Meet Our Central Staff
Meet Our Central Staff
"Hi! I'm Deana Valadez-Barnes. This will be my 4th year at Central and my 15th year in Adams 14. My favorite part of the day at Central is greeting students and their families as they enter the school in the mornings and I look forward to the time we can do that again. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out if you ever need my support. I am honored to serve Adams 14 and the Central community!?"
"Hello! I'm Ryan Green. I feel so fortunate to be starting my 5th year here at Central and Adams 14, and my overall 15th year in education. I grew up in a military family that moved all over the country and the world. My wife and I moved to Colorado 11 years ago and love raising our three daughters here. I look forward to this year and hopefully many more with our Central Family. I've never enjoyed a school community more than I have here at Central.dergarten at Central Elementary and cannot wait to meet my new group of students!"
"Hi my name is Karen and I have worked at Central for 2 years. I was born and raised in Colorado and I try to take advantage of its great scenic views. During summers, my family and I love to be adventurous and explore different camping sites around the state of Colorado.It is an honor to be a part of Central's Cub Family!"
"Hello All! I am the mother of a "Minecraft and everything related to technology loving" first grader. He is the joy of my life and just won't stop growing! Apart from being a mother, my greatest adventure was living in Spain where I learned Spanish. I am a native of Colorado and have served in education for 20 years. Previously, I worked as a fourth grade teacher at Dupont Elementary and most recently as a Dean in APS. I am overjoyed to be returning to the Adams 14 family."
"Hi everyone! My name is Jeaneth I have been working at Central since the end of the last 2019-2020 school year. I was born here in Colorado and I am 19 years old. My favorite part of the day is taking the kids out to recess and watching them run and laugh together. On my free time l love to try new activities and foods with my friends and loved ones. I hope to meet more children and parents this year!"
“I am Alicia VanMetre. This is my 23 year in the district and my 13 at Central. My favorite part of the day is when I get to leave my office and interact with the students in their classrooms or during arrival time. At home, I enjoy reading and making jewelry. I attended Central when I was a young girl!”
"Hello, my name is Ashley McKnight and I am a Special Education Teacher at Central Elementary. This is my eleventh year at Central and I feel blessed to be a part of this amazing community! I graduated from Hope College with a degree in Elementary Education K-5 and Special Education K-12 with an emphasis in learning disabilities. I finished my Masters in Autism at University of Colorado Denver and recently completed a Culturally Linguistically Diverse Education Certificate at Regis University. I am originally from Michigan but I love living in Colorado with my husband and golden retriever Wobegon! I enjoy backpacking, hiking, camping, skiing, traveling, running, reading, and spending time with family and friends. I look forward to an amazing 2020-2021 year together! "
"I am excited to begin my seventh year at Central! I know that it may be challenging with all of our new obstacles, but we can still make it a wonderful year! As a speech-language pathologist, I complete evaluations and provide treatment for students who are in need of speech and language interventions, and to improve their overall communication. I completed my undergraduate degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder (go Buffs!). I received my masters in Speech-Language Pathology from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Outside of work, I enjoy camping and hiking with my husband and dog, Harris, reading, riding my bike, playing board games, and spending time (eating) with friends and family! "
"Hello, my name is Melissa McCullough and I am the Moderate Needs Teacher. This is my 7th year working in Special Education and working at Central. I cherish our school and our community here. I am in the process of earning my Masters' degree at the University of Northern Colorado to continue my education. I moved to Colorado a little over six years ago and I absolutely love it here! This past summer I got into kayaking and it has been a blast. When I’m not working with the greatest kids ever, you can find me outdoors hiking, camping, biking, out at a park, or hanging out in my garden. I’m super stoked for this school year, I know it’s going to be a great one! Go Central Cubs!!"
"Hello, my name is Barbara Ward and I am a Special Education Teacher at Central. It is a pleasure to work at such a wonderful school! It’s going to be a great year! I have been in Education for over 20 years with experience as a Classroom Teacher, Reading Interventionist, Reading Recovery Teacher, and a Special Education Teacher. I am originally from Buffalo, NY and I have a grown son off on his own now. In my spare time, I enjoy travel, volunteering, and gardening."
"My name is Amy Jorgensen. I have been working in public education during the past seventeen years and have been teaching students with special needs for the past ten years. I have earned a Master of Art’s degree in Special Education from the University of Colorado Denver and a Bachelor of Art’s degree in Behavioral Science and Elementary Education from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. I’m married, and my husband also works in education. We have three children, Mercedes, Adina, and Evan along with two grandchildren, Matthew and Kalani. Three years ago, we added Mariana to our family. She's an Australian cattle dog that was rescued by a local animal shelter following the hurricane in Puerto Rico. I believe that all children should be given the opportunity to demonstrate their own individual success. Each child brings their own unique abilities which we will work together to grow. I have sincerely enjoyed working with the students and their families at Central Elementary for the past two years, and I look forward to many more."
"Hi! I am Cami Fazio, the School Psychologist at Central Elementary and Sanville Preschool. I am from Scottsdale, Arizona and just moved to Denver. I come from a family of six. I have two sisters and a brother who are all living in Arizona. I have always had a strong passion for education and helping others. I taught kindergarten and second grade for a total of 7 years and then decided to pursue another degree in School Psychology. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Specialist Degree as an Educational Specialist. I enjoy running, going to spin class, concerts, comedy shows, trying new food and restaurants, traveling, being outside and just spending time with my friends and family. I am so excited to be a part of the Central team and look forward to supporting the students and staff!" :)
"My name is Maria Narez and I’ve worked in the district for 11 years. My favorite part of the day at Central is working one on one with students goals. You get to see how much they have achieved. When I’m not at school, I like to work out and spent time with my family."
"I’m Candice Morrell, I have worked at Central Elementary since 2013. I love watching families and students grow physically, academically and emotionally. I feel lucky and proud to be a part of the Commerce City Community. I love art and experiencing life. In my spare time find projects that get my creative brain working."
"I have worked at Central for three years and in the District for 24 years. The favorite part of my job is working with all the children. When I am at home I enjoy reading,walking and my grandchildren."
"Hi. My name is Juliana Ramos. I've worked at Central for 3 years. My favorite part of the day is teaching students new things. When I'm not at home I like to go for walks."
“I’m Trina Vialpando and I’ve worked at Central for 4 years now. My favorite part of the day at Central is going to specials with my students! When I’m not at school, I love to spend time with my family or do some crafting.”
"My name is Kathy I have been a special ed Para for 13 years at Central. My favorite thing is playing games with the kids. When I am at home I love to read mystery books and watching mystery movies."
"Hi. My name is Laura Vigil. I have been working as a Instructional Para for 18 years at Central. I enjoy working with my student groups. When I am not at work I enjoy reading, trying new recipes, watching movies and eating popcorn."
"My name is Martha Garcia, I was born in Chihuahua, Mex. my passion is working with children to be able to teach them and to be part of their life in growth I have been working at Central Elementary School for 14 years. I love reading, going for a walk, and eating different types of food."
"Hi! I'm Iliana Irizarry, I’ve been working for Central school for almost three years. What I like to do the most is working at the crosswalk because I can see many students with their parents. They always chat with me and wish me a beautiful day. That is the best way to start my day. When I’m not at school I like to read and spend time with my family to visit a town or mountains."
"Hi, my name is Sarah Mackey and I have worked at Central Elementary for 2 years. My favorite part of my job is seeing the kids eyes light up when they accomplish something big in group time. I also love recess time! When I am not at work, I spend time with my husband and kids. We love camping, traveling and going to my kids sporting events."
Nancy Martinez Ramirez
"Greetings my name is Nancy Martinez I have been working at Central Elementary since October of 2019. My Favorite part of the day at central is recess because that’s when I get to see the kids be themselves and having fun. When I’m not at school I like play video games."
“My name is Cindy Moorman and this will be my second year at Central Elementary School as an Instructional Paraprofessional. My favorite part of my day is when I get to work with the kids in small groups doing reading and math it clicks when they get what the answers are. I also really enjoy recess, watching the kids as they use their imaginations while they play together. When I am not at school, I like to craft, sewing and crocheting, but who am I kidding, I love doing pretty much any type of craft there is!”
"My name is Desmon McMurphy and I am one of four kindergarten teachers at Central this year. I am entering my 5th year teaching and my 3rd year here at Central, all in kindergarten. Currently I am working on getting my masters in Reading and Writing along with learning how to navigate this virtual world that teaching has become. I am very excited to start this new virtual teaching journey and cannot wait to meet my kindergarten students and families!"
"My name is Ashley George and I am originally from Topeka, Kansas. I graduated from Emporia State University in 2005 and taught in the Kansas City area until this past year. I have taught anywhere from 1st through 3rd grade, with the majority of my time being spent in 1st grade. I have always wanted to be a teacher and growing up I never saw myself doing anything else. In my spare time, I like to spend time with my husband, daughter, and our 2 dogs. I am very excited to be teaching kindergarten at Central Elementary and cannot wait to meet my new group of students!"
1st Grade Teacher
“Hello my name is Adala Salihi. I have been teaching at Central Elementary for seven years. I have taught kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. I received my bachelors at Metropolitan university for behavioral science. I also received my Master from CU Boulder in Education Equity/Cultural Diversity. For fun I like to read, and watch movies.”
1st Grade Teacher
“Hello My name is Shannon Eckert. I have been teaching for 18 years, and have been at Central Elementary for seven years. I have taught third, fifth, technology, second and, now first. I received my bachelors at Metropolitan University for behavioral science. I received my first masters from Lesley university for Reading. Then my second was from University of Northern Colorado for Gifted and Talented Education. I also have my certificate for the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse from UNC. During my free time, I love to also spend time outdoors with my family.”
1st Grade Teacher
“Hi, my name is Christie Guevara. This is my third year teaching at Central Elementary. I am proud to be a part of your child's education. I have three children of my own and understand the importance of a high quality education. I love running, hiking, and paddle boarding. Reading is my favorite hobby, so I have lots of fun stories to share.”
1st Grade Teacher
“Hello!! My name is Rocio Vargas and I am the new First Grade Bilingual Teacher. Although the conditions are not going to be the most appropriate to have a year full of fun and interesting activities, I know that together as a team we will do the best we can for the benefit of our children. This will be my first year as a teacher at Central Elementary School but it will be my 25th year working in education. I want you to feel confident that whatever the situation we are in, my mission is to do the best that I can for my students.”
2nd Grade Teacher
“My name is Amanda Moorman and I am so excited to be teaching second grade this year! I was fortunate enough to be able to move up with the students from last year and cannot wait to see the amazing growth we are able to make! This will be my fourth year at Central and my seventh
year teaching. When I’m not at school I enjoy lounging at home with my dog Max and cat Spider, making different craft projects, and getting outside as much as I can.”
2nd Grade Teacher
“I’m Mrs. Bassett. I was born in Indiana and have also lived in New Mexico. I have four brothers and four sisters, a husband, and two cats. I’m looking forward to learning a lot about you and a lot about technology this year!”
2nd Grade Teacher
“Hello, my name is Maribel Orihuela. I was born in Peru, I like to go home and spend time with my brothers and sisters.This is my third year teaching at Central elementary, I love to teach reading and math. I finished my masters at CU Boulder in Soc, Mult & Billing-Eq, Ed Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Education, and Special Ed Generalist.I Love my family and I spend a lot of my free time looking for awesome and new activities for my class and I also like to craft.”
Mary Jo Holling
3rd Grade Teacher
“I am so excited to teach 3rd grade! This is my fourth year teaching third grade at Central Elementary. I love Math! I want kids to love Math as much as I do. My favorite books are Harry Potter. I have watched the Harry Potter movies a million times! For fun, I play volleyball but I used to play soccer.”
4th Grade Teacher
“Hello, my name is Leah Gorowicz and I will be teaching 3 rd and 4 th grade bi-literacy this school year. This will be my fifth year working in the bi-literacy program, and my eighth year at Central. Prior to working at Central, I spent four years teaching 1 st -3 rd grade in other districts. This will be my first year teaching 4 th grade and I am excited for this opportunity. As I grew up, I had a passion for working with children and knew that teaching was the right path for me. In 2009, I received my teaching license along with a degree in English. After working in Commerce City for several years, I returned to school and obtained my masters in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education in 2017. In August of this year, I completed my coursework and received another masters in Educational Leadership. Along with teaching and continuing my own learning, I love to travel and have had the opportunity to visit many countries. I also enjoy cooking, hiking, and spending time with my family and friends. I am excited for the upcoming year and I am looking forward to continuing our great work at Central.”
4th Grade Teacher
Mrs. Cole has been teaching at Central for eight years. She has previously taught first and second grade and currently loves teaching fourth grade. One of her favorite parts of teaching is introducing her students to great books. Mrs. Cole loves to read and spend time with her family and her husband.
4th Grade Teacher
Ms. Gabaldon has been in education for 17 years. She has been a teacher at Central Elementary for seven years. She enjoys spending time with her family and loves music! Her favorite part about teaching is building relationships with her students and helping them realize their full potential as people and as students! If she could visit anywhere in the world, she would go to Hawaii to see the beautiful sunsets.
4th Grade Teacher
Ms. Marshall has been teaching for five years in California and Colorado. When she isn’t out exploring Denver, she is at home with her two orange cats. She loves cooking, reading, or starting a new craft project. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing students persevere when things get hard, and to see how proud they are of themselves when they finally get it.
5th Grade Teacher
“I am excited to be teaching the MATH rotation again this year! This is my fourth year at Central and my 15th year of teaching overall. I taught math for the first nine years of my career to 6th graders and can’t wait to start this year off with your children! It’s going to be a great year! In my life outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my husband, daughter (9), and son (5).”
4th Grade Teacher
“Hello, my name is Ms.Fedoco and I have been teaching at Central for 16 years. My favorite thing about teaching is getting to know the students and helping them learn something new every day. When I am not at school, I enjoy time with my children, reading and gardening.”
“Hello, My name is Amanda Ciccone. I am honored to start my eighth year at central teaching the most wonderful subject in the world, Art. I love to make tiny sculptures, and contemporary jewelry. I cannot wait to see all of you and the art you make this year.”
“Hello all! My name is Andrew Phelps and this is my 5th year teaching at Central! Though this year isn’t starting off as usual, I’m very excited to use more technology in our music class with new online resources.”
“Hi, Central Cubs! My name is Dallas Vermillion and this is my 5th year at Central. This year we'll work together to get moving and become physically literate.”