J.J. Morrow

Head of School, Boulder

As Head of School for Mackintosh Academy, Boulder, JJ Morrow brings 21 years of experience as an administrator, teacher, and coach from nationally renowned independent schools. Most recently, JJ spent five years as the Lower School Director at The Roeper School, a progressive school for gifted learners, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He holds an Ed.M. and M.S.Ed. from Bank Street College of Education, where he studied progressive curriculum & pedagogy and educational leadership. He earned his BA from the University of Notre Dame. In addition to his years as Lower School Director at The Roeper School, JJ was also the Assistant Head of Lower School and a fifth grade teacher at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, Oregon. Prior to that he was an art teacher and founder of the Communication and Technology Center at Greenwich Country Day School, Greenwich, Connecticut. JJ is also a graduate of the NAIS Fellowship for Aspiring Heads Program.

Mary Droste

Associate Head of School

As Associate Head of School, Mary is excited to bring her passion for understanding children, and years of experience working with gifted and creative students, to the Mackintosh Academy, Boulder. For the past twenty-two years Mary has worked in Michigan at The Roeper School, a progressive school for gifted learners. In addition to her time teaching in a Kindergarten/First Grade classroom, for three years Mary worked alongside JJ, as the Lower School Assistant Director. Mary’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood and

Psychology underlies her strong belief that one must truly understand who the child is before you can teach them. Mary is thrilled to have found a school that values the social-emotional component, as well as the intellectual, which allows the child to trust that they can take risks to stretch themselves, and where creativity and learning styles differences are valued. Mary is also looking forward to the move to Boulder because of her love of the natural world and engaging children in the exploration of it. There doesn’t seem to be a better place to do this!

Brenda Parker

Middle School Director and 8th Grade English Teacher


Jenny Strode

Director of Admissions and Marketing

Born and raised in the Portland, Oregon area, Jenny had a successful first career in sales where she rose to the level of team management. Her work in summers helping build camp programming sealed her love of working with children. She served as the Administrative Assistant at Oregon Episcopal School for over ten years before moving to Boulder to assume the same role at Mack Boulder. Jenny assumed the position of Admissions and Marketing Director last year and has loved meeting so many amazing families that she helped bring into the community.

Outside of work Jenny is an avid photographer. Her favorite subjects are her beloved chihuahuas, Twig and Willow.

Kristi Pikiewicz, PhD

Educational Psychologist

Dr. Pikiewicz earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, CA. She completed pre-doctoral training at the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center in Ojai, CA, and her post-doctoral internship at the Boulder Institute for Psychotherapy and Research in Boulder, CO. At both sites, Dr. Pikiewicz worked with a range of adult, adolescent and child clients in individual, couples, family and group settings. She also holds a B.S. with a major in environmental science from Allegheny College and an elementary education teaching credential from Western Washington University.
Dr. Pikiewicz’s first career was in education. Through her mid 20s, she taught at an experiential science school from September through May and guided for Outward Bound Colorado during the summers. After earning her teaching credential, Dr. Pikiewicz worked as a grant-funded literacy specialist in a struggling California middle school and then as a 6th grade teacher in Bozeman, MT. During this time, Dr. Pikiewicz used her classroom to pilot innovative teaching programs, which she presented at local and national conferences and published with a variety of educational publishers. However, while she felt effective at meeting her students’ educational needs, her heart was drawn toward working with the emotional needs of her students and their parents. It was the desire to heal the root causes of the difficulties faced by her students and their parents that led Dr. Pikiewicz to transition from education to psychotherapy.

Dr. Pikiewicz now works with adult, adolescent and child clients in Boulder, Colorado, and as a school psychologist at Mackintosh Academy, a school for gifted learners.

Dr. Pikiewicz is experienced with a variety of psychological and educational assessment and testing tools, especially including measures of IQ, spectrum disorder, dyslexia, parent stress, and parent-child attachment. The results of assessments inform suggestions for classroom accommodations, family support, and possible recommendations for further services. She has widely published and presented her research with trauma and posttraumatic growth in parents of chronically ill children, including at conferences of the American Psychological Association, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. It is her passion to support students and parents in school settings to promote education, creativity, relationships and joy.
Professional Activities:
• Member of the American Psychological Association
• Editor of the APA Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) blog at PsychologyToday.com
• Editor of the APA Div 39 publication InSight
• Managing editor of the APA Div 39 publication DIVISION/Review

Katrina Anderson

Administrative Assistant

Born and raised in Kansas, Katrina grew up in an environment where her curiosity knew no bounds. She particularly loved spending time on her grandparents’ farm, climbing trees, building forts, and exploring the many barns of animals. That affinity for farming would later come full circle, as she took up raising chickens, gardening, and studying beekeeping at her home in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Passionate about travel, Katrina has lived in Mexico and India, and aims to visit a new country each year. In her spare time, she enjoys running, hiking, camping, singing, and baking pies. Katrina earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Notre Dame. She is excited to join the Mackintosh family this year!

Jaime Philp

Facilities Manager

Kaitlin Schmidt

Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Kaitlin’s educational philosophy is structured around her belief that each child is unique and learns in their own way. She strongly supports education of the whole child and strives to develop a classroom built on respect, independence, and a love of learning. Her teaching career began in 2007 when she interned through the Stanley British Primary Teacher Prep Program. She completed her Masters in Educational Psychology in 2009 through the University of Colorado, Denver. She enjoys bringing her Fine Arts background into the classroom and strives to make learning creative, meaningful and hands-on. Kaitlin has served as a mentor to interns, and a mentor to teachers through the Stanley Program in her school in Denver where she taught Kindergarten for the past four years. She has experience teaching Pre-K through 5th but her passion lies in Kindergarten. Kaitlin is a Colorado native and believes learning extends far beyond the borders of the classroom. She embraces the opportunities for field trips and outdoor education.When Kaitlin is not in the classroom she enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, and spending time with loved ones.

Brittany Moylan

Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

Brittany moved to Colorado in 2011 after graduating from the University of Vermont with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Having grown up on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Brittany has both a love for the ocean and the mountains, and values the connections made with children as they share their experiences with and knowledge about the world. Brittany grew up the youngest of four and with many close cousins, and in turn, has a passion for working with families and supporting children’s social-emotional learning and development. Her passion for working with families and young children in combination with her upbringing is what ultimately connected her to the field of education. Her teaching career began with the Friends’ School Teacher Preparation Program working as a Prekindergarten intern and she is currently completing a Master’s degree in Education and Human Development with a focus in Early Childhood Education. Brittany considers active listening to be one of the most important skills an educator can possess as it is through listening that we can begin to understand students’ needs and backgrounds. She is elated to start her first year in Kindergarten working alongside lead teacher Kaitlin! In her free time, Brittany can be found singing backups in a local band, riding a motorcycle or bicycle, dancing, spending time with her family, or reading a book somewhere in the shade.

Katelyn Jackson

1st Grade Lead Teacher

Katelyn grew up with a passion for the performing arts and began teaching ballet in her hometown of Durango, Colorado. She attended the University of Utah in Salt Lake City where she earned a BA in ballet with emphases in performance, teaching, and character dance. Katelyn began her professional life as a ballet dancer with Boulder Ballet in Boulder, Colorado. Transitioning from performer to teacher she became a well- loved member of Boulder Ballet’s teaching faculty. In 2012 she earned her teaching license and a MA in educational psychology from the University of Colorado Denver. Katelyn loves teaching the wonderful students at Mackintosh Academy.

Emily Swanson

1st Grade Assistant Teacher

Emily comes to us with more than 20 years of teaching experience. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from DePaul University in Chicago and also holds a Montessori Primary Teaching Diploma. Emily is currently pursuing a Master’s in Literacy Intervention at Colorado College. She is passionate about working with children and is excited to join the Mack team. She looks forward to meeting all of you very soon!

Jenny Bolch

2nd Grade Lead Teacher

Jenny has undergraduate degrees in elementary education and fine arts from CU Boulder and her masters in education degree in curriculum and instruction through arts integration from Lesley University. When Jenny is not teaching, she volunteers on the Rocky Mountain Rescue Team. You can often find her hanging off the side of a cliff rock climbing, camping in the mountains, or painting. Jenny has traveled extensively including teaching in Nepal and Thailand. She loves how the IB curriculum at Mackintosh encourages students to have a more global perspective and to take action to make the world a better place and often pulls from her travel experiences when teaching. There is nothing Jenny loves more than building connections with her students and watching them grow!

Gianna Pilato

2nd Grade Intern

Gianna is excited to have relocated to Boulder to join the Teacher Preparation Program with Friends School and the Mackintosh community! Born and raised in Pasadena, California, she received her bachelors degree in Theatre from Pepperdine University in Malibu. When Gianna is not in the classroom or on stage, she likes to hang out with her 20 pound Norwegian Forest Cat, Captain. She enjoys practicing yoga, hiking, reading, and attending music events!  Gianna is excited to explore her new city and is thrilled to be joining the Mack family.

Emily Pancoast

3rd Grade Lead Teacher

Emily has always known she wanted to be a teacher, and started her first job working with children as a preschool aide at the age of 12. Throughout high school and college, she coached competitive gymnastics and volleyball, lead summer camps, tutored middle and high school students, and taught environmental education classes through Eco-Cycle. During college, Emily pursued both her passions for teaching and creating a sustainable future by achieving a double major in Education and Environmental Studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. After college, Emily taught second grade for four years in Denver. She also has her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from CU Denver. A recent job opportunity for her husband took her to Seattle, where she has been teaching as a dual language reading interventionist and a third grade dual language Spanish teacher.

Emily is thrilled to be coming back to her home state of Colorado! Through her experience as a recipient of the IB Diploma from Fairview High School as well as teaching at an IB World School, she is a firm believer in the holistic educational philosophy of Mackintosh Academy. She wants her students to become global citizens that show empathy for others and think critically about their actions. Emily believes the best way to learn is by doing, and aims to build strong relationships with her students by helping them explore our incredible world and their importance in it. When Emily is not in the classroom, she can be found in the mountains skiing or biking with her husband, or at home drinking tea and reading with her cat, Moo.

Kim Granger

3rd Grade Assistant Teacher

Kim Granger has taught many children on the slopes of Eldora, co-taught first grade last year, and can not wait to teach second grade at Mackintosh with Jenny this year. She taught High School English in Bangkok Thailand for two years and was a Paraeducator at Summit Middle School during the 2014-2015 school year. She loves children and is eager to meet the Mackintosh students in the fall.

Kim loves being outdoors and adventuring – be it camping, hiking, snowboarding or horseback riding. She loves volunteering at the Front Range Hippotherapy barn and enjoys traveling. She is pursuing her Masters degree in Human Learning and Development through Friend’s Teacher Preparation Program and Colorado University, Denver.

Melody Parker

4th Grade Lead Teacher

Melody realized her passion for working in education while interning at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. as an undergraduate; two years later, she graduated from the Friends‘ School Teacher Preparation Program and found her home at Mackintosh working with children who challenge her to grow as a learner and teacher, question everything, and to see the world through many different lenses. She holds a bachelor’s degree in digital journalism from Arizona State University and is pursuing her master‘s degree in Educational Psychology at the University of Colorado, Denver. Some of Melody’s favorite things about her Mack students are their excitement and intensity while deeply exploring subjects and themes, and the unique ways in which they communicate and share their understanding of and feelings about the world around them. She believes in the whole-child approach to education and enjoys cultivating thinkers who are prepared to interact with the world in meaningful ways.

Nicole Smith Headshot

Nicole Smith

4th Grade Assistant Teacher

Nicole moved from the rolling hills and rocky coastlines of New England to the mountains of Colorado in the summer 2016. She first fell in love with the West during a summer teaching art workshops to youth at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, and she’s never looked back. Nicole graduated from Bowdoin College with degrees in Visual Arts and Earth Sciences, and a minor in Education. She’s always had a passion for working with children, and she is thrilled to be joining the Mackintosh Academy community after finishing a year with the Friends’ Teacher Preparation Program. When she’s not in the classroom, you can find Nicole hiking, skiing, practicing yoga, or making art.

Brandy Ray

5th Grade Lead Teacher

Brandy began her career as a journalist in Oklahoma, and was later inspired to pursue a path in education after tutoring at-risk youth in the Oklahoma City area. She received a M.Ed in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Portland State University in 2011, and has been loving her time in the classroom ever since. Brandy strongly believes in a holistic classroom that supports students’ passions, develops critical thinking, and encourages innovation and resilience. She thrives on the relationships she creates with both students and families and is excited to engage with the Mack community. In addition to her classroom experience, Brandy has taught environmental education classes, developed curriculum for education based companies, and written multiple successful classroom grants. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, camping, hiking, doing yoga, and reading.

Tim King

5th Grade Assistant Teacher

Tim moved to Colorado in 2015 from the great state of New Jersey. He holds a Bachelor’s from Fairfield University in American Studies and Theatre. He currently resides in Boulder and is looking forward to a great year at Mackintosh Academy! When not in the classroom, Tim can be found hiking the hills of Boulder or with a guitar around his shoulder.

Jim Parker

Middle Years Lead Teacher (6th Grade Homeroom, L&L)

Jim graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Environmental Geology in 1998. He comes with a deep background in experiential and constructivist education having taught for over five years at The Odyssey School in Denver, CO as the Adventure Coordinator providing place-based learning for K-8th graders. Jim is a graduate of The Stanley British teacher preparation program and is a masters student at the University of Colorado, Denver. Jim’s passion in education is creating memorable experiences in which his students can construct their own understanding of the world and their place in it. When not in the classroom, you can most often find Jim out in the mountains and deserts of Colorado and Utah. His love of climbing, backpacking and travelling the roads of the United States often takes him and his family into the outdoors to explore, learn and adventure.

Sarah Rudeen

Middle Years Intern Teacher (6th Grade Homeroom)

Sarah is a Colorado native who moved back to be near her family in Fort Collins. After graduating with a BS in Environmental Studies at Southern Oregon University, she worked for a non-profit in Nicaragua, traveled in South America, and became immersed in sustainable farming in Oregon. In Denver, Sarah has been an educator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, a trip leader for Cottonwood Institute, and a guest teacher for DPS. Sarah speaks Spanish, enjoys Latin social dancing, loves the outdoors, and aspires to one day manage a small farm.  She is ecstatic to join the Mackintosh family through the Friends’ School Teacher Prep Program, aiming to inspire students to think critically and act compassionately.

Kate Leaf

Middle Years Lead Teacher (7th Grade Homeroom, I&S)

Kate entered the field of elementary education because she strongly believes that children’s curiosity, innocence and energy make them some of the best people around. Since graduating from Colorado College in 2013, Kate’s passion for working with elementary-aged students has led her to jobs in different corners of the globe from teaching place-based environmental science at an outdoor school in California to working as an assistant teacher at an international IB school on South Korea’s Jeju Island. She believes in the power of hands-on learning and its ability to inspire students to find their passion and place in our world. Eventually, her love of the mountains called her back to her hometown of Boulder. In her spare time, you can find Kate matching dogs and people at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley where she serves as an Adoption Specialist, backpacking through the Colorado and Montana Rockies or lounging in her hammock reading a book.

Stan Polley Headshot

Dr. Stan Polley

Science Specialist and 7th Grade Homeroom Teacher

From an early age Stan has followed an insatiable interest in the beauty and complexity of the world. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Drew University. After working as a polymer chemist for two years, he went on to the University of Wyoming, earning his PhD in Molecular Biology. His doctorate focused on cancer biology, specifically the role of the infamous tumor suppressor gene retinoblastoma/pRb in cell cycle regulation. During the third year of his graduate research, life threatening blood clots formed in his leg and abdomen. This experience inspired Stan to prioritize joy and service, which for him meant teaching. He graduated and took a position at Loveland Classical Schools where he has taught elementary and middle school science for the last four years. Stan’s high classroom engagement, innovative curriculum, and high academic standards have earned him both local and national recognition. He is excited to join the Mack family and he is eager to challenge Mack’s young scientists to push their academic limits through curriculum focused on experiential learning and hands-on experimentation. In his spare time, Dr. Polley and his wife Dana enjoy traveling the world, running, hiking, cooking, writing music, and volunteering.

Susan Ogilivie

Susan Ogilvie

Middle Years Lead Teacher (8th grade Homeroom, Math, I&S)

Susan earned her BA from University of Michigan, her post BA Teacher Licensure from University of Colorado, Boulder, and her Masters in Education from Regis University. Her professional experience includes: teaching Middle School at St. Clares in Edwards, CO for 8 years as a Homeroom/General Teacher and Literacy Coach; served as a Program Coordinator for The Literacy Project in Minturn, CO; taught Math, Writing, SS at Colorado Mountain College for 3 years; served as Interim Instructional Chair for CMC; substitute taught for Crystal Lake School District, IL; and most recently taught at the Challenger Learning Center for Science and Technology at Aurora University, Woodstock, IL.

Julie Chilton

Performing Arts Specialist

Julie has been teaching music, drama and movement to kids of all ages for more than 40 years. She just finished up a three-year contract at an IB school in Lusaka, Zambia and is very excited to be coming back to the US and begin getting to know everyone at Boulder Mack. When she is not teaching, she loves to travel, explore, hike (slowly) and kayak (also slowly!). She is a huge Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan and will talk your ear off about Star Trek and Lord of the Rings given the least amount of encouragement. Originally from New York, she makes sure to get back to the Big Apple every few months. She is also a new grandmother to the most adorable granddaughter on the planet.

Mary Anne Miner

Visual Arts Specialist

Since early childhood Mary Anne felt a strong connection for creating art. She persistently sensed a calling towards the teaching profession. Mary Anne grew up in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. She attended Marquette University. Then traveled Europe extensively as an exchange student and earned her B.A. in Advertising and Marketing. She continued her passion for art and photography at the Maine Photographic Workshops and received a M.F.A. at Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia. In 1996 Mary Anne moved to Boulder, CO but her Colorado adventures were cut short due to a teaching opportunity in Bridgeport, Connecticut where she taught high school Art, Photography and Ceramic classes for 5 years. Mary Anne’s heart longed to go back west, and in 2002 she accepted a teaching position in Shonto, Arizona located in the heart of the Navajo Reservation as the Talented & Gifted coordinator and lead instructor. It was here that she met her husband and had two little girls. She received her full endorsement in Gifted Education and spent 9 wonderful years in Shonto teaching K-8 GT and Art classes but she and her husband felt a strong desire to raise their young family while living the Colorado dream.

In 2011 Mackintosh Academy announced a sister school in Boulder, Colorado and Mary Anne immediately recognized the lifelong opportunity to teach at such an exceptional school, with outstanding children and in a stunning location. These extraordinary aspects magnetically drew her here and she couldn’t be happier!

Carolina Miralles

Spanish Language Specialist

Carolina has an on-going love affair with languages. She has been a joyful teacher for 13 years and holds a Baccalaureate Degree in Spanish and English Philology from the University of Valencia, Spain. She has been writing poetry and literature for twenty years, and has been an art and literature critic and a free-lance journalist. Carolina has taught Spanish in Colorado at High Peaks, Foothill, Bear Creek, Crest View, Eisenhower and Flatirons elementary schools. She has been teaching in Front Range Community College in the evenings and loves her new home at Mackintosh Academy. Carolina comes from a small town in the Mediterranean sea, her valley surrounded by orange trees and rice fields. Her passion for languages started at age 7 when she learned Latin by herself. That has led her to enjoy and share different cultures and countries. She speaks seven languages and still wants to learn many more. When she is not teaching, you can find her reading or writing under a tree, hiking in the sun, dancing in the rain, telling stories under the stars and cooking for friends and family.

Heidi Jaeckel

Science K-3 Specialist

Some of the most special people I know are kids! Heidi was drawn to education because of her passion for building relationships and connections with people – especially children. For her undergraduate degree, Heidi went to University of Wisconsin and worked towards a B.S. in Genetics. She LOVES science. But, in the science lab, the relationship piece was lacking. Heidi found her way to the Friends’ School Teacher Prep program in Boulder in 2010. She completed her M.A. at CU Denver in Educational Psychology in 2012. Heidi has taught at Mack Boulder since the beginning. What keeps her going is the energy of our amazing kids, the fun we have learning together, the creative and unique path we are chartering and the support of our amazing staff. Her other passions include cross-country skiing, running, mountain biking, and spending time with her wonderful partner Matt and her daughter Luna.

Elizabeth Rippey

Literacy Coordinator and Specialist

Elizabeth knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher. She has been inspiring second, third, and fourth graders for the past 8 years in North Carolina and Georgia. As a lifelong learner, Elizabeth values researching current practices and puts forth tireless effort to ensure the success of every student in her class. She received her BA from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD and her Masters in Arts and Teaching from Queens University in Charlotte, NC. With a passion for literacy, Elizabeth furthered her training in Readers’ and Writers’ Workshop at Teachers College of Columbia University in NYC and with Orton Gillingham training in Charlotte, NC. Her love of teaching goes beyond the classroom as she coaches teachers in literacy instruction and has presented at conferences including The International Reading Association, Palmetto Reading Council, and GISA. In her spare time, you will find Elizabeth reading, doing yoga, cooking, or exploring the outdoors with her husband, Kyle and her dog, Bruin.

Meghan Armstrong

Technology Coordinator/Specialist

Meghan Armstrong is a progressive educator from New York City. She has been teaching at Bank Street School for Children since 2008. She received a bachelors degree in International Studies from Colby College and a masters degree in General Education from Bank Street College of Education. Before her teaching career, Meghan produced television programs for PBS and The History Chanel. In 2011 she received a fellowship from the China Institute and spent four weeks traveling through China. She is currently writing curricula for a new progressive school in Dubai, The Clarion School. Meghan moved to Louisville this summer with her husband Rich, their nine-month-old son Teddy, and their cat The Smoosh. In her free time, Meghan can be found at a CrossFit gym, hiking, or skiing.

Ryan Collier

Physical Education Specialist

Ryan joins the Mackintosh Academy family with 10 years of experience teaching Health/Physical Education, serving as Athletic Director, and After School Activities Coordinator. Most of those years were spent at international schools throughout the world, including South Korea, Dominican Republic, and most recently, Shanghai, China.

Ryan teaches his students the fundamentals of leading an active and healthy lifestyle, while placing the emphasis on FUN.  Students will be introduced to a variety of activities, hoping that they find something they enjoy and will continue to participate in as they grow up. He emphasizes cooperation and participation over competition, and hopes that each and every student has fun and tries their best.

In his free time, Ryan enjoys going to baseball games, camping, traveling, spending time with his family, exercising, and cooking. He is really excited to be joining the Mackintosh Academy family!

Colin Reynolds

Design and Innovation Specialist

I am very excited to join the Mackintosh Academy community. My wife and I moved to Colorado last summer from Chicago and are thrilled to be spending more time outdoors, especially during the winter months. Our favorite winter sports are definitely hockey and downhill skiing. Born and raised in Minnesota, I learned to appreciate winter weather and the great outdoors.

I was most recently a founding teacher and TinkerLab Curator at Bennett Day School in Chicago and have been working in the Boulder/Denver area as an Education Advisor and consultant. With more than ten years of experience as a classroom teacher and administrator, I strive to design educational programs and constructionist learning environments that center on experiential co-creation and learning. I am also an educator dedicated to using technology as a tool for learning, but also to develop, document, and enhance learning experiences.

I am a graduate of Valparaiso University and earned my master’s in educational leadership from Loyola University Chicago. I was a tenured classroom teacher in Oak Park, Illinois where I taught first and fourth grades prior to serving as the school’s assistant principal for two years. I was awarded a Golden Apple Teacher of Distinction during my time as a first grade teacher. And I also have five years of experience teaching and directing Camp Invention, an inquiry-based science camp sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I feel very fortunate to be joining such an awesome school, faculty, and community!