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Elementary & Preparatory Schools
A group of happy Union Colony elementary students
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Teacher reads to students in class

Elementary Staff

Administration

Ken Wildenstein
Principal
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Biography

About Ken Wildenstein

Mr. Wildenstein is a Colorado native and faithful fan of the Denver Broncos. Before becoming a principal, he taught PE at both the elementary and middle school levels. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Colorado in sport and exercise science with a physical education K-12 emphasis and coaching and history minors. He received his master's degree in school leadership from Regis University. In his spare time, Mr. Wildenstein enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters. 

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Mandy Bailey
Vice Principal
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About Mandy Bailey

Ms. Bailey serves as the assistant principal at Union Colony Elementary School. Prior to coming to Union Colony, she taught third, fourth, and fifth grade at Platte Valley Elementary. She then served as lead teacher at Union Colony for five years, prior to transitioning into the assistant principal role. 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 that education is the great equalizer and opens doors of opportunity. As Malala Yousafzai said, "One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world." In addition to working with students here, Ms. Bailey is also passionate about working with students abroad, and she recently had the opportunity to teach for a summer in Lebanon. In addition to cheering on the Bears, she also cheers for the Wyoming Cowboys—she was born and raised there!

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Kellie Hale
Registrar
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About Kellie Hale

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Janine Strausheim
Office Manager
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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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Tom Stokovaz
IT Director
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About Tom Stokovaz

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Teachers

Heather Barnett
Kindergarten
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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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Joni Hicks
Kindergarten
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About Joni Hicks

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Bethani Ploegstra
Kindergarten
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About Bethani Ploegstra

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Tracy McQuitty
1st Grade
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About Tracy McQuitty

I am so proud to be a first-grade teacher at UCES! I was born and raised in Wyoming and graduated from the University of Wyoming. My husband and I raised our two daughters here in Evans. I am proud to say that they are both graduates of Union Colony Prep, and both UW grads as well! (Go Pokes!)

My favorite things about first grade are teaching students to read and helping young students adjust to the rigors of elementary school. In my free time, I love to read, garden, and spend time with my family.

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Marisa Roggensack
1st Grade
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About Marisa Roggensack

I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in elementary education, an emphasis in math, and a certification in teaching English as a second language in December of 2016. The first half of 2017 was spent substituting in Aurora Public and Charter Schools, and now I am thrilled to teach first grade here at Union Colony Elementary.

Trying new things is what I love to do. This includes hiking new trails, finding balance during a different yoga pose, playing softball, going to museums and zoos, and traveling in the United States and abroad.

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Shalyn Smith
1st Grade
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About Shalyn Smith

Hi, my name is Shalyn Smith. I am a first grade teacher at Union Colony Elementary. This is my fifth year at Union Colony teaching first grade. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado in 2013 in elementary education with a minor in reading.

I was born and raised in southeastern Colorado, on our family farm/ranch. We raised cattle along with wheat and milo my entire life. I participated in 4-H and FFA for many, many years, and raised show steers and pigs for the county fair.

I moved to Greeley to complete my education in 2011 and have been here since. My husband and I recently got married and bought a new house. We love traveling to new places together and experiencing new things. I love doing anything crafty, hanging out with my puppies, and reading romance novels.

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Wendy Arthur
2nd Grade
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About Wendy Arthur

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Leslie Morris
2nd Grade
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About Leslie Morris

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Michelle Nicholas
2nd Grade
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About Michelle Nicholas

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Jessica Holton
3rd Grade
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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
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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
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About Pam Wright

I earned my masters in elementary education from the University of Northern Colorado, and I have been a third-grade teacher at Union Colony since we opened in 2012. I am a Colorado native growing up in the Berthoud area. I enjoy working with the children in our school community because they are bright and warm. My favorite memories are made when I can be in the mountains, read a good mystery, or spend time with my family, friends, and pets.

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Kathleen Everitt
4th Grade
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About Kathleen Everitt

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Kimberely Hayward
4th Grade
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About Kimberely Hayward

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Dede Rouse
4th Grade
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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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Jenna Berry
5th Grade
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About Jenna Berry

Mrs. Berry was born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she currently lives with her husband. She received her bachelors of arts in anthropology from Colorado State University, and her masters of teaching in elementary education from the University of Northern Colorado. In her free time, Mrs. Berry enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, going to concerts, and playing with her cat, Mowgli. One of her reasons for being a teacher is to help her students realize that they can make a positive difference in the world if they put their hearts and minds to it.

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Lynne Post
5th Grade
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About Lynne Post

This is my second year at Union Colony Elementary, but my 18th year of teaching. I graduated from UNC with my MA in elementary education and enjoy watching our students learn and grow. Outside of teaching I enjoy traveling and learning about places in history.

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Alison Vasco
5th Grade
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About Alison Vasco

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Val Anderson
Technology
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About Val Anderson

Mrs. Anderson joined the Union Colony staff in 2018 as the elementary technology teacher. She is a Google certified educator and works hard to prepare our students to become proficient in digital literacy and digital citizenship.
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Amy Felder
Art
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About Amy Felder

Amy Felder is very excited to teach art at Union Colony Elementary School! Amy Felder grew up in the small town of Pacolet, South Carolina. In 2006, she graduated magna cum laude from the honor’s program at the College of Charleston with a BA in studio art with grades K-12 certification and a BA in English with secondary education certification. During college, Amy completed a concentration in painting and studied art in Amsterdam and Paris through a study abroad program. Since graduating, Amy has taught elementary art in Charleston, South Carolina and Los Altos, California. In 2012, she earned her National Board Teaching Certificate with art/early and middle childhood certification. In 2018, Amy and her husband moved to Colorado, where she began teaching at Union Colony Elementary and pursuing her master of arts in art and design at University of Northern Colorado.

While Amy is a very committed and dedicated teacher, she is also an artist. In South Carolina, she exhibited in Converse College’s Sidewalk of the Arts (2003) and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art’s Heads (2004), and Young Contemporaries (2004 and 2006). In 2009, Amy was awarded third place in the South Carolina Art Education Association Art Show. In 2010, she also exhibited in two Teachers as Artists shows and in the North Charleston Arts Festival Judged Fine Art Exhibition. While in California, Amy exhibited in the 1st Annual Statewide CAEA Artisan Members’ Faire (2017) in San Francisco. In Colorado, Amy’s work has earned her the Carole Anderson Art Scholarship and the UCHealth Scholarship from the University of Northern Colorado.

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Valyne Esquibel
Gym
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About Valyne Esquibel

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Tresa Waggoner
Music
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About Tresa Waggoner

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Kyli Leighton
CLD
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About Kyli Leighton

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Trevor Lusk
CLD
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About Trevor Lusk

Trevor teaches third through fifth grade CLD and has a passion for immigrant and refugee children that he developed while working in his home state of Georgia.

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Jolene Molina
Reading Specialist (K–2)
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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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Nellie Slowiak
Reading Specialist (3–5)
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About Nellie Slowiak

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Paraprofessionals

Amanda Burnham
Intervention
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About Amanda Burnham

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Schelly Nagler
Intervention
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About Schelly Nagler

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Sarah Selby
Intervention
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About Sarah Selby

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Michele Nyblade
Intervention
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About Michele Nyblade

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Janette Pryor
Intervention
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Patti Horst
Intervention
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Donna Micheaux
Special Education
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About Donna Micheaux

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Support Staff

Mark Elbell
Tech Support
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About Mark Elbell

I am excited to utilize my 23 years of technology experience with HP to support Union Colony Schools. As a parent of three UCS graduates, I am enjoying working to support the school and future graduates.

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Janette Gau-Moore
Playground Monitor
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About Janette Gau-Moore

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Kathy Herman
Custodian
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About Kathy Herman

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Ashley Julian
Counselor
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About Ashley Julian

My name is Ashley Julian. I am originally from Conway, Arkansas I received my bachelor's in psychology and master’s degree in counseling from University of Central Arkansas. I have worked in adolescent behavioral hospitals and as a school-based therapist prior to moving to Colorado and joining Union Colony. 

I enjoy hiking (my favorite challenge is the Manitou Springs Incline) and spend a lot of time outside.  I also love to read, watch reality TV, and art. I have two little girls, three cats, and a dog.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of help to you, your student, or your family!

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Sammi King
Health Clerk
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About Sammi King

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