Staff Old


Julie Womochil
Preschool Teacher

Mrs. Julie Womochil has been the preschool teacher in our preschool program since 2009.  Her teaching experiences include Early Childhood Special/ Early Childhood Education, a 2nd grade classroom teacher, and teacher of children with severe and multiple handicaps in Kansas, Indiana, and Colorado.   Her undergraduate work was done at Emporia State University in both early childhood education and elementary education.  She holds a Masters degree from Kansas State University in Early Childhood Special Education. Her passion remains teaching very young children, supporting their parents and collaborating with the many professionals and support staff who make our preschool and school such a wonderful place.   It does indeed take a village .  She and her husband, Michael, grew up, and taught in Kansas.  It was a dream come true when they were actually able to move to Colorado in 2008, and to Manitou in 2013. Two of their three children, and three grandsons also live in our area. The entire family, along with two spoiled hounds,  joyfully continue to discover, camp, hike, and celebrate the diversity and beauty of Manitou, and Colorado.
Email Julie Womochil 


Jeana Farrell Goede
Kindergarten Teacher

I have been teaching Kindergarten since 2001 and have had the good fortune to be a Manitou Mustang since 2008!  After I received my Masters Degree in Education from Colorado College in 2001, I began my teaching career at Canon Elementary School in District 12 and taught there for seven years.  As Manitou Springs residents and parents of two boys in the Manitou Schools, my husband and I value the strong sense of community and small-town atmosphere of Manitou. From a teacher’s perspective, I appreciate the high standards and academic success of the Manitou Public Schools.  I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of the education system in our neighborhood school.  The love I have for teaching is daily returned to me as I see my students acquire new skills, make friends, and gain confidence in themselves.  In creating an environment that encourages students to explore, work cooperatively, and make thoughtful choices, I consistently model the excitement and joy of the learning process.  I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to guide my students on the path of becoming lifelong learners. Email Jeana Farrell


Lindsay Hammel
Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Lindsay Hammel has been a kindergarten teacher at MSES since 2006.  She loves working with this special group of young children and helping them develop a love for learning.  She believes that kindergarten is a very important year to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning and works hard to help every child succeed.  Born and raised in Colorado Springs, Lindsay has always loved spending time outdoors. She loves to spend time with her husband, daughter, and son hiking and camping. During time away from school, Lindsay also loves to travel and has recently taken up photography as a new hobby. Life is good!Email Lindsay Hammel


Missi Thomson
Kindergarten Teacher

I am so thrilled to be a kindergarten teacher here at Manitou Elementary School. I am pleased to say I have been a Manitou Mustang since attending MSES in kindergarten and graduating from MSHS in 1996. I married my high school sweetheart M.J., and we have two beautiful boys Ty and Jake (who are also Mustangs)! After volunteering at this school while Ty was in kindergarten, my heart ached to be in a classroom. So I decided to go back to school to be a kindergarten teacher. It was a long road trying to balance being a mom, wife, student, employee, friend, and sister, but I did it and here I am…my dream come true! I received my Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix. I believe that kindergarten is the most important year in a child’s school career. If they have a teacher who loves them and helps them discover how wonderful and exciting learning can be, they will love learning the rest of their lives. The great thing about MSES is that all of these teachers love your students and love learning themselves! I am blessed to be a part of this school and a part of your child’s life! GO MUSTANGS!!!  Email Missi Thomson


Sarah Carter
First Grade Teacher

Hi Mustangs! I have been a teacher since 2011 and have been so fortunate to spend all of my years with the Manitou Springs School District. I became the second grade teacher at Ute Pass Elementary in 2011, moved to first grade the following year where I would stay for the next four years, and began serving on the first grade team here at Manitou Springs Elementary School in 2016. I graduated locally from Sand Creek High School in District 49. I attended Chadron State College in northwest Nebraska where I received my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. I also played volleyball at the NCAA Division II level for Chadron State. The teaching profession and my work with children are my utmost passions in life. Watching my kids grow and having the opportunity to foster that growth and be a part of their journey is something I am so thankful for. Outside of teaching, my passions are continuing to play volleyball, hiking, running, sporting events, spending time with my family and dogs, and sipping coffee!  I am ever intrigued and inspired by the Manitou community and its families. I am so honored and thankful to be a part of the Mustang family of schools as I serve children alongside all of you! Check out the First Grade Website Email Sarah Carter


Paige Carley, First Grade Teacher
My name is Paige Carley and I am thrilled to join the MSES family! I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a Minor in Education from Colorado State University Pueblo. I feel so fortunate to begin my teaching career as a Manitou Mustang! Guiding students along their educational journeys to reach their highest level of achievement is my greatest passion in life. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy experiencing nature, spending time with my family and friends, and getting artsy. An interesting fact about myself is that I have a very handsome hairless cat named Sterling. Check out the First Grade Website
Email: Paige Carley


Jonathan Pletsch
First Grade Teacher

Mr. Jonathan Pletsch has been teaching first grade at Manitou Elementary since 2011. He previously worked in the Special Education department at Ute Pass Elementary.  Mr. Pletsch received a Bachelor’s in Rhetoric from the University of Illinois and a Master’s in Elementary Education from Regis University.  Much of his free time is spent camping, hiking, and running in the great outdoors of Colorado.  He loves spending time with his wife, his dog, and his awesome first graders. Check out the First Grade Website Email Jonathan Pletsch


Maria Woytko-Morris
Second Grade Teacher

Ms. Maria Woytko-Morris has taught second grade at Manitou Elementary since 1999. Before that, she taught three years in California in grades one and two. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) and a Master’s Degree from Lesley University. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, traveling, reading, going to the Renaissance Festival, and sharing her love of the music of John Denver. Ms. Woytko-Morris and her husband and have a cockatoo named Ritzi, a Sun Conure named Apollo and two black cats named Merlin and Nimue. She is so happy to be a part of Manitou School District and meeting all the unique students. Email Maria Woytko-Morris  Website Sensational 2nd Graders Blog


Chris Whipkey
Second Grade Teacher

Chris Whipkey has been teaching at Manitou Elementary since 2005.  She holds a BA in Psychology and earned her teaching certification through the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.  Chris and her husband are both Manitou High School graduates and look forward to the days when their two sons become Manitou graduates as well. Go ‘Stangs!  Mrs. Whipkey's Class Blog Email Chris Whipkey 


Laura Pearson
Second Grade Teacher

Hey Mustangs! My name is Laura “Lori” Pearson, and I joined the Manitou Family in 2014!  I am from Alexandria, Louisiana, but not originally!  My dad was in the USAF, so I traveled every few years during most of my childhood. I have lived in Hawaii, Texas, Utah, Michigan, and finally Louisiana.  I attended Louisiana State University and earned my BS degree in Elementary Education in 1989.  I then attended Northwestern State University to certify in Special Education.  I have taught K-6th grades, Resource, and Title I during my career.  My husband, Ken, and I moved our family to Colorado in 2000 on a job promotion and have never looked back. We have 3 adult children and 2 granddogs!  We enjoy the beauty and activities Colorado has to offer and love spending time on the beaches in Florida! Please follow our classroom Pearson Classroom Blog Email Laura Pearson


Becky Elms
Third Grade Teacher

Mrs. Elms has been a teacher at Manitou Springs Elementary since 2000. Before teaching third grade she taught fifth grade, and before teaching she was a children’s librarian for ten years in Indiana. She earned her B.S. in Child Development at Colorado State University and her Bachelor’s in Teaching through UCCS. Her hobbies are teaching, cycling and reading. She has a son that is a cyclist also and so she loves spending her weekends watching him race. She also loves to be with her students, teaching and modeling the fun of being a life long learner! Connect to our Classroom Elms Classroom Blog Email Becky Elms

Natascha Leonardo, Third Grade Teacher
Hi, I am Natascha Leonardo and I couldn't be more excited to be a member of Manitou Springs Elementary School. I have wanted to work here for years and am finally blessed with the opportunity to teach to the whole child and let the creativity and rigor flow! For the past eight years, I taught second grade in District 2 at Soaring Eagles Elementary and I look forward to the new challenge of teaching third grade!
I am the lucky mom of three littles (6,4 and 2), one of whom will be in the first grade here at Manitou Elementary! We love anything outdoors from hiking to biking to skiing. I particularly love distance running and the clarity and freedom it gives me. I can't wait to meet all the amazing students and parents of this community.
email Natascha Leonardo

Brandon Wood
Third Grade Teacher

I was born and raised in North Platte, Nebraska.  Nebraska offers some predictable activities like hunting, fishing, and football.  Where it exists, the natural world of Nebraska holds amazing wildlife, landscapes, and a unique calmness.  Nebraska was amazing, but I've spent the majority of my life in Missoula, Montana.  It is an incredible place where weirdness is welcomed. I got married in 2004 and we welcomed our son, Dylan, to the world in 2012.  We love getting outdoors hiking, biking, and camping.  Yet, staying home with a set of LEGOs or a good book is always wonderful as well.  Whether home or away, I've got to let the music play! I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 2014 in Elementary Education from the University of Montana.  The elementary school in Frenchtown, Montana hired me to teach kindergarten right after and I've been teaching ever since.  I am extremely fortunate to be teaching in Manitou Springs.  This is a place where wonder can happen!  It's almost time for a brand-new day of school to begin!  (And it is going to be a sight to behold!  I love being a 3rd grade teacher!) Email Brandon Wood
Room 204 Website


Jessica Larsen 
Fourth Grade Teacher

I have been teaching in the elementary school setting since 2004 in 4th & 5th grades and Special Education. I was born in Wisconsin (Go Pack Go) and moved to Colorado in 2006.  My husband, Karl, and I love to head up into the mountains all yearlong. You would find us skiing in winter and hiking and camping in the summer!  In my classroom, we love to laugh and learn through investigation and becoming the mathematician/ author/scientist. Email Jessica Larsen


Christi Marquardt
Fourth Grade Teacher

Mrs. Marquardt is in her tenth year of teaching fourth grade. She holds a MEd in Elementary Education and a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Communication with a minor in French. She is also a Teacher Liaison Alumna with the Space Foundation. She is married and has two boys in Manitou Springs School District 14. She love Manitou, people and nature, books, laughter, and living beings! Email Christi Marquardt


Madeline Goldman
Fourth Grade Teacher

Ms. Madeline (Maddie) Goldman, a Boston native, found herself in this beautiful state some time ago to attend Colorado College here in Colorado Springs! She holds a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Education, but grew to LOVE working with children through her experiences volunteering in local elementary schools. She has since then worked as an interventionist in District 11, a second grade teacher in Academy School District 20, and now as a fourth grade teacher here at MSES. Outside of school, she can often be found hiking, skiing, camping OR cooking (Italian food, always!) with her boyfriend, Justin, and their dog Zyggi. She feels so fortunate to be a part of the Mustang family and looks forward to getting to know a whole new group of young learners.   Email Madeline Goldman


Amy DeLarm
Fifth Grade Teacher

Amy DeLarm has been teaching since 2004, which included teaching Title Reading, 4th grade, 2nd grade, 5th grade and 3rd grade.  Her favorite grade to teach?  The one she is in at the time!  Amy was born in Wisconsin, and is a huge Packers and Brewers fan.  She got a BA in Business from North Central College in Illinois in 1990, which led to a career in corporate retail for 16 years in Iowa. She got her BS in Elementary Education from Iowa State in 2004.  She and her family moved to Woodland Park, Colorado in 2005, and have enjoyed hiking and the outdoors ever since.  Amy is busy with her 3 children as they (and she) are very active in sports and Scouts. Email Amy DeLarm


Lisa Knezha
Fifth Grade Teacher

I am a born and raised Cajun from South Louisiana, who couldn’t return to the mountains fast enough! I attended Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL and received my B.S. in Elementary Education. I began teaching in Louisiana, and then moved to Montana, Colorado, back to Louisiana, North Carolina, and Alabama. I was finally was able to return to the home of my heart in Colorado in 2014. I have taught every age from Kindergarten to adults. Somewhere along the way, I completed my Master’s of Education in Technology integration. I have one fabulous daughter who is a student in college at Auburn University (War Eagle!). I enjoy photography, hiking, and enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds Manitou everyday. Email Lisa Knezha


Rachel Embery
Fifth Grade Teacher

Hello Mustangs! My name is Rachel Embery and I am thrilled to be a Mustang. This will be my 18th year of teaching. My first 12 years were in fourth grade and the last 6 have been in fifth. I implement the wonderful Responsive Classroom curriculum in my class. We will form a trusting and nurturing environment that benefits everyone who steps foot in our room. I love to teach with enthusiasm and inspire “my kiddos” to take risks in their learning. My son Jack will be in 8th grade at MSMS! I also have a 92 pound Old English Sheepdog, Cooper and a cat, Carly. This year I am also the assistant coach for Manitou Springs Middle School’s cross country team! So every afternoon you may spot me running with the kiddos around Manitou! I love to run, ski, bicycle ride, watch football, and spend time with my family and friends. I’m also a very avid Chicago Bears fans! DA BEARS!   Email Rachel Embery


Carrie Dunlap
Art Teacher

Carrie has been teaching art at MSES since 2013. She is a graduate of Fine and Applied Arts from the University of Illinois. Previously, she taught art in Tempe, AZ and Denver, CO as well as operated her own local business in Manitou Springs, Notes in Bloom. She is a mother of two, Jackson and Sierra and a resident of Manitou Springs. Her goal is that every child feels successful, happy, encouraged and challenged to explore their own unique sense of their creative self. By helping children take risks and make mistakes in a safe learning environment, Carrie believes that children learn to stretch their potential both inside and outside of the classroom. Email  Carrie Dunlap


Elizabeth Lawson
Music Teacher

Elizabeth teaches music at Manitou Springs Elementary School. She holds an MA in Special Education from UCCS and a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Elizabeth loves sharing her passion for music with kids, and is especially excited to help them grow and gain confidence as young creators and innovators. She moved to Colorado in 1986, and caught the climbing bug that eventually led her to the summit of Denali, in Alaska, with her husband John. They have two sons, Harry and Aubrey, two dogs, Luke and Jasmine, and a cat named Zorro.  Elizabeth is proud to be a Mustang, and grateful to be part of such a creative, caring community. Email Elizabeth Lawson


Randy Niebuhr
PE Teacher

Mr. Randy Niebuhr has been teaching since 1975 and at Manitou Springs Elementary School since 1996. He believes in teaching kids to live a healthy lifestyle through a variety of physical activities and healthy eating habits. Email Randy Niebuhr 


Amy Bradbury
TEAMS Center Teacher

I have had the pleasure to educate the students at Manitou Springs Elementary School since 2010. My journey began in fifth grade teaching all subjects areas. I also had the privilege to help start one-to-one iPad integration.  My newest venture is the TEAMS department in the library where I enjoy delivering a whole child education and working in collaboration with classroom teachers to incorporate technology, engineering, arts, media and science. My previous experience has been in District 11 where I taught kindergarten, first, fourth and fifth grade. I am originally from Wisconsin and still root for the Greenbay Packers! I earned my undergraduate at the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin and my Masters degree in curriculum and instruction at UCCS. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband and my newest addition to my family, baby Stuart. My husband and I enjoy rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking. Email Amy Bradbury
TEAMS Website

Alejandra Lillemon
Spanish Teacher
Email Alejandra Lillemon

I am Maestra Alejandra Lillemon and have the honor of being a Spanish teacher here at MSSE. I was born in Chiriqui, Panama then attended the Nacional Universidad de Panama and received my Law Degree and worked in Family Law. I moved from Germany to Colorado in July 2016 and love the sun and mountains here.

Amanda Hendrickson
Literacy Teacher

Mrs. Amanda Hendrickson joined the staff of MSES in 2004.  She has taught 4th grade, 2nd grade and recently taken on a new adventure as a Interventionist. Teaching and learning with kids is something that she loves to do.  She believes all kids learn best when they have positive relationships in their lives.  Outside of school, Mrs. Hendrickson, enjoys spending time with her family, crafting and antiquing!  She has three children, which two of them are currently Manitou Mustangs. Email Amanda Hendrickson


Kelly Johnston
Literacy Teacher

Kelly Johnston has been a teacher at Manitou Springs Elementary School since 2001,
having taught kindergarten, second grade, and most recently working as a Reading
Interventionist (since 2009). She has enjoyed each and every assignment and loves
working with children. What a joy it is to help them develop a love of reading! Her
hobbies include reading, gardening, being with family, and enjoying the outdoors.
Kelly and husband, Ron, have two wonderful grown children who attended District
14 from kindergarten to graduation and two grandchildren who light up the world!
Kelly loves being a part of the Manitou District 14 family.
 Email Kelly Johnston


Steve Smith
Intervention Teacher

I have been teaching at MSES since 1994. I have taught kindergarten, Title 1, 3rd grade and 2nd grade. I am now loving my position as Math Interventionist. I graduated from UCCS with a bachelors in psychology and then a couple of years later went back and got my certificate in elementary education. My daughter and son both graduated from MSHS. They are both currently serving in the the military. I love teaching in Manitou!
Email Steve Smith


Heidi Koriath
Literacy Teacher


Robin Sokol is a literacy interventionist at MSES. She grew up in Maryland, graduating from Towson State University in 1986 with a B.S. in English/Psychology. After graduation, she traveled the country, visiting Manitou Springs; she fell in love with the town and decided to stay! Ms. Sokol worked as a Special Ed. paraprofessional for four years, before deciding to return to school for her teaching degree. She received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Colorado College in 1994. She taught kindergarten for three years at UPE, then spent several years at home with her children. She returned to teaching in 2007 to work with the first-grade team at MSES. She enjoys music, reading, running, and, of course, hanging out with her two children! Email Robin Sokol

Robin Sokol
Literacy Teacher

Jenna Conlin
Special Education Teacher

Email Jenna Conlin


Karen Unruh
Special Education Teacher

Mrs. Unruh has taught First grade , Middle School & High School Language Arts,  Deaf & Hard of Hearing students, Reading Intervention &  3rd Grade as well as Special Education.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO & her Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Colorado Christian University in 2007.  She enjoys keeping up with her four kids (Seth, Abi, Hannah & Chloe) and husband (Randy).  She grew up in Indiana, but spent the first 15 years of her married life in Odessa, Texas before moving to Manitou Springs in 2004.  Email Karen Unruh


Vanessa Roberts
Special Education Teacher

Vanessa Roberts is excited to return to Manitou Elementary as a member of the Special Education team! She attended Manitou from Kindergarten through High School, and is now proud that her oldest son, Robby, is a Mustang in Kindergarten. Vanessa and her husband, Rob, also have another son, Jack, who will be joining Robby at Manitou in a couple years. Vanessa graduated from the University of Arizona in 2008 and began her teaching career in Tucson, AZ. She moved back to Colorado in 2013, and took some time off as a teacher to be a full-time mother. Her passion for teaching, coupled with the opportunity to be back in Manitou, has Vanessa filled with enthusiasm and pride. When Vanessa is not teaching, she enjoys gardening, hiking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Email Vanessa Roberts


Malcomb Vrecenar
Special Education Teacher, Harmony

Email Malcomb Vrecenar


Leah Neilson-Johnson

Leah Johnson is a Speech/Language Pathologist serving Manitou Springs Elementary and Ute Pass Elementary Schools.  She earned her B.A. degrees in French and English, with a minor in Journalism, from Western State College and her M.A. in Communication Disorders and Sciences from the University of Oregon.  She holds her Professional Special Service Provider License from the State of Colorado in the endorsement area of Speech/Language Pathologist (ages 0-21) and her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech/Language Hearing Association.  This year will mark Leah’s 19th as a school-based SLP and her 7th year in Manitou Springs School District.  Before coming to Manitou, Leah worked for eight years in Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 and four years in Colorado Springs School District 11.  Leah has worked at all levels, from preschool-12th grade, but the majority of her experience has been in the early childhood and elementary settings.  Leah is a native of Colorado Springs.  She and her husband, Cris, keep busy with their three wonderful boys, ages 19, 13, and 8 years.  She enjoys running, reading, gardening, and spending time with her family. Email Leah Nielson-Johnson


Denise Spangler

Denise Spangler spent 20 years trying to get to Colorado on a permanent basis and has since been a resident of Manitou for about 20 years.  She is the Speech/Language Pathologist serving Manitou Springs Elementary upper grades as well as Manitou Springs Middle School and select students at Manitou Springs High School.  She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and her M.A. in Communication Disorders and Sciences from the University of Northern Colorado.  She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech/Language Hearing Association.  This year will mark Denise’s 28th year as an SLP and her 12th year in the Manitou Springs School District. Denise and her husband, Chip, have two children.  The Spangler family keeps busy with travel, cycling, running, reading and gardening.
Email Denise Spangler


Kristen Kanaga
GATE Teacher

I have been enjoying the sport of teaching in public education since 2002.  It has been an exciting journey from working with 5th grade to 3rd grade to K-5 Gifted and Talented students.  As I have changed my role from classroom teacher to specialist, I have developed a passion for helping students generate their own excitement for learning, growing, and sharing their gifts with others.  Every day I am thankful to have found Manitou Springs Elementary and be a part of their unique impact on kids and families.  If I am not working with a class, you may find me supervising a club or creating learning experiences for my students.  Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family doing activities like hiking, skating, snowshoeing, building sprinkler systems, cooking creative meals, and gardening.  I believe in never being idle…and that frequently trying something new is the most important part of continuing to grow. Email Kristen Kanaga
The On Beyond Program


Joyce Spilka Stafford
District Psychologist

I have been joyfully serving Manitou Springs Schools, as the District School Psychologist since 2003. I serve students in Pre School through 12th grade and/or transition.  I received my Bachelors of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University. Practicing as an Occupational Therapist in California at UCLA Medical Center and Long Beach Memorial Hospital, I specialized in Traumatic Brain Injury. After moving to the beautiful state of Colorado, I worked at Penrose St Francis for over 13 years. In my last role, I served as the Director of Rehabilitation for all inpatient and outpatient services for multiple locations and hospitals. During that time, I attended graduate school at UCCS and received my Masters in Psychology with an emphasis in clinical psychology and memory impacts of aging. In an effort to create more balance with my family of 3 children, I again went to graduate school at University of Northern Colorado where I received an EDS degree in School Psychology. I currently am licensed through Colorado Department of Education as both a School Psychologist and Occupational Therapist, as well as having national certification in both professions. I love my job working with students of all ages alongside their families and educators. My husband Phil and I have 3 children, our son recently graduated from CSU, our daughter attends college in Washington, and our youngest son is a Junior in high school. Our dogs are also a part of our family, Rosie, yellow lab and Bodie (golden doodle). As a family we have great passion for the outdoors and take it all in with cycling, skiing, hiking, swimming, and gardening.  Life is Good!

Email Joyce Stafford

Pat Moran, District Outreach Counselor
Email Pat Moran

Kaitlyn Byrne
District Nurse

Kaitlyn is a part time district nurse who will be working at Manitou Elementary. Kaitlyn is a second generation Manitou alumni, and graduated from MSHS in 2010. Kaitlyn attended nursing school at UCCS/Beth-El and graduated in 2014 with her BSN. Kaitlyn currently works part time as an ER nurse at St Mary Corwin in Pueblo as well, and has also been a volunteer firefighter for Manitou Springs Fire for 6 years. Kaitlyn's husband is a full time firefighter for Colorado Springs, and they have two daughters. Kaitlyn is excited to join the MSSD14 team for the upcoming school year.


Lisa Kadlec
Health Tech

Lisa Kadlec, District Health Tech
Lisa Kadlec has been working with Elementary School children since 1998.  She started as a volunteer and soon after became an Administrative Assistant that she loved for many years.  Over the years she has worked side by side with several Nurses and many students.  She believes children should always come first as they are our future.  She is a Colorado Springs native and married her High School sweetheart.  She has two adult children Nicholas 25 and Mindy 23 who are the sunshine of her life.   Lisa loves the outdoors and the mountains.  She spends the weekends riding her motorcycle and relaxing at the family cabin.

Para Professionals:


Julie Lavigne
PreSchool Para Professional

Julie Lavigne joined the preschool staff at Manitou Springs in 2014 with her love of music, art and storytelling. She has been present in the Manitou school district since her years as a student from Kindergarten through 12thgrade as well as an officer on the PAC and a substitute teacher. She wholeheartedly loves the community and the district and has had 3 children as Manitou students as well. She arrived at the preschool after time with E11 Creative Workshop where she discovered her love for nurturing young people through creative processes in a safe and loving environment. She truly loves being a native of this beautiful place and embraces every grateful moment with her husband and two boys. She enjoys spare time surrounded by a rich group of many family and friends hiking, cooking, singing, dancing, gardening, and more.

Agnes Navaratne, Media Tech
Agnes grew up in Manitou and is so excited to be working amongst many of her former elementary school teachers, as the Media & Computer Technician. She is studying Multimedia Graphic Design at PPCC. In her free time, Agnes loves reading feminist science fiction novels, hanging out at the Manitou Art Center, and picking up a different hobby every week - right now it’s the flute. Check back to see if that lasts.
Email Agnes Navaratne

Moira Archuleta
Amy Evans
Shelly Garrison
Laura Maestas
Jessica Powers
Sylvia Prather
Loretta Roe
Luz Shoemaker
Kaya Teigen
Cari Vermillion
Cindy Walford
Rachael West


Paula Faucette
Food Service Director

Email Paula Faucette


Judi Johnson
District Kitchen Manager

Judi has been on the Nutrition Services staff for 7 years.  She is currently the Central Kitchen Manager and takes care of preparing our salad bars and specialty salads for all four Manitou schools.  She is married and has three daughters and a son, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.  For the past 25 years she has had a love affair with the Garden of the Gods.  If she isn’t at work, that it where you will find her.


Tatianna Ramos
Food Service


Marcia Smart
Food Service

Colton Sherraden



Kevin Baylor


Russell Adams

MSES Facility Dog

Shanda Glasener

My family and I recently moved here form Northern Colorado. I am so happy to be in such a beautiful place with such a great community. I have 3 children of my own who attend Manitou Springs schools. Our family loves to be outdoors hiking, biking and swimming as much as we can.  
Email Shanda Glasener

Caitlin Morissette

I grew up near Annapolis, Maryland and we moved to Colorado in 2012 with the Army. I am the proud mom of a Manitou 5th grader and I am so excited to be working at MSES! In my free time, I enjoy creating (food, art, anything) and being outdoors as much as possible with my family and our two dogs. I also enjoy reading and learning about history.

Email Caitlin Morissette

Leatha Hay, Counselor
Email Leatha Hay

Maria Masone, Assistant Principal
Email Maria Masone


Russ Vogel, Principal

Russ Vogel has been principal at Manitou Springs Elementary School since 2003. Before his work in Manitou, he was a teacher and administrator in Falcon District 49 for 10 years. Before Education called him, he was a writer/editor for the Worthington Daily Globe, University of Minnesota, International Business Information in Tokyo, Wiley Law Publications, and Unistar Radio Networks. He is married to Serena Vogel, the fabulous counselor at Manitou Springs Middle School, and they have three daughters, Kelcey, Kirsten, and Kaity, all whom have graduated from the District 14 school system. Email Russ Vogel
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