Elementary & Preparatory Schools
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Elementary Staff

Administration

Ken Wildenstein
Principal
(970) 673.4546 ext. 701
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About Ken Wildenstein

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Julie Claeys
Assistant Principal
(970) 673.4546 ext. 705
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About Julie Claeys

Julie Claeys has lived in Colorado all of her life. She has been in public education for the last 30 years. Her son is a Blackhawk helicopter pilot in Alaska, and her daughter and granddaughter live in Ft Collins. Julie loves helping teachers to be the best they can be for our students.

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Mandy Bailey
Lead Teacher
(970) 673.4546 ext. 702
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About Mandy Bailey

Ms. Bailey serves as the lead teacher at Union Colony Elementary School. She has taught third, fourth, and fifth grades, and is looking forward to working with all UCE students. She holds an undergraduate degree in social science with an emphasis in elementary education and a minor in special education. Her master’s degree is in educational leadership. Both of her degrees are from the University of Northern Colorado. She is a firm believer in the importance of becoming a lifelong learner and enjoys sharing that passion with students. In addition to cheering on the Bears, she also cheers for the Wyoming Cowboys—she was born and raised there!

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Janine Strausheim
Administrative Assistant
(970) 673.4546 ext. 703
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About Janine Strausheim

Janine Strausheim was born in England, and she moved to the U.S in 1992. She is the mother of three boys and one girl. She enjoys watching her kids play in whatever sport they are playing that season, reading, and riding her Harley with her husband, Dwight. Janine is currently finishing her degree from Aims Community College.

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Ron Lamb
IT Director
(970) 673.4546 ext. 700
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About Ron Lamb

An Iowa native born in Sioux City and raised in Northwest Iowa, Mr. Lamb has taught math in Iowa, Colorado, and Wyoming at all levels from algebra 1 to AP calculus. Mr. Lamb graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and later received his M.A. in mathematics from the University of South Dakota. He has been teaching at Union Colony since we opened our doors in the fall of 1997. His job currently includes teaching AP calculus and serving as IT director for both Union Colony Elementary and Union Colony Preparatory School. He believes Union Colony is an awesome place to be and plans to stay for a while!

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Teachers

Heather Barnett
Kindergarten
(970) 673.4546 ext. 710
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About Heather Barnett

Ms. Barnett grew up in Pennsylvania, but has lived in Colorado more than half her life. She started her educational journey at Indiana University of PA then finished at UNC in Greeley. There she earned a BA in Hispanic studies with a minor in multi-cultural anthropology. She earned a master's degree in elementary education from REGIS University. She is certified in both early childhood and elementary education. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and pets, reading, traveling, and learning new things.  

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LynnDee Lewis
Kindergarten
(970) 673.4546 ext. 712
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About LynnDee Lewis

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Bethani Ploegstra
Kindergarten
(970) 673.4546 ext. 741
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About Bethani Ploegstra

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Shalyn Laird
1st Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 715
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About Shalyn Laird

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Tracy McQuitty
1st Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 713
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About Tracy McQuitty

I grew up in Wyoming and received my bachelor’s degree at the University of Wyoming. My husband and I have raised our two grown girls here in the Greeley area. Over the years, I have substitute taught all grades, K-12, in Wyoming, Colorado, and even Bermuda. I was a teacher and director for 13 years at a parent-cooperative preschool here in Greeley. I have been involved at Union Colony as a parent, and I am thrilled to be a part of the Union Colony family as a teacher. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and solving cross word puzzles and spending time with my family.


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Jolene Molina
1st Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 714
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About Jolene Molina

Born and raised in California, Ms. Molina earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UNC. While in college, she spent one semester in Guadalajara, Mexico, and lived with a host family. She has been teaching in Greeley for over 20 years. She has taught English as a second language, first grade, and second grade. Her favorite part of teaching is working with students and seeing the growth they make over the course of the year.

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Wendy Arthur
2nd Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 723
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About Wendy Arthur

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Leslie Morris
2nd Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 722
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About Leslie Morris

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Michelle Nicholas
2nd Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 721
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About Michelle Nicholas

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Jessica Holton
3rd Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 731
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About Jessica Holton

Mrs. Holton grew up in a small town northeast of Greeley and currently lives there with her husband and son. She graduated from UNC with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. When she's not working you can find her spending time with family and friends.

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Mary Alice Luebke
3rd Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 732
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About Mary Alice Luebke

Born and raised in Greeley, Mrs. Luebke graduated from Greeley Central High School. She attended UNC to pursue a career as an elementary teacher, but dropped out to become a 911 dispatcher at the Weld County Communications Center. Though she loved the fast-paced adventure of being a dispatcher, after a few years, she re-enrolled at UNC and graduated with a bachelor’s degree. When not at school, Mrs. Luebke spends time with friends and family, attends country music concerts, cooks and bakes, travels and scrapbooks about those travels. 

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Pam Wright
3rd Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 733
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About Pam Wright

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Sam Mooney
4th Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 753
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About Sam Mooney

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Nick Perakos
4th Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 752
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About Nick Perakos

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Dede Rouse
4th Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 763
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About Dede Rouse

I was born in Denver and lived my primary years in Littleton. I moved with my family to Cheyenne, Wyoming when I was in sixth grade. I finished schooling there, worked, married, and started my family. 

Once my children were in school, I started my college career. I received an associate of arts degree from Laramie County Community College, Cheyenne in ‘96. I transferred to UNC to finish my undergraduate studies, where I commuted my first year from Cheyenne to Greeley. In ’97, we moved to Greeley when my husband, Kevin, accepted a math position at the brand new Union Colony Charter School. In ‘98, I earned my bachelor of arts in English with an elementary education emphasis. I taught third grade at Billie Martinez for four years and taught fourth grade at Scott for two years.

When Union Colony started its middle school program, I joined the UCPS team as the reading teacher. I have been lucky enough to be involved in the third inaugural year of Union Colony Schools, the opening of its elementary school, and becoming a member of the fourth grade team. I also taught a couple years in fifth grade, but now I’m back in fourth.

My Timberwolf pride runs deep. I’m the proud momma of two UCPS graduates, Jeremy (’01) and Megan (’05). I’m also the proud wife of Assistant Principal Kevin Rouse. I am blessed to be part of such a great organization!

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Heather Mather
5th Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 762
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About Heather Mather

I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2000 with a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry, with minors in Biology and Psychology. I worked as a scientist and in finance for twelve years before deciding to return to school to earn a Master's degree in Teaching and Learning and acquire a teaching license. I graduated with my Master's degree from CSU- Global University. I am a fantastic science nerd. I love every discipline in science I have ever explored. I am passionate about engaging students in a science-rich education. I enjoy reading, biking, swimming, fast cars, cooking, gardening, music, and movies. My favorite company is family and friends. I married my high school sweetheart, Jason. I have four dogs, Gizmo, Kaori, Ellie Mae, and Daisy Belle. Jason and I are working to expand our family through adoption. I am proud to be a part of the Union Colony team. I love building long-term relationships with students and families. I am looking forward to spending the year getting to know you.

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Ryan Paul
5th Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 743
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About Ryan Paul

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Alison Vasco
5th Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 751
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About Alison Vasco

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Veronica Markley
Art
(970) 673.4546 ext. 770
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About Veronica Markley

Mrs. Markley is a Kansas girl at heart, but she loves going out and exploring all the activities Colorado has to offer with her husband. After graduating from Kansas Wesleyan University with a bachelor of arts in art education, Mrs. Markley's first teaching experience was overseas in South Korea. That experience gave her a unique desire to travel and share her experiences with children through art. During her free time she hangs out with her little Chihuahua, Maya, and spunky cat, Archie.

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Jon Ruths
Music
(970) 673.4546 ext. 771
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About Jon Ruths

Mr. Ruths grew up as a farm boy in central Pennsylvania but fell in love with the piano at the age of five. After graduating from West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a degree in music education, he and his wife moved to Greeley to start their next chapter of life. If he's not playing the piano, you might find Mr. Ruths hiking or camping in the Rocky Mountains, snowboarding, playing soccer, or running around town with his new dog, Zuri.

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Lyndsay Baker
Physical Education
(970) 673.4546 ext. 772
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About Lyndsay Baker

Ms. Baker grew up in Lander, Wyoming. She attended college in Nebraska where she earned a B.A. in K–12 physical education and coaching. Before moving to Colorado, she taught in Sidney, NE, and on the Wind River Reservation. She currently teaches physical education and coaches the varsity girls volleyball team. She enjoys all sports, being outdoors, fly fishing, and hunting.

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Kyli Leighton
ESL
(970) 673.4546 ext. 782
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About Kyli Leighton

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Rena Sebold
Special Education
(970) 673.4546 ext. 773
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About Rena Sebold

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Ron Lamb
Technology
(970) 673.4546 ext. 700
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About Ron Lamb

An Iowa native, Mr. Lamb has taught math in Iowa, Colorado, and Wyoming, teaching everything from Algebra 1 to AP Calculus. He moved to Colorado in 1984, and has been teaching at Union Colony since it opened its doors in 1997. His job currently includes teaching AP Calculus, and serving as IT director for all Union Colony schools.

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Paraprofessionals

Harmony McMillian
Para: Kinder
(970) 673.4546 ext. 712
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About Harmony McMillian

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Michelle Nagler
Para: Kinder
(970) 673.4546 ext. 710
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About Michelle Nagler

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Sarah Selby
Para: Kinder
(970) 673.4546 ext. 741
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About Sarah Selby

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Donna Micheaux
Para: 1st Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 713
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About Donna Micheaux

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Michelle Nyblade
Para: 1st Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 715
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About Michelle Nyblade

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Janette Pryor
Para: 1st Grade
(970) 673.4546 ext. 714
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About Janette Pryor

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Katherine Knudson
Para
(970) 673.4546 ext. 864
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About Katherine Knudson

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Patti Horst
Para: Special Education
(970) 673.4546 ext. 773
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About Patti Horst

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Kellie Hale
Office Para
(970) 673.4546 ext. 799
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About Kellie Hale

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Support Staff

Shelby Fetzer
Lead Custodian
(970) 673.4546 ext. 867
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About Shelby Fetzer

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Kathy Herman
Custodian
(970) 673.4546 ext. 868
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About Kathy Herman

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Sammi King
Health Clerk
(970) 673.4546 ext. 789
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About Sammi King

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