Best District to Learn, Work and Lead

  • 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. By learning, working, and leading, we will prepare students, in a safe and caring environment, to be successful, competent and productive citizens in a global society.

    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 a chief executive officer who supervises offices focused on business, operations, and education. The CEO works collaboratively with department directors and teams staffed with activity coordinators and specialists.

    • Peter Hilts, CEO
  • Falcon Zone has a strong tradition that dates back to 1900. That tradition carries on today with six highly successful schools: Falcon High, Falcon Middle, Falcon Elementary School of Technology, Woodmen Hills Elementary, Meridian Ranch Elementary, and Bennett Ranch Elementary. You can learn more about our history, traditions, and our vision for modern personalized learning here below.



    Falcon Zone offers the following programs: Academy of Health Science, Academy of Finance, Academy of Information 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 performed well on CMAS and SAT.

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

    Through Empower Falcon Zone (Empower FZ), 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 Superintendent

Phone: 719.495.5525


Degrees and Certifications:

MA - Educational Administration from the University of Denver Principal Licensure - University of Denver BS - Chemistry from Fort Lewis College Teacher Certification - Fort Lewis College

Brian Smith

Greetings, Falcon Zone!

My name is Brian Smith, and I am your Falcon Zone Superintendent.  I am excited to embark on this new journey and lead an incredible zone of teachers, staff, and community as we empower our learners towards excellence. This is my 22nd 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 also sponsored the Link Crew and announced for the Falcons at the football games.  My next step took me to Skyview Middle School, where I served as an Assistant Principal.   After two years there, I returned home to the Falcon Zone when I accepted the Principal position at Falcon Middle School. In the past 5 years, my role evolved into an Executive Principal role as I supervised the construction and planning for Bennett Ranch Elementary when it joined the Firebird Nation Campus. Now, as of November 1, 2022, I have accepted the opportunity to serve as our Falcon Zone Leader. 

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. I also attended the University of Denver, where I obtained my Masters in Educational Administration Degree with my Principal License certification. 

Falcon Zone is an exceptional place for students, staff, and community. We care about the relationships we build with each and every member so that student learning is at the forefront. Our staff works incredibly hard to ensure that learning is personalized for our students so that they can demonstrate their achievement through what they know and can do. Each school is dedicated to excellence and success so that our Hawks, Tornadoes, Bulldogs, Bulls, Firebirds, and Falcons are ready for that next step in their life journey. I am committed to serving each of our schools, supporting our teachers and staff, prioritizing student achievement, and ensuring that each and every student becomes an Empowered Learner. Falcon Zone provides Engaging Environments, Enhanced Opportunities, and Elevated Instruction each and every day to empower our learners and propel them towards their future. That is what EmpowerFZ is all about and it is making a difference for our students.

Thank you for the opportunity to continue to serve this amazing community! I look forward to seeing you around our zone schools at various events in the coming weeks. Please don’t hesitate to come up and introduce yourself to me; I look forward to meeting and getting to know our community better! Together we can Engage, Enhance, and Elevate to Empower Falcon Zone Learners for tomorrow's opportunities.



Brian Smith

Falcon Zone Superintendent

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.



Degrees and Certifications:

Falcon Elementary School of Technology Principal

Phone: 719-495-5278


Degrees and Certifications:

Principal Licensure UCCS MA Education ULV BA English UCR

Mr. Ed Kulbacki

Ed Kulbacki, Principal at Falcon Elementary School of Technology

Welcome to Falcon Elementary School of Technology.  I am in my second year principal at FESoT and I have worked as an administrator for the past eleven years.  In fact, I worked at FESoT for two years (2012-2014) as an assistant principal and I am excited about returning to our school.

I have lived in Falcon for the past 18 years with my wife, Staci, and our four daughters- Sierra, Ashley, Madison, and Taylor.  All of our daughters have attended Falcon area schools and three have graduated from Falcon High School.  We enjoy going hiking, going boating, and playing sports as a family.  

I earned my Principal Licensure through the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and an MA in Education from the University of LaVerne.  I have had the privilege of working as an English teacher for fifteen years as well and I have worked with students and teachers k-12.  I believe that building strong readers is the key to supporting life-long learning.

I look forward to meeting you and learning about your student(s), while helping all of us grow during the elementary school experience.  



Ed Kulbacki


Meridian Ranch Elementary School Principal



Degrees and Certifications:

Meridian Ranch Elementary Principal

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 at WHES for two years before becoming the Principal in 2020.  I continue to greatly value strong partnerships with each of you while serving the learning community as we engage, elevate, and enhance learning and teaching for our students and staff.  You will often hear me share that Woodmen Hills Elementary is THE best school on earth.  Our students, staff, and families are unlike any other - they genuinely care for one another, they rise above any challenge, and I feel so grateful to spend my days at our big school with a small neighborhood feel.  Each year is no different as we 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.  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.  My husband, two daughters, and I have called Falcon home since we moved here in 2007.  In my time away from school, you will find our family outside – sometimes at an arena where our girls are competing in events on the back of their horses or at a baseball field somewhere across the nation.

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

POWER Zone Overview

  • The POWER Zone is comprised of six unique and excellent schools across the northwest portion of District 49: Vista Ridge High School, Skyview Middle School, Inspiration View Elementary School, Ridgeview Elementary School, ALLIES, and Odyssey Elementary School. Although each POWER Zone school is unique, we are guided by a shared vision, mission, and values.


    POWER Zone values apply to students, staff, and families and they include prioritizing:  family, service, trust, relationships, purposeful innovation, and continuous growth.


    POWER Zone leaders, teachers, and support staff function to ensure a safe and collaborative culture, effective teaching in every classroom, and a guaranteed and viable curriculum.  Research-based resources are utilized in our work.  The Capturing Kids' Heart process provides an inspiring relational framework that is used across our six campuses.  Marzano's High Reliability Schools framework and the New Art & Science of Teaching instructional framework provide processes, elements, and strategies that promise a strong focus on teaching and learning and an excellent educational experience for every student.

POWER Zone Superintendent

Phone: 719.494.8812


Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Theresa Ritz

Theresa Ritz is honored to be your POWER Zone Superintendent. She is a servant leader known for her love of people and successful collaboration with District 49 stakeholders. Her 25 years of experience in D49 as Executive Principal, Principal, Assistant Principal, Dean of Students, and classroom teacher provides unique perspective and expertise on the ecosystem of the POWER Zone. By combining the innovation of the PZ with the D49 vision, mission, and Cultural Compass, she is able to promote creativity, teamwork, and effective communication to help strengthen connections for all educators, administrators, families, and students. Building a team that supports one another for the benefit of all children is what drives her. 

Theresa accomplished her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Regis University, and her teaching license, master’s degree in cross-cultural education, and principal’s license from the University of Denver. She enjoys guiding our Zone in unified processes in the best interests of students: Capturing Kids’ Hearts (CKH), The New Art & Science of Teaching (NASOT) instructional framework, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and 7 Steps to a Language Rich Interactive Classroom to name a few. She appreciates working alongside dedicated principals, building leaders, and educators to ensure an excellent educational experience for every student and family.   

Theresa and her 30-year educator husband, David, enjoy their three adult children (Connor, Alex, and Grace) and one fluffy grandcat (Sprout). Theresa loves music events and attending concerts. Her favorite musician is her guitarist son, Connor, who can be seen around the Denver area performing with various groups. Alex works as an EMT and Grace serves as an elementary school teacher, both in the Colorado Springs area. Theresa is devoted to her family and friends, and a great night for her includes laughter by an outdoor fire pit taking in the beautiful Colorado views. She also delights in unique coffee shops and a good cup of coffee.

Please feel free to reach out to Theresa with questions or feedback at

Vista Ridge High School Principal



Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Tom Payne

Mr. Payne holds a master's degree in education and education leadership from Texas State University and has more than 13 years of experience as a school administrator at the elementary, middle and high school levels, including 6 years as a principal. He has enjoyed multiple assignments in the state of Texas, most recently serving as Administrative Officer with the Department of Defense's Alconbury Elementary/Middle High School in Huntingdon, England.

Skyview Middle School Principal

Phone: 719-495-5566


Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Mike Wedor

Mike transitions to this assignment after serving as an assistant principal at Skyview for the 21-22 school year. Prior to that he served four years as assistant principal at Odyssey Elementary. He brings more than 14 years of experience in education to the leadership role, including serving as principal at a charter school, and coaching at the middle and high school levels. Mike earned his master's in educational leadership from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

"As principal of Skyview Middle School, I can't wait to partner with parents, and build relationships with staff, students and the community," Wedor said. "I look forward to supporting the great work and continued achievement at SMS. I look forward to an amazing school year"

Mike and his wife have been married 16 years and have two children. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family, playing basketball and golfing.


Phone: (719) 494-8850


Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Amy Zweifel

I am honored to be joining the wonderful ALLIES family as the new principal, and I'm looking forward to building collaborative partnerships with the ALLIES community. I hold a bachelor's degree in Language Arts Education, and have also received two master's degrees in Special Education and Educational Leadership. I have over 15 years of experience in education and educational leadership. The majority of this time has been in Special Education, interventions, and language arts. I have most recently served as an Assistant Principal at Vista Ridge High School right here in the D49 POWER Zone.

I have an amazing husband, Dan, and we have two awesome children, ages 10 and 7. As a family, we love to travel to new places, discover new recipes to try at home, and spend time outdoors in beautiful Colorado! I love to cheer my kids on at hockey and golf, and we attend sporting events as much as we can.

Thank you for welcoming me into the ALLIES community!

Inspiration View Elementary School Principal

Phone: (719) 495 - 5300


Degrees and Certifications:

Pam Holloman

Hello and Welcome to Inspiration View Elementary School!

I am extremely honored to continue the role of principal and serve our Inspiration View Elementary School community. 

We have an amazing team of teachers, wonderful students, and supportive and involved families. I look forward to getting to know even more of you and deepening our school-to-home partnership.

District 49 has been my home for over 20 years; first as a parent of students in the district and then as an employee serving students, teachers, and school communities. I began my career in education as a crossing guard and absolutely loved ensuring that all the students who crossed at my corner were kept safe. Every role in a building is critical in ensuring a successful school.

Walking alongside and supporting our IVES teachers, students, and families is my passion! Before coming to IVES, I served as an academic dean for one year and as an instructional coach for three years. Previously, I taught at both the elementary and secondary levels. During this time, I was able to gain valuable experience through teaching at an International Baccalaureate(IB) School as well as a school that focused on personalized learning for all students. These are skills that have supported me in serving at IVES and encouraging our students to discover their individual passions and talents.

Inspiration View’s commitment to arts integration is close to my heart. Before teaching in the public school setting, I was a private and group piano teacher. My thesis for my graduate degree was on integrating the arts into the regular classroom. I have seen firsthand the positive impact the arts can have in the life of a child.  Watching our students grow through exploring their passions, experiencing learning through creativity and collaboration, and making lasting connections to their learning through the various art forms is absolutely amazing!

Once again, we look forward to partnering with all our families. Thank you for giving us the privilege of teaching your children at Inspiration View Elementary School. 


Pam Holloman

Odyssey Elementary School Principal

Phone: 719.494.8622


Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Kris Levi

I am thrilled to be the returning principal here at Odyssey Elementary!  I look forward to fulfilling our school’s mission and vision to help our students truly shine.

This will be my 23rd year in education, and I am fortunate that all of them have been right here in District 49.  I began my career as a fifth grade teacher and was lucky to help open Springs Ranch Elementary School for its first year.  During my eleven years, I was a fifth grade teacher, first grade teacher, second grade teacher, Technology Specialist, and third grade teacher.  For the next five years, I was a Technology Specialist at Meridian Ranch Elementary, where I taught kindergarten through fifth grade students computer and 21st Century Skills.  Then, I was a part of the team that opened Bennett Ranch Elementary School, and I served in an administrative role at that location for four years.  This will be my second year at Odyssey Elementary, and I love our Comet Community!

With all of these roles across different locations, I have come to truly appreciate the journey that our students make in the elementary setting, the commitment that drives elementary staff to help students in their first stages of schooling, and the possibilities that can be fulfilled as a positive hub for our neighborhood.  As a Leader in Me school, I look forward to working with students and adults alike to grow the leadership potential for all individuals at Odyssey.

Not only do I live in the Power Zone, but my wife teaches in the Power Zone while my son attends a Power Zone school.  This is our home.  When not at school, we enjoy spending time outdoors and appreciating all the opportunities offered in the Colorado Springs area.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns, and I’d be happy to work alongside you.  We all play a valuable part in the Odyssey Elementary team!


Ridgeview Elementary School Principal

Phone: (719) 494-8700


Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Corey Defelice

Greetings! My name is Corey DeFelice. I am excited and honored to be given the opportunity to serve as the newest principal of Ridgeview. I am a native of Colorado Springs, having attended Falcon Elementary, Falcon Middle School, and eventually graduating from Palmer High School in 1999. My journey took me to Texas where I have spent my career in public education. In my 17 years, I have taught third, fourth, and fifth grade. I have been an academic assessment and data specialist, and for the past five years I have been an assistant principal at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

I have a B.A. in History from the University of Northern Colorado, a M.Ed. in Counseling with a Principal’s Certificate from the University of Houston-Victoria, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Supervision from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

I have a wonderful wife, Itziar, who is a school counselor, and three amazing children, ages 15, 10, and 5. In our free time we love to travel and play Super Mario Party on the Nintendo Switch. I love baseball and hockey, and am really looking forward to being back in Colorado and getting back on the slopes.

The Sand Creek Zone

  • meet the team


         The Sand Creek Zone is located at the southern end of District 49. Our zone includes Evans Elementary, Horizon Middle, Remington Elementary, Sand Creek High School, Springs Ranch Elementary and Stetson Elementary. The Sand Creek Zone is made up of 5 Title 1 schools, receiving federal funding to support academic achievement and growth. We also offer a Dual Language Immersion opportunity at Stetson elementary, beginning with Kindergarten and 1st grade, that is only available in District 49. Many of our schools truly embody the Community School model, utilizing our community partners, resources and volunteers to bring a well-rounded education to our students and families.  Josten's Renaissance is a cornerstone of the Sand Creek Zone; we believe that building relationships is critical to high-achieving schools and that students and staff must feel connected to their work in order to succeed. We are dedicated to student success, service to our community, dedication to our people and constant innovation and growth. 








    in the zone new logo

    Recognize a Sand Creek Employee that is "In the Zone". This is a special recognition that acknowledges a Sand Creek Zone employee who has done an outstanding job, made an extraordinary effort, went above and beyond their role or presented an overly caring or welcoming attitude.

    Those selected as "In the Zone" through this nomination will receive zone wide recognition for their exceptional efforts. Nominations do not guarantee an award winning spot for that month.

    Nominate your Sand Creek Zone employee here.

    frameworkThe Sand Creek Zone holds instruction in high regard. We believe all teachers should provide great instruction, every day. Our instructional framework came from a collaboration of all zone instructional coaches as well as feedback from our administration team. This framework is visible in each classroom in the Sand Creek Zone and guides our observations and evaluations of what good instruction looks like. 

    Instructional Framework: The Sand Creek Zone is committed to building collective efficacy by intentionally fostering a student-centered culture with clear instructional expectations focused on student success.

    Culture: positive relationships, clear routines, explicit expectations with accountability, engagement, and recognition

    Instruction: Data-driven decisions, viable curriculum, intentional, collaborative planning, explicit core instruction and intervention, language-rich environment

    Success: Student growth and achievement is vital, clarity of learning intention and success criteria, effective use of instructional time, timely feedback, growth mindset, and peer collaboration

    We offer many certifications and certificates that students can earn prior to graduating high school with a focus on Business, Manufacturing, Computer Science, Engineering, Graphic Design, Personal Training, and Health & Exercise Science pathways for students to explore. We are excited to be adding Criminal Justice starting in the Winter of 2024. We offer a wide variety of college courses at Sand Creek High School, supporting the most CE students in the district with many of them earning 1-2 years of free college courses prior to graduation. We also have brought on AVID at the high school level to move our students from the middle to higher-achieving courses, mindsets and growth.


    flierThe Sand Creek Zone leads the way in Community and Family Engagement. We have 5 Family Engagement Liaisons for our Title 1 schools; these liaisons provide resources, plan events and connect with our families to add value to the work of our schools. We host the only food and clothing pantry, the Community Resource Center, at Horizon Middle School, which is open to all families in D49. We provide many opportunities for Adult and Family Education with our Parent Academies, resource fairs, and Sand Creek Zone partner meetings. We know the value of partnering with our families and community and strive to enhance and maintain those partnerships.  For more information on the D49 Community Resource center, check out


Sand Creek Zone Superintendent

Phone: 719.495.1167


Degrees and Certifications:

Dustin Horras

Dustin Horras serves as the Sand Creek Zone Superintendent.  The Sand Creek Zone encompasses six schools in the southeastern boundary of District 49.  
Horras is beginning his 28th year in District 49, all serving within the Sand Creek Zone.  His teaching career began at Evans Elementary School, teaching 4th grade.  After two years teaching 4th grade, Horras spent seven years as the physical education teacher at Evans.  Following nine years teaching at EES, he spent one year as the Dean of Students at Sand Creek High School.  Dustin returned to Evans and spent three years as the Assistant Principal before taking over as principal for the next four years.  After one year working with all schools in the Sand Creek Zone as Zone Specialist, Horras returned to a principal position at Horizon Middle School where he spent the previous nine years.  Beginning with the 2023-24 school year, Dustin has transitioned into the role of Sand Creek Zone Superintendent.

As Zone Superintendent, Horras takes great pride in the Sand Creek Zone schools, the students and staff.  He believes in a strong culture based on what is best for students that includes staff that are devoted to supporting each student's social, emotional, and academic development.  Going above and beyond in meeting the needs of all students and providing an outstanding education in an engaging and caring school environment is essential to success across the Sand Creek Zone. 
Sand Creek Zone schools deeply value and encourage parents and the community as partners in the development and education of all students while working together to create a learning environment that supports individual students in fulfilling their potential as learners. 

Dustin looks forward to continuing to serve the Sand Creek community as Zone Superintendent.  Please feel free to reach out at

Athletic Director



Degrees and Certifications:

B.S. Mass Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations M.A. Special Education Principal License Special Education Director License

Mario Romero

I am excited to serve in the Sand Creek community as an assistant principal and activities director. I believe athletics and activities are the best platform for students to feel a sense of belonging in their school community. I believe in servant leadership and I am looking forward to building relationships with the students, parents, and staff in the Sand Creek Zone. I have previously served as a middle school principal at Discovery Canyon Middle School in Academy District 20 as well as Heaton Middle School in Pueblo City Schools. I was also an assistant principal at Pueblo Centennial High School in Pueblo. Before becoming an administrator, I served as a special education teacher in Harrison School District. 
My wife and I have seven children. My hobbies include spending time with my family and rooting for the Denver Nuggets and Denver Broncos.




Degrees and Certifications:

B.A. History M.S. Organizational Leadership

Amy Sanchez-Martinez

Amy Sanchez-Martinez is serving District 49 as Principal 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: 719-495-5210


Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Cindee Borruel

As a dedicated educator, I am driven by a passion for building bridges for students and families, utilizing education as a powerful tool for upward mobility. My love for academics began in preschool, but since 2018, I have proudly served as an administrator and servant leader. I am committed to striving for excellence, creating a safe and enjoyable environment for students, and fostering strong relationships with families to ensure success for our students and our community. Outside my professional life, I am a devoted wife and mother of two teenagers and two dogs, and my mom is my best friend.


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 journey with the Evans community. We'll continue to build up the positive, student-centered culture we've become known for - recognizing and celebrating kids, and our staff and families, will remain a top priority to ensure that all Wildcats feel welcomed, supported, and proud to belong at Evans!

Our academic 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. 

Stetson Elementary School Principal



Degrees and Certifications:

Lori McCoy

Hello, Raider Family! I am so honored and thrilled to be part of the Stetson team and embarking on this new journey as your principal.

For the past several years, I have proudly served in the Sand Creek Zone as an administrator, instructional coach, and classroom teacher. My husband and I are long-time D49 residents. Our two older sons are D49 graduates who are currently attending UCCS, and our youngest daughter will be joining me at Stetson as an incoming 5th grader. 

My education journey began at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English with an Elementary Education Certificate. After graduating, I started my career in Harrison School District 2 as a 2nd grade teacher before transitioning to District 49. Since joining D49, I have served as a 2nd and 4th grade teacher at Remington Elementary and most recently was the Literacy Instructional Coach at Evans Elementary. During my time in D49, I have also earned a Master of Science in Education Leadership from Argosy University, which allowed me to take on administrator roles within our summer programming, including READ Camp. 

Though I have been an educator for many years, my core values have remained the same - integrity, excellence, growth, and equity. Focusing on these values has allowed me to remain open-minded about the best ways to continue advancing the principles I hold dear. This also gives me the intellectual and professional space to remain flexible in changing the personal beliefs I carry as more or newer information becomes available. I have a strong passion for literacy, and my personal goal is to do everything in my power to ensure all students leave as readers. 

Remington Elementary School Interim Principal

Phone: 719-495-5266


Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Cassi MacArthur

Welcome to Remington Elementary School, home of the Mustangs! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to transition from 22/23 Interim Principal to 23/24 Permanent Principal for this amazing community.

Before joining the Sand Creek Zone Family in their commitment to launching successful students, I spent 7 years teaching in the elementary classroom, a year of coordinating interventions and coaching new teachers, and 5 years as an assistant principal. I grew up in California, but my 14 years in education have all been in Colorado between Harrison School District Two, Douglas County School District, and now District 49.

It's an honor to serve as the leader of over 550 Remington students and their families, as well as a community of about 80 exceptional staff members. When you see me smiling and waving at you in the driveline, please see it as a daily sign of my sincere investment in loving and supporting everyone in the Remington family toward their best future selves.



Springs Ranch Elementary School Principal

Phone: 719-494-8602


Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Science-Secondary Education, UNLV 2004 Masters of Education-Curriculum and Instruction, UNLV 2006 Educational Leadership, SNC 2017

Mako Winston

Welcome to Springs Ranch Elementary School. GO BOBCATS! 

I am very excited to serve as the principal and embark on this new journey with the Springs Ranch community. I have been a resident of Colorado Springs since 2017 and previously served as a Dean of Students and an Assistant Principal at RMCA. Prior to moving to the Colorado Springs area, I was an educator in Las Vegas for 13 years. My wife and I are proud parents of four fantastic children and have loved our time here in Colorado.

At Springs Ranch, we strive to partner with parents and our community to support our students in becoming responsible citizens and life-long learners. Our goal is simple: love our students and help them pursue the best possible version of themselves.

Please do not hesitate to stop by- I look forward to meeting and working with all of you!

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

Hello!  I feel so fortunate to have just finished my 21st year in education, and my seventh year at the Falcon Homeschool Program!  A little about me...I have always worked in education, mainly as an English teacher, though I have taught most grade levels K-12.  I found my way to the Falcon Homeschool Program after writing my thesis for my first Master's Degree in gifted education.  I combed through tons of research on homeschooling (did you know that a lot of homeschoolers are gifted learners?) and found it fascinating!  I had a good friend who worked at the Falcon Homeschool Program, and before I knew it, I was teaching at the Falcon Homeschool Program.  About a year and a half into teaching here, the opportunity for leadership came along.  I am thrilled to now be in a leadership position, and I have just finished my sixth year as the Program Manager.  I believe that homeschooling is an invaluable gift that parents give their children.  The time, dedication, energy, and zest for learning is unmatched in any other educational setting that I have found.  I love my job, our families, and our staff!  In my free time, I chase after my little ones and enjoy the outdoors with my family.  We love hiking, biking, skiing, and gardening in the Colorado sun and snow.

Patriot High School Principal



Degrees and Certifications:

Ryan Bailey

I am so excited to serve as Principal of Patriot High School in District 49.
As a California native, I graduated from the University of California San Diego with a Bachelor's Degree in Biology and pursued my dream job of training marine mammals for the Navy Marine Mammal Program. After five years of training dolphins and sea lions, I decided to turn my attention toward education, earning my teaching credential and Masters in Education. I moved out to Colorado Springs and landed a job at the non-traditional school in District 20, Aspen Valley High School. I taught Science, Physical Education, Student Council, ACE, and Work-Based Learning courses there for nine years, while also serving as Dean for four years. I was fortunate to move fully into Administration at Aspen Valley and the New Opportunities Program (NOP) where I served for two years, before becoming Principal at Patriot High School in 2023.
I am passionate about providing opportunities for students to learn in non-traditional settings and love the incredible pathways that exist at Patriot. Outside of being a Bison, I am busy raising my four children with my wife, who is also an administrator. We love spending time outdoors, usually around water, and travel around the country visiting family. After over 30 years, I am still an avid soccer referee, player and fan. I am so thankful to be a part of the incredible team at Patriot High School!

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. She looks forward to continuing to open young minds to different ways of thinking and learning.  She is excited to be the Principal of Pikes Peak Early College, where she can continue the success of this fantastic school and all the opportunities it affords students.

Bennett Ranch Elementary School Principal

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 29 years of experience in education to this leadership position. My background includes teaching kindergarten through fourth grade 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 5th year as Principal at Bennett Ranch Elementary, and I am looking forward to a great school year for all our Bennett Ranch Bulls!

My husband and I have been married for over 24 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.