WE2NG Teachers

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Our 2017 Summer Teachers


 Kimberly Aksamit

Hi!  My name is Kimberly Aksamit and I currently teach 9-12 math and a STEAM elective at Golden High School in beautiful Golden, Colorado.  I'm a Minnesota native who attended college in Milwaukee and then moved to Denver for graduate school.  It didn't take long for me to fall in love with the sunny skies, climbable rocks, trails, and the community - and I never looked back.  With the help of a coworker, Shannon Garvin, I piloted a STEAM elective at GHS this year.  One of my current goals as an educator is to help build and strengthen this program so that our kids have opportunities to develop the skills needed to thrive in a STEAM field.  I love problem-based learning and I can't wait to help develop authentic tasks to take student learning to the next level.





Brad Peel

Colorado, and especially Denver, is my home.  I’ve never been happier to be in any place in the moment.  It really is the most exciting time to live here.  Of course I love to travel; I had been spending my summer as a teacher away in other places like Japan and Australia, or traversing the Colorado Rockies and the High Sierras.  Now, to me, even after nearly 25 years of living here, this city is extraordinarily exotic.  I’m grateful to get to spend the summer here working with the WE2NG program at the Colorado School of Mines.  Who needs to travel when you live in the one of the world’s most desirable locations to visit?   


The Colorado and Jeffco Schools curriculum for fourth grade allows me to (selfishly) satisfy my interest for this region’s historical environmental and political topics and the innovations of the people to solve the problems which arise as a result of those topics.  I have a great curiosity for how we, but especially how the next generations, will be navigating the challenges which both can and cannot be foreseen.  Being a (science, writing, reading, math, social studies, civics…) teacher has provided me with a platform to encourage my students’ curiosity to explore these highly relevant topics with a variety of approaches.  For these reasons, I am more than excited to be joining the WE2NG cohort in order to advance our knowledge of the problems we, or really our students and children, will need to solve.


This opportunity is also going to provide a means for me to be able to travel to Kenya next summer with my teammate, Julie Manuel.  I hope to contribute to her and others’ efforts in Ronessa, where a schoolhouse has been constructed, children have been provided with vital and educational resources, and a well for a local and sustainable water resource has recently been located and dug.  

Heidi Haggenjos

Hi! My name is Heidi Haggenjos and I currently teach science on the 6th grade STEM team at Deer Creek Middle School.  I have been teaching for 16 years, all of which have been in Jeffco and 12 of the years have been in 6th grade.  Before teaching, I earned my B.S. in Earth Sciences and K-8 Teaching License from the University of Northern Colorado.  I love teaching science, math, exposing my students to current events and creating PBL's for students to navigate.  Two of my science colleagues were participants in the 2016 program and I look forward to planning vertically with them in the Fall.  For the past three years, I have been planning and creating my content by myself.  I am extremely excited to be working with experts to enhance my PBL's and create new opportunities for my students to explore our natural resources and how we impact them.  I am a Colorado native, my husband Chris works at DIA and we have three energetic sons: Zach (10), Blake (10)-they are twins and Mason (7).  In my free time I enjoy traveling, training for sprint triathlons, attending my sons' sporting events, hiking, camping and occasionally reading an adult book

Olusegun Adenowo

Occupation: Been teaching for more than 30 years.

Discipline; Physics and mathematics ( including environmental science, earth science and computer)

Scope; College level and high school teaching

Hobby; Reading mostly scriptural books and materials.

Education; B.sc Physics (education); M.Ed  (curriculum science education)

Christine Kamin

My name is Christine Kamin. I teach Chemistry and Environmental Science at Lakewood High School.  I was a Biology major and spent four years doing natural resource restoration work in Minnesota and Colorado after college.  I then returned to school for a Masters in Education.   Now I will be entering my third year as a science teacher at Lakewood High School.  When I am not teaching I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee, coaching ultimate frisbee, hiking, camping, rock climbing, reading, and exploring nature.  I am looking forward to learning about cutting edge water and energy research that I can incorporate into my classroom and help connect my students to current science.

 Nicole Perry

My name is Nicole Perry. I teach 4th grade at Shelton Elementary.  As I worked as a special education para, I obtained my bachelors and teaching degree from Regis University. I have been in education since 2002 as a para. I have taught 3rd and 4th for the last 4 years. I am excited to participate in WE2ST program this summer because I love teaching and learning science. The program is going to be a fun hands-on way for me to learn and experience science firsthand. I hope to learn about new ways to bring project based learning into my classroom. When I’m not in the classroom I enjoy soaking in hot springs, hiking, and spending time with my family, friends, and dogs. 

  Shelly Baum 


Jacquie Adkins  

In a perfect world, or perhaps physics-land where friction may or may not matter, I would be surrounded by creative, innovative educators and students, whose sole mission would be to pursue their learning foci collaboratively. For me, this would also include a giant helping of English Breakfast tea, lattes, and calorie-free pastries. As a teacher with more than 20 years in education, I’ve co-created a STEM program, mentored students to pursue STEM career fields, led a turnaround school, mentored student teachers, and coached Future City teams to nine national competitions. I’m currently a TOSA, Teacher On Special Assignment, with the Jefferson County School District, where I’m writing science curriculum, designing and implementing professional learning, and working to implement PBL in schools across the district. In between learning and teaching you can find me traveling with my husband. Our most recent travels took us to Ireland where we learned that pub culture includes friendly social interaction and great folk music.

Jamie Erickson

My name is Jaime Erickson. For the past eight years, I have been a fifth grade teacher at Shelton Elementary School in Golden. Prior to that, I taught special education in Denver and in Lana’i City, Hawaii.  For five years preceding my move to the island state, I was privileged to teach English to nonnative speakers in Gilcrest, Colorado.

Gilcrest is located just south of Greeley, where I attended the University of Northern Colorado for both my undergraduate and master’s degrees. Being a multi-generational Colorado native, in my spare time I enjoy camping, golfing, and enjoying the beauty of this state. I also greatly enjoy traveling with my husband and spending time with my family. I am looking forward to using the hands-on experiences I gain through the WE2ST program, especially understanding some of the “real life” applications to math and science in order to make these subjects more relevant to them.






Amy Dehne: 

My name is Amy Dehne.  I am a seventh grade science teacher for Deer Creek Middle School's STEM program.  I am excited to be a part of the WE2ST program so that I can provide my students with both hands-on activities that are based in current scientific research and access to experts/opportunities in the energy and water fields.  My B.A. in English literature is from CU Boulder, and I hold a M.A. from Regis University in education.  When I am not teaching, I love to spend time with my family.  I also enjoy running, gardening, and cooking.

Jill Kuzava:

Hello, my name is Jill Kuzava.  I teach third grade at Shaffer Elementary School in Jeffco Schools. There is nothing like walking into a classroom full of 8 and 9 year olds who love to learn. They are fun, funny, and so creative!
Outside of the classroom I love to travel especially to visit my extended family who are scattered far and wide.  I love to play tennis and have just started golf lessons.
I was born and raised in England then moved to Indiana when I was 21... talk about a culture shock!  I moved to Denver after carefully looking at all the possible places to live in the USA :)  I made the right choice.
My husband is also a teacher and we have two sons.  Our elder son is an opera singer/actor and working in Scotland at present, our younger son will be a senior at Evergreen High School and is passionate about golf.
Having this opportunity to work at the Colorado School of Mines in the WE2NG program is rejuvenating and thrilling.  Education has always been my cornerstone and learning is innately satisfying.  I’m looking forward to being able to take back some new water/energy research to my students and sharing with my cohorts.  I’m pleased to have the opportunity to encourage STEM development at our school.

Julie McLean: 

Hello! I'm Julie McLean, instructional coach at Shelton Elementary, and I'm looking forward to being a part of this
unique learning experience at WE2ST! I've been an educator for 20 years, teaching in grades Kdgn. through 2nd, in Douglas County, and now as a coach in Jeffco for the past two years. My husband and I live in southwest Littleton with our two children, Kayla, age 20 and Luke, age 16. Kayla attends Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI and Luke will be a Jr. at Dakota Ridge HS. When I'm not busy at school, I love to hike and walk our two little dogs. My real passion however, lies with horses and I can be found out riding my gelding horse, Diesel, near Chatfield State Park as often as possible!

Liz Hudd:

I have been a science teacher for the last 17 years solely in Jefferson County. I have had the pleasure of working at 3 different places within Jeffco; Evergreen High School, Department for Learning and Educational Achievement and currently at Warren Tech High School in Lakewood. All of these opportunities have given me a variety of perspectives and insight into Science Education.
As a mother of two teenage sons, I am passionate about teaching kids to think and problem solve through science as it relates to industry. I am also a volleyball and swimming coach and enjoy working with the student/ athletes at a completely different level.   My hope with this RET opportunity is to learn as much as I can with my cooperating professor and his grad students as well as implement this knowledge into my classroom back at Warren Tech High School.

Melissa McVey:

Hello, my name is Melissa McVey. After graduating with a B.S. in Biology: Emphasis in Secondary Education from the University of Northern Colorado, I began teaching middle school science grades 6-8 in Greeley, CO. I am currently teaching 6th grade science and iSTEM at Bell Middle School in Golden, CO and enjoy working in the community I grew up in. Outside of the classroom I enjoy hiking with my dogs and husband, snowboarding, painting, fused glass, and cooking delicious meals. As a Colorado native I appreciate the resources our environment provides and I am eager to learn more about the current practices. I am excited to be a part of the 2016 RET WE2NG Program to work to find new ways to bring what is happening in the world today to the students in my classroom. 

Patricia Brandenburger:

My name is Patricia Brandenburger, 8th Grade STEM Science at Deer Creek Middle School. I was raised in Missouri with a sense of wonder about the world. After working at an engineering firm I decided to inspire others and completed my degree in education while exploring the island of Oahu. Since, I have fallen in love with the Rocky Mountains and earned my masters from Montana State with the chance to complete field courses around Bozeman, Montana, and in Yellowstone. Through this program I hope to learn even more about the local area while making scientific research more understandable to students and sparking their love of science. 

Renee Adams-Lee:

I am a 6th grade teacher at Shelton Elementary in Golden, Colorado. I teach reading, writing, math, and science. This year I will embark on my 8th year of teaching. Interestly enough, I have been at Shelton all 8 years and even student taught there! My favorite subjects to teach are science and math. I have a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in elementary education, biblical history, and a certificate in mathematics. Additionally, I completed my Master of Arts in Linguistically Diverse Education in the summer of 2015. My hobbies include rafting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and walking my little dog.. 

Shannon Garvin:

Hello, my name is Shannon Garvin.  I am a math teacher at Golden High School.  I have been teaching for 17 years.  I have lived in Golden and taught at GHS since 2002.  Before moving to Golden, I lived in many different places.  I never felt like I was truly home until I found Golden!  I have a husband (Matt) and three wonderful children.  My kids are ages 4 (Audrey), 6 (Ethan), and 8 (Avery).  One of my current goals as an educator is to bring a quality STEM program to GHS.  I cannot wait to network with other teachers, students, professors, and people in industry.  I love learning especially when I can take the new information back to my students.  

Stephanie Spiris: 

Stephanie Spiris will be joining Bear Creek High School in fall of 2016. Ms. Spiris has been teaching STEM and biomedical sciences for the last nine years after spending six years in the industry as a research scientist. Ms. Spiris has participated in multiple research experiences for teachers, and continually incorporates cutting edge biomedical research in her classroom. Problem based learning and engineering concepts can also be found throughout her curriculum. In her free time, Ms. Spiris spends her evenings rehabilitating wildlife at Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and enjoying the outdoors of Colorado.



Christine Kamin

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