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 Mortensen
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! Email Sarah Mortensen



Melissa Loftin
First Grade Teacher

Manitou Springs Elementary has been my teaching home since 1996 when we moved here from NY state where I had taught kindergarten for 6 years, and 2nd grade in KY for one year previous to that.  My credentials include a Masters in Special Education, and an Endorsement in Early Childhood Education. I have a large family with many grandchildren. We all enjoy spending time at our property near Victor where we cook over a fire, watch the birds and wildlife, hike and play.
Email: Melissa Loftin


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. Email Jonathan Pletsch
Mr. Pletsch's First Grade Website


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! 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! 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! Email Becky Elms

Lisa Dillinder
Third Grade Teacher

Lisa Dillinder has been teaching at MSES since 1988. She was born in San Jose, California and moved to Colorado in 1984 to study at Fort Lewis College in Durango. She has two smart, talented and handsome sons, William and Andrew. She enjoys running on the mountain trails and cheering on the Broncos! Email Lisa Dillinder

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 Goldman grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts and found herself in Colorado 7 years ago to attend Colorado College here in Colorado Springs! As an undergraduate she studied Psychology but grew to love her experiences volunteering in a local elementary school the most. She pursued her teaching license and has since then worked as an interventionist in District 11 and as a 2nd grade teacher in Academy School District 20. Outside of school, Madeline loves to enjoy the outdoors, good food and good company! She can often be found hiking, skiing or camping with her boyfriend, Justin, and their dog Zyggi, or cooking Italian dinners for her friends and family. She is absolutely thrilled to be joining the Mustangs and is so excited to get to know the Manitou staff, families and, most importantly, the wonderful students!  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

Hi Mustangs! My name is Rachel Embery and I am thrilled to be a Mustang. This will be my seventeenth year of teaching. My first 12 years were in fourth grade and the last five 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 seventh grade at MSMS!  I also have a 92 pound Old English Sheepdog, Cooper. I love to run, ski, camp, watch football, and fly planes. 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

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
Literacy Teacher

I have been teaching at MSES since 1994.  I have taught kindergarten, Title 1, 3rd grade and 2nd grade.  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.  His wife attended Manitou schools, my daughter graduated from MSHS last year and is now attending UCCS, and my son is a sophomore at MSHS.  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


Emily Groth 
Special Education Teacher

Emily grew up in Manitou Springs, attending Manitou Springs Elementary, Middle and High School.  She left Colorado for a short while to attend Pacific University, in Oregon, and graduated with a degree in Education and Learning.  She returned to Colorado and attended UCCS, graduating with a Master’s in Special Education.  She lives with her husband, dogs, chickens and bees. Emily loves to spend time outdoors, hiking, gardening, and bird watching.  She also enjoys cooking, reading, and art projects. Email Emily Groth


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 18th as a school-based SLP and her sixth 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 18, 12, and 7 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


LeAnn Sharon
District Nurse

LeAnn Sharon aka “Nurse LeAnn” started with MSSD 14 in 2015 first working with the MS and HS students and is now the District Nurse covering all four schools.   I graduated from Iowa Methodist School of Nursing in Des Moines, Iowa and received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Drake University in 1990. I have been a RN for 28 years with the majority of my career in Emergency Medicine. I am married and have five children two who have already graduated as Mustangs and I currently have three in MSES. I completed my MBA in Healthcare Management in 2015 and was looking for a challenge and as a school nurse I have found it! I am challenged everyday and I love working with students of all ages along with the teachers and staff. I love to travel, especially to warm areas with great beaches and scuba diving. I enjoy the outdoors with running, biking and keeping up with my children. Email LeAnn Sharon


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.

Marsha Weimer, Building Tech

Marsha Weimer
Building Tech

Mrs. Marsha Weimer began in the Technology Department at Manitou Springs Schools in 2013. After being a stay-at-home mom for over 20 years, Marsha relished the idea of helping the teachers and students of District 14 with Technology. Marsha and her husband have boy/girl twins in high school and a son who is a 2010 Manitou graduate. Marsha loves working with the staff at MSES whom she came to know while her children were elementary students. Manitou Springs has the most amazing students, teachers and leadership. Marsha is a strong supporter of the iPad program, raising strong Digital Citizens and technology in the classroom. Email Marsha Weimer

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.

Moira Archuleta
Amy Evans
Shelly Garrison
Laura Maestas
Krystal Miller
Jessica Powers
Sylvia Prather
Loretta Roe
Luz Shoemaker
Natalie Thorndyke
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


Stan Sheloski

“Mr. Stan” Sheloski is the day custodian at Manitou Elementary. He’s from one of the few US city’s with a hyphen, Wilkes-Barre, PA. He is an identical twin and also grew up with two sisters and a younger brother. He lived in the Pocono Mountains most of his adult life and was a volunteer fireman for nine years.  Stan spent over twenty five years in construction and was a superintendent on projects such as commercial properties, the restoration of historic buildings and the construction of multi-million dollar homes. He owned his own construction business in Colorado Springs before joining Manitou Elementary in 2009. Stan has two sons–Tony, a chef in Florida and Pete, an employee of MSSD. Stan moved to the Springs in 2004 to marry Donna, whom he met on e-harmony! Stan is an avid Broncos fan and also likes biking and hiking. He loves living in Colorado and enjoys seeing the sunrise from Manitou Elementary every day!


Kevin Baylor

I spent most of my life in Picture Rocks/Hughesville,PA. I’m a U.S. Navy veteran. I moved to Colorado, December 2007, to see family and to enjoy the mountains. I’ve been here ever since.  I enjoy hiking, fishing, hunting, cooking and mountain biking.  I’ve held different jobs working a game farm raising pheasants, factories, military(U.S. Navy Corpsman), and cooking for Red Lobster (my longest job 11 1/2 years).  I came to work for MSSD14 in October 2014 as a evening custodian.  I’m waiting to see where my heart and mind take me in the future.


James Daly


Julie Meier 
School Secretary

Julie Meier has been a school secretary for 30 years.  27 of the years were spent in Michigan in both elementary and middle school.  Mrs. Meier moved to Manitou Springs three years ago.  She has a son, daughter in law and two grandchildren in Michigan, a daughter who lives in Manitou Springs and a son, daughter in law and granddaughter who live on the Westside.  In her spare time you can find Mrs. Meier at the Manitou Springs Public Library or hiking the Intemann Trail.  She also loves to knit.  Mrs. Meier feels very honored to be a part of the Manitou Springs Elementary School family. Email Julie Meier


Sarah Rivera
School Secretary

Email Sarah Rivera

MSES Facility Dog

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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