in our classrooms," says Dorsey. "We are going to engage students in a rich, stimulating environment." As the zone continues to build a sense of community, he says open communication is extremely important and the focus remains on students. "We need to ask, 'what do our students need?' because we are preparing them for the next level."

Mr.Dorsey began his education career as a special education teacher. He then went on to serve in assistant principal and principal roles. Sean moved to Colorado Springs, within District 49, in 2010. He enjoys working with his community throughout the innovation processes.

"When the community is involved and parents are involved, students succeed," he says.

Athletic Director



Degrees and Certifications:

B.S. Business Administration M.S. Sports Administration

Jared Welch

Jared Welch works to build and maintain competitive athletics and activities programs as the Athletic Director.

Welch served Sand Creek in the 2014-15 school year as assistant principal, and returns to D49 after spending time as principal and assistant principal in District 11. His experience includes serving as athletic director at Wasson High School after receiving his master's degree from the University of Northern Colorado in sports administration.

"I chose Sand Creek because I believe in the mission to pursue excellence," said Welch. "I will work to create the most excellent activities and athletic programs by supporting coaches and club sponsors who impact students' lives every day."

Welch's wife is an elementary principal in D38, and together they have three children. His favorite hobbies include playing golf and tennis.

Campus Director/Principal



Degrees and Certifications:

B.A. History M.S. Organizational Leadership

Amy Sanchez-Martinez

Amy Sanchez-Martinez is serving District 49 as Campus Director at Sand Creek High School.

Sanchez-Martinez is eager to demonstrate to the Colorado Springs community that SCHS offers high quality education. She comes to D49 from District 11 where she served Mitchell High School for 18 years as assistant principal, dean of students and master teacher coaching other educators. Sanchez-Martinez completed her master's degree in organizational leadership from Regis University.

"I believe in servant leadership, and District 49's cultural compass enables me to stick to this belief, while learning new skills in a new position," shared Sanchez-Martinez. "I look forward to learning, working and leading alongside everyone in the Sand Creek and D49 community."

Sanchez-Martinez and her husband have four children. They enjoy spending time together at home and in the great outdoors.

Campus Director Administrative Assistant

Phone: 495-1174


Degrees and Certifications:

Stacy Grice

Horizon Middle School Principal

Phone: 719-495-1167


Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Dustin Horras

Welcome to Horizon Middle School, home of the Panthers!  Our school is full of dedicated and passionate individuals who are committed to our students. Horizon was built in 1985 and is primarily a walk-in neighborhood school serving students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.  

I am excited to begin my twelth year as a principal, and my eigth as a Horizon Panther.  This will be my twenty-sixth year in District 49.  All of my time in District 49 has been in the Sand Creek Zone feeder system.  I began my teaching career at Evans teaching 4th grade.  After two years teaching 4th grade, I spent seven years as the physical education teacher at Evans.  Following my nine years of teaching at Evans, I spent one year as a Dean of Students at Sand Creek High School.  I then returned to Evans and spent three years as the Assistant Principal before taking over as principal where I spent four years.  I then spent one year working with all schools in the Sand Creek Zone, but missed being a principal and working with kids everyday.  The opportunity at Horizon has been perfect for me and has allowed me to spend each day doing something I truly enjoy.

As principal, I take great pride in Horizon, our students and staff.  We are devoted to supporting each student's social, emotional, and academic development. My expectation is that together we will go above and beyond in meeting the needs of all children and we will provide your child with an outstanding education in a fun and caring school environment.  I am especially proud of our Renaissance program, which recognizes students for their academic accomplishments and good behavior.  Last year we had over 400 students, over half our student body, make Renaissance each quarter.

We deeply value and encourage parents and the community as partners in the development and education of all our students. As a school community will work together to create a learning environment that supports individual students in fulfilling their potential as learners.

I encourage you to talk with your child daily about their experiences at school: their friends, daily activities, and anything else they would like to share with you.  As a parent, there is a lot of joy in knowing about your child’s day!

Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss your child’s education or to learn more about Horizon.  Our website always contains a lot of important information about school procedures, programs, and upcoming events, please visit often. Also, if you haven't visited Horizon, please contact us to set up a time to come see us.  GO PANTHERS!


Evans International Elementary School Principal

Phone: 719.495.5299


Degrees and Certifications:

BA, English Education, South Dakota State University, 2002 MS, Instructional Technology, University of Wyoming, 2008 MA, Administrator Leadership, Western State University, 2013

Mrs. Marcia Case

Welcome to Evans Elementary School, home of the Wildcats! I am honored and thrilled to serve as the principal and embark on this new journey with the Evans community. My husband and I are raising four children who are all proud students in the Sand Creek Zone and my most recent administrative experience was right around the corner at Horizon Middle School. 

Our goals this year focus on literacy and math growth and achievement as teachers continue to develop instructional programs that fit the individualized needs of our students. We'll also build partnerships within the community as we strive to support our students in their paths to becoming life-long learners who are contributing to society in positive and meaningful ways.
My door is always open, please stop by with any questions or concerns or just to say hello- I look forward to meeting and working with all of you. 

Remington Elementary School Principal



Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Lisa Fillo

I am humbled to serve at Remington.  I am honored to have the opportunity to bring my skills as an educational leader to Remington Elementary School and to work with parents, teachers and students to provide the best academic experience for all of our students.

My vision as an educational leader is to create a positive and safe learning community where academics and social development are equally nurtured through relevant and meaningful teaching and learning opportunities for the whole child.

A little about myself: I was born and raised in San Diego. I was a Navy daughter and a Navy wife. I served as an elementary and middle school teacher at Lewis Palmer School District. I earned my BA at San Diego State and my MA at University of Denver. I have four children in all different careers.  I spend my weekends hiking, travelling, and playing tennis with my adult children.

I truly want to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me. I am happy to meet with you and collaborate with you on your child’s education.

Springs Ranch Elementary School Principal

Phone: 719.494.8602


Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Jim Kyner

Greets and welcome to Springs Ranch Elementary!  We are an elementary school serving Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade.  We hold high expectations for our staff, students, and families and desire to provide the support to meet those expectations.  I am honored to serve as your principal and want you to know a little more about me.

I grew up in Northeast Ohio and attended Ohio Wesleyan University where I earned my bachelor's in Elementary Education.  I also played football while at OWU, was a leader in a Big Sibling program, and a leader in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  After graduating, I moved to Virginia where I would spend the next 23 years teaching, coaching, and leading in public education.  I have taught 4th, 6th, and 8th grades.  I coached football and wrestling.  I earned a Master's in Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia.  As a leader in schools, I have been an assistant principal, principal, and district level coordinator.  I moved to Colorado Springs in July of 2016 to become the principal of Springs Ranch Elementary and am excited about this opportunity in a new state!

I am married and have 6 children.  We enjoy being together as a family.  Some of our favorite activities are hiking, camping, and kayaking.  We like playing board games or watching a family movie.  My favorite movie is "It's a Wonderful Life".  I enjoy sports and competition.  (Truthfully, I like to win, but consider myself a good sport).

I am committed to serving the students, their families and the staff at Springs Ranch Elementary.  I want all stakeholders to work together to provide the best environment possible for our students to learn and grow.  I appreciate you trusting us with your children and want you to know that my door is open if you ever have any questions, concerns or just want to say hello.

iConnect Zone Overview

  • The iConnect Zone has reinvented educational environments that inspire individuals’ peak potential. In iConnect, faculty interconnect effective educational systems, which inspire individuals to their learning potential, investigate and implement best educational practices that lead students to success, invest in students by challenging and developing citizens that compete in a global society, invent settings and systems that empower individuals’ learning, leadership and life. The zone strives to inspire individuals with meaningful challenges and surround them with nurturing support to achieve ambitious goals.
    • Online and Blended Learning
    • Credit Recovery
    • Alternative Education
    • Homeschool
    • Tuition-free Charter Schools

Falcon Homeschool Program Principal

Phone: 719.494-8985


Degrees and Certifications:

Katie Boal

Patriot High School Principal

Phone: 719-495-5508


Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Steve Gard

Steve is a Colorado native who grew up in the Denver area before moving to Greeley to attend the University of Northern Colorado in 1993.  He earned his Bachelor's of Arts in Mathematics with an emphasis in Secondary Education from UNC in 1997 and promptly began teaching math in an alternative charter high school, Colorado High School of Greeley, in Greeley-Evans School District 6.  After 11 years of service at Colorado HS, he was approached by his principal with the idea of joining him in creating a new alternative diploma program in the District.  He was appointed the position of "Dean of Students" for the Greeley Alternative Program (GAP).  His Master's in Educational Leadership was completed in August of 2010 and he remained at GAP through the 2018-19 school year before accepting the principal position at Patriot High School and relocating to Colorado Springs. 
Steve believes in always offering second chances and celebrating the power of redefining who you are and how people see you.  He encourages all people (children and adults alike) to embrace their individuality, dreams, and strengths, and to "not talk about it, BE about it!"  

Pikes Peak Early College Principal

Phone: 719.494.8906


Degrees and Certifications:

BA in English with a General Science Minor MA in Curriculum Instruction and Technology Secondary Science Endorsement

Mrs. Rochelle Kolhouse

Rochelle Kolhouse has been a teacher in District 49 for the past twenty years and has been an online adjunct professor for the University of Phoenix for the past ten years.  She was the blended high school science teacher for Springs Studio for Academic Excellence and was named Online/Blended Teacher of the year in 2013 for the state of Colorado. Most recently, she worked as an Instructional Coach for the iConnect Zone; developing training courses for best practices in blended learning and creating professional development opportunities for teachers working in blended learning environments. 

Blended learning truly is her passion and area of expertise.  She has enjoyed being an integral part of starting both Springs Studio for Academic Excellence as well as Pikes Peak Early College and looks forward to continuing to open young minds to different ways of thinking and learning.  She is excited to be the Associate Principal of Pikes Peak Early College where she can continue the successes of this fantastic school and all the opportunities it affords students.

Phone: 719-495-5464


Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Martina Meadows

As principal of Bennett Ranch Elementary, I am looking forward to continuing to partner with parents, and build relationships with staff, students, and the community!

I am bringing more than 21 years of experience in education to this leadership position. My background includes teaching kindergarten through fourth grades in Arizona before relocating to Colorado to teach reading and English skills to elementary students.  After serving as the Coordinator for English Language Development in District 49, I also spent two years as an assistant principal at Rocky Mountain Classical Academy.  This will be my second year as Principal at Bennett Ranch Elementary, and I am looking foward to a great school year for all our Bennett Ranch Bulls!

My husband and I have been married for over 21 years, and we have two children.  In my free time, I enjoy outdoor activities, playing cards, and watching movies.

Springs Studio For Academic Excellence Principal

Phone: 719-495-1175


Degrees and Certifications:

BA History BA Social Sciences MA Educational Leadership and Program Management

Mr. David Knoche

Mr. Knoche is one of the founding staff members of Springs Studio.  He has guided the transformation from a full virtual school to the hybrid model we see today. Mr. Knoche also was the founding Principal for Pikes Peak Early College. As Executive Principal he provides leadership and management on The Campus which houses Springs Studio, Pikes Peak Early College and our Falcon Homeschool Academic Program. He is a strong believer in the enormous benefits of flexible, relevant, and individualized educational models that meet the needs of non-traditional learners. His passion is centered around the blended school environment as well as being an ambassador for online and hybrid learning models. His experience in the hybrid learning model combined with the rigor and opportunity of an early college creates a campus focused on innovation and opportunity.