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Back To School Thoughts from Our Teachers

District 49’s back-to-school week was a flurry of energy and excitement in our schools. We had the opportunity to visit numerous teachers in their classrooms on the first day of school. If you haven’t visited our D49 Facebook page, please do and you can see several short profiles on the teachers we spoke with, along with classroom photos. 

But here are some thoughts from our amazing teachers we would like to share with you here.


melissa anderson

Melissa Anderson, kindergarten, Evans Elementary School

“I am looking forward to getting to know my new students and their families,” she said. “I am so excited to watch as the students grow throughout the school year.” 


Peggy McBride

Peggy McBride, sixth grade, Horizon Middle School

“My favorite part of teaching is developing relationships with the students,” says McBride. “ I feel so incredibly fortunate to have a job that I love.”


jenna cooke

Jenna Cooke, kindergarten, Remington Elementary School

“I have been preparing for my students all summer long and I am excited to hit the ground running with learning new skills to support their growth throughout the school year.” 


Camille Reagan

Camille Reagan, kindergarten, Falcon Elementary School of Technology

“My goal is to help grow my students into readers and learners and help them get a great start in education. I can't wait to meet families and students; I love this community."


mollie metts

Mollie Metts, Vista Ridge High School

"I am excited to teach students about child and adolescent development and how it carries into any profession that works with children," says Metts. "Students will also learn about career readiness and other life experiences through my life management class."


marybeth spurlock

Marybeth Spurlock, kindergarten, Bennett Ranch Elementary School

“I love the people who live and work in this community … I love that so many staff have their own kids in our schools, which says so much about who we are,” said Spurlock.

“We’re a close-knit community that values professionals within this school and districtwide. I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference, and working in District 49 and Bennett Ranch Elementary allows me to do that.”


lisa banegas

Lisa Banegas, social studies, Patriot High School

"I enjoy the small and focused environment here at Patriot," says Banegas. "I get to know the students and what they need, and that's what I love about it. Building a good connection and rapport with all my students is important."


justin mendell

Justin Mendell, business teacher, Falcon High School 

“I am also excited about the vibe of our school. We have been making intentional efforts for the last two years and this year is going to be our tipping point. Keep an eye out for more great things from the Falcon Falcons from Falcon.”


shameka barrino

Shameka Barrino, fifth grade, Meridian Ranch Elementary School

“I am looking forward to connecting with my students and helping them reach their potential,” she said. ”I'm excited to learn more about them and to create a positive learning environment. I am excited to collaborate with colleagues and build a strong learning community. I am sure this will be a great year!”


michael holland

Michael Holland, coding, Skyview Middle School

"I love that everyone, no matter the similarities, learns differently," says Holland. "I have always enjoyed facilitating others' growth! That is invaluable! Helping everyone realize their potential! Watching their lightbulb go on.”

andrew busovsky

Andrew Busovsky, fourth grade, Woodmen Hills Elementary School

“We have so many good things planned throughout the school year. It’ll be fun. Really, really fun,”


charis johnson

Charis Johnson, first grade, Springs Ranch Elementary School

“I want to reach each child’s heart before I reach their mind. The best thing about serving as a teacher is the relationships I make with the children and their families.”


brooke jenkins

Brooke Jenkins, art, Sand Creek High School

“What I most enjoy about my job is cultivating a classroom environment where my students feel loved, seen, heard, and included.”


kaia horaz

Kaia Horaz, kindergarten, Stetson Elementary School

“I’m really excited to learn and grow right alongside each of my students. I think being a teacher is like being a parent, but with many more children, so the rewards are huge!”

leslie chase

Leslie Chase, third grade, Inspiration View Elementary School

“I'm looking forward to watching students grow both academically and with their social emotional skills. I'm really excited to build strong relationships with my students and their families.”


elizabeth arnett

Elizabeth Arnett, fourth grade, Odyssey Elementary School

“The first day of school is always the beginning of a new adventure. We will embrace the unknown, make new friends, and let our curiosity guide us. This is going to be a fantastic year filled with endless possibilities.”

tara wold

Tara Wold, innovation lab, Academy for Literacy, Learning & Innovation Excellence

“I want my students to learn that in my classroom, we try new things. It’s okay if it doesn’t turn out, but we always have to try, and we never give up.”