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Grade 9, Grade 7 Science
Mr. Jeff Morris is a long-time Ambleside dad and trained as a teacher at the beginning of his career. He is an expert in technology and is excited to be teaching our Junior High and High School students. Jeff was drawn to the school by the idea of a Christ-centered education. “Ambleside has drawn our entire family closer to Christ through the habits, the curriculum, and the community.”
Grade 1 Aide, Handwork
Mrs. Shannon Walker has a BA in Elementary Education, with Minors in Bible, History, and English from FaithWay Baptist College in Michigan. She has taught 1st, 4th, and 5th grades at an Elementary school, and has volunteered extensively in church children’s ministry. Shannon has also worked with NSK Corporation in an administrative capacity.
Shannon attended an Ambleside Schools International internship and was trained as a teacher at an Ambleside Schools International Institute in 2014. She homeschooled her three children in Florida using this method and curriculum for four years. “Ambleside has an atmosphere of helping others to grow and love learning. I desire for my own growth and to contribute to the learning and growth of children in the Ambleside community.”
Mrs. Crystal Hollander has a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with minors in language arts and health from Calvin College and an Associates degree in physical therapy. She has taught 2nd grade at Highland Christian School in Highland, Indiana. With both her children at Ambleside School, she has enjoyed volunteering and it has given her a new excitement and passion to return to teaching.
She is excited to be part of this wonderful community. “The environment of learning at Ambleside is truly a holistic Christian education. I love how it teaches a discipline of habits and allows the child to learn from a place of joy rather than from a need to get good grades.”
Mr. Andrew Hayes re-joined Ambleside Colorado as Principal in 2016 after serving for two years as Principal at Ambleside Boerne (Texas). Previously he spent three years as a Junior High teacher at Ambleside Colorado. Andrew received his Bachelors of Arts in History from the University of Notre Dame and met his wife, Joanna, in French class during his senior year. They have three young children.
Prior to his work at Ambleside, Andrew was the College Pastor for three years at River Valley Church in Mishawaka, Indiana, while also learning the construction trade (just enough to make him dangerous), and spent formative college summers as a counselor and director at Spring Hill Camps in Evart, Michigan. Through these experiences, a passion for academic and spiritual growth emerged in Andrew. The longer he spends at Ambleside schools, the more convinced Andrew is that this is the best way to educate children.
He enjoys all aspects of the philosophy, but is especially drawn to the cultivation of a lifelong love of learning, the growth-oriented mindset for the whole community, the healthy approach to work, and the ways that the ideas in the rich texts are life-giving and formative. He most loves the opportunity to serve Christ, children, and parents on a daily basis. Andrew grew up in Okemos, Michigan, a little town near Michigan State University. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys watching Notre Dame football and the Detroit Tigers, playing baseball in a local men’s league, reading (Russian novelists, history, and science fiction are three favorites), hiking with his family, woodworking, and playing board games.
Ms. Heidi Kirchner has seven years of experience working with children of a variety of ages, which includes working with 4th-6th grade students in Chicago at the Urban Christian Academy, 5th Grade students at Cherry Hills Christian School, and as a preschool teacher at Ohana School of Early Learning.
She has a Bachelor of Arts in Children and Family Ministry from Moody Bible Institute, and is also certified as a teacher of English as a foreign language. Heidi comes from a pastor’s family (she is one of eight children!) and her faith is extremely important to her. She enjoys how Ambleside educates the whole child, not just the mind.
Ms. Courtney comes to us most recently from Valor High School, where she worked in admissions, alumni relations, and as a teacher. Before that she was a strategic consultant for Brainard Consulting. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Azusa Pacific University, and a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego.
She was a two-sport varsity collegiate athlete, played soccer for Azusa, and ran cross country and track for San Diego. Courtney loves interacting with students, and is passionate about learning and growing. She particularly resonates with the foundation of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy, that each child is a person, made in God’s image.
Ms. Caleigh Hill comes to us most recently from four years at Strive Prep Kepner Charter School in Denver, where she served as a middle school teacher and athletics director. Before that Caleigh worked as a wilderness guide, a crossfit and volleyball coach, and a ceramics studio manager. Caleigh has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of St. Francis in Visual Art Education, and played collegiate volleyball during her time there.
She enjoys the outdoors and completed a two-week backpacking hike in Lake Tahoe, where she raised money for Ambleside’s Tuition Assistance Fund. Many of our junior high students know her from Calvary Englewood’s Youth Group, where she is a volunteer. She enjoys teaching in Ambleside’s smaller class sizes, in which she can connect with students to help them learn and grow.
Mr. Matt Wilcox studied Economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia where he received a Bachelor of Science and has since completed Ambleside Schools International’s Master Teacher Training Program. Matt’s childhood memories include nature painting in the woods behind his home, reading and narrating Treasure Island in the living room, and doing mental math with his mom who homeschooled his family using Charlotte Mason’s methods.
He attended an Ambleside school in Virginia from 2nd through 8th grade, taught middle school at an Ambleside school for five years, and is thrilled to come to Ambleside Colorado. He enjoys the outdoors, and was a backpacking guide in New York before hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with a friend after graduating college. He loves the Ambleside mission that proclaims that education is a life.
Instructor – Grade 9, Grade 6 Mathematics
Mrs. Frances Wilcox holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Virginia where she also received a master’s degree in Secondary English Education. She has spent the majority of her career at Ambleside schools in both classroom teaching and administration in Virginia and Glenwood Springs, CO.
Frances appreciates Ambleside’s emphasis on ideas, reading, and viewing the child as a whole person, and notices the kind and thoughtful community that a Charlotte Mason school attracts. This marks her second year in the beautiful state of Colorado where she pursues a simple life of relaxing with a good book, running, cooking and hiking with her husband.
Mrs. Kim Larson has coached cross country and basketball for Ambleside students over the past few years and she homeschooled her children for several years before they enrolled at Ambleside. Kim has a BSN degree from Bethel University in Minnesota and was an ICU Registered Nurse for seven years. She enjoys running, skiing, baking, and crafting. She values the Ambleside emphasis on developing students and parents into lifelong learners.
Assistant Principal, Grade 9 Bridge Year Director, Instructor – Grades 7, 8, and 9 Mathematics
Ms. Candice Whitley joined Ambleside in 2012 and has taught many classes and served as Assistant Principal. Candice has a Masters of Education, focused on meeting the needs of diverse students, from Vanderbilt University, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Mathematics, from Gordon College. She taught 5th grade and middle school math in the greater Metro Denver area for six years.
Candice is passionate about developing relationships with youth, and has volunteered in her church youth group, at a Nashville non-profit organization committed to supporting youth in crisis called the Oasis Group, and as a camp counselor at Kanakuk Kamps for several years. She is thrilled to be a part of the Ambleside community. “I am so blessed and thankful for the opportunity to participate in a learning environment that cherishes the heart and potential of every student.”
Mr. Andrew Hayes re-joined Ambleside Colorado as Principal in 2016 after serving for two years as Principal at Ambleside Boerne (Texas). Previously he spent three years as a Junior High teacher at Ambleside Colorado. Andrew received his Bachelors of Arts in History from the University of Notre Dame and met his wife, Joanna, in French class during his senior year. They have three young children. He is currently attaining his second degree from Notre Dame, a Masters in Nonprofit Administration.
Prior to his work at Ambleside, Andrew was the College Pastor for three years at River Valley Church in Mishawaka, Indiana, constructed homes and trained partner families with Habitat for Humanity St. Joseph County, and spent formative college summers as a counselor and director at Spring Hill Camps in Evart, Michigan. Through these experiences, a passion for academic and spiritual growth and helping others emerged in Andrew. The longer he spends at Ambleside schools, the more convinced Andrew is that this is the best way to educate children.
He enjoys all aspects of the philosophy, but is especially drawn to the cultivation of a lifelong love of learning, the growth-oriented mindset for the whole community, the healthy approach to work, and developing healthy, joy-filled families. He most loves the opportunity to serve Christ, children, and parents on a daily basis, and to see his own family benefit from this education.
Andrew grew up in Okemos, Michigan, a little town near Michigan State University. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys watching Notre Dame football and Liverpool soccer, rock climbing, running, reading (Russian novelists, history, and science fiction are three favorites), cooking Greek food, and family board game nights.
Assistant Principal, Instructor – Grade 6
Mr. Matthew Perkins joined Ambleside in 2015 and has taught 6th and 3rd grades and serves as an Assistant Principal. Matt previously taught High School English for eight years and coached track in in North Carolina. He earned his BS in English Education from Indiana Wesleyan University and moved to Charlotte, NC, where he taught 7th grade Language Arts for two years.
After marrying his wife, Faith, he moved to Holly Springs, NC, where he earned his Master’s of Education degree. Their growing family moved to Wadsworth, Ohio in the summer of 2013, close to Faith’s family, where he worked at a vocational High School for two years while he and Faith lead the young adult ministry at their church. Through experiencing their four pregnancies, Matt was inspired to write a book about pregnancy from the “man’s” perspective and self-published it in the fall of 2014. Matt is glad to be back in his home state where he can spend time outdoors, share his passion of learning with students, and have his own children attend Ambleside.
Mrs. Marsha Olsen was born in Hawaii but has called Colorado her home for over 30 years. She and her husband have one daughter. Marsha has a background in real estate and marketing as well as in performing arts. She has always loved children, and since becoming a mother, she has become even more passionate about child development and education.
Entering into the Ambleside community, Marsha fell in love with the Charlotte Mason educational philosophy. “I am convinced that this is exactly where God wants my daughter, my family and me to be. I am amazed and humbled at how Ambleside has inspired me to grow not only in my relationship with Jesus, but in becoming who He created me to be.” Marsha adopted her official marketing title in January 2019, after ably contributing to Ambleside’s marketing for years as a volunteer.
Mrs. Kamala Strickland received a Bachelors of Veterinary Medicine from the Royal Veterinary College, London, UK in 2011. Shortly after, she returned to her home country of Bermuda to practice as a veterinary surgeon. Yet, it was her service in the youth ministry of her church that revealed a deep calling to serve children. Kamala gained a Post Graduate Certificate of Education from The University of Sunderland and launched her career in education, teaching 4th grade at a public school in Bermuda.
Two years later, she moved to the US to marry her husband, Jonathan. Kamala enjoys hiking with her dogs, painting, cooking, and exploring beautiful places, like Colorado! She is excited to be a part of the Ambleside community and be immersed in this wonderful atmosphere of joy in learning.
Mr. Evan White joined Ambleside in 2017, after teaching for three years in the Denver Public Schools, mostly 2nd grade. Evan graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2011 with a Bachelor of Psychology and Leadership Studies. He then served as a Team Leader in AmeriCorps in the Western US before moving to Aurora, CO in 2013 to pursue teaching. Since arriving in Colorado, Evan received his teaching certification through Denver Public Schools (DPS) and served as a specialist teacher helping students weak in mathematics, and then 2nd grade.
Throughout his time in Colorado, Evan has enjoyed serving in the Children’s and Hospitality Ministries of his church. He also loves walks with his wife Ashley and playing with their two children. Observing Ambleside originally as the husband of Ambleside teacher, Evan found that the philosophy was different from anything he had seen, and fundamentally good for students. Evan is grateful for the opportunity to work and grow in community at Ambleside, where Christ is at the center of the learning.
Instructor – Grade 3, Grade 9 Fine Arts
Mrs. Heidi Kimball joined Ambleside in 2014. She has taught 3rd grade, 6th grade, and many other classes (such as Science, Art, and Ambleside-for-Grownups) for the Ambleside community over the years. Mrs. Kimball studied opera at Old Dominion University and human resources at Colorado Christian University. She has completed her Master Teacher Training Program with Ambleside Schools International.
Mrs. Kimball is passionate about helping young people grow in the fullness of Christ, create beautiful work, and love ideas, books, and nature. When she is not in the classroom, she can be found reading and writing poetry, walking along the High Line Canal with friends, and finding new bike routes with her husband and three children.
Mrs. Faith Perkins joined the Ambleside staff in 2017. She has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Malone University. During her teaching career, she taught 5th, 2nd and 1st grade. She cherishes the memories of growing up on a dairy farm in Ohio, thoroughly enjoyed the sweet southern hospitality they found in living in North Carolina and is loving the beauty of Colorado. She, and her husband, Matt, have spent much of their marriage leading small group Bible studies and working with young adults.
For the last 10 years, she has been dedicated to raising her four children and building community with other families. She enjoys volunteering, working a home-based business around her family’s schedule, and teaching first grade. “It is a joy to be in the classroom, and a blessing to help students recognize opportunities to learn and to watch them grow, especially in their relationship with Christ. I am thrilled to be able to do that in a community as wonderful as Ambleside.”
Ms. Sierra Kubitschek moved here from Wisconsin four years ago and enjoys traveling and going for hikes with her dog. She has a passion for serving Christ and working for a place that is shaping the next generation.
Mrs. Liz Strecker has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and has worked in real estate and co-owned a landscaping company in Colorado Springs. Since the Streckers started at Ambleside in 2014, Liz has been a very active and faithful volunteer, helping with the yearbook team, scribing during exam week, assisting with dissections, attending open houses, performing various office tasks, and even helping a square dance. “During my time at Ambleside, I have seen every teacher and staff member guiding and instructing students — gently, patiently, encouragingly aiming toward growth. I’ve seen relationships form between families that have grown and lasted years. I’m sure many will last lifetimes. It is a blessing to me to work in the front office and my hope is that all families will find the same sense of belonging we have.”
Director of Admissions
Mrs. Rebecca Borger has a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (English, Biblical Studies, and Community Development) from Covenant College, where she and her husband Scott met on the cross-country team. After marrying and moving to Colorado, she worked as a grant manager and grant writer for a nonprofit dedicated to youth development and mentoring. After the birth of her children, she was a stay-at-home parent while also volunteering in leadership at her church, MOPS, and Ambleside.
She continues to enjoy giving her time in ways that develop and support community culture. Originally from Georgia, Rebecca had the joy of receiving a Charlotte Mason centered education during her middle school years. That experience made an indelible impact, and she began the search for a similar school in Denver long before her own two children came into the world. She and her family consider it a gift to be part of the Ambleside community: a group of life-long learners committed to growth of the mind, spirit, and character.
Ms. Kathy Luch taught junior high at Ambleside School of Ocala for three years, and 5th grade for Ambleside Colorado for one year. Prior to this, she taught international students at University of North Carolina, Charlotte and high school students at Tech of Monterrey in Mexico City. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a teaching credential from San Diego State University, she began to work for a non-profit Christian student organization in Arizona, Mexico, and California. During that time she received a Master’s Degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Theology.
These experiences brought out her love of teaching and learning, and after one of her best friends introduced her to Ambleside, it seemed a perfect fit. “I love seeing students inspired by a wide range of living ideas, and to see them come alive as they think critically and come up with new ideas of their own. It also brings me joy to see students grow closer in love for and knowledge of God and others.”
Mrs. Lani Whitley has worked at Ambleside since it opened in 2010. Lani has a degree in Art, with an emphasis in illustration, from California State University, Fullerton. She has loved art her whole life and still remembers the thrill of a new box of crayons or paints from her childhood years! Her teaching experience includes 10 years with Monart School of the Arts in Greenwood Village and four more years at the same location with Artful Journey Fine Arts School.
She also spent 2 years teaching art for Heritage Elementary School in Highlands Ranch. “I am very excited to work with fellow teachers and students who possess such excellent goals in mind and heart. I am also glad to embrace the Charlotte Mason philosophy of teaching and apply it to our learning experience in the art room.”
Mrs. Joanna Malm has a BA in Music and has completed a post-graduate Certificate in Suzuki Pedagogy at the University of Denver. She has been teaching music to children since 2003 and is the founder and director of Noteworthy School for Strings. Committed to life-long learning, she has completed teacher training in Music Mind Games with Michiko Yurko, and has studied the Ploger Method of Music Perception and Cognition with Marianne Ploger at Vanderbilt University.
Joanna has performed violin and viola throughout the US and England and is currently the Assistant Principal Violist of the Arapahoe Philharmonic. Joanna enjoys hiking, reading classic literature, and traveling to hear significant pipe organs throughout the world. She is delighted to be a part of the Ambleside community where students are able to grow and expand their personal expression by engaging in music and the arts.