Diane DunneHead of School
Diane Dunne, Head of School, received her B.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and her Masters in Social Work from Atlanta University. She has worked as an educator, both in teaching and administration, for over twenty-five years. Before coming to Mackintosh at the beginning of the 2012-2013 academic year, Ms. Dunne worked for many years at Foothills Academy in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, teaching in first, second, seventh and eighth grades, and in high school, and also serving ultimately as head of the high school and interim head of school. Prior to that, she worked as lead coordinator of a middle school program for an independent school in Atlanta, Georgia. She also has an extensive background in leading students on beyond-the-classroom learning experiences, such as service and wilderness/outdoor trips, both in the United States and Central America. She is committed to working with students to help them to foster a love for learning, a strong global awareness, and a sense of service. She enjoys reading, poetry, backpacking, cross-country skiing, spending time with her family, and learning, side-by-side, along with the young people in her classroom.
Beth SteklacAssistant Head of School and Admissions Director
Beth Steklac, Assistant Head of School and Director of Admissions, joined Mackintosh Academy in 2003 and is a parent of two Mackintosh graduates. She holds an MBA from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Beth has participated in numerous IB trainings and workshops to enhance our IB program, as well as trainings in administration, admissions and financial aid. Beth is passionate about the learning styles of gifted children, particularly in science and math. Beth is also an avid traveller and enjoys exploring our global community with her family.
Arleen Brogan-SmithBusiness Manager
Arleen Brogan-Smith, Business Manager, began working at Mackintosh Academy in 2003 after a successful career in public accounting. She is accomplished in finance and accounting with experience in a wide range of accounting, financial management, internal controls, risk management, IT, payroll, HR and benefit functions. As a Certified Public Accountant she served private, public, and non-profit organizations. She compiled corporate, not-for-profit, partnership, and individual income tax returns, and audited private, SEC, and not-for–profits. She has owned and operated her own private company and worked with local CPA firm. She received the Bachelor of Science, Accounting, with highest honors and has been a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Arleen is active in the local art community. When not working at accounting, she can be found playing, walking and training her dog, planting and weeding in the garden, or in her studio painting.
Sharon MuenchCurriculum Coordinator and Middle School Mathematics Teacher
Sharon Muench, Curriculum Coordinator and Middle School Mathematics Teacher, is responsible for curriculum coordination and daily teacher support in the areas of curriculum and instruction. Ms. Muench has been affiliated with Mackintosh Academy since 1994 as a lead teacher, a co-teacher, curriculum coordinator, and the technology coordinator. She holds a Masters certificate from the University of Colorado in Web Based Instructional Technology. She has her B.A. from the University of Iowa in English and has her certificate in Secondary English Education. She is passionate about her position and highly invested in ensuring the tenets of the International Baccalaureate program and educational philosophy of Mackintosh Academy is fully embodied on our campus.
Kristi Holmes EspineiraDirector of Marketing
Kristi Holmes Espineira, Director of Marketing, has been involved with Mackintosh Academy in a number of roles since 2003 (parent, teacher, board chair, director of advancement). She leads marketing and social media for the school. Kristi has an AB in English from Stanford University, and graduate degrees in English from the University of Arizona and UCLA. Prior to joining Mackintosh, she ran her own communications/social media consulting firm for small businesses and helped to run a technology startup firm with her husband. She enjoys putting her writing and communications skills, and her deep passion for gifted education, to work in the service of spreading the word about Mack! Her two children are Mack grads and are currently studying at the University of Denver and New York University.
Stacey AndersonLearning Specialist
Stacey Anderson, Learning Specialist, returned to Mackintosh Academy in 2018 after a three-year absence. Stacey taught at Mackintosh for nine years beginning in 2002 and then worked as an administrator at Mack for three years. Always searching for a challenge, Stacey taught part-time at Asbury Elementary in Denver for two years, working with teachers and students in grades K-5 specifically focused on interventions and accommodations to aid students in being fully engaged in their classrooms. Prior to 2002, Stacey taught in the Cherry Creek School District for 10 years, both in elementary and special education. Stacey has a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary and special education and a Master of Arts’ degree in special education. She holds a current Colorado Professional Teaching License and was recently awarded her certification in English Language Acquisition. Her passion in education revolves around student success in accessing and engaging in learning. Spending time with her family (all three of her children attended Mackintosh – Evyn graduated from DU, Reid graduated from CU and Isabella studies at CSU) and playing tennis are her two favorite hobbies. Stacey and her husband, Wayne, spend lots of time in the mountains and are getting quite adept at navigating their newfound “empty nest.”
Lillian HenricksSchool Counselor
Lillian Henricks joined Mackintosh Academy as a counselor in August 2019. Dr. Henricks earned a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Institute for Psychological Sciences in Virginia and is a Registered Psychotherapist in Colorado. She has worked as both a school counselor and therapist and has international experience as an assistant principal, youth activities coordinator and English teacher, in both Slovakia and Ireland. In addition to being a mental health professional, she is also a parent of three elementary-aged children and lives with her family in Littleton, where they moved from the east coast in 2018.
Dr. Henricks works with grades 3-8 students in social-emotional learning (SEL) classes and with all students to assist them in best navigating the developmental challenges they face every day. She coordinates with Stacey Anderson, our Learning Specialist, in consulting with teachers to provide insight and feedback about addressing student needs and communicating with parents to ensure that home and school can work together most effectively in support of the Mack students.
Sarah SchultzOffice Manager
Sarah Schultz joined the Mackintosh team as a parent in 2018 and as office manager in 2019. Sarah holds a Bachelors degree in political science and a Masters degree in education policy from the University of Colorado School of Education. She was the Director of International Programs at Colorado College, where she advised students interested in study abroad, worked with faculty to design new overseas programs, and provided support to the international students on campus. She has two children, one of whom is a middle school student at Mackintosh Academy.
Tami VinsonDirector of Development
Tami Vinson, Director of Development, joined Mackintosh in Fall 2019 and is a parent of a Pre-Kindergartener. Tami leads the development program and philanthropic efforts for the school. Prior to joining Mackintosh, Tami was a fundraising consultant with Dini Spheris, where she worked with various non-profit organizations including more than a dozen independent schools. Tami brings over 15 years of fundraising experience and has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Auburn University, a Master’s degree in Management in Non-Profit Organizations from the University of Georgia, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).
Philanthropy and mission have been in Tami’s vocabulary since she was a young volunteer. Today, Tami still gives her time actively to various nonprofit organizations including serving on the Steering Committee as the Chair of Mentoring for the Institute for Leaders in Development program at the University of Denver. A program for which Tami is also a graduate. Tami has also served as President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Colorado Chapter and National Philanthropy Day Chair.
Tami is thrilled to join the Mackintosh community where she can merge her professional experience and personal life. Tami comes from a family of educators and is inspired and fueled by Mackintosh Academy’s mission of keen minds, compassionate hearts and global action. Tami, her husband and their daughter, Zoe, are excited to have found this wonderful community.
Ashley LoganPreKindergarten Lead Teacher
Ashley Logan joined Mackintosh Academy as PreKindergarten Lead Teacher in the 2018-2019 school year. Her experience includes interning at her university’s lab school, leading a classroom inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy, and working with low-income families at Head Start. Ashley holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University and a Level IV Colorado Shines Early Childhood Credential and is Director Qualified. In August 2019, she began the Boulder Journey School Teacher Education Program and will receive mhery Master’s in Learning, Developmental, and Family Sciences – with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from CU Denver August 2020. With this program, she will be traveling to Italy over spring break to tour Reggio Emilia’s early childhood programs.
Ashley is very passionate about the early years of a child’s life, especially their experience early on in school. She believes every child is capable and competent, and not a vessel to be filled with knowledge, but a co-constructer of their own education.
Greg Ashworth FanchPreKindergarten Associate Teacher and School Safety Coordinator
Greg Ashworth-Fanch, Pre-Kindergarten Associate Teacher and Middle School Design Teacher, received his teacher’s license through CU of Denver in 2005 by completing the teacher training program at Stanley British Primary where he co-taught under the supervision of two mentor teachers in a multiple-age classroom. Mr. Ashworth earned his BA in journalism with a minor in anthropology through Metropolitan State College. He has also completed nearly 2000 hours of study in therapeutic massage, half of those spent in anatomy, physiology, and neurology, and is a certified massage therapist. Greg has been at Mackintosh Academy since 2005 as the MS2 lead teacher. His passions in life include his family, sharing a love of learning, music, and mountain biking. During rare free moments Mr. Ashworth enjoys playing his blues harmonica, bamboo saxophone, and his Native American flute.
Lisa Weiske ConnerKindergarten Lead Teacher
Lisa Weiske Conner, Kindergarten Lead Teacher, earned her BA from The Colorado College and worked in the business community with Nabisco Brands, Inc. as a Division Sales Manager and Trainer. She began her education as a teacher in 2002, earning an International Certification with Distinction from Montessori Centre International, England. Lisa worked in both private and charter programs as a teacher in primary classrooms and as an Instructional Lead for the lower elementary department.
Believing strongly in the value and inclusion of new and different information and keeping current with the research and discoveries in education, Lisa continued her studies to become Director Qualified, completed her Colorado Professional Teaching License ECE-Elementary, qualified for a Level V Early Childhood Professional Credential, and earned her MA in Education from the University of Colorado. Throughout it all, her family’s support and humor continue to be the balance and inspiration in her day.
Lara Pausback1st/2nd Grade Teacher
Lara Pausback, 1st/2nd Grade Lead Teacher, holds a Colorado teaching license as well as a Colorado Reading Teacher license. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Colorado, Boulder as well as a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado Denver. She is also trained in the Orton-Gillingham reading approach. After graduating with her BA, she traveled in South America with her future husband Joe Pausback, who is now one of the 7/8 grade teachers at Mackintosh Academy. While traveling she practiced her Spanish and was inspired to become a teacher. Upon returning to the United States she enrolled in a teacher licensing program in Durango, Colorado at Fort Lewis College. After receiving her Colorado Teacher License she moved back to Denver where she taught in public schools until she and her husband started a family. Ms. Pausback worked as a learning specialist helping children with reading difficulties until she came to Mackintosh Academy.
Mindy Lambert1/2 Associate Teacher
Mindy Lambert, 1st/2nd Grade Associate Teacher, is a certified Preschool Director and holds a Colorado class K-6th grade teaching license. Her teaching experiences began in 1975 in public schools and later owned and operated a large day care facility in Littleton. As a top graduate from Loretto Heights College she also holds a degree in art history, fine arts, early childhood education, with additional education in business and photography. Graduate hours include emphasis in gifted studies, reading, art, literature, and history. Ms. Lambert comes with many years of experience teaching and managing elementary and early childhood education and special needs children. She has been with Mackintosh since 1996, opening and implementing our EC/pre-K program, and being a lead teacher in 1st and 2nd grades. Ms. Lambert’s passion for art is reflected in her teaching style, which integrates art projects with our units of inquiry, history, language arts, and science.
Lula Guilbert3rd/4th Grade Lead Teacher
Lula Guilbert, 3rd/4th Grade Lead Teacher, began her experience in gifted education with her own elementary and secondary education. She went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Liberal Studies from Sonoma State and then earned her Masters of Education from UMass Boston. Throughout her college career, Lula worked with students ranging in age from preschool to high school and her educational philosophy was shaped in part by her interactions with children at various stages of growth and development. Lula moved to Colorado with her family in 2002 and began working at Mackintosh in 2003. She became the lead teacher in the Primary 2 classroom before taking time away to nurture her own young family. She returned to Mackintosh in 2008 and was previously a lead teacher in the 2nd/3rd grade classroom. She is currently the lead teacher in our 3rd/4th grade classroom. She returned to Mackintosh in 2008 and has been the lead teacher in our 3rd/4th grade classroom since that time. In addition to her passion for gifted education, Lula also enjoys gardening, yoga, playing games with her family, and relaxing with her chickens.
Brynn Jaouen-Starr3rd/4th Grade Associate Teacher
Brynn graduated from the University of Puget Sound (UPS) in Tacoma, Washington, with a degree in Communication and Theatre Arts. She attended the university with a violin scholarship and performed in the university’s Symphony Orchestra, Stringed Orchestra, and several small ensembles. She also earned her Masters of Art in Teaching from UPS. Upon graduating, Brynn began working at Charles Wright Academy (CWA) as a third grade homeroom teacher, later becoming a sixth grade English teacher, and eventually the Middle School Head for the school. After 14 years at CWA, Brynn transitioned to Lakeside School in Seattle, Washington, as a sixth grade English teacher, fifth grade Humanities teacher, and several department and grade level leadership roles. After five years at Lakeside, Brynn moved with her family to Centennial, Colorado, during the summer of 2017. She lives with her wife, Steph, their son, Kellan, and her parents in a multi-generational home, where they welcome and host friends and family (241 and counting as of March 2020!). Brynn enjoys living each day with Steph and Kellan, cooking and baking with her mum, walking the dog around the neighborhood, and Irish fiddling and singing, which she has done with the same band in the Puget Sound area for 25 years. When Brynn is not supporting Mackintosh as an associate teacher, she tutors elementary and middle-school aged students before and after school.
Tari St.Marie5th/6th Grade Lead Teacher
Tari St.Marie joined Mackintosh Academy Littleton as the lead 5th/6th grade teacher in 2018-19. Tari earned her Masters in Education in Special Education/Gifted from the University of Missouri and her BA in Writing from San Jose State University. After 10 years of lead teaching, mostly in programs for gifted students, and three additional years in a supportive capacity at Mack, Ms. St.Marie was pleased to return “home” to the Mack community. She is the mother of three former Mack students, now adults whom she enjoys spending time with. Tari loves music and performing, crochet, and sitting in the sunshine with a good book.
Nancy Muhich5th/6th Grade Lead Teacher
Nancy Muhich, 5th/6th Grade Lead Teacher, is originally from Toledo, Ohio. She was originally educated at Miami University, OH in Marketing, but came to teaching as a second career. She learned her teaching trade through the Stanley British Teaching Program, and is completing her Masters in Education at CU Denver. Nancy started teaching at Mack in the fall of 2013. The strong culture of kindness at Mackintosh was a terrific fit with Nancy’s natural disposition, and she loves teaching her students through units of inquiry in the International Baccalaureate program. Nancy loves children and dogs, she dabbles in crafting, and is a roller coaster enthusiast. She has found her happy place teaching in the 5/6 room at Mackintosh.
Lynnette de Schepper5th/6th Grade Math Teacher
Lynnette holds a BS in Biology from Rockford University, a MS in Biology from the University of Denver and a MA in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver. Lynnette’s passion for education began more than 25 years ago as a zoo keeper / educator at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. In addition to caring for the lions, tigers and bears, she worked as an educator in the Children’s Zoo where she gave public, live-animal presentations. While at the zoo, she became interested in the research conducted by the conservation department on endangered and threatened species. When the opportunity arose, Lynnette jumped on the chance to lead a research project in Australia. She would spend the next two years in Australia leading and conducting a field study on two regionally threatened fauna species and educating the Australian public on the need to protect these species. Having a love of travel, Lynnette took advantage of her extended stay in the South Pacific by traveling all over Australia and to New Zealand, Indonesia and Fiji.
Upon completion of her research in Australia, Lynnette moved to Colorado to begin her graduate studies at the University of Denver where she had been awarded a teaching assistantship. During her four years at DU, she taught various aspects of undergraduate courses in the biology department including: Identification of Flowering Plants, ecology, evolution, cellular biology, and molecular biology.
After graduating she began a teaching position at the Logan School for Creative Learning in Denver where she spent five years working as a unit teacher for gifted students grades K-8. After leaving the Logan School, Lynnette worked as a contract curriculum writer. She developed and wrote a K-6 conservation curriculum for the Idaho Department of Education and Zoo Boise. The lessons were distributed to all 382 Idaho elementary schools. For the BLM California, she wrote and designed a K-12 environmental science curriculum for The Alpaugh Unified School District.
Beginning to miss teaching, Lynnette took a position as Education Manager at the Golden History Museums where she enjoyed teaching the public and school groups about Colorado history. Her final position before coming to Mackintosh was at The Plains Conservation Center where as Director of Education, she taught the public and school groups about Colorado Cheyenne people, pioneers, prairie ecology and conservation.
Lynnette thoroughly enjoys teaching children and values the importance of seeing the whole child. Children make her laugh and keep her sense of wonder about the world alive. She enjoys her family time and hobbies include traveling, reading, biking, practicing yoga, camping, birding, gardening, baking, knitting, and spying on wildlife with binoculars!
Joe Pausback7th/8th Grade Math and Science Teacher
Joe Pausback, 7th/8th Grade Math and Science Teacher, known affectionately as “Mr. P”, began teaching at Mackintosh in 1998. He received an undergraduate degree in anthropology and history from the University of Colorado in Boulder. After a brief career as a field archaeologist in Alaska and New Mexico, he returned to school and earned a secondary social studies license from Fort Lewis College. He later earned a Master’s Degree in elementary education from the University of Colorado at Denver. His Master’s thesis was a justification for teaching the concept of randomness to upper elementary students as part of their studies of statistics. Mr. Pausback is passionate about his family and outdoor recreation. He is a very enthusiastic rafter, mountain biker, skier/snowboarder, and traveler.
Mallory Remy7th/8th Grade Language and Literature and Humanities
Mallory Remy joined Mackintosh Academy Littleton as the 7th/8th Language Arts and Humanities teacher in the 2018 – 2019 school year. Originally from the east coast of Virginia, Mallory knew from a young age that she wanted to work with students. She attended Emory & Henry College where she received her B.A. in English Literature and her Masters degree in Education. She moved to Colorado in 2015 and worked with gifted and twice exceptional students in Denver for three years; she is excited to be a part of the Mackintosh family. Mallory is a true cat lady, and has a cat named Norbert. Her other loves include reading short stories and mystery/suspense novels and watching unhealthy amounts of crime shows on Netflix.
Kelly KatesPerforming Arts Teacher
Kelly Kates, Performing Arts Teacher, was born in Montreal, Canada and raised in Nigeria and Northern British Columbia. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy degree from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver. She is very excited to share her passion for service with the students in her additional role as Service Learning/Community Service Coordinator. Kelly recently presented at the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented Association’s conference on “The Power of Play in Helping with Anxiety and Perfectionism.”
Kelly was a counselor and teacher for ten years at Options Alternative High School, where she led the school drama, dance and choral programs. Kelly has worked as an actress and choreographer in Denver for the past twenty years, receiving recognition from the Denver Post and the Colorado Theatre Guild. She loves sharing her passion for the performing arts with children and youth. Fifteen years ago, she founded the children’s program at Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton. Before coming to Mackintosh, she taught musical theatre and tap dance for Centennial Academy of Fine Arts Education and the drama enrichment program for Wilder Elementary. Kelly and her husband live in Littleton with their two dancing daughters. She enjoys international travel with her family, and has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in El Salvador and Canada.
Susan Jenkins3rd-8th Grade Spanish Teacher
Susan Jenkins, 3rd-8th grade Spanish Teacher since 2017, earned her BS in Social Work with a concentration in Spanish from the State University of New York College at Brockport and her MS in Elementary Education from The College of St. Rose in Albany, New York. Over the past 30 years, Ms. Jenkins followed her passions for education and community involvement by working as a community organizer, homeschooling her three children, and teaching at all levels in the Rochester, New York school districts, ranging from preschool to high school. During her 13-year tenure as a 7th-8th grade Spanish teacher, she developed a World Cultures class. In addition, she has incorporated her love for fitness by earning a variety of fitness certifications including a 200-hour Yoga Instructor certification. Ms. Jenkins left New York and moved to Colorado in 2016 to be closer to family and take advantage of the 300+ days of sunshine. Since moving, she has been enjoying time with family, cycling, commuting by bike and hiking with her dog, Blaze.
Maria CardonaPreK-2nd Grade Spanish Teacher and Kindergarten Associate Teacher
Maria Cardona, Spanish Teacher, completed her Social Communication Degree from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia and has taught in Ohio and in the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado. Maria has worked for Cherry Creek Schools both in the classroom and as a translator and interpreter. She is very passionate about languages and the Hispanic culture and loves education. Always pursuing new challenges, Maria assists our lead kindergarten teacher as well as teaches Spanish to PreK through 2nd grade students. Maria has been part of the Mackintosh Academy community since 2010. Maria loves exploring Colorado and the Rocky Mountains with her husband and daughter.
Patty WestonPhysical Education Teacher
Patty Weston, Physical Education Teacher, has a B.S. in Education from Emporia State University. Mrs. Weston has been the Physical Education teacher at Mackintosh since 1993. She has outstanding experience working with gifted children and truly enjoys witnessing their physical growth and development. Mrs. Weston also teaches mathematics. Mrs. Weston’s positive outlook in all situations is a wonderful model for our children and inspiring to our staff. Her passions in life are her family, tennis, and a variety of sporting activities.
Christy AllenVisual Arts Teacher
Christy discovered an interest in art at a young age and it has become one of her lifelong pursuits. She loves sharing this interest with others and learning together about the meaning behind and need for art making. She graduated with a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, majoring in painting. Christy traveled and lived overseas before settling down in her hometown of Denver. After seeing her youngest off to 2nd grade, she was able to pursue another passion of hers, teaching. She is a graduate of the Stanley British Primary teacher preparation program and is currently pursing her Masters of Human Development and Education from the University of Colorado-Denver. When not in the classroom you can find Christy creating children’s book illustrations, painting, hiking, reading, museum going, sitting under trees, and in the company of her three children, discovering over and over again how interesting and wonderful this world can be.
Alison WeemsSustainability Coordinator
Alison Weems, Sustainability Coordinator, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies (with a focus in education) from Brown University in Rhode Island. While teaching at Mackintosh for nearly 10 years, Alison was instrumental in designing and implementing our award-winning environmental programming. As Sustainability Coordinator, she monitors and maintains the numerous “green” initiatives on campus with the help of the students, staff, and parent community. Alison has been involved in education as a teacher and tutor for 25 years. As the daughter of a US diplomat, Alison enjoys sharing her experiences traveling around the world with the IB community at Mackintosh. Outside of school, she enjoys skiing, hiking, biking, and traveling. She is married to a rocket scientist and has two college-age children.