2nd Grade


Here at Manitou Springs Elementary school, second grade is a year full of powerful developmental growth; socially, emotionally and academically. Our 2nd grade team of teachers strives to support this excitingly transitional year by providing a content-rich, family style environment, full of hands-on, experiential and inquiry-based learning.


Second Grade students learn listening and comprehension skills through the use of our school-wide Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) curriculum. Listening comprehension is practiced as students learn about various Science and Social Studies “domains.” The CKLA Curriculum is also used to teach, grow and solidify reading skills. It is our goal to be reading to learn, rather than learning to read by the end of Second Grade! Singapore Math/Math in Focus (MIF) is a hands-on math curriculum that teaches a variety of math skills. Social and Emotional Learning is presented by our school counselor, Ms. Ashley Root through the 2nd Step program.

In Second Grade, we also provide many exciting opportunities for our students. We look forward to field trips to many locations throughout the year, including but not limited to: The Olympic Training Center, The Pioneers Museum, and The Space Foundation . Our students also enjoy going to Exploratory Classes each day rotating through Art, Music, P.E., Spanish, and TEAMS. They also really enjoy recess and getting outside to learn as often as possible.

Mrs. Chris Whipkey

I have been a Manitou Mustang since the 10th grade! That’s right, I am a proud MSSD 14 graduate! I began my teaching career here at MSES in 2005. Over the course of my time in Manitou, I have taught both 2nd and 5th grades. I believe that children learn best when they are engaged and excited about what they are learning, when they have choice in what they learn and how they show what they know, and when they get to learn in a hands-on, experiential, inquiry-based model. I love teaching 2nd grade because it is such a developmentally dynamic year to be a learner! In my free time I love to run and hike, read, and spend precious time with my family. I have been married to my high school sweetheart since 1998 and have two amazing (almost) grown boys, Aiden and Grayer both of whom have attended MSSD 14 since kindergarten. GO MUSTANGS!

Mrs. Maria Woytko
I am originally from a small town in Ohio. I always wanted to be a teacher from a young age. I attended The Ohio State University and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. After graduating in 1990, I was a substitute teacher for six years in Ohio. In 1996, I moved to Adelanto, CA to become a first grade teacher. After the first year, I moved to second grade. My dream (other than becoming a teacher) was to live in Colorado. In 1999, that dream came true when I was hired as a second grade teacher at MSES. I had visited Manitou Springs on a trip with my family and was excited to put down roots here. The mountains speak to me and Manitou does, also. I met my husband, Keith, while working at a local restaurant. In 2014, we were able to buy a house in Manitou so I can walk to school every day! We moved with our two cats, Merlin and Nimue, and our two birds, a cockatoo named Ritzi and a sun conure named Apollo. We enjoy skiing, camping, hiking, the Renaissance Festival and traveling. After many years in second grade, I made the decision to join the amazing third grade team when a position opened and have new challenges. I look forward to working with the one-year older students and seeing them (and me!) learn new things in third grade. I will continue to have high expectations in academics while being a part of a community of learners who support each other in a kind, caring way.

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