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 Overview

  • Falcon Zone Empower Logo


    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 Staff


    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.

    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:

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 21st 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 1st, 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 (you will have to come to my office to see the picture!). I 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 the new principal at FESoT and I have worked as an administrator for the past ten years.  In fact, I worked here at FESoT for two years as an assistant principal and I am excited about returning to our school.

I have lived in Falcon for the past 17 years with my wife, Staci, and our four daughters- Sierra, Ashley, Madison, and Taylor.  All of our daughters have attended Falcon area schools and two 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 many years and I have been able to work with students and teachers k-12.

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 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 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 Interim Principal

Phone: 719-494-8839


Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Becki Sims

Becki has sixteen years of educational experience, K-12. Ten of those years have been in District 49, where she has served as a classroom teacher and school administrator. At the district level, Becki previously served on the district’s Math Leadership Team and Restorative Practices Leadership Team. In addition to Becki’s teaching and leadership experience within the district, she has earned a Master’s in Education with a concentration in Adult Education and Training from University of Phoenix, where she was a Teacher Appreciation Scholarship award winner. She also earned her Educational Leadership and Principal Licensure designation from Colorado State University. 

Becki is a Missouri native, but has resided in the Colorado Springs area for 26 years and considers Colorado home. She loves to cook, camp, hike, ride on trails in Colorado's backcountry, and has recently taken up golf. She and her husband have three young adult children and enjoy spending time with them as often as possible. 

Becki first joined the Vista Ridge team in 2021 and is now the Interim Principal. Go Wolves!

B.S. Culver-Stockton College
M.Ed. Adult Education and Training, University of Phoenix.
M. Ed. Education Leadership and Administration, Colorado State University.

Certifications: Capturing Kids Hearts, IIRP Restorative Practices Trainer, Jim Knight Instructional Coaching


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.

Odyssey Elementary School Principal

Phone: 719.494.8622


Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Kris Levi

As the new Principal at Odyssey Elementary School, it is an honor to be a Comet!  I look forward to fulfilling our school’s Mission and Vision to help our students truly shine.

This will be my 21st 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 the past four years.

With all of these roles in 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 the community.  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 Elementary.

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:

Mrs. Kim Moore

Mrs. Kimberly Moore has served in education since 2003.  She began teaching at Peyton Elementary School, teaching various grade levels for eight before moving to Falcon Middle School where she taught 6th grade writing for two years.  Her journey brought her to Ridgeview Elementary in 2011 as a special education teacher.  In 2013 she became the Dean of Students at Ridgeview, then moved into the Assistant Principal role.  Mrs. Moore became the principal at Ridgeview in 2019 where she serves a great community and staff.  
Mrs. Moore has a military background having been raised in the Navy. Her husband, Don, her high school sweetheart, retired after 22 years in the Air Force and currently works for STARCOM.  Mrs. Moore has two daughters that also married into the military; one son-in-law served in the Army as a medic and the other son-in-law is an Air Force recruiter.  She also has three elementary-aged grandchildren.  Mrs. Moore and her husband enjoy spending time in the mountains camping with their two Minature Schnauzers Mikko and BellaRose.  They are avid Avalanche Hockey fans and attend many games each season.
Mrs. Moore graduated from high school in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.  She earned her Bachelor's and Master's degree in Curriculum Instruction and Assessment from Colorado Christian University.  She earned her principal licensure from the University of Phoenix.  She has a passion for supporting teachers and staff so that they can provide the very best education possible.

Stetson Elementary School Principal

Phone: (719) 495-5252


Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Beth Dowdy

Dear Raider Families:

Welcome to the 22-23 school year!  Staff have been working hard to plan and prepare for our students and are excited to meet them soon.  This year we are continuing to build our community of excellence through utilizing strong instructional practices and creating a culture of care and trust for our students, staff, and families. We are excited to be a part of the Sand Creek Zone and all of the wonderful opportunities and support that comes with it.  I am also happy to announce our new assistant principal, Lori McCoy, and our Dean of Instruction, Kay Rudy, who have joined the Stetson team.

I welcome your involvement in your child’s education and encourage you to find ways to connect with our school and your child's teacher.  Consider volunteering in our classrooms or library, 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 fourth year as principal at Stetson. I have been an educator for over 23 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 six 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 the proud mom of three young adults who are all Sand Creek High School graduates: My son works in the Lewis-Palmer school district, his twin sister is a junior at UNC, and my oldest daughter is in her second year of law school in Iowa. They are by far my best accomplishment!

I look forward to continuing building 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!

In partnership,

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 thirteenth year as a principal, and my ninth as a Horizon Panther.  This will be my twenty-seventh 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 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:

Mr. Jim Kyner


My name is Jim Kyner and I am honored to serve as your principal at Springs Ranch Elementary. I have been the principal of SRES for 7 years. Whether you are exploring elementary schools or are already a member of the bobcat family, we welcome you and encourage you to come check us out in person. Here is a little more about my background.  

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 the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  After graduating, I moved to Virginia, where I would spend the next 23 years teaching, coaching, and leading 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 each new year of learners!

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.  

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.



Jim Kyner, Principal

Springs Ranch Elementary

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 and thank you for your interest in the Falcon Homeschool Program!  I feel so fortunate to have just finished my 20th year in education, and my sixth 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!  A good friend then took me under her wing and before I knew it, I was teaching at the Falcon Homeschool Program.  I am thrilled to now be in a leadership position, and I have just finished my fourth 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!

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. 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.

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 24 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 second 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 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.